Open source courtesy

Open source courtesy

Adam

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Would you expect a thank you when reporting an issue or adding a pull request to an open source project that has been merged/dealt with so obviously a positive contribution?

It seems rare that I will get a thank you from a maintainer for contributing in whatever way.

I don't know, just seems like it should be common courtesy that is missing.

Is it just me? What do you think?

 

Gummibeer

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Where do you contribute? You will get one in all spatie packages and also in all of mine. 😉

But it's also one topic for an upcoming blog post. :)

 

Adam

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Where do you contribute? You will get one in all spatie packages and also in all of mine. 😉

But it's also one topic for an upcoming blog post. :)

A few private betas, Bootstrap icon, MJML... 🙃 I think I will have to spend more time in your friendly repos! 😄

It is not that I contribute for the thanks but it does feel like it would be nice to receive some acknowledgement rather than just a message to say resolved or merging.

Having said that, I think being an open source maintainer themselves is a pretty thankless task all round.

 

Gummibeer

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I would not expect thanks. I think merging is implicit thanks and acknowledgment.
Totally disagree here. Merging is an action of acceptance but not thankfulness. Merging is also only the positive action. But you should also thank a contributor if the changes aren't accepted and for sure also a simple issue writer which is most times the base for improvements or fixes.
And it's crazy how much difference these two simple and short words make. It's the difference between simple acceptance and respect.

And one of the super-gigantic-enormous differences is that acceptance/merging/rejecting is a top-to-down activity, you create some kind of hierarchy with it. Because without this hierarchy you wouldn't be able to merge/reject it.
But thanking is an eye-to-eye-level or even down-to-top activity.

That's why I will always fight for a more thankful and welcoming dev-community! 💙

 

szferi

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That's why I will always fight for a more thankful and welcoming dev-community! 💙

Generalization does not help here (I'm guilty sorry). I think welcoming dev-community is a noble goal, and we should aim for it. I agree that if you can - especially for first contributors - you should encourage their effort in a welcoming way, which can be many. However, there scalability issues with large enough open-source projects, so thanking all the typo you merged won't work. For more substantial, more meaningful contributions, the ChangeLog, and the Contributors file is I think one of the right and traditional places you can show thankfulness.
I never contributed to projects where "default thanks for every merge" was a policy, and I never expected such a practice in my 30 years experience.

 

avena

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I agreed with @Adam here. In some projects, reporting an issue sometimes it even feels like a hostile moment; you are afraid of getting scolded for not being smart enough or for not being able to understand the procedure to report the issue (which is often very confusing).

I believe it doesn't matter how big a project is; if the person reporting the issue or asking for help (because after all, you need help) is doing it with proper courtesy, then the answer should be with equal courtesy.

 
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VickiLanger

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I would not expect thanks. I think merging is implicit thanks and acknowledgment.
I think you make a good point. I would never contribute and expect to be thanked for it. Though, it would be nice to hear some sort of appreciation.

And it's crazy how much difference these two simple and short words make. It's the difference between simple acceptance and respect.
I think @Gummibeer said it better than I can

Personally, if I had contributors, I would thank them. Anything someone does to help the project move forward is positive in my book. Therefore, I would make sure to thank them.

 

frood

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If made something I cared about and someone else helped improve it in a way I care about (if it's a giant project and someone corrected a tiny typo, I won't send them a handwritten letter about how much I appreciate them as a human being, it has to be genuine or it's patronizing IMO), I probably would thank them, partially in the hopes of encouraging their future contributions, and not just to my projects, but open source in general.

It's a simple and easy thing to do, if there's a text field right there, etc. and every now and then, when you give someone recognition for a small contribution, they might decide to make that big contribution they had in the back of their head for a while. The worst that can happen is nothing, you just paid your dues of basic courtesy. Again, that's referring to a contribution where someone actually took some meaningful chunk out of their day to help out. If they spent 4 hours doing it, I can spend 40 seconds thanking them briefly, which is still infinitely more than just nothing at all.

 
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