The power of “Thank You”

Many projects have release notes that include the names of people that contributed to the release.

Who reads these names?
Well, at the very least, the people in that list read the names.

Fozzie: Nobody reads those names anyway, do they?
Kermit: Sure. They all have families.

If your project doesn’t do this, I think it should.
My name was listed in a release notice today.
I’ll share the details, and try to point out why saying thanks to contributors is a good idea.

pytest 2.4.0

Version 2.4.0 of pytest was announced today.

It’s listed on his blog and in the pytest changelog.

The release notice came with a list of thank-you’s attached to the contributions.

I scanned the names, and saw mine. Cool.

Submitting Issues

I had submitted issues against the previous release:
1. I pointed out that pytest didn’t detect unittest setUpFixture/tearDownFixture, both on this site when showing pytest support for unittest fixtures, and as a bitbucket issue submission.
2. In that post and in a post discussing when teardown is called, I pointed out that pytest didn’t match unittest teardown run conditions. This was also submitted as an issue.

In both cases, Holger was very polite and fair in dealing with the issues.

In your own projects, please remember that people taking the time to submit an issue through whatever bug tracker you have set up are spending their time to help you.
Treat them with respect, and they will likely keep trying to help.

Submitting Fixes

I fixed #1. And this fix made it into the current release, 2.4.0. Woohoo!

The other issue was also fixed, this time by Mathieu Agopian. Double WooHoo!

BTW, I did attempt to fix #2. However, my lack of understanding of the internal design of pytest got in my way.
But, again, HK was very polite in putting up with my attempted fix.
He offered encouragement and suggested where improvement was needed.
In the end, life and work got in the way, and Mathieu fixed it before I had a chance to come back to the issue.

This turned out to be a good thing. Mathieu’s fix is way more elegant than anything I was thinking of.

For your projects, treat the folks contributing patches with respect, even if you don’t accept the patch.

Encouraging Involvement

In the pytest release notice, and in HK’s blog entry, the people that contributed fixes are listed and thanked.

This type of acknowledgement is really important. It’s not free. You have to take the time to write up all of these contributor names.
But this extra steps helps to encourage contributors to contribute in the future.

I don’t have much time to help out. My family, my work, and my personal projects (like this blog) do have a higher priority.
However, if I notice some place where I can contribute and it fits into my life, I will contribute.

In your own projects, make sure you are treating contributors with respect and dignity.

And say “Thank You”.

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