My First Issue On Github


2 days ago (2020-06-25), I opened my first issue on Github. The issue was related to the graphing component provided by Uber called React-Digraph, which is extremely easy to use and customize.

I am using this React component to implement a Flow Editor (which I will describe in detail in another post) which is basically a flow chart maker. During the process of adding my custom rendering methods and custom shapes, I found a weird error. The detail about the error can be found in the issue. To put it simply, the graph was failing to render when I used the name function as an ID for my shape (an SVG component).

I don’t know how I figured out this weird phenomena and I know I can just avoid this problem by simply changing the name to function-node. However, this discovery has sparked my curiosity on why a particular value for a property would cause the node to disappear when selected by the user. I took several routes to track where the error is starting.

First, I removed each of my custom rendering method (ex: renderNode, renderText, etc.) one by one to see if the error still occurred. As I am using the word First, you probably noticed that it didn’t work. Next, I removed all of my custom rendering methods just to see the error still happening. I also searched for this problem in the issues section, but it seemed that this never happened to anyone before. Finally, I started looking into the source code and the segments where the rendering occurs. I looked at all of the rendering related parts, but I had no clue where it could have gone wrong. However, I found that the graph component is using D3. I was pretty confident that the developers at Uber would know better at D3 than me who have only used it once before.

This was when I decided to open an issue on the repository to get some professional help. This was my first issue that I have ever created and it felt like I was participating in something bigger and beneficial to the public. It was a unique feeling that I never had before. Maybe this is how it feels like to contribute even a little bit to an open source project? Although I didn’t make a pull request to fix the code, I felt like this is a good step to take to join the open source community. By starting one by one, I hope to see myself doing more in the future.

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