Earlier today I was browsing Hacker News and was a bit let down by a post I ran across by recent HN front-pager, Dustin Curtis. See, Dustin’s done some pretty cool stuff and to date much of his writing has been insightful and spot-on. Other things he’s done have been a bit more controversial (Kudos suck, as did the way he responded to critique’s on them). Nonetheless, I was excited earlier today as I was reading his announcement of Svbtle, his new blogging platform. A minimalist, beautiful and simple markdown-based editor with a dead-easy administration panel? Wonderful! I was ready to dive in. Until I read this (emphasis added):
I wrote this engine entirely for myself, without the intention of opening it up to other people. But since realizing that it has improved the way I think and write, I’ve decided to open it up to a small number of vetted bloggers.
So here’s an obviously talented guy showing off a beautiful new creation on Hacker News, and yet he’s making it a “membership by invitation only” network? I felt cheated. This wasn’t Hacker News material. In fact, it went against the very spirit of Hacker News. I felt Dustin missed out on what have been a great open source contribution.
So, I decided to do something about it. Svbtle was nearly exactly what I had been looking to do with my own blog. I wanted it, and I wanted to share it with friends. I whipped open terminal, typed in rails new obtvse, and a few hours later I’m here.
Before I Start a Flamewar
Before I link it up, I’d like to give thanks to Dustin. His website is beautiful and there is no doubt he is a passionate and talented designer and developer. There is also no doubt that I’ve copied his idea to a great extent (minus all the animated doo-dads, of course). I also think Dustin has every right to keep his work closed source. But nonetheless I felt the urge to go ahead and re-write his work, and I don’t feel guilty about it.
So without further ado I present obtvse. Fork it, commit, send me some pull requests and enjoy!
Finally, I’d also like to say don’t plan on keeping natewienert.com looking like this, I will definitely be whipping up something unique in the coming days.