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Open Source Thank You David Henner Apr 22

2 comments Latest by DRH

I love writing open source code. The Ruby community is great because its open source community. It gives me the ability to write code without a deadline. It also allows me to write on a codebase I generally like. Sure there will always be pain points in any code base. After two years you should always look back and say,

Why did I do that?

All being said, sometimes it feels very un-appreciated. Yesterday, I had a request to fix a feature that is optional and honestly not used by many people. (If people are using it they fixed the issue with one line of code) So anyway, I get the request and the email comes across as... YOU BETTER FIX THIS OR ELSE!

My first thought was... Well I bet you can guess. I then stopped and gathered myself. At the end of the day this person probably was under a deadline and didn't know what to do. Instead of looking into the problem, they probably got frustrated and sent an email.

The fix was simple and I completed in less than 10 minutes. Verifying the fix setting up the environment took much longer than the fix itself. All this being said, next time you ask someone to fix a problem, try to put yourself in their shoes.

If it is open source code the person may have never been paid to write the code. The person you are requesting to do work is probably very busy. Your wording should be appreciative. Also after the fix, say thank you. It really does mean a lot. I've been guilty of this but I sincerely try my best.

All being said, I love feedback on my projects. Even if it does point out a bug. The way you word things does mean all the difference.

2 comments so far

Ben Polinsky 21 May 13

David, Your project is an important and highly underrated project in the Rails community. Indeed, even in the general programming community, there aren't (or people aren't willing to share) discussions about how e-commerce stores should be modeled. Really opened my eyes. Thanks so much, Ben

DRH 29 May 13

Thank you Ben. =)

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