Why open source is amazing

Everywhere, tons of coders are building software packages and making it freely available without making a dime off of it. I recently experienced a perfect example of just how useful and efficient this can be.

My goal was to have users fill in their city and country in their profile page, which I added recently:

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What I realized is that I don’t want to leave it up to users to spell their city and country correctly, so I went on the hunt for a Django app that contained our world’s geographical information. I came upon two separate applications that I could plug in to my site’s code: Django Cities and Django Cities Light. The former is a much larger and more complex program than I needed at the moment so I went with the lighter version. The only problem was that when I tried to upload the data I kept receiving a duplicate error for some city in Latvia: Daugavpils.

I scratched my head and went to work googling the error but nothing came up. Finally, after searching long and hard I gave up and opened my first issue report on Github. The main contributor, jpic, responded shortly afterward along with several other coders who had the same problem. Over the next few days back and forth discussion solved the problem and another bug that popped up immediately afterwards. I was so impressed with this amazing collaborative effort and in particular, that of jpic, who went to town solving these problems in which he received no monetary compensation for. Coming from a finance and economics background I really found this refreshing.

Without the contributions to the community of open source developers working tirelessly on software such as Python, Django, and Cities Light, we definitely would not have the kind of web based technology we have today.

Special thanks to jpic for fixing my issue so quickly.

Day: 7  Budget: $?  Spend: $0

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