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Mustafa Turan
Mustafa Turan

Posted on

When to give a star to an open source library?

Giving a star to an open source library means to a lot to the developers and consumers of the library. Because this will give the developers a positive impact to make the library better. It is definitely a way to tell gently to the developers, there are people out there who use that library.

rails/rails repos current star count at 2018-07-15

As a consumer of the library

If you are using an open source library, go ahead and find its Github/Gitlab (or any version control source) and give it a star. If you need to use a high-quality generic library, you should help to bring new people to the library. Starring will bring quality and aliveness to the library. One of the people that you bring, might be the next contributor to the library.

To support the work or idea

You find an open source library in the following interests:

  • Like the idea
  • Plan to use it in your current or next project
  • Like the software design of the library
  • A topic of interests like distributed systems, data structures, useful links

Don't forget that any positive starring activity will bring more people to like the library with the social impact. This positive impact will also bring more contributors to the library. And will prevent the library to get out-dated.

These are only my ideas while starring a library, please do not hesitate to share yours. I will be happy to include in the story including your name.

Top comments (10)

rhymes profile image

I'm the worst, I use stars as bookmarks when I find something interesting that I need to look into :-D

flaviocopes profile image
flavio ⚡️🔥

I do the same. Otherwise, it might simply be impossible to stumble on it in the future.

I think it also signals interest, which is what stars are for.

nektro profile image
Meghan (she/her)

Me too! Isn’t that what the article was promoting?

jsalvador profile image
Juanjo Salvador

Me too!

stephanie profile image
Stephanie Handsteiner

Same. :D

avalander profile image

I do that too :D

alephnaught2tog profile image
Max Cerrina

I find the whole stars as something OTHER than bookmarks fascinating. They're just bookmarks for me.

eli profile image
Eli Bierman

Honestly if I read the README and get really excited I'll give it a star.

I always mean to come back to it later, but I often don't.

If I'm using a project and it works great and has good documentation, I might just download using a package manager and never go to its Github page at all... If I end up on its Github page I'll definitely give it a star, but I just don't always think of it.

Some of the most foundational projects are reliable and well-documented enough that a user might never have to check out the issues or source code. Those get under-starred.

I think Github stars measure hype, for better or for worse.

itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

I used to star something if I:

  • Wanted to use it
  • Use it
  • Want to read more about it

until I moved to my current workflow of:

  • If I want to use it or read about it, write about it and link to it in my notes
  • If I use it and like it, star it

This way, nosy employers or people will only see in my stars what I like to work with, and they can poke around my public notes to see what I'm interested in (... once I finish moving my notes to it)

dmfay profile image
Dian Fay

If it's all public anyway I don't think there's much cause to split the two unless that's just how you prefer to organize them, honestly.