Open Source excuse

Have you ever opened an issue on an Open Source project and heard…?

I’m only one developer…


This isn’t a commercial project, it’s Open Source so we can’t…


I/We write this in our spare time…

These are excuses, and they’re poor at that.

  1. If you don’t have time to develop it properly say so in the project notes, preferably near the top of the README.
  2. We know it’s Open Source, it’s probably why we’re using it. This isn’t an excuse for anything. Ever. If you feel it’ll take you more time than you can give, say, or ask them to pay you. There’s nothing wrong with giving priority time for money that improves a project, surely that’s a win for you, a win for the person who raised the issue, and a win for all users of the library?
  3. So you’re only one or two developers. So what? Maybe you shouldn’t have released it so soon. Maybe you should’ve added notes about it being in progress, or indicated through the version numbers the readiness of the project. But, better than that, perhaps you could engage with the person bringing up the issue (i.e. problem for them) and ask for a code contribution. Ask them to join the project? At the very least, ask them about it before closing it.

An Open Source project is not an excuse, it’s a responsibility, don’t try and use it as such.

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