Dear Open Source Project User: Quit Being A Jerk
January 25, 2013
A few weeks ago, this article was circulating around in HackerNews and other social media: Dear Open Source Project Leader: Quit Being A Jerk
I 100% agree with the author’s points. Sometimes, open source project leaders can be seriously rude and elitist. Ironically, the same projects beg for contributors “no matter the skill level or type of assistance”. These two realities cannot happen simultaneously.
However, in my experience, the flip-side is frequently true as well: a subset of users will simply be…jerks. So, here’s my quick plea:
Please remember that the project is open source and community driven. Instead of saying “WHY HASN’T THIS BEEN FIXED YET?!”, actively dig in and fix it — especially for something simple. Project committers are not the sole developers or owners; rather, we’re facilitators. Shed the customer and consumer mentality and refocus on being a contributor. Realize that your priorities and criticalities are not the same as others’. And above all, lighten up; keep the communities friendly, polite, and fun.