As in previous years (2017, 2016, 2015), I’d like to take a look back to see how Hard G’s contributions to free software stacked up in 2018. I spent about 12% of my tracked time in 2018 on free software projects not directly linked to client work – more on this last bit in a moment.
Roughly 7% of the total was spent on BuddyPress. Most of this was in the last half of the year, when I spearheaded work on GDPR compliance and other privacy tools, and helped to shepherd along the 4.0 release. I also spent a good deal of time working with the excellent Renato Alves on the (released in 3.0!) WP-CLI and (in progress!) REST API extensions for BP.
About 5% of the total was spent on WordPress. This includes some time spent preparing and delivering a few WordCamp talks: one at WordCamp Paris (en français) on concepts of leadership in free software projects, and one at WordCamp for Publishers that explores the question of whether WP is a “product” or a “community”. The focus of the WordPress core project in 2018 was on the launching of the block editor, a project I wasn’t involved with, which meant that I was mostly an observer to core development this year (though I was around to help with a few bugs).
The remainder of my pro bono time in 2018 was spent maintaining and supporting a few of my more popular WordPress plugins.
A great deal of my FOSS efforts in 2018 aligned closely with client priorities, work that was not pro bono and is somewhat less visible than work on WP and BP, but counted for more of my time and resources this year. First and foremost, I led technical work on the Commons In A Box OpenLab project, which introduces a free set of tools for building social teaching and learning platforms on top of WP and BP. I wrote a bit about this project earlier in December. This initiative involved building a lot of new software, as well as the polish and release of some older software written specifically for the OpenLab project. In addition, the project resulted in a fair amount of upstream and third-party fixes, including some performance improvements to PressForward, updates to Anthologize, and some maintenance to the WordPress Braille tool.
Notably, I also did a massive rebuild of the BuddyPress Group Email Subscription plugin in 2018, with the support of the Modern Language Association’s Humanities Commons as well as a few other clients. These improvements will be released publicly sometime in the first quarter of 2019.
Happy new year to all, and here’s to a great 2019!