Make an open source maintainer's day with this one weird trick

Jerod Santo on October 22, 2018

Little bits of appreciation can make big differences in maintainers' lives. Here's one way you can show appreciation that will take less than fiv... [Read Full]
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Sidenote: please make somehow sure the maintainer likes receiving “thanks” as issues in the real project (read: has a lot of free time to read junk emails.)

Forums, even twitter messages are great for this purpose. For github issues, I doubt many maintainers would be happy to receive “thanks” through this channel.


I was thinking the same here: the "issues" section is for, well, reporting issues. Sure, not all maintainers might be so picky to make of this a big deal, but also others like to keep of the sections clean, as it makes their life easier (it serves as statistic for bug-squashing, to represent how stable is the current state of the project, etc). Some just read the number of issues open and make themselves an idea of the project stability, without regarding if any of those is a "thanks for your hard work!".

This trick might be great for small projects, maintained by a small team, but for more mature projects you have other communication channels that are more appropriate (slack channels or mailing lists, or twitter as Aleksei mentions - or any other social network the project makes presence on).

I'm sure the intentions of these "thanks" are the best, don't get me (us) wrong. But, have you seen those "please don't talk to the driver" signs on buses? This is a similar thing.


Exactly. For the projects I maintain I receive issues directly into the mailbox I monitor during working hours. Unlike twitter, forums,, younameit.

That “thank” would make me jump out of the context, check email, see my project has got an issue, get frustrated, open the email—and finally get disgruntled if not angry for the wasted time and lost concentration.

This is very good intent and receiving that kind of feedback is very pleasant, but let’s use the appropriate communication channels for that.


If you think a thank you note is "junk email", then you should check your personal spam settings for a misconfig.


I have not said anything about what I think; I just alarmed that very few if none maintainers would be happy to receive github issues with this content.

You said:

has a lot of free time to read junk emails.

This is not what you think?

It does not matter what I think. What matters is one should think twice before abusing github issues with unrelated messaging.


YES! I want to see more of this out of the community. Why don't we do this more often? Why haven't I done this before? The life of a developer is a stressful one. The little things can turn one's day upside down. I am definitely doing this when I have the time to do so. Unfortunately, I am too occupied right now to personally thank the great developers who make the world go round.

Thank you so much for sharing this. This should really be done more often. The world would be a much better place if we all did this.


I can confirm this - when I received this kind of “issue” in one of my Open Source Repos, it made my day - I introduced the „won‘t fix“ label just for that and open it up each time when I’m down :)


Yup - I really should do more of this too. It's nice, even when someone simply ticks a Github star (well, it makes my day, easily pleased!)


HTTPoison really is a good library. I'm going to have to find a few OSS guys to thank now. Great idea Jerod, thanks!


Hey Jerod,I have been using GitHub for an year and I found really nice open source projects there which makes my life easier. But I never really thanked them for making this sweet tools. Your post give me a chance to think about this small thing of thanksgiving to developed. And thanks for such a nice post 💌.


That's awesome, Rupankar! Happy to nudge you in a positive direction. 💚


Great idea. At least star the repositories you use!

For PHP dependency management using Composer, I recommend symfony/thanks;

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