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What BOTHERS you most about Open Source Collaboration? (maintainers, and collaborators)

nombrekeff profile image Manolo Edge ・1 min read
I'm doing a bit of research for a personal project aimed at Open Source. Maybe you can help me by answering some of the following questions :)

(1) Do you maintain an Open Source project?

(2) Do you contribute to Open Source?

(3) How regularly do you contribute?

(4) What do you do as a contributor or maintainer?

(5) What tools do you use the most?

(6) What is the most important thing for you about contributing to Open Source?

(7) What bothers/annoys you the most about contributing to Open Source?

(8) What bothers/annoys you the most about maintaining an Open Source project?

Discussion

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Editor guide
 

(1) Do you maintain an Open Source project?
I did in the past.

(2) Do you contribute to Open Source?
I try to...

(3) How regularly do you contribute?
Ocasionally, mostly when I find a bug or I want a feature implemented.

(4) What do you do as a contributor or maintainer?
Find bugs most of the time. Some pull request here and there.

(5) What tools do you use the most?
Android Studio, git...

(6) What is the most important thing for you about contributing to Open Source?
Understanding about how software is made in different way by different people/teams. Learning by reading real code.

(7) What bothers/annoys you the most about contributing to Open Source?
Small projects are too small, very often abandoned. Big projects are too big and people gets too noisy in the issues section.

(8) What bothers/annoys you the most about maintaining an Open Source project?
Some people feel very entitled to demand things from you, even when you have done all the work for free and ask nothing in return. Good manners and patience often are enough reward.

 

Re: #8, I saw a very long argument on an issue a while ago that was at least halfway because of that. The main user that was responding was literally saying they were the maintainer's "customer", even though the project was completely free to use. 😒

 

The phrase "the costumer is always right" created an incentive for people to think they are always a costumer.

 
  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. Code contributions monthly. Reporting and triaging bugs etc weekly, but often more frequently.

  4. As maintainer I respond to twitter questions, Github issues, stackoverflow questions and review pull requests. Also of course write code to fix bugs and add features. As contributor I mainly submit feature requests and bug reports. But of course also contribute code to fix bugs or add new features that I want myself.

  5. Github and especially Github issues. For a while in one project I briefly used gitter.im to chat with contributors and answer questions. I am apart of some discord servers for some bigger open source projects I have contributed to in the past.

  6. To want to use the project myself either right now or sometime in the future.

7 and 8.

The main thing that bothers me with open source today is how hard it is to collaborate, share and explore projects which is only partly (or not at all) software focused. Github has many awesome tools for collaborating and exploring open source software projects, but I don't know of any more general platforms.

Something else that bothers me is that projects abandoned by their creator often don't survive even if many other people express willingness to continue contributing.

 

(1) Do you maintain an Open Source project? Yes, a programming language and the surround projects (standard library, utilities and more)

(2) Do you contribute to Open Source? Yes, I like to help other people and send them PR

(3) How regularly do you contribute? About twice a week

(4) What do you do as a contributor or maintainer? I need to set up a direction for the projects, get people to review PR or communicate about what they are doing, what they think about this or that (spoiler: I don't like being the guy always asking "are you done?" "what do you think about B, you didn't reply to the issue you were assigned long ago")

(5) What tools do you use the most? GitHub projects for organizing task, and discord to communicate with the team, otherwise, VSC and CMake when coding

(6) What is the most important thing for you about contributing to Open Source? Documentation and discussions about what you think on x or y thing, it shouldn't rely on a single person

(7) What bothers/annoys you the most about contributing to Open Source? Very often the lack of documentation

(8) What bothers/annoys you the most about maintaining an Open Source project? Being the guy asking for everyone progress and where they're at on their tasks, what they want to do (maybe they are afraid of me and thus don't talk about it, but I don't think so, we're having fun little chats)

 

(1) Do you maintain an Open Source project?

Yes, but never that popular, yet I am aware that my changes will affect other people.

I am always the sole maintainer, though.

(2) Do you contribute to Open Source?

Yes. In many ways.

  • README
  • Bug Reports
  • Feature requests
  • Pull Requests, to do the above things
  • Monetary, if I like it enough, and there is a Sponsor / Patreon / Coffee button.

(3) How regularly do you contribute?

Not sure. How about once a week?

(4) What do you do as a contributor or maintainer?

Already answered in (1), (2)

(5) What tools do you use the most?

Obviously, Git. Only managed by VSCode at most; therefore requires Git experience and knowledge about Terminal commands.

(6) What is the most important thing for you about contributing to Open Source?

Making sure that the project is BOTH bug free, and well documented -- in order to serve the purpose. (Also, prioritizing that I can use it perfectly the way I like.)

(7) What bothers/annoys you the most about contributing to Open Source?

  • Poor documentation
  • Maintenance
  • Linters / styles are different from what I am used to
  • Whether I can fork and modify, without Pull Request (but not distribute) -- not sure about legality
  • Merging PRs
    • Even though I do understand it's about Code Quality, sometimes the process of reviewing and merging is just too slow, and sometimes due to involving multiple people.

(8) What bothers/annoys you the most about maintaining an Open Source project?

  • Maintenance in longer terms. (e.g., I forgot most about NLTK in Python, so I just cannot maintain it.)
  • Writing tests / CI
  • Getting contributors, and finding a successor to maintain my repo
  • Getting more popular / impact (getting a better landing page / public relations?)
 

I maintain and contribute to open source projects. My open-source projects are very small packages for my own use cases, I don't think they have a ton of users.

I adhere to a boy scout rule, If I see something I report it or fix it. These contributions are sometimes unclear docs, Missing or broken links in docs, or features that I have a vested interest in. I lurk in the issues/prs of packages that I have an interest in, and sometimes pop in to give my 2c.

The main tool I use for this is GitHub. I've made a number of contributions without ever cloning the repository. GitHub's edit button magically creates a fork that I can hack on myself. This is partially why my total number of commits is fairly high, not because I do a ton of work, but because I use the tool and it ends up saving a commit for each small change.

 

"uhh, hey can we get a standard es2017 build of this library, so we can run it in the browser?"

"runs in browser means runs in webpack. ES Modules aren't real. Closing issue"

 

Here's the worst example in a community I've been a part of: techcrunch.com/2017/03/26/sex-and-...

 

Wow, that's plain wrong in my opinion, leaving open source aside 😠