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comprookie2000
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:55 am    Post subject: A Challenge to All users | Thank Your developers ! Reply with quote

I recently did an interview with Joshua Jackson (tsunam) longtime Gentoo Developer, and he mentioned how nice it is to receive thank you notes from users. I had never done that myself. I am also learning Python so I came up with a little program to email about 20 developers that maintain programs I use. The response I have received has been very positive. If you can make the time, mail some thank you notes!
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V-Li
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As nice as it is to get a pad on the back...I enjoy user contributions (patches and the like) more as it means less work for me. :)
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Jareth007
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comprookie2000,

I enjoyed listening to that podcast. I agree that spreading a positive message is good, but I've always been nervous to send thank you notes out to people I've never met. Worse, I don't want to potentially overload an inbox with a messgae that isn't going to help all that much. Hopefully it would be received in a positve way.

V-Li,

As a beginner to programming, I don't think I can contribute patches etc. Do you feel it would add value to join in on bug days? Do you think donations are a better method. As a developer, what is the most meaningful way a user can help the cause?

Thank you!
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ArneBab
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jareth007 wrote:
I enjoyed listening to that podcast. I agree that spreading a positive message is good, but I've always been nervous to send thank you notes out to people I've never met. Worse, I don't want to potentially overload an inbox with a messgae that isn't going to help all that much. Hopefully it would be received in a positve way.


I try to remember to send thank yous from time to time.

Just remember that all these people are doing this in their free time, and one of the pillars of motivation is feedback and knowing that what you do is important.

For example I recently (two months ago) sent a mail tp the developer of [TortoiseHG (http://tortoisehg.sf.net) in which I wrote him, that his Program is a revolution for version control systems, because it allows version control even for users who don't know much about their system (and added an example where I managed to use his program to work in a DVCS together with a mostly computer illiterate Windows user).

I could almost feel the happy beaming in his reply where he said even this alone would make it worth all the effort he spent on it.

And I remember my own almost unbelieving joy at having people tell me that the pen-and-paper roleplaying system I write (http://1w6.org) is the best system for their one-shots. It brightens up the whole day and makes me smile much and easily.

Naturally contributing often feels even better (when people join in, that's one of the highest compliments to the project), but when that isn't possible (we all have limited time-budgets), a friendly mail - or better still: A friendly public post which will also lead others to the program - is a great way to help your favorite project.

And if it already gets very much positive feedback, you could look at all the other projects you enjoy and see if one of them could get a bit more feedback. We live through diversity, and every little program adds its share.

Especially for people who get little feedback, such a message helps very much. If nothing else it helps the developer to see that his work has an important impact. And if the feedback is unexpected, that's even better. People who gets tons of feedback might get used to it, but people who get very little feedback can really flourish - or at least enjoy a happy smile for a few hours and think fondly of what they accomplished and look forward to doing more.
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V-Li
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jareth007 wrote:

As a beginner to programming, I don't think I can contribute patches etc. Do you feel it would add value to join in on bug days? Do you think donations are a better method. As a developer, what is the most meaningful way a user can help the cause?


That is always a personal view: I don't want donations from users, others see that differently.

Even small contributions like a research on other distributions' bug trackers or reporting an issue to the original author really helps a lot, you don't need to be able to program. Also providing corrections to guides is doable by everyone. But don't get frustrated only because there is no reaction to your report/contributions, in some areas we are heavily understaffed...so yes, bug day is really a good idea.
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beandog
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="ArneBab"]
Jareth007 wrote:
And I remember my own almost unbelieving joy at having people tell me that the pen-and-paper roleplaying system I write (http://1w6.org) is the best system for their one-shots. It brightens up the whole day and makes me smile much and easily.


That's cool. With my projects, I'm always asking myself, "is anyone even *using* this?" You can track the downloads, but you just never have any idea what the heck people do with it (or if they even like it).
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szczerb
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beandog wrote:
That's cool. With my projects, I'm always asking myself, "is anyone even *using* this?" You can track the downloads, but you just never have any idea what the heck people do with it (or if they even like it).
I't be nice to have some stats about usage gathered by portage. One use would be that maintainers would know when an older version is still needed by users. And it would let the author see how big their user base is ;]
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beandog
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

szczerb wrote:
beandog wrote:
That's cool. With my projects, I'm always asking myself, "is anyone even *using* this?" You can track the downloads, but you just never have any idea what the heck people do with it (or if they even like it).
I't be nice to have some stats about usage gathered by portage. One use would be that maintainers would know when an older version is still needed by users. And it would let the author see how big their user base is ;]


Oh, shush. :) I'll finish that project soon enough.

Edit: Actually, mine has kind of fallen by the wayside for the moment, but it looks like sping's summer of code project is really going to rock. He's been going strong on it.
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ArneBab
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="beandog"]
ArneBab wrote:
Jareth007 wrote:
And I remember my own almost unbelieving joy at having people tell me that the pen-and-paper roleplaying system I write (http://1w6.org) is the best system for their one-shots. It brightens up the whole day and makes me smile much and easily.


That's cool. With my projects, I'm always asking myself, "is anyone even *using* this?" You can track the downloads, but you just never have any idea what the heck people do with it (or if they even like it).


I don't get it often (and currently only from long-time users), but it's always a great feeling :)

But I also have the no-feedback problem with my coding projects - and often when I write to a developer of some great program (for example PyxPlot) I get the feeling that he has few people who give feedback while the vast majority just silently uses the program.

Maybe I'll go and implement a "--feeback" option someday which automatically posts a comment to my blog or so ;)
(it would need spam protection, though...)

Something like the "report wish or bug" which every KDE4 program has (under help) is a step in the right direction, I think. A second option with "give feedback" would be better still :)
Distros make it unnecessary for people to know where their software comes from, so the programs should provide a way to get in contact - for the developers sake :)

I have the feeling that there are many coders in the free software community who just write code out of fun, but if I look at MacOSX programmers I see people who get much feedback, though they don't have more users, so there's room to improve the user-developer relations - on both sides.
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NotQuiteSane
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: A Challenge to All users | Thank Your developers ! Reply with quote

comprookie2000 wrote:
I came up with a little program to email about 20 developers


Um...

Please tell me you didn't just suggest we spam the developers? I think this is a case where a form letter is a very bad idea.

NQS
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ArneBab
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:56 am    Post subject: Re: A Challenge to All users | Thank Your developers ! Reply with quote

NotQuiteSane wrote:
Please tell me you didn't just suggest we spam the developers? I think this is a case where a form letter is a very bad idea.


Maybe a thankdev.org site (or similar) where people can select a program and send praise (or something like it for ohloh or so) would be more efficient. Simply a section where people don't have to worry that they might repeat something someone else said, so they can just send in their thanks, and the devs can look if/when they want.

PS: No, I really didn't spot the spamming danger in the suggestion...
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