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The fun of open source

Posted by writtmeyer on June 13, 2008 at 11:08 AM PDT

For my German blog over at I use Roller as the blog engine. Being a lazy person I did not bother to design a theme for myself. So I went over to and downloaded the theme collection. Of these the theme "rational" was the one I chose for my blog.

Testing the theme on my development box I surprisingly noticed that I wasn't able to post comments. Of course I looked for the reason at all the wrong places. I downloaded the roller sources, added logging code to some of the Java-code, checked the database-tables and generally did some finding and grepping on the source base.

Well actually the solution was pretty easy. It was a simple bug in the view code, in the Weblog.vm (the Velocity template responsible for displaying the blog entries).

As a good open source citizen I filed a bug report at

If you consider using rational yourself just apply this patch:

<                            #showWeblogEntryComments($entry)
<                            #showWeblogEntryCommentForm($entry)
>                            #showWeblogEntryComments($model.weblogEntry)
>                            #showWeblogEntryCommentForm($model.weblogEntry)

So this is what I like about open source, being able to look at the source. For the vast majority of projects I use, I have never actually done this. But I want to be able to do so, if the need occurs.

So, may the source always be with you!

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Absolutely correct. This applies to personal itches as well as to professional needs.

When we needed Apache JMeter in a company I worked at a few years ago, I started contributing to it so that some enhancements we wanted became part of the project. Without the source the adaption to our needs wouldn't have been possible. Due to a lack of time (and a shift in interests) I no longer contribute to JMeter though.

Sometimes it is more serious than a personal blog. I have been working in a project in my company and the customer asked for Arabic UI, I discovered a bug in Apache MyFaces Calender component which is not working at all with the Arabic Locale. I got the code, found the bug, report it, provide patch and developed a temp solution waiting for the stable version release.