10 ways to give thanks to open source and free software maintainers

How to express your gratitude.
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Every day, I use high-quality software that is developed and maintained by people who do not ask for payment, who respect my freedoms, and who are generous with their time and energy.

In this season of giving thanks, I encourage those of you who also use and appreciate the work of open source and free software maintainers to express your gratitude. Here are ten ways to do that:

Easy to do

  1. Send an e-mail thanking the developers. Be specific—tell them what you are using their software for and how it has benefited you.
  2. Use your favorite social media platform to spread the word.
  3. Write a blog post about your favorite software.

Give money

  1. If your favorite open source projects accept donations, send money.
  2. If you are employed by a company that uses open source software, see if you can convince management to sponsor some of the projects.
  3. Offer to match donations up to a set amount. It is amazing what social motivation can do!

Give time

  1. Help review patches.
  2. Help triage bugs.
  3. Answer questions on IRC, mailing lists, or Stack Overflow.

10. Bonus: If you are like me, you have at some point said harsh words to other people in the open source community. Commit to do better: Communicate with kindness and openness. The best way to give thanks is to make the open source community a place where people feel comfortable communicating.

Moshe sitting down, head slightly to the side. His t-shirt has Guardians of the Galaxy silhoutes against a background of sound visualization bars.
Moshe has been involved in the Linux community since 1998, helping in Linux "installation parties". He has been programming Python since 1999, and has contributed to the core Python interpreter. Moshe has been a DevOps/SRE since before those terms existed, caring deeply about software reliability, build reproducibility and other such things.


You forget an important point : writing documentation on the software

Thanks for sharing...

Licensing. Clear any ambiguity on that area and share it back, so that it will be beneficial for the authors and others.

Since I assume a lot of open source developers hit this site once or twice a month?....I'll just give them all a hearty and well deserved "THANK YOU SO MUCH" from me, me Mum, my older sisters...my younger brothers...my son....his mother.....my ex-wife.....my sister-in-law.....my three cousins. my aunt....my Uncle...and about 150 other people living everywhere from San Francisco, to upstate NY. You've helped ME to spread the Linux "gospel" to these folks and you've allowed me to do it in style and with an ease unheard of in an operating system! Here's hoping you continue to crank out the "Greatest Software Of All Time"!.....along with all the various packages you guys and gals have pulled from inside your own heads!...I'll keep donating my paltry $10.00 a month to the various distros I use / support. And when I finally hit the lottery?...that's when I'll really send a sizable donation to my favorite developers (The GNome Family) and my favorite distro..Fedora Linux! Have been with them since 2002, and have NEVER strayed!...yeah...I've installed countless distros in a VirtualBox VM....but my MAIN OS?..is Fedora. And while I support various other distros for others....(not really......for most folks?...its either Linux Mint or Ubuntu...although quite a few people are opting for Debian with the Cinnamon or MATE desktop!) but I've always loved the precise ease of Fedora, and the community as well!

So once again to any/all developers, volunteers, graphics designers, package managers, package inventors/creators, and distro maintainers...THANK YOU FOR THE BEST OF THE BEST!!!! Have an AWESOME "Merry Christmas" and a wonderful new year!!!


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