I had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year and, as is common this time of year, friends and family made the normal mentions of things, places, people, or any other sort of noun that they are thankful. Of course, I agree with the most common objects of gratitude: friends, family, etc. However, I got to thinking about work and how thankful I am for the proliferation of open-sourced software. So, I’ve compiled this list of software libraries that I am most thankful for this year.
ASIHTTPRequest: Admittedly, this is a bit older than some of its more popular competitors and there are reasons that one might choose an alternative, but you just can’t be a simple networking interface that includes easy to use caching support. AFNetworking may be the hot new kid on the block, but ASI is still more than adequate for the job. I can’t promise that ASIHTTPRequest will still be my networking framework of choice in 2013 but it has served me well for the last two years and is even a joy to maintain on older apps.
jQuery: Compared to most client-side development, web development is awful. jQuery aims to take pain out of web development and, for the most part, does the job. In the last year, I don’t think I worked on any sites or web apps that did not use at least part of jQuery. I’m sure jQuery will continue to be the ‘go to’ tool for web developers everywhere in 2013.
Rails: Rails has been all over the place this year. I’m very thankful to have had the opportunity to work with it and for it to be introduction to Ruby. For me 2012 was the year of Rails on the backend, however, I doubt that will hold true for 2013. From a consulting perspective, Rails seems to be losing ground to Python-based alternative such as Django and the upstart Node.js. From a more personal perspective, Rails is solving problems I don’t seem to have or rather I have those problems but there are also other issues that it chooses to ignore. Additionally, Rails is going, as is true to its nature, in its own direction (think SASS and Coffeescript) and, in more and more cases, those just aren’t paths I am interested in taking. I have been evaluating alternatives and have come to a decision stay tuned for another post later next week.
There are other projects that I’ve used or use frequently, but these are three that stick out most prominently. Will they all be on next year’s list? Doubtful. Still, I am thankful for them and all the open-source work that makes my job easier and, in some cases, possible. Do you have your own three? Share them with me on Google+ or Twitter. This post was made possible by Code Journal and Fingertip Tech, INC. If you are Github user please check out Code Journal and if you are interested in having an Android, iOS, or web app developed please contact me.