Library deliberately corrupted by its developer relaunches as community project

Library deliberately corrupted by its developer relaunches as community project
Ryan is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter: @Gadget_Ry

A popular library that was deliberately corrupted by its own developer has been relaunched as a community-driven project.

Last week, Developer reported that users of open-source projects depending on the ‘colors’ and ‘faker’ libraries by Marak Squires were confronted with their applications indefinitely printing gibberish messages on their console—rendering them useless.

Squires corrupted his own libraries, seemingly in retaliation for others using them for free.

“Respectfully, I am no longer going to support Fortune 500s (and other smaller sized companies) with my free work,” wrote Squires in an ‘Issue’ posted by Squires on the faker project’s GitHub.

“Take this as an opportunity to send me a six figure yearly contract or fork the project and have someone else work on it.”

A week later, the community has done just that.

“We’re a group of engineers who were using Faker in prod when the main package was deleted,” wrote the maintainers on the new project’s website.

The maintainers say they’ll be referring to it as the official library at least in the immediate term “to disambiguate between the many rewrites and forks that are not community-maintained”. However, that may change “once things have died down and there’s less chaos around the library in general.”

Here’s what the team say they’ve achieved so far:

  1. Created a GitHub org [repository] for the new Faker package under @faker-js/faker.
  2. Put together a team of eight maintainers.
  3. Released all previous versions of Faker at @faker-js/faker on npm.
  4. Released the Version 6 Alpha
  5. Almost completed migrating to TypeScript so that DefinitelyTyped no longer needs to maintain its external @types/faker package.
  6. Created a public Twitter account for communicating with the community.
  7. Released the first official Faker documentation website….
  8. Cleaned up tooling like Prettier, CI, Netlify Deploy Previews, and GitHub Actions.
  9. Done a TON of issue triage and many, many PR reviews.
  10. We’ve gotten in contact with the Open Collective and discussed a transition plan for the project.

And here are some of the initial plans to improve the project going forward:

  1. ESM Support!
  2. Browserify => Rollup/Vite
  3. Improved testing infrastructure
  4. typegen docs
  5. Engage with existing maintainers of the Faker ecosystem
  6. Interactive Playground within the docs
  7. Node 18 compatibility

A full roadmap will be worked on after 6.x is released and all of the TypeScript Pull Requests have been merged.

“We fully intend to extend Faker, continuously develop it, and make it even better,” explained the team. “We’re excited to give new life to this idea and project.”

The project’s funding has also been forked to allow its original sponsors to continue supporting it going forward. The original developers “were able to retain the $11,652.69 USD previously donated to the project.”

(Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash)

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