Contributing back to Open Source, trials and tribulations

So, back in March 2010, I started using It turned out not to do much of what I needed really, but it was a good base. The project seemed pretty dead in the water, but I fixed a bug or two, added some logging, and filed a bug with the diffs attached anyway. It wasn’t much, and it wasn’t pretty, but hey, if the project was alive, something would happen right?

And besides, it was now all working just fine for my needs.

Fast forward a few months, and the project has been resurrected by a third party. The code has been almost completely rewritten, and seems to have much fuller support for all the esoteric options I hadn’t needed. Oh, and the reply sent to my bug report never reached me, so I didn’t see any of this until just recently.

Of course, the released version _still_ didn’t have some rather important features I’d added, (it’s in trunk) and because of the rewrite, my diffs were now completely useless. And of course, the API has changed.

So where do I go now? Do I toss my local fork, resync with the “master” and try and get back on the train with the current open source base? Ignore it, and stay with my functional, working, battle tested, but feature limited version? (To be clear, my work mostly requires working with just escaped API mode, tx/rx only. The current xbee python project also supports transparent uart, remote AT commands, and remote IO transfer and ADC readings)

Seems like a bit of a loss all around really :( Should I have tried harder to get in contact with the original developer to get my patches in earlier? How much time should you really spend trying to patch open source software and how much time should you spend using it?

I’m well aware of the massive cost of maintaining local forks, if you actually do want the new features, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth it :(

FWIW, my version is still at github, and still very much in use here at home.

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