Project Goals

Every successful open source project has a certain “vibe”, those thought patterns and behaviors which ensure meaningful, constant progress forward and the growth of a vibrant developer community. Our project is young, but we feel it’s important to start off with a few basic principles and work out way out from here.

  • Move fast but try really hard not to break things. Most developer-focsued software projects err on a side…either the side of extreme backwards-compatibility with past versions, or the side of evolving quickly and requiring devs to go through multiple rounds of “yak shaving” when upgrading to new versions.

    We hope to strike a thoughtful balance between those two extremes. We don’t want to break stuff or change the setup process just for the heck of it. But we also don’t want to be constrained by past problematic decisions which reduce the quality of the software. History has proven many times over that open source projects which fail to keep pace with the times and new trends in software eventually wither and die. This is a fate we wish to avoid!

  • Embrace the backpack analogy. We recognize Bridgetown can’t be all things to all people. Bloatware isn’t good for anybody. However, we do believe that it’s important to provide a curated “backpack” of tools ready to go that can help you build most websites most of the time. Like Ruby on Rails’ everything you need perspective, we want Bridgetown to come with everything you need to get started building great websites.

  • Convention over configuration. Again, to take a cue from that other popular Ruby-based framework (😉), we strongly believe Bridgetown should encourage powerful defaults and best-practice conventions to give website developments an instant leg up as they start new projects. If you have to go fishing for a bunch of extra plugins and add a slew of extra libraries and reconfigure settings just to complete basic setup tasks, we’re doing it wrong.

  • Grow the Ruby ecosystem. We’re unabashed fans of Ruby and consider it our duty to promote and grow the Ruby ecosystem as part of our work on Bridgetown. This includes contributing Ruby code of course, but it also includes developer advocacy and education. Other languages like Go are popular because they’re speedy, or Javascript because it’s, well, Javascript—but Ruby continues to be a strong contender because it optimizes for programmer happiness. We hope that some day when a Ruby beginner wants to get their feet wet, they’ll start by reaching for Bridgetown and writing a custom plugin or two for their website.

  • Be a leader in Jamstack technology. Bridgetown’s progenitor (Jekyll) played a significant role in kicking off the modern explosion of Jamstack technology. In fact, there might not be a Jamstack today if Jekyll’s popularity as the technology powering GitHub Pages hadn’t caught fire in the early 2010s. Our sincere wish is that Bridgetown would play a unique and vital role in the continued expansion of this exciting way of building and deploying websites and frontend applications.

For more about the future of Bridgetown, read our project roadmap and contribute your ideas and feedback!

Next: What’s a Jamstack?