So a lot of you have been asking what's going on with Orchid. It's been nearly a year since I've pushed any activity to the git repo. I haven't been active on Orchid's Gitter channel or on its issue tracker. And with JCenter shutting down, where Orchid's artifacts are currently published, it seems like I've completely abandoned Orchid.
This really was not my intention, and I don't want that to be the future of Orchid either. The simple answer to all this is that my personal life got unexpectedly busy over the past year, and I just haven't had time to keep up with my open source projects that I'm not directly using for my job. But despite that, I do intend to revive Orchid, though I will need some help in doing so.
For the rest of this post, I'd like to share a bit of what's been going on in my personal life that have made my open-source contributions challenging, and what I envision for the future of Orchid. Or if you don't care about that, you can skip down to the future of orchid or Orchid's proposed timeline.
I'll avoid going too deeply into details here, but I do want to describe the highlights of the past year for me:
On top of all of that, I'll just be honest and say that I've also been feeling a bit burned-out from open-source development. With as much time as I had spent on Orchid and my other projects, it was starting to feel like it was all in vain, that I was spending a lot of time helping folks get set up to use Orchid, and then they didn't stick with it. Add to that the JCenter shut-down, a completely rewritten version of Dokka (which would need a complete rewrite of the current integration to still be used by Orchid for later versions of Kotlin), and the fact that I had stopped using Orchid at work, and I was just continually losing heart and feeling like there was no way I could ever continue to keep up with this little side-project of mine.
OVer the last year, I've come to realize just how many people are actively using Orchid despite those bad interactions, and that is a huge encouragement to me. It's the main reason why I'm writing this article, and why I don't just want to let Orchid die. There are too many people that depend on it continuing to live, people that I'll never interact with personally, and I don't want to let you down because I know there are no other good options for those of you who have chosen Orchid as the tool for your documentation sites.
So with all this, I never had any intention of abandoning Orchid. Orchid is my "baby", a project I've built from the ground up over years, and in many ways has helped me learn to a great degree the skills I use at my job every day. But I simply kept having things pop up over the year that are more important, that are demanding much more of my time, and things that have made it hard for me to get back into this project. Quite frankly, this is not an apology. This is simply how life goes sometimes, especially in open-source development. For a project as ambitious as Orchid, it's just becoming something larger than I can manage entirely by myself. I don't want to abandon Orchid, but it's now at a point where I need much more support from the larger Orchid community to help push this forward and keep it the best tool for Java and Kotlin project documentation.
So Orchid is now at a point where I really need support from the community to keep it alive. I am now set up to publish it to MavenCentral, and am actively working on migrating all of Orchid's Copper Leaf dependencies there first. Once all of those are re-published to MavenCentral, only then will I be able to publish a new version of Orchid there as well. This is step 1, and is something I have to do as the maintainer and publisher of those libraries, but is something I am actively (albeit, slowly) working on. But for anyone concerned about the May 1 Bintray deadline, that is just a deadline for publishing new artifacts to Bintray. You will still be able to download existing dependencies from JCenter indefinitely, so all your old builds referencing Orchid on JCenter will still work.
That said, there are a few changes that need to be made to the Orchid project, its repository, and its community, and this is where you can help out:
io.github.copper-leaf), I would like to take the opportunity to rename the artifacts to the standard Java artifact naming convention as well (
kebob-case, such as
With all that said, here's a rough timeline for getting things back moving for Orchid. It's a long timeline because my life is no less hectic now than it has been for the last year, but it does give me some specific dates that I will really try to keep.
Several of these tasks I need to do myself, but I will mark which ones can be done by members of the community
kebob-case. This includes updating all documentation to match.
In addition, there are a handful of tasks that I would like to get done at any point in this timeline, but would also really appreciate the help of the community in getting these tasks accomplished: