Is this a problem that other people have run into? I haven’t tried making that many big contributions to open source software, but I feel like for most of them, the leaders have been polite, regardless of whether my PR gets used or not. I wonder if the people who are being jerks are just a vocal minority, or whether this is something that happens pretty frequently.
I attribute this to the generation of entitled kids that grew up with everyone telling them they were special and got awards for trying. As long as you try, you can’t possibly be wrong, right? Anyone that tells you otherwise is just a big old mean jerk. Don’t bother looking internally to figure out what you did wrong or how you can fix it and try again, just complain about people being bullies, stomp your feet, and give up.
I’ve been contributing to open source software for over 15 years and any time I’ve been met with a curt reply (or silence) to a diff or suggestion, it never occurred to me to complain about the project developers being mean. Granted, I’ve never been publicly called out like this article suggests, nor have I really seen examples of what he’s talking about, but when everything you do now has to be on a social website for everyone to see, it’s not surprising that rejection gets blown out of proportion and mistaken for a public name-and-shame.
There is a difference between curt replies and outright verbal harassment.
The curt replies aren’t the problem. These are explained by maintainers who have limited time and resources to manage incoming pull requests that need work before they can be accepted. Short responses are fine, as long as they aren’t belittling. No need to make fun of someone trying to contribute to your project.
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And that’s a criticism of the jerks or the contributors?
This is another argument altogether, but I don’t think that’s the problem. My main reason for being careful about code that I write is that code is read much more than it’s written, and by being careful about writing code today, I can make the life of anyone who has to modify it or understand it in the future, that much easier.
If I had an open source project, and someone wanted to put ugly code into it, I wouldn’t think of that as in, “Someone is stepping on my lawn” I would think of it as, “Someone is rummaging around my toolshed and mistreating my tools.”
That person would be making my life harder, rather than easier, so I would want to be certain that they cared about their work, and that they would treat my tools with respect.
I haven’t really contributed to OSS in any meaningful way, so I can’t comment on the meat of this article. But this comment to the article is pure gold. I can’t decide if it’s satire or not…
Communists are always mean people. The Richard Stallman model has made any sensible programmer flee the programming profession. Open Sourcers all think they are going to further the cause of communism by destroying all value in proprietary trade secrets. They are on a mission with an agenda – an agenda no one wants and has always failed. That is why they are so mean. They still believe in the superiority of communism and thus they still believe THEY are superior to everyone. Hence the behavior. Open Source Commies have done more to turn a once-respected profession into some kind of bohemian hippie club for communist losers. No wonder people are fleeing the programming profession in droves…. “Open Source is tantamount to communism” — Bill Gates