The great thing about ginormous tech companies like eBay, Facebook and Google throwing their engineering might behind open source software projects is that we all get powerful and useful and free tools, fast. Sometimes the not-so-great part, though — the part we tend to talk about less — is, what happens when and if the corporate creators of a significant OS project eventually decide that organizational attention needs to be directed elsewhere?
This scenario is where the open source rubber meets the community road: since we benefit from the project, it’s on us to contribute back. Everybody is down widdat. However, it’s still a serious leap for a ragtag fleet of OS volunteers to take on a mega-enterprise-level project, even at the level of simple maintenance. Much less keep moving forward, improving and expanding, projects that could hold really, really important dependencies for dev projects out here in the wild.
Given that UI component-based architecture is, these days, the predominant paradigm for building web apps, there are many solutions for creating and integrating UI components. Marko sets itself apart from its competitors by being particularly lightweight. It offers minimal boilerplate for users, a lightweight runtime for the browser (around 10kb gzip), and async and streaming server-side rendering (using Node.js).
Under the eBay team’s aegis, support for Marko grew — many different IDEs, editors, and services like GitHub provide syntax highlighting for .marko files. The core Marko team currently consists of a mix of eBay employees and outside developers.
The company emphasizes that its support for Marko remains strong: “With nearly 20,000 UI components within eBay, we are committed to evolving Marko, and the Marko core team members that are employed by eBay will continue to maintain and lead the project,” wrote eBay engineer (and official Open Source Lead) Patrick Steele-Idem in a blog post titled “The Future of Marko.”
There you have it, Marko fans: the door is officially open. Ready to contribute Marko UI component number 20,001?
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