Can You Patch Your Favorite Third Party Dependency?

Who hasn’t used a third party dependency in their software project?

The other day I came over a blog post by Justin Williams that offers a somewhat unorthodox perspective on deciding whether to use a third party dependency.

His general answer to the question «how should I manage third party dependencies?» is with as few third-party dependencies as possible.

I am most compelled by the following condition:

Can I understand the code base enough that I’m comfortable patching/contributing to it?

patch-2 u

It is a somewhat counter-intuitive point. You’d think one reason to use someone else’s code is that they solve a problem above your pay-grade.

But it makes a whole lot of sense. What happens when something breaks? Can you wait for the maintainer of the dependency to fix the problem?

What do you think?

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