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Great Examples of Issues and Pull Requests

nickytonline profile image Nick Taylor (he/him) ・1 min read

Hey awesome devs! For those of you that have been contributing to open source, do you have examples of issues or pull requests (PRs) that you thought really stood out? They can be yours or someone else's from any publicly accessible code base.

The goal is to provide a list of links to great examples that new and seasoned open source enthusiasts can look to for inspiration when creating their own issues and PRs.

For example, an issue that explained a problem really well with steps to reproduce it that also provided the environment it happened in.

Maybe a PR that was crafted really well that had before and after screenshots if it was UI related and/or steps to test it, there were unit tests etc.

Alright go!

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

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nickytonline profile

Nick Taylor (he/him)

@nickytonline

Senior software engineer at DEV/Forem. Caught the live coding bug on Twitch at livecoding.ca

Discussion

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Not gonna lie, I was terrified of contributing to an open-source repository (blame my imposter syndrome) when I came across this amazing article here at DEV. Nonetheless, I finally decided to tackle on this issue. After a week, I got my first open-source pull request posted and afterwards merged.

Browsing at how people previously solved similar issues also helped me out a lot and understanding how to assess my code with unit tests was essential.
I loved this issue because it was possible to understand, and the creators were available on GitHub and Slack to help me figure out how to run the source code and test my changes.

I would encourage beginners to look for "good first issue" or similar labels in open-source repositories. But most importantly, do not mind asking the community for help. I was also too scared of criticism and wanted to create a PR that was perfect right away. But if you're contributing to a repository whose owners care, they'll be glad to help you improve your code and overall pull request.

 

I was the same way. I think I held myself back for a few years and never thought to contribute. Nowadays, if I see something I can help with, I don’t even think twice. I clone the repo, try to fix whatever it was, and open a pull request.

Life is short. Just do it!

 

Two examples from React-Redux :

  • In 2016, a user filed an issue asking for changes to how we calculate props for child components. I had just been given maintainership by Dan Abramov, so I barely felt like I had enough authority to say how things ought to work, but I kinda dismissed the suggestion. The user came back a couple weeks later with a PR rewriting the guts of the lib entirely, and claimed it got faster. I asked if he'd considered edge cases, and he kept updating the PR in response to my comments. Eventually I realized he was serious about this and that his approach actually was an improvement. We iterated for a while, and that ended up as React-Redux v5. (Refs : React-Redux issue #407: Rewrite connect, The History and Implementation of React-Redux
  • We released v6 in early 2019. I'd chosen a different architectural direction that seemed necessary at the time, but unfortunately didn't written well enough in practice. So, I posted React-Redux issue #1177: React-Redux Roadmap: v6, Context, Subscriptions, and Hooks. This turned into a monster issue as I prototyped what became v7, and we debated implementation approaches.

The threads for discussing what became our v7.1 hooks API were pretty epic as well.

 

Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing Mark! 👏