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Just Wanted to Say Thanks (github.com/compumike)
1244 points by compumike 21 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 241 comments



I’ve learned that when I have a positive thought about someone, it’s generally worth communicating it. If I think a coworker saved me on some project, I tell them. If my partner is making me feel warm and fuzzy, I tell her. If someone impresses me, I say so. I don’t think people express these things nearly as often as they feel them, and I expect that many of the positive things that do end up communicated have another motive behind them. Simple earnest positive comments are very much worthwhile.


"I’ve learned that when I have a positive thought about someone, it’s generally worth communicating it."

I've started to do this on a regular, almost daily basis.

If I come across something that sparks joy or interest - usually something I find here, on HN - I reach out to the author and let them know with a personal email.

I also sometimes offer a free-forever-no-strings-attached rsync.net account on the off chance that they would find that useful.

In reality, the Venn diagram of "people who write things that spark joy to the founder of rsync.net" and "people who aren't already self-hosting their own solution " is small.

But once in a while it really makes someones day ...


I've been using rsync for months now to backup my files onto Google Drive, but that's hardly ideal. Ideally, I'd want to self-host or use a storage service other than Google Drive, but as a student I've got barely any money to spend on subscriptions.


If you don't regularly download these files, Backlaze B2 seems to be the cheapest way to store backups.


> I don’t think people express these things nearly as often as they feel them, and I expect that many of the positive things that do end up communicated have another motive behind them.

I have the displeasure of working with a team member who does the exact opposite: at every chance he gets, he expressed his displeasure regarding other team members to management. Once I confronted him about that behavior and he stated that those who fix problems get promoted while those who create them get passed over, and he believed that by pointing other people's flaws he would improve his chances of moving upward.

I firmly believe that's the main reason most people don't praise anyone else. If they do, they are calling out their competitor's positive contributions, while no one reciprocates in kind.


This is a terrible mindset to have. When I was a manager I took every opportunity to praise my employees (with meaningful compliments and feedback) and discouraged negativity. During a management team meeting I even stood against the others on promoting someone because he was always negative and I pointed out how inefficient his coworkers were around him and that he would only continue that, it didn't matter how good he was himself at the job, he needed to be encouraged to change for the better. After working with him for a while and helping him see how he was hurting others and himself, he changed his mindset, and was later promoted, I continued to coach him even after I left that location.

My basic point is this, even those with the wrong mindset can be swayed with the right mindset, as long as it is sincere.


I hear you. But having once worked with team-members who take critique at anything, personally, I feel there is more to this.

I always try to praise a person. But I also want to "reserve all rights" to say that a codebase is crap or a choice made in the past was evidently a bad choice.

Finding the balance to critique work that a person contributed to, without criticising that person itself, is hard. A true challenge, I found.

It becomes even harder if a project is Open Source and you truly feel you have to "warn" people against using a solution in certain cases. It then becomes really hard not to sound like a grumpy old neckbeard or someone with a grudge. I lately decided it is best to just shut up, and let people find out themselves; to let them fail, fall or possibly succeed and prove me wrong instead. I do see the arrogance of that too, though.


I've found that if part of a codebase is truly shoddy or just plain badly written, the developer who wrote it generally knows how bad it is, or at least that it's not up to snuff.

Criticizing the code itself (with useful feedback), and not the person who wrote it, gives them a chance to own up to it if they're comfortable with doing that. And if not, you're still able to improve the codebase without directly calling them out.

If they get pissy about it, that's on them.


For someone to see your criticism as objective, the objective standard should be established ahead of time. For design/code reviews this means having coding standards/guidelines and training everyone to stick to them – rules of the game are known ahead of time to all participants. Then it is much easier to convince someone that it is objective feedback.

A critical skill for a senior engineer in a team is to define and establish such standards for the team. Rather than reacting to each design/code review, taking the time to setup these process mechanisms is a lot more productive and healthy for everyone involved.

This requires strategic thinking (a skill that comes with practice) towards how you choose to spend your time at work to accomplish anything.


> as objective, the objective standard should be established ahead of time.

A lot of projects lack that "objective standards". I've been helping to solve exactly this. But code can be messy without having a clear defined "clean code" standard. And a project can perform horrible, without having minimum response times docutented.

Often my job was to define all those. And often those definitions already hit a nerve. When suddenly your code is marked as "far too tightly coupled" or "too complex: AB above 34" when you thought it was neat and smart code, that is confronting and, I've seen, is often felt as personal critique.


> if a project is Open Source and you truly feel you have to "warn" people against using [it]

How did you go about doing that? (How did you warn others about an oss project, ... Maybe one/some project at GitHub?)


I don't do that in public.

Maybe when someone somewhere asks why I don't want to include X-lib or Y-dependency, I'll explain why for this case its not a good choice.

Generally, I keep this to the consultancy-reports and on-premise discussions though.


Thanks for explaining

I would have appreciated working with you/people who gave some critical thoughts to third party dependencies.

I hope that each time you go to a new employer, you try again and see if they're happy with getting such warnings


Edit: now i noticed you've founded your own company


I've had peers like that too. I'm sad at the proliferation of zero-sum thinking. It's like a prisoner's dilemma. The equilibrium state is competition, but collaboration gets us all ahead in a non-zero-sum way. Or, if you really do see it all as zero sum, there's still an analytical way out. Just take the long view. Collaboration will get our group ahead of the group who competes for the smallest things. Hyperbolically, we'd all rather be a low level IC at early my-shares-will-be-worth-infinity Google than be a VP at an imploding firm.

The pro-social way out of the prisoner's dilemma's shitty equilibrium requires deliberate effort to foster the sort of personal trust and collaboration-by-default attitude that makes the 8+ work hours of every weekday of most of our lives not suck.

And it makes people feel good, which is personally enough for me (while recognizing the privilege that lets me say I have enough).


It’s possible this individual has a personal experience or upbringing where reciprocal behaviors were not respected. It’s possible he’s correct in certain workplaces.

I’d hate to work with such an individual; I’d avoid them like the plague.

To me “good culture” is the de-emphasis of these kinds of mindsets (and emphasis of the opposite). To the point where it’s justification for hire/fire.


Bad things and behaviours should be called out in order to actively fix them instead of just waiting on that they are magically fixed. But this must be done in a constructive way.

Pointing that something is wrong won't fix it, and if in the meantime you manage to ruin relationships within your team you have actively made things worse just to pretend being a good leader, but just proving you are an awful person to work with (and at this point you might still be wrong about your claim on what's wrong).


Even if you don't accidentally ruin relationships, you might ruin the good behavior alongside the bad. I'm a big fan of a feedback system I've heard called "stop start continue." Stopping these bad behaviors, and starting these good behaviors are in the same vein of fixing bad things.

But continuing these existing good behaviors is really important too. If you tell people what not to change, then they won't accidentally change the good stuff in their efforts to fix orthogonal things.


I can confirm that some people think like this ( not me).

I delegated some areas during a big event and I took one of those persons asside because he was too rude.

He said that he pointed out mistakes ( which was correct, but they were new) and that they would remember it better if he was this direct. I just mentioned that he should not be this rude and just explain them what they did wrong and he adjusted. It was literally his mindset ( he adjusted that evening, not his mindset)


This reflects just as badly on the org's leadership, as it does on the individual. Managers and other leaders need to give people a talking to, when they engage in toxic behavior. And they need to set a good example by promoting people who are good teammates. Do this consistently, and people will change their behavior for the better.


He's doing you a favor. Now you know that if he gets promoted faster than you or your co-workers, it's probably time to find a better company (or a better team, if that's an option).


I wonder if the review system is stack ranked?


Great idea. People can usually sense when a compliment is genuine or forced. So sharing your positive thoughts ensures that most things you say are genuine.

I realized that I am biased toward communicating things like feedback or suggestions.

Yet I do have many positive thoughts about others that I keep to myself. I don't know why I do this.


To an extent. As I become more generous with my compliments, I find that even a genuine compliment might be too much sometimes. That being said, I never miss a chance to praise people's work. As long as you don't make a big scene out of it, it's always appreciated.


Completely agree. I prefer private praise both as a recipient and as a giver. Often I’ll send a quick note to the person’s manager as well. Occasionally, if it’s really spectacular work, I’ll cc our org’s upper management as well.


Personal thanks are just as important as monetary compensation. You build your surroundings and support your life with money, but you build your self esteem and support your motivation with gratitude.


Having self esteem dependent on others seems like a risky strategy.


Most people's self esteem is dependent on others. That's the pay-off for being a social animal.

If you're highly self confident without any feedback from other people, chances are you're mistaken. Not guaranteed, but highly likely.


In my last job (currently unemployed) I made a conscious effort to:

1. Always publicly thank contributors for each unit of work I encountered, no matter how mundane, and especially when I recognized the value where it wouldn’t necessarily be visible/“hot” otherwise.

2. To make regular time for specific recognition of work that stood out to me, both public and direct, again especially highlighting important work that wouldn’t otherwise get a lot of light. (By now it should be obvious that I tend to work in libraries/infrastructure where good work tends to be mostly invisible.)

3. To try to continuously add visibility where work tended to be more foundational/less visible, so others would be encouraged to add to that recognition.

4. To make sure positive feedback was included wherever general or even critical feedback was warranted.

I’m not perfect and never perfected execution on those goals, but it was always an underlying part of how I interacted with my team. It improved my relationship with every team member who I most butted heads with (save one who was reflexively adversarial and invented conflict for even the tiniest work items; some people are just jerks!). And it also made a lot of people just generally more comfortable with their own contributions and better able to see their own value.


On every retrospective session we do, every other week, there is an additional column called “stars” or “heros” and we add a note each there giving praises to someone else for something they did those two weeks. We then read them all out followed by a round of applause for each one of them. It brings great positivity to the team.


> We then read them all out followed by a round of applause for each one of them

That may be good for team building and make some people feel better but, personally, I would find that situation very uncomfortable.


Gratitude is a skill anyone can learn. Accepting compliments is also a skill that anyone can learn. But, both of them take practice. It's okay to feel uncomfortable with something, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's wrong. Sometimes we're just uncomfortable with something because it's not something we've had a lot of experience with.


Expressing gratitude and accepting compliments are nice skills to have, but making of it a public show is just bad taste, IMO.


Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but "praise in public, punish in private" is a saying for a reason. Praise is more effective in public, and praising one person on the team publicly benefits the entire team, not just that person.


This is more "praise in public, when the boss says so, because the boss says so", though?


One can praise without the boss having us do so.

Really, it’s about noticing and acknowledging good work or behaviour.


Nothing's stopping you from praising people at other times, is it?


Nobody is arguing that. The debate is around whether manufactured public praise is tasteless


> Nobody is arguing that. The debate is around whether manufactured public praise is tasteless

I suppose it can feel that way, but on the other hand forcing oneself to find and appreciate others efforts and good qualities—even if there are perceptibly few of them—can be a good exercise, especially for those of us who are naturally quite critical. While I'd argue that it's a good virtue and intrinsically valuable, the habit is also practically beneficial: people perform better when they're appreciated and recognized; one's ability to form and work with teams is noticeably easier; it's easier to adjust performance and expectations; et c.

People often put the cart before the horse when talking about stuff like this. Manufacturing gratitude is doesn't make it less genuine or fundamentally less good.


> Expressing gratitude and accepting compliments are nice skills to have, but making of it a public show is just bad taste, IMO.

I wonder if this is a culture or generational difference. I've found my employer's incentives / gestures a bit lackluster compared to simple gratitude. I like working on a team where the members are publicly thankful for their teammates' efforts. Shrute Bucks stink.


Gratitude is great, but forced gratitude is worthless. At what point do things become a circlejerk?


Formal doesn’t mean forced. Milestone events and traditions that involve greater than ordinary recognition is a part of most of humanity. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, seasonal celebrations. Putting it on the calendar doesn’t mean you’re obligated, it means it’s reserved and valued enough to make formal space for it.


I agree with this to some extent. My issue with the public forum and ritual applause is that it becomes mechanical. In my experience, people are often left out or events are forgotten. I was sometimes baffled at the items that were being expressed, it felt a bit political even. Not saying a public forum like this can't work, just that it seems easy for it to go awry.

I've been publicly recognized and appreciated it, I've also received quiet thank you notes. I know I like the latter more.


I imagine it might also cause adverse effects if someone happens to be missed.


I have personally experienced this. My otherwise really good manager had a monthly vote for the best worker in our small team where each vote was publicly announced. I, and another coworker, never got a vote while others got several. Really great way to make some of your workers feel really left out!


The OP was talking about genuine, honest communication. I think these rituals in work teams have the correct idea. Their hearts are in the right place, so to speak, but it doesn't really work perfectly. As you've said some can feel left out. Others might just feel uncomfortable.

The idea is good: share the love, highlight good work. But it probably better just to let people know more naturally.


Absolutely. My current workplace is very good at the organic thankyou. I try my best to show gratitude where I can.


What could have caused you and the other one to not get any votes, at the previous workplace? I'm guessing it was not work performance or anything like that

(The votes were publicly announced -- and also who had voted?)


Me and the other worker were much less willing to work free overtime. The company also had a really dishonest culture and I chafed under that system. I was a bad fit for the job really, so I could have just been what they perceived as bad.


It can be something simple like having work with more visible impact


_Perceived_ impact, if I might add?


This is precisely why leaderboards suck. Instead of picking the single best contributor, do as the OP did and acknowledge all good contributors.


If they handed out the award to everyone it would be meaningless


On the contrary: If you have a team member who no one sees fit to find praise for, it’s probably a bad fit. Praise doesn’t need to be superlative to be sincere. Not everyone has to be a “rockstar” to deserve positive validation.


That sounds horrible to me. I’d much rather be in the background rather than getting effusive, mandatory public praise. Maybe I’m weird, but I’m not motivated by cupcakes, gold stars and clapping. If I do a good job, that’s just the minimum standard. If I do something worthy of clapping, then just remember that when it’s time to award annual RSUs and bonuses or when a special project comes up that needs leadership.

To me it’s embarrassing to be recognized publicly for literally doing what I am being paid to do. Instead, perhaps recognize each week the people that didn’t meet the standard:

“Wanted to recognize Bob this week for being a bit of a douche as well as letting all of us down when he messed up the build system and delayed our build delivery to QA and the Loc team thus having the rest of us having to scramble over the weekend to clean up the mess. Thanks Bob!”


> "when a special project comes up that needs leadership."

You think complimenting people is horrible, people should be publicly shamed, insulted and blamed for the failure of the team, and fancy yourself for a leadership role? Grief.

Instead, perhaps take the "if you're on time, you're late, being early is the minimum" self-satisfied chip off your shoulder and realise that blaming Bob for you being a doormat and working on the weekend is you being "a bit of a douche".


This.

I don’t want claps from my peers. I’ve already figured out if they like my work or not from day-to-day interaction.

If you want to recognize my contribution, give me money - that’s why I’m here. This is a business relationship. I work, you pay. Pay up.


> Instead, perhaps recognize each week the people that didn’t meet the standard

My goodness. This is horrifying.


Mandatory clap time sounds horrible haha. I guess it's nowhere as near as robotic as it sounds in reality


For me it evokes similar groupthink revulsion to the Walmart cheer or IBM's "Ever Onward". It's more on the 'Happy Birthday to You' side of the scale than a North Korean ode to dear leader, but still not edifying or pleasant.


Nothing about it sounds mandatory to me. It sounds like their team/company culture values recognition and openly & sincerely engages it as part of their schedule.


Aye I mentioned somewhere how I doubt it's as bad as I read into it


You’re not showing enough flair


I'd hate that.

I'm cringing just thinking of a team doing that.


Lots of folks seem to dislike the star / hero approach, but my team has a simple “thanks” column in our retros and it works really well to set the tone for the rest of the conversation - and it’s a great reminder to say thanks. Even if it’s just “thanks for being you.” It’s a great way to express gratitude without it having to be some “best of the best” style moment.


That sounds reasonable and way different than like going around the circle and peer-pressuring everyone into delivering a compliment and then clapping as a group.


IMHO:

It’s appropriate for a manager or team lead to do this. It’s not appropriate to make it the norm (even if it’s “optional”) for the whole team.

Much better for a leader to model the desired behavior, and, create space for those on the team, of their own volition and without peer pressure, follow suit.

It will also be much more authentic, real, and meaningful.


I think you've missed the point. The article was about genuine emotions.


Sounds like a psychological conditioning (behavior modification) regimen. Beware, it has a very sharp slippery slope towards unethical conditions.


In theory that is great. I stopped praising colleagues after I found out that several people behaved as if they owned me afterwards.

Also, I had a manager who would move everyone I praised off the team. He was paranoid about cliques.


You don't need to stop complementing, you need to work someplace else

That sounds awful


You might need to adjust how you're praising people. A simple earnest slack DM of "thanks for the hand with that thing! i really appreciate you taking the time to do that" will still make people feel great.


We've got a `gratitude` channel in Slack for this exact thing! Its only purpose is to call out great work and nice gestures coworkers have done. Provides a nice little pick-me-up throughout the week.


I've been on the receiving end of such gratitude, and it always brightens my day. It's easy to think your hard work isn't noticed, until you realize how seldom you acknowledge other people's work.

Unfortunately, explicit gratitude is very rare. Donations are even rarer. The "ask a question" and "support this site" buttons on my website are next to each other. I get 15 questions for every donation. About 30€ per 100 000 visitors, from 1-3 visitors. Those who email me with questions never donate. I'm not complaining about any of this, just illustrating my point: you can't use gratitude as a metric for the value of your work.

Critics, on the other hand, are disproportionately loud. As a community moderator, I learned that for every complainer, there are dozens of quietly happy users. You can only tell by the votes. No one will create a thread to say "everything is fine, keep it up".

If someone made your day easier, or if they created something good, take a minute to thank them. If they saved you a ton of work, consider a small donation. A lot of people are tirelessly, thanklessly creating things that benefit you. It costs nothing to acknowledge it. Never let a compliment go unused.

In the last few years, I became better at expressing my gratitude to creators, maintainers, colleagues and friends.


>Those who email me with questions never donate.

Can you ask them to? It's not exactly the same problem, but I have a modestly successful youtube channel, and I get unsolicited email questions seeking help every day, and I personally try and answer all that I can. I've used the following technique and it helped me receive donations to offset the support effort.

I added a quiet but clear call to action my support replies. It's in a smaller font and below the actual support reply, but it significantly increased the number of donations, and it helps offset my support time. I went from getting no donations, to donations on over 80% of the support questions I answer. Maybe this would work for you too.

Here is what I add at the bottom of help questions I receive:

----

As you might expect, I get a lot of requests for help. If you found my response helpful, a small donation for my time is totally optional, but appreciated so that I can continue to offer it as a service. http://buymeacoffee.com/boothjunkie


I've noticed something similar in my line of work.

One of the major "metrics" that we track is how much a customer has to put effort in to fix an issue/ticket. This is measured via a survey that's sent out after ticket closure, but many customers never see it or choise not to respond.

A few months ago, I started adding a little post script "A survey is sent out after this case closes. I would appreciate it if you answered it!". Response rates for the survey jumped from 11% to 75%. Many of the responses were generally positive as well, trending our scores up by 11% and still climbing.

Sometimes asking nicely is a powerful tool, for good and potentially evil.


I bet you could get that much close to 100% if the resolution email just included the survey link.

If I get that in the midst of solving the problem I always click - if the survey comes hours or days late I may not make the effort.


The website already earns enough. Donations wouldn't make a big difference, so I don't feel comfortable directly asking for them. Nonetheless, I'll give it a try. Thank you for the suggestion!


The parent reply here is arguably just "priming" the reader to remember that donations are an appropriate way of showing thanks for the help. It's not that people are unwilling or unable to afford to give a donation (although some cannot), its more that they don't even consider it in the first place. A gentle reminder, even smaller and simpler than the above example, just prompts them to consider if they would donate.


I was going to say that I think people kind of build up an immunity or aversion to those sorts of requests as they become more common, but after some consideration there's a difference between individual vs mass communication in that regard.


Think of it this way. I really like donating to free software. But sometimes I have to actively hunt for a donation link. So in my opinion, it would be good to low-key advertise it whenever appropriate.

Also, while we're on the subject: I would love it, if free software came with a token product. For example: a "star" tier that shows up in your online profile, or something. This way, people can donate and make it into a business expense.


Nicely formulated. It is a clear ask, without making things too "transactional" (which can sometimes degrade the experience for everyone).


> No one will create a thread to say "everything is fine, keep it up".

I was lucky enough to receive a thread exactly like this [0], in response to a user complaining about my support response time [1]. Admittedly, it was in response to me saying "No-one ever writes threads like this", but it was still lovely to receive.

0. https://groups.google.com/g/cursive/c/Zw8JExDavrE/m/HDILSRCj...

1. https://groups.google.com/g/cursive/c/wZOjmj2Jits/m/Iu7_6iuD...


I just read that old complaint thread you linked to. Sorry you had to deal with that, and thank you for making software for all of us people, polite or not.


Just out of interest have you ever tried rewording the support button?

When I see 'support' on a website I think tech support not money support and blank it if I'm not looking for support. Might be just me, course!


Yes. All variants are similarly ineffective


Is there a psychological explanation as to why criticism is more prevalent?


If you're satisfied, you just carry on with your day. If something frustrates you, you'll want to do something about it.


I was surprised to find that someone left a brief "thank you" issue on one of my open source projects (a Kubernetes hairpin proxy to fix issues with cert-manager and LoadBalancers) and it feels great to know that the right people are finding it and resolving the same problem that led me to build it.

I humbly hope that sharing this might inspire more humanity and gratitude in the open source community.


With the added benefit that many (like myself) may dig in and learn about the PROXY protocol for the first time. So doubly thanks for sharing this!


I'm always amazed at how more people do not know about the Proxy protocol. (Also why is this not an RFC?)

I suspect one reason is because the cloud vendors push hard for layer 7 routing, and cloud managed cert management. (ie: ALB and ACM.) These have a lot of vendor lock-in, whereas k8s layer 4 ingress and cert-manager do not.


Similarly, I got a shoutout/tag on a PR that used some of my code. It made my day, and made me assume that the org the engineer works in must be a pretty good place to work.


Your Circuit Lab project was great and really helpful when I studied circuit analysis. That's the project I've known you for. Thank you for that!


Thank you for sharing this. Even though it is a compliment for you and your project, it made my as a solo maker.


Expressing gratitude is one of the surest paths to a better day.

One of my all-time favorite books -- "How to Want What You Have" by Tim Miller, PhD -- has as its central thesis the idea that:

1. Most people are relatively unhappy;

2. The root cause is our tendency always to want More [money/power, love, recognition] -- which stems from evolutionarily adaptive traits;

3. The remedy is to live in the present moment -- which one can learn to do by deliberately practicing three closely-related things:

  1. Compassion  
  2. Attention  
  3. Gratitude  
The book is (sadly, inexplicably) out of print, but it's popular enough there are plenty of used copies for sale. I first encountered HTWWYH in a 5th-edition hardcover, and it was transformative. Highest posaible recommendation.


I found it in the Internet Archive's collection if anyone wants to try borrowing a digital copy for free: https://archive.org/details/howtowantwhatyou00mill


also plenty of secondhand physical copies:

https://www.betterworldbooks.com/product/detail/how-to-want-...


I will find a copy of the book to see what I can learn from it. Until now I've learnt that one cannot attain happiness as a state. It's fleeting. I stumble across it in moments, and it's gone again. And so I try to be content, which is much more persistent.


Very similar ideas are foundational to the practice of meditation/mindfulness and teachings of Buddhism generally. Popular teachers such as Jack Kornfield, Thich Nhat Hanh, Sharon Salzburg, Pema Chodron (among many others) have great books covering these ideas.


There's a very very old saying "There's more happiness in giving than there is in receiving."

One of the key things I believe most people forget is that being a free giver doesn't mean only to participate in charity and help those in need. It means to act like this to everyone, including those around us. Most people need encouragement and to feel appreciate, and I believe culturally we don't show enough of it.


I run a website with hundreds of documents simply explaining how I resolved issues. It keeps me going when people simply email me to say thank you.

As an example, one of my most popular pages is a set of instructions on how to install 20 year old sewing machine software, that requires hardware keys, on modern Windows machines.

https://www.joeldare.com/wiki/installing_husqavarna_3d_embro...


Thank you! It’s discoveries like these that make my day - my mom has one of these machines, I taught myself cad on it when I was a kid.

I’m sure this will come in handy!


I've wanted to do this for the mundane to complicated issues I've faced, even for myself since sometimes I need to reproduce something (or help someone for the same problem). Never really sure what platform to use or how to do it. Because issues are very broad and it then looks messy. I've looked at your wiki and I'm still unsure how to proceed...


Some people are pointing out how rare it is for GitHubbers to express gratitude, but GitHub doesn't exactly encourage it. Doesn't it feel inappropriate to express gratitude as an "issue"? Maybe if there was a natural place for these messages they'd be sent more often. To the extent that there are affordances for it (stars, emojis) it is actually quite popular to praise good work on GitHub.


This is what I wonder. I've opened "thank you" issues before, and wondered "how much will this annoy the owner/watchers?" For anyone tasked with maintaining a repo, any email notification of new issues must come with a certain level of dread. At least that's what it's like for me, even if I sincerely appreciate and enjoy receiving issues!

I do, then, immediately close "thank you" issues so owners are not tasked with responding in any way, but still... And for any watcher, I imagine they are interested in notifications relevant to actual issues, not thank yous.

My opinion is the current best way to say thank you is probably a star. Beyond that, it would be nice if GitHub added a way to leave a thank you or testimonial or something like that. Or even a formal "the repo is in use by such and such app/company."


> I've opened "thank you" issues before, and wondered "how much will this annoy the owner/watchers?"

I've deliberately not opened "Thank you" issues, because I didn't want to annoy the owner/watchers. Certainly frustrating there is no way to express gratitude.


I star projects that have caught my attention and might be relevant for my work, or that I will need to reference later. I don't see how this relates to a display of gratitude.


Yeah that’s the issue: “star” doesn’t have clearly defined semantics, so everyone uses them in their own way. In addition to bookmarking, I do star for gratitude because having repos with stars is very advantageous for contributors. I really appreciate getting stars on many levels.


Wouldn’t “star” express gratitude?


Saying "thank you" expresses an infinite amount more gratitude than someone taking half a second to click a button. Please don't boil positivity down into just another dopamine fix. It's so fucking fake.

Star too, donate too, whatever you'd like to do normally too but nothing beats actually using your words


If you put it that way, I think GitHub could enable a platform feature to collect finance contributions from fans/users. Heck, even licensing costs. That makes open source programmers earn some money as well - of course along with a text field to say “thanks”.


https://github.com/sponsors

Github launched Github Sponsors in 2019. It does basically everything you described aside from the "thanks" part.


This feels like corp every meeting I've been in hahah

"No I said don't do th.. ah forget it"


Might thought exactly. I wonder if GitHub would change Star to Thanks.

Unstar however would become “No thanks”


Interest, relevance? Yes. Gratitude, not so much.


I think it depends on the scale of the project. If it's a project that isn't full of all kinds of bug reports and issues already, thank you notes aren't a bad thing.

As a developer what I like even more than thank yous are thank yous that explain how my code helped you in some specific way.


> As a developer what I like even more than thank yous are thank yous that explain how my code helped you in some specific way.

i'll second this.

post some screenshots of the thing you've made with my thing, or how it's improved the user experience or performance improvement metrics. what has my project unlocked for you, e.g. new use cases that were not possible before. compare it to what was there previously. i build open source stuff to scratch my own itches. knowing that it scratches the itches of 10k people instead of just 1 is the best outcome -- maximized impact.

just a thanks is nice but ultimately lowest effort and not that gratifying.


While opening an issue might be the lowest effort option I think there are two better options:

1. If you just wanna thank them, write an email

2. If you want to do so publicly, do so on a public channel (e.g. Blog post, HN, youtube channel, etc)


#1 only targets one person.

#2 possibly won’t even be seen by the target.

Opening an issue is seen by the whole team and becomes a place for the community to weigh in. Seems ideal until Github provides better.



#1 can be written to more than one person

#2 can be combined with #1 to let them know


So do both, letting them know about #2 in #1?


I do that sometimes. I sent an email recently to thank the author of XLD [0], an excellent piece of software hosted on Sourceforge, where I don’t have an account. I wouldn’t say it’s about low effort, so much as not taxing the recipient: with an email a person may feel more compelled to reply than with an opened and immediately closed issue.

[0] https://tmkk.undo.jp/xld/index_e.html


I always look for a Twitter account or something to send my gratitude to. It feels like a more natural place to do it than in an issue. The only downside is that a tweet only goes to one person, while if you open an issue, all contributors can see it more easily.


What I usually do is append something like "thank you for the effort" (and sometimes explain how good this project is for my use case) when I open a new issue or comment on an existing one.


Opening and then closing "thank you" issues solves the annoyance problem, doesn't it? It's a NOOP for the maintainer, but it gets the message across. /$0.02


Sure, but it's not an issue with the project, it's a message to the developer(s). While it is a NOOP, it is not something which should appear in the ("technical") stats.


Idk. I think your comment sums up a general change that internet based interaction has created. I used to think it was generational but now I think it has more to do with spending most of your socializing online as opposed to in person.

In person interaction naturally flows towards gratitude. Online interactions, like the one I’m having right now feels disposable. I don’t see your face and we can’t form much human connection.

This leads to an online world of shallow interactions that leave us feeling alone an empty. Much like what happens to people that live in large dense cities.

Our online interactions are so shallow, we feel it is the responsibility a product we are buying to facilitate a particular form of interaction as opposed to simply taking it upon ourselves to do it.


We're talking about interrupting a stranger to listen to us here. How often do you do that IRL? Do you just do it any old time, or do you look for certain signals that it is OK?

I do think there is a generational "thing" where older people tend to see online interactions as superficial and unreal, while younger people see them as a natural extension of the IRL social sphere. As a younger person, I find it easy to point out that interactions with strangers present similar difficulties whether online or IRL.


You have to work against that. It is usually totally possible to write an email to people with good repos. If they made your day, this is just part of giving back.


This is not what you are talking about but I would like to mention that as a contributor I feel like I often get a thank you note after I open a PR or even an issue in stranger repos. In my experience gratitude towards contributors is the norm, not the exception.


> Doesn't it feel inappropriate to express gratitude as an "issue"?

Yes, because it is, but I'd dispute the claim that GitHub discourages it. If anything, the people who use GitHub are more willing/most likely to misuse bugtracker for not just support requests but also general discussion and comments like this. It seems like there's a (non) issue like this that gets linked at least once a month on HN. I click through, get annoyed with the person who opened it, read the maintainer's response, get annoyed with their endorsement/encouragement of the idea, close the window, and then file it away in my mind or my bookmarks or both as an example of how annoying it is to try to collaborate with people whose platform of choice is GitHub.

Post this stuff on Twitter, or a mailing list, or a discussion board. Or at the very least, be productive and file a bug that says something like, "I wanted to express my gratitude for this project, but the README doesn't link to any public venues for general discussion". You know: things that at least attempt to pass themselves off as legitimate bugs? Or just don't do any of that and keep posting this sort of thing on GitHub--but in that case, please kindly also curb your and your colleagues' whinging in all future instances where you find that someone has chosen not to host on GitHub and, upon with being asked to, they say "no" and point to things like this as being among the reasons why GitHub users can't be trusted to make responsible use of project infrastructure.


This makes sense to me. GitHub can remain a technical tool and the more social aspects can happen on social media platforms designed for that.


> but GitHub doesn't exactly encourage it.

I think this would be a nice new Category in Discussions; ":heart: Thank you"


Brave browser has made this integration where you can tip their token to people on GitHub (and Twitter, reddit and any site that people can verify domain ownership). Seems one of the best ways to show appreciation and gratitude without making it feel like a transaction or causing any kind of expectation like becoming a sponsor or patron of the project.


I dunno, if I got ‘tipped’ wouldn’t that mean I’d have to figure out what Brave is, create an account, realize I got $0.03, and then just be annoyed?


Besides being a global payment system that allows people to send micropayments across the world without having to disclose any financial data publicly, while fighting surveillance capitalism in the process, what have the Romans done for us?

The "hassle" of doing KYC at one of the exchanges and verifying your identity is only once. The benefit of being able to receive little cash for privacy-preserving ads and use it to contribute to a healthier digital economy can last for a long time.


It would make a lot of sense for Github to support discussion forums natively, separate from issues. Or perhaps user reviews.


It does, in beta as of a year or so ago, and out of beta a few weeks ago. You can turn them on or off per repository.


The trouble with GitHub discussions is that GitHub couldn't decide if it wanted discussions, or Stack Overflow style Q&A with upvotes, so it morphed into this awkward hybrid.


What's awkward about it?

(I haven't used it yet)


Maybe we should bring back the "guest books" of the early internet, where you're expected to leave positive feedback if you want to.

I'm not sure that general purpose reviews/forums are the right way to address this issue, because those can generate negative feedback as easily as positive and generate additional stress for the maintainer. I think a simple dedicated "you can leave a public thank you message to the maintainer here if you want" text box would do the trick.


Not at all. I've been thanking Scott for making lumen every thanksgiving for several years now. https://github.com/sctb/lumen

I just close the issue immediately after opening it. :)


Personally, a text area is the only thing I need to express my gratitude. I'm doubtful about a UI that would "encourage" it. The last time I wrote on a GitHub issue, I started my message with a warm thankful line to the maintainer for his fabulous work. I meant it, and I didn't need any "reminder" to say so. It felt natural and important to me. I also put relevant informations to show my interest and the time I spent thinking about it. In the end, I believe it's more about the person posting, rather than the interface encouraging it, but I may be wrong.


I wonder if fairly standard reviews might be helpful here. 1-5 stars, with text, and perhaps also links to issues if there are problems and an opportunity to share "used at $company" for endorsement.

Or perhaps just a built-in "endorsement" feature, which companies can use to indicate that they use a project and find it valuable, perhaps listed on the sidebar. Could also segue into paid sponsorship and support.

Insofar as GitHub provides package management, they could also prompt companies to endorse the packages they use.

All of this might get annoying, nasty, or inauthentic, of course. Would need to be careful...


I think the discussions feature might be a little more comfortable for more people to express gratitude, but like you said even that isn’t explicit enough. I also feel disinclined to post gratitude for fear it’ll register as noise.

IMO since GH tends to be somewhat aware of how people piggyback their platform, a README gratitude badge might be a good place to start. It can be as simple as a button click plus an optional prompt to add commentary. In fact, I might make this a smol project to see if it gets some traction.


I loved a library on github enough to track down the creator on twitter and thank him there. Not sure if he never saw it, or just didn't acknowledge it.


I guess that is one features Github should "try" and work. Somewhere that users can express their gratitude ( in a non subtle way ) Sometimes it isn't just a dollar of sponsor, but people explaining what problem they had, how it help them, and notes of thanks.

After all, Github is more like a Social Coding Platform.


Often I email the person directly to thank them, but only works if there’s a public email.


This is baked into Git at the core, but just like many other cases, GitHub subverts the intent of fundamental expectations about the way Git is supposed to be used and actively goes out of its way to make it difficult if you're interacting with the project through GitHub instead of local tools. (In fact, for new GitHub accounts, it even defaults to obscuring users' contact info, and it attributes all changes made through the web UI to an opaque @github.com email address. You have to deliberately go into the settings to turn this off, without ever getting a notification that that's what GitHub is doing.)


The missing state is 'resolved' between 'open' and 'closed' giving that time/space for interaction, or perhaps a closed disposition label 'resolved' as long as it is as easily surfaced.


I hope that people use discussions for this in the future :)


There's an "ask a question" feature out of beta now that is designed for not cluttering the issues. I believe it has to be enabled on the repo.


Many GitHubers have links to personal sites or include their e-mail address on their profile. You could reach out personally to give thanks.


> Doesn't it feel inappropriate to express gratitude as an "issue"?

Indeed! It must equally feel inappropriate to close a gratitude issue.


I like to open issues or PRs I file with a note of appreciation, piggy backing on other feedback I have without opening a separate issue.


I don't know why this is on HN; is it really considered so unusual for a someone to express gratitude to an open-source project?

Concretely, you answered your own question. The "star" button is the default way of saying "thanks" to a project which was useful to you.


I thought the star button was a convenient way to keep track of projects you're interested in.

> is it really considered so unusual for a someone to express gratitude to an open-source project?

I would say yes, it's very unusual. The general lack of basic civility is, in my opinion, just one more reason for the lack of diversity in projects and lowers the number of contributors to open source.


> I thought the star button was a convenient way to keep track of projects you're interested in.

Not exactly, as star numbers are made public, meaning it's also a form of public approval.


Good point. I had a cross project issue come in to a small project of mine a few years ago. The maintainers of the other project actually brought up their much larger number of stars to (try to) belittle me. Since that day I’ve noticed the correlation between stars and the kind of response I’m apt to get, negative in both senses.


More like a form of popularity, not necessarily approval.


Two times recently I wanted to express thanks (or just ask a question) and couldn't. In both cases there was no way to message the person via GitHub because they'd not publically shared their email address. In one case there was no way to open an 'issue'. And in the other, it wasn't relating to a repo, but a really excellent tutorial.

In the olden times, we all just used email all the time for everything. It would've been bizarre for someone to work in open source and not have their email publically available. The funny thing is, I haven't shared my email on my GitHub either! I'm going to fix that today.


If you clone the repo, you will see the mail addresses of authors and committers.


One bit might be a bit less than people would like to express a large range of human emotions arising in a large range of circumstances.


Isn't that the purpose of the star feature?


Maybe GitHub should add an optional "Thanks" feedback channel, perhaps also include a place where users can submit success stories about their use of the given project. This could fill the role of a channel to express gratitude, and provide a place where prospective users could see how others have utilized the project successfully in the real world.


A project I'm affiliated with [0] did this by making an issue titled "feedback please!". Many more people answered than I would have expected!

[0]: https://github.com/greg7mdp/sparsepp/issues/17


Nice! Now if there was a way to make it sticky, it would be perfect. Maybe a new label and milestone to better expose it?


This thread motivated me to add a new "kind words" category to the Tailwind CSS discussions area on GitHub — maybe other projects can do the same:

https://github.com/tailwindlabs/tailwindcss/discussions/cate...

Managing OSS stuff really is brutal, and the amount of negative stuff you hear is hugely disproportionate to the amount of positive stuff. Anything to encourage the happy users to speak up once in a while can go a long way toward preventing OSS maintainers from burning out.


The Tailwind project is a great example of modern OSS done right. It's managed and organized very well, and not to forget about all the related quality content (videos, streams). You and your colleagues are a great inspiration. Sorry to hear that you're getting so much discouraging feedback.


Pretty impressive community reaction in 15 hours! You guys rock!


Wow, it's really great doing so. Thank you for informing.


I've thought about trying to start some movement, not sure how to spread the word, that each open source project on github should make a "thank you" issue and pin it as a place for people to say thank you.

AFAIK It's frowned on to say thank you in issues but it also sucks to have projects with 100s or 1000s of stars/forks and not a single thank you what so ever.

Medium has the "claps" but I think it would be even nicer when you clicked it it prompted for a comment.


It always bothered me that Github uses “Issues” for the name of the discussion board, as if encountering problems is the only reason to engage in conversation with the author.


GitHub now has a separate Discussions feature for that (still in beta I think):

>Discussions is the space for your community to have conversations, ask questions and post answers without opening issues.


Here is one I received last year: https://github.com/susam/uncap/issues/9.

The comment began with, "I just wanted to say thanks for the wonderful software." It made my day! The GitHub user interface should encourage this as a feature.


Taking this opportunity to say Thank you as well! I've been using it for years on all of my machines, such a great piece of software, didn't expect to see it on here


I am glad you like Uncap. A comment like this provides good motivation to continue working on and maintaining an open source project in my free time. Thank you for posting this comment.


The restic issue template has a question about this:

> Did restic help you today? Did it make you happy in any way?

https://github.com/restic/restic/blob/master/.github/ISSUE_T...


I did the same a while ago with a really useful tool that had helped me save a lot of time [0].

I think it's a really good idea to provide thanks and gratitude like this because I know its very validating and motivational for someone to reach out and just say thanks.

This should be especially true for more niche projects that gather less recognition but you can still find very useful.

[0]: https://github.com/geoffreylitt/simple_recommender/issues/7


While I can't work for free, coworkers and managers stopping and saying, "I really appreciate what you've built; it makes my job easier" is what fuels me and makes me love my job.

It feels kind of childish but honestly, I just need some kind words every so often to let me know my work matters and is noticed.


I woke up to this excellent message on Christmas eve. What a nice gift https://caddy.community/t/docker-multiple-containers-with-ss...


There was an attempt with https://saythanks.io/, however it doesn't offer a way to distinguish projects (so you get thank you notes but you don't know which project it's for) and they are not public. I'm sure something similar with more customization options would go a long way (even though the best you can hope for is that it dies when GitHub replaces it by a built-in option).


It's cool seeing people show their gratitude.

This reminded me of an interesting year-ago SATA (Star And Thank Author) license:

https://github.com/zTrix/sata-license


It's a wonderful idea however it should be a nudge and not a requirement. A software with a SATA license as proposed there could not be redistributed by a Linux distro, because the distro could not enforce the SATA with the end user.

This is also tracked as an open issue:

https://github.com/zTrix/sata-license/issues/5#issuecomment-...


A game developer released their game as open source after the Steam discovery algorithm killed traffic to their game [1]. It was nice to see a thank you on their GitHub [2], and I recommend people try to support developers with both gratitude, and when possible financially if it is a project that truly helps you.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18589545 [2] https://github.com/egordorichev/BurningKnight/issues/223


Github should natively cook in a project/user based tipping system to help people show their appreciation. This feels lazy to say but I know for a fact I would send tips way more frequently if they made tipping a one click experience.

I know there are third party tools that let projects cook tip functionality into their projects.

With how difficult it is to find time to write open source software alone, time put towards setting that up winds up feeling like me prioritizing thirsting for tips and donations over finishing whatever the original goal of the project was. I know for a fact I'm not the only one who feels that way.


The subscription sponsorship like GitHub and OpenCollective offer are nice, but I encounter one-off opportunities much more frequently. There's been so many times I've wanted to just send somebody a tip because they gave a useful answer in a comment, a package's readme was really good, I liked the library but ended up not using it, etc. I know there's a few sites that do this already, but I rarely see them used.


>On a wider note, my guess is that it would be healthy for the open source community at large to practice more gratitude.

I try my part to give kudos, where possible. Most of my kudos are around getting questions answered and problems solved, in venues like SO.

I tend to avoid using dependencies. When I do use them, I often try to share use cases, and spread the word.

The obverse, is that, when I find something to be unsuitable, or bad (in a totally subjective way), I generally don't bitch about it. I just leave it alone, and look for something else.

I am very hard on myself; but it isn't helpful for me to apply that to others.


Another positive variation of saying thanks is bringing to attention a great feature of a tool. The authors of the tool might not be aware at how impactful a feature is and if something like that gets enough upvotes / love then it could help prevent regressions or the feature disappearing at a later point in time. It also lets the authors know you care (see the first reply below).

For example: https://github.com/microsoft/terminal/issues/327


Perfect timing to plug my latest project currently in beta https://shoutouts.dev/

Any and all feedback is welcome :)


When logging in with GitHub, it asks for the following permissions:

* Verify your GitHub identity

* Know which resources you can access

* Act on your behalf

What does the last one mean, and why is it needed?


That's just a misconfiguration of the GitHub app I haven't gone around to fix yet. We certainly don't act on your behalf, we only check basic information.


I had that issue too when building something w/ GitHub auth. Instead of making your app a GitHub App, make it an OAuth App (which should only ask for profile data).

Edit: see https://docs.github.com/en/free-pro-team@latest/developers/a...


That was it, all fixed now. Thanks for the suggestion :)


Blocking issue for me , btw great idea !


Thanks, I see. It's a blocking issue for me too.


I've found the 'heart' emoji on Github to be incredibly useful and also always a bit surprising. I'm taken aback by the expression of humanity alongside dry technical try-not-to-waste-someone's-time mumbo jumbo. But how else to express gratitude for someone being willing to volunteer their time on the never ending upgrade treadmill and long tail of bugs that haunt popular software?


Here is another example of some gratitude supplied to someone who wrote a useful python library for a very painful exercise in bioinformatics [0]. Scroll to the comments to see the thankyou notes left by grateful scientists. I have personally used this because I found the other tools available to be a bit fickle about the files they needed while this simple python script was a breeze to use for me (since I know python already).

Github page is here [1] for those who need to remap an arbitrary list of human genome coordinates and don't want to bother with the UCSC tool.

0. http://fouryears.eu/2013/02/25/the-curse-of-genomic-coordina... 1. https://github.com/konstantint/pyliftover


What a great compliment. I love how he thanks the maintainer in extremely specific terms, showing exactly how their work helped.


I used the discussions feature to express my thanks a few days ago. Might be better than opening an issue? https://github.com/TG9541/stm8ef/discussions/386


As a maintainer “thanks” is actually pretty common.

Also companies send you chocolates/swag (but not money) pretty often which is cool.

That said it is still very nice. I opened at least 10 such issues myself because they cost me nothing but a few seconds.


Also I have to admit I take a lot of pride in thanks on SO questions I have answered and projects I maintain.

It’s also a big contrast to the toxic micro celebritism culture we often have.


We need more of this. We need more of everything in OSS (funding, testing, support, etc) but the simple "thank you for your time, your efforts, your well crafted PR, your project that helps me accomplish X, Y, Z..." go a long, long way. I try to do this at work. Anytime I get help on something big or small I always say thanks, thanks for taking the time, thanks for explaining it, etc, because I know they're busy just as I am.

To all the people out there working on code that we all use and build on top off thank you!


Absolutely. I've maintained a fork of an abandoned OSS project mainly because I needed it for myself and it was easy to just do it on GitHub. Turns out some folks noticed, starred the repo, used the code and someone opened a „Thank you” - Issue earlier this year. That was a main reason for me to actually publish the code on NPM, work towards a stable version and write some documentation at some point.


That’s awesome! Thanks for doing that.


Is there a better, more canonical way to leave positive feedback, other than opening a Github issue?

For projects that have gitter/slack/chat, I've jumped in and said thanks. I've also considered sending thanks through the email addresses provided in package control (although it seems a bit weird emailing strangers, especially when you're not explicitly seeking a response). Starring a repo is also an (admittedly small) way to show thanks. What are some other ways to reach out?


Hah, it's funny that you say this. I just opened GitHub to see that they've added a new "Discussions" feature to repositories, which they describe as "...space for your community to have conversations, ask questions and post answers without opening issues" and appears to be a mini-forum of sorts.


I think we've only had one 'thank you' GitHub issue for Matrix/Element (Riot) in 6 years, but it was hugely appreciated and continues to make folks smile when they make a coffee in the office (back when we had an office): https://github.com/vector-im/element-web/issues/8752


There is a Swedish podcast (Snedtänkt) that has a lovely email address for contacting the show (I've translated from Swedish) - preferablyonlypositiveresponse@[email provider].

Not sure if it actually works, but I think it might prime people into a more positive mindset.

On a similar note I loved that emails from Readmill came from pleasereply@readmill.com as a contrast to the usual user hostile noreply addresses most companies use.


I like the approach taken by the restic project to inject a little gratitude into issues, their issue template asks:

> Did restic help you today? Did it make you happy in any way?

https://github.com/restic/restic/blob/master/.github/ISSUE_T...


I certainly feel the same way answering support emails for our sites. Understandably most of the emails are due to having some sort of problem, and many of the senders are frustrated. Even the positive ones are usually feature requests. Which is totally fine, and appreciated. But still, that occasional email sent just to say 'thanks' is always a treasure.


I once got a similar kind of thank-you issue from someone at Google who had used my project for a Cloud Next demo (with the link to the demo using my project!). It was probably the most gratifying and kind interaction I’ve had from open source. I would love it if GitHub had a separate feature for people to express their thanks. Makes me happy just thinking about it.


This inspired me so I will find more time to do this as well. Went ahead and started at one of my favorite projects that I use across several professional and personal projects :)

https://github.com/actionhero/node-resque/issues/496


Thank you!

I guess I’ll chime in and say - as an OSS maintainer, please flood my inbox with messages like this. It really makes my day!


It feels really great to be on the receiving end of such gratitude, and honestly feels pretty great (if not greater) to give it out too.

One thing I also love to do, is talk people up outside of their presence. It takes nothing to mention how someone may have helped you and it's a great excuse to just spread positive energy.


GitHub Discussions seems to be a great place for this sort of stuff going forward, instead of issues

https://docs.github.com/en/free-pro-team@latest/discussions


Whenever I find a really cool open source software that helps me and is made by individuals without some big company sponsorship, I try to reach out, say thanks and send them some beer money.

Obviously it does not help much but I think this is a nice gesture and I wish more people did this.


This is exactly what we need in our industry as a whole. Please, express your gratitude to your teammates about every positive action you notice around. It helps to build up morale and stronger bonds and also has literally zero costs. This is great to see.


Mike is a good guy. He's completely genuine, smart, and very personable.


It's free to say something nice.

with all the recent negativity on github, where people will get in the nasty arguments about code their ultimately getting for free, this was something very refreshing to read.


Personally I think the Facebooks of the world ruined thanks.

I have no actual data but I swear people used to be more open with their thanks before everything was boiled down to one-click feedback (likes)


Maybe rebranding GitHub Sponsors as not just a means of giving money but one-off "thank you" messages would be a decent approach to encouraging gratitude in open source.


There's Ko-fi [1] which seems to be positioning itself pretty much as a low-pressure "buy someone a coffee" option for showing support more than as about the money. I'm very interested in to what extent that influences donations.

[1] https://ko-fi.com/


A great reminder that showing a bit of gratitude goes a long way, especially to the the oftentimes-thankless builders and maintainers of the OSS we all rely on.


It's fun to email the people that write libraries or little tools you find useful and say thanks.

Most of the time they appreciate it and it's pretty easy to do.


On a side topic: any idea why the self-check can't be disabled in cert-manager? It seems like the project would not even exist otherwise.


aww that's so cute. If only gratitude could pay the bills, I would forgo all health benefits, and salary and focus all efforts on FOSS


Great to see Vito being mentioned, his blog is also full of super helpful guides! Keep the sharing and gratitude up, it boosts everyone :-)


Vitabotta has a cool tutorial for the old rancher OS to get it running on wireguard which I found super helpful.


Gratitude is a powerful force. It is sadly missing in many communities, organizations, and interactions.


Thanks to those who worked tirelessly to work on Open Source projects.


Expressing thanks when things are good is all too rare.


HN comments: 110

People who said thank you: 5


Issue: I need to say thank you.

That’s funny.


Gratitude is so rare they should close this as "could not reproduce"


Hahah. Ha. Oh.

I think that we (I include myself) are so wrapped up in our own struggles that we often fail to do the simplest things. Yes, one can't live on "thanks" alone, but we should offer gratitude more often.

As someone who occasionally gets thanked for my writing, it is great to know that some of my shouting into the void has actually helped a person.

It even helps the thanker: https://time.com/5026174/health-benefits-of-gratitude/


I generally don't do humor on HN but this comment is gold :) Well deserved upvote for you.


[flagged]


After seeing so many articles on HN about people quitting the OSS community due to toxic members, its refreshing to see something coming from a good note. I am sure others feel the same, and some work on their own open source projects and can appreciate the post. Simple gratitude can go a long way.


'tis the season to be jolly. Happy holidays to all, and especially open-source contributors.


The magic of a story on HN at the top and not having a clue why. Would be a nice feature to HN to a pinned summary field at the top (and no don't call it 'tl;dr' either that is another 'what does that mean' to many people').

Not to mention that to an outsider the actual post in itself does not appear to be anything remarkable in any way. Who is vito botta, who is compumike? Why are they so special? Are they special?

To much info to consume in this day an age...




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