Building the WWW (Web We Want)
TypeScript functions and React components. Those are the building blocks of the modern web. (Or so we have been told.)
Does that vision of the web appeal to you? Certainly doesn’t to me. I care about Ruby. I care about object-oriented programming. I care about diverse ecosystems. I care about lean frontends and robust fullstack frameworks. If that sounds right up your alley, then say hello to the low-config, quick-install, surprisingly-powerful progressive generator Bridgetown.
Bridgetown started out life as a “static site generator” (initially a fork of Jekyll), but it has grown exponentially into so much more. We recently unveiled a 2021-2022 roadmap for Bridgetown and have already delivered on a number of its promises with the release of Bridgetown 1.0 alpha. Our mission has and will always be thus: to offer a modern Ruby web framework which can compete favorably with the best Jamstack options on the market.
We’re getting there, but to leap over the finish line, we need your help. For our first major fundraising round, we’re looking to raise $5,000 USD. 100% of the proceeds will go directly towards active development of open source software which benefits the Ruby webdev community at large. Will you be a part of this effort?
The State of Open Source Monetization
There are a wide variety of ways in which open source software projects can make money (in order to pay for labor, marketing, fees, etc.). Some of the most well-known options include:
- Sponsorships / Donations
- Educational Materials / Training
- Expert Consulting Services
- Open Source Core with Closed Source “Pro” Addons
- Commercial SaaS/Hosting as the primary delivery mechanism and open source is a means to that end
- Angel/VC investment accompanied by an “undisclosed” future business plan
(P.S. Our main concern with some of the latter options is the presence of unpaid volunteers contributing to “open source” which directly benefits a single corporation/investors.)
We’re not here to debate various monetization strategies, but to reiterate that Bridgetown is funded solely by the first two options. Essentially, whether you hire one of our commercial service providers or contribute directly to the project through sponsorship, your funds go directly towards making Bridgetown better. And considering what’s been accomplished to date without outsized investment, that’s no small feat.
We’re incredibly grateful for our GitHub monthly sponsors, and for all who contribute to this fundraising effort. It truly is making a difference.
So Why Ruby?
Isn’t Ruby dead? (No.) What about Rails? (Still a no.) Actually it seems like Ruby is making quite the comeback lately—with usage on the rise, huge ecosystem advancements (some related to the era of Ruby 3), a heated hiring market, and a general industry-wide trend towards giving soup-to-nuts fullstack frameworks a second look.
Here’s What Will Happen
Estimating software development?? Are we out of our minds??! Perhaps, but we just want you to know we’ve thought a lot about what can get done for $5,000. Here’s a summary of our plan (and some of this is already in works now!):
- Add a superfast esbuild-based frontend bundling solution as an alternative to Webpack: 15 hours
- Revamp documentation to offer newbie-friendly tutorials and code samples: 5 hours
- Website rebuild based off rebranded design mockups: 12 hours
- Address outstanding v1 issues: 10 hours
- Complete YARD comments for API-level documentation: 5 hours
- Shepherd 1.0 alpha/beta/stable release cycle: 10 hours
And what would a fundraising campaign be without stretch goals?
- Over $5000: write an official upgrade guide for Jekyll users
- Over $6000: create a detailed tutorial with code samples showing Bridgetown and a Rails API (including ActiveRecord!) mounted in the same repo via Rack 🤯
Depending on how this campaign goes, we think it’s feasible to release a production-grade Bridgetown 1.0 in January 2022, with any immediate follow-up tasks wrapping up by February 2022.
Bridgetown in the Wild
People are already using Bridgetown to build amazing things! Here are just a few of the projects launched over the past 18 months:
- Mrujs docs
- Andy Peters
- 805 Babies
- Crow’s Nest
- Felipe Vogel
- Kris Bogdanov
- William Kennedy
- Helena’s Nursery
In addition, members of the Bridgetown Core Team have appeared in podcasts and presentations across the web promoting Bridgetown! Check it out:
Join the Campaign 👀
Are you ready to help get Bridgetown 1.0 over the hump and onto a stable, widespread release? Are you willing to pitch in to ensure the healthy future of Ruby as a stalwart pillar of progressive web dev? Are you excited to see a viable alternative emerge to the Gatsby’s and the Hugo’s of the world? Are you sick of reading these dramatic questions?! Then tap the Donate Today button below and let’s prove once more that the Ruby community rocks! 🙏