TypeScript Drama and Open Source Opinions

TypeScript Drama and Open Source Opinions

Sep 13, 2023

Recently 37signals co-founders David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried found themselves at the center of an unexpected internet storm. It all began when David made a significant announcement: Turbo 8 would no longer be using TypeScript.

What followed was a whirlwind of controversy and social media fireworks.

In today's discussion, Kimberly Rhodes sits down with Jason and David to unpack the impact of social media on these types of discussions and the broader implications of these online controversies on open source contributions.

Show Notes:

[00:00] - Kimberly opens up the discussion, sharing the recent announcement made by David, that Turbo 8 would no longer utilize TypeScript and the resulting online controversy.
[00:33] - Jason shares his reaction to the drama unfolding and offers kudos to David for handling the storm with grace.
[01:34] - David shares how it all began with eternal debate: dynamic vs. static languages, strong vs. weak typing, and 37signals is firmly in the dynamic, free-spirited camp.
[02:23] - What led to the BIG decision to pull the TypeScript plug?
[03:19] - Dynamic vs. static, it's like arguing about your favorite pizza topping.
[04:13] - TypeScript was removed in record time (freeing the code!).
[04:59] - This debate is like a merry-go-round of arguments (and we're not here to convert anyone).
[05:48] - David shares: "People have preconceived notions about my opinions, and when we go against the flow, it's bound to stir the pot," (remember the cloud exit?).
[07:32] - Programmers can turn small details into raging infernos and social media is like a dry brush waiting for a spark.
[08:45] - Compared to fighting Apple for HEY.com or navigating the minefield of workplace politics, this is just a minor skirmish.
[10:38] - Humans naturally tend to form tribes and defend their beliefs, but internet drama usually loses its fervor in 24-36 hours.
[11:38] - Jason shares the binary nature of most debates such as air-cooled vs. water-cooled Porsches or car collectors' preferences.
[12:25] - Kimberly comments on the polarized nature of the comments.
[12:38] - There is value in discussing ideas so long as the debates don’t devolve into personal attacks.
[14:39] - How personal attacks gain traction.
[15:44] - The importance of embracing diversity in programming languages and techniques for a more vibrant tech world.
[17:24] - David shares insight from his recent trip to Japan and the beauty of appreciating different cultures without feeling the need for uniformity.
[18:42] - David reveals whether this unexpected negativity has changed his view of open source and sharing.
[20:40] - David will continue to contribute to open source BUT…
[21:26] - Please don’t spoil open source contributions for everyone else.
[23:16] - David shares a surprising recurring theme in the Rework podcast and why it’s important to speak out about your beliefs—especially those you are hesitant to voice publicly.
[24:01] - David discusses whether this kerfuffle has had any effect on the 37signals team.
[25:19] - Rework is a production 37signals. You can find show notes and transcripts on our website. Full video episodes are available on Twitter and YouTube. If you have a specific question for Jason or David about a better way to work and run your business, leave your voicemails at 708-628-7850 or send an email.

Links and Resources:

From David’s HEY World: Turbo 8 is Dropping TypeScript – https://world.hey.com/dhh/turbo-8-is-dropping-typescript-70165c01

From David's HEY World: Open Source Hooliganism and the TypeScript Meltdown – https://world.hey.com/dhh/open-source-hooliganism-and-the-typescript-meltdown-a474bfda

DHH's post about Turbo 8 dropping TypeScript on X (formerly Twitter) – https://x.com/dhh/status/1699427078586716327