My newfound love for Liferea has caused me to check how this blog appears in it. EasyBlog works quite nicely overall, but doesn’t appear to play terribly nicely with feed readers. It was trying to tell my feed that everything in it had just been updated, which isn’t true. I resolved to fix this myself. This leads me to the reasons why open source is awesome.
Awesome Thing 1: You can read the code to figure out how it works
This is incredibly useful. On innumerable occasions I have had to reverse engineer a piece of software, slowly and painfully, because I couldn’t read the source code. It took me about 2 minutes to find the piece of code in EasyBlog that was responsible for generating the RSS feed.
Awesome Thing 2: You can fix bugs yourself if you want to
All I had to do was to add a line to create a <lastBuildDate/> tag and now Liferea doesn’t think I have 34 new posts every time it checks my blog. Problem solved!
Awesome Thing 3: You can add features yourself if you want to
While I was at it, I also added some features to the feed: copyright information, the portal logo, item categories; it was all really easy to add.
Awesome Thing 4: You can share your modifications with other people
Click through and you can see the full text of the modified file.
Awesome Thing 5: You can usually do this for free
Open source doesn’t necessarily mean free of charge for everyone: our seafelt software, for example, is free for non-commercial use, but we expect people who use it commercially to pay for it. Everyone still gets the source, but to distribute it yourself would infringe on our copyright. We think it strikes a good balance to do things this way.
So what do you think is awesome about Open Source?