Whenever I find a blog post/video that has information particularly useful to me, or a side project that has come real handy - the first thing I do is whip up my mail client and thank the authors. I never realised how much of a positive impact this has on creators until people started mailing me thanking me for my work. Brightens up your day really :)
And whenever possible, praise in public and critique in private.
I love it.
`reportbug -k` or `reportbug --kudos`!
Makers sometimes exist in a void. They create and wonder if it is accomplishing anything. They wonder what it gets used for.
A few words can speak volumes. It creates a dialogue. The maker is no longer howling into the void, no longer wondering if their felled tree makes any sound.
That hi 5 is a thunderous clap that takes their one hand silently clapping to a warm and enthusiastic embrace of connection with another living, breathing being.
Consequently I try hard to encourage people as they work on open source. Remember, we're doing this for love and we should remember that when we interact with maintainers who have given us a free gift at no cost to ourselves. Much love to all OSS contributors!
What I hope is also apparent is that thank you notes will not be enough on their own to fix the unfortunate trend of entitlement, underfunding, and burnout that is attacking open source maintainers. Any step is progress, though, so long as we don't fool ourselves into thinking it's literally all we need to do.
As an ex-contributor to some old school Apache projects, I know too well the over-whelming feeling that the marathon of maintenance can elicit. Open source becomes open-ended.
For sure, start with a thank you. People appreciate thanks for their efforts, no matter the result. It can make all the difference for some people.
Want to go beyond and be a little helpful? It's easy -- just take a look around a project and add a contribution. It doesn't have to be an earth-shattering feature; in fact, it's the mundane that can really make a project so much better. Add a unit test, fix a bug, update some documentation. There is always something that can be improved.
More than helping fellow developers with your library, you help keep alive the spirit and philosophy of free sharing of knowledge and information. And in a world increasingly hostile to these ideas, your impact cannot be understated.
Say you add a few bucks to your account and you can dole it out as you go. Receivers can keep it or pledge all or some % to some short list of non-profits.
Something KISS can't be that difficult to do.
I then tried adding a Bitcoin donation link in markdown in my README (before the transaction fees got silly) but the GitHub and NPM don't know what to do with it.
Moi? I'd be willing to pay that (as opposed to sticking GH or GL with it). A dollar here. Two bucks there. Couldn't hurt.
Plus, the number of donations could be a public signal. Stars? They're like Likes (easy and free). Helpful but not as good as how many put their money where there mouse is.
> Now there's good news and bad news here. The bad news is that ignoring the performance of people is almost as bad as shredding their effort in front of their eyes. Ignoring gets you a whole way out there. The good news is that by simply looking at something that somebody has done, scanning it and saying "Uh huh," that seems to be quite sufficient to dramatically improve people's motivations. So the good news is that adding motivation doesn't seem to be so difficult. The bad news is that eliminating motivations seems to be incredibly easy, and if we don't think about it carefully, we might overdo it. So this is all in terms of negative motivation, or eliminating negative motivation.
Which brings us to the totally free, and very low friction way to say thanks: http://saythanks.io
> SayThanks.io provides a handy URL for you to share with your open source projects— it encourages users to send a simple thank you note to you, the creator of that project.
> This simple link can be added to READMEs and project documentation.
> Then, you can enjoy a nice inbox of very small but thoughtful messages from the happy users of the software that you've toiled over. :)
The grumpy emails take a meaningful toll on me. I don’t get paid for my work, so why would I continue given that the primary output (user feedback) I get to my input (time and energy/nights and weekends) is negative?
Long story short: send a thank you message, apropos of nothing, to your favorite OSS project. They’ll greatly appreciate hearing it.
Postscript: as luck would have it, the app I work on is consumer-focused, and my partner is a daily user of it. I probably would be less likely to continue working on it if she didn’t rely on it on a day to day basis.
Receiving a mail from user with simple message like "Thanks for the your effort" will give great source of energy and motivation to carry on.
Because from time to time, like everything some doubts arise like "is this project still useful to others?". Thank you notes will help to clear those doubts :D
The maintainer is cited complaining about people using a +1 - which is there to notify that a bug bites me too or i agree with something someone else wrote.
If the problem (which i looked not into now in detail, i just state this as general rule) is already described in excess, why should someone add more text?
If even someone already sent a PR and it’s not merged because the maintainer has other priorities?
Then i agree with the content(maybe not exactly the form) of the message: if you have no sufficient capacity anymore or will to continuously and properly maintain a widely used open source tool, hand over responsibility and power over publication and source control to someone or better a team that has.
Great power comes with great responsibility.
What is actually true is that comments that really say „go and fix that asap (i need that for my work which earns me money)“ are pretty egoistic.
Especially without offering any kind of help - be it detailed report and analysis, a patch or even less a readily prepared Pull Request including tests and adhering to the projects Coding and Contribution standards - that is really gross and against the spirit that we create Open Source together, there’s no producer/consumer relation.
And sure it’s said too many people behave as it was.
Or in other words: saying "thank you" in a language called cash.
 - https://github.com/kennethreitz/pipenv
 - https://saythanks.io
Or is it a bad idea for some reason?
If you’ve ever gone through a birthday where nobody wished you, I don’t think you would want a maintainer to ever feel that.
Was pretty happy that someone else found https://github.com/momer/solr-index-fetch useful for example :)
Based on this work i maintain a basic gun knowledge course, which sees more than 5k trainees a year. Now in Poland a lot more people can pass the official exam (it has two parts: theory, taken care of by my course, and shooting, which requires additional classes at a gun range), since learning is faster, simpler and more thorough.
real question for me would be if devs prefer donation/buying the app or thank you, which one is more helpful
Fun fact: I even get hate comments/email when I make a post on our site encouraging people to donate their organs on the anniversary of donating a kidney to my dad. Something about my dad buying me off to give him the kidney and me making tons of money from the project and stashing it overseas or something. You know, good times.
Like, hey...we use your library to do X with clients like Y, and we pump Z transactions a day through it...really appreciate the leg up.
I honestly think it comes down to this.
Can you use perlbug to submit a thank-you note?
Yes, you can do this by either using the -T
option, or by invoking the program as perlthanks.
Thank-you notes are good. It makes people smile.
Appreciation, when it is well deserved, increases overall well-being of a person. We should not forget to do it.
I've only sent two such emails and got a nice response on one and like a single word "thanks" or something on another.
One concern would probably be training suggestions a toxic data set might only come up with equally toxic options, so some sort of sentiment estimator or pre-seeding might be in order.
Please keep in mind that the legal complexity of accepting donations prevents many of us from doing so. This is largely a result of local laws and how the IRS equivalent is set up. Take Germany for instance. The tax code in Germany discourages freelancing in favor of running a >10 person company or finding steady employment. The main reason is what taxes one pays for "real employees" and how that lands in the national support system accounts. This is a valid justification on the state's part, but a FOSS developer living in Germany who isn't already doing freelancing and has all the tax complexity and insecurity taken care of is hard pressed to start accepting random donations. The first problem you'll encounter is them declaring you a false freelancer if you have a "single customer receiving bills" or forcing you to deal with freelancing tax paperwork for accepting a couple hundred bucks a month.
Still it's a good idea and I'd suggest to take out the middleman for those micropayments. I don't understand what GitTip or Patreon add in value besides acting as the payment service. I mean, you won't be able to ask for money back, will you?
Hey, if I could accept donations without concern, I might buy hardware or expensive hosting services that would benefit the project, but most FOSS developers do it as a hobby paid out of their regular paycheck.