The Demands of Open Source
With the recent popularity of my article Art of README – which has easily been my most well-known work ever, I’ve experienced first hand what other more prominent members of the OSS community know quite well: the deluge of pull requests, issues, and outright demands of the community.
So I lamented this publicly on Twitter.
Starting to feel a little overwhelmed by pull requests for the first time in my life. Gah! How do y'all do it? :o— Stephen Whitmore (@noffle) October 12, 2016
To my surprise, I very quickly received a small wealth of loving responses on how to take care of both my users, but even moreso, myself.
@noffle I still struggle with this. Want to respond to everyone. But it's basically impossible. This adds a lot of stress to my life.— Feross (@feross) October 13, 2016
@noffle just ignore them all, and revisit them at your own pace. most PRs these days I only deal with after a "bump" message— Mathias Buus (@mafintosh) October 13, 2016
@feross @noffle Just filter emails so they don't disrupt your day-to-day life. 😄 Open source doesn't mean you owe users constant support.— Matt DesLauriers (@mattdesl) October 13, 2016
@feross @noffle There is a certain freedom that comes from ignoring issues and PRs. 😂 You can always come back to them during downtime.— Matt DesLauriers (@mattdesl) October 13, 2016
@mafintosh @noffle same, don't be a completionist. Perhaps label but let it simmer for a while, no rush— ˗ˏˋ yosh ˎˊ˗ (@yoshuawuyts) October 13, 2016
@noffle @feross work and focus on what you care about— Bret Comnes (@uhhyeahbret) October 12, 2016
Thanks everyone. I’ll try and pace myself, and not let others’ expectations become internalized demands upon me. 😃
It wasn’t mentioned, but I think feeling this happening is also a fantastic signal that it may be time to add more collaborators with commit rights to your projects. Look for folks who have been dedicating time, effort, and love to your projects and show them you appreciate them by giving them the trust and power to contribute more freely!