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Open Source Bug Reporting Etiquette

Over the weekend, I noticed a bug trickle in…

I first thought… wow what a !@#$, this is not a way to win friends and influence people

I was thankful my team responded correctly with the mantra of killing people with kindness.

As open source developers, we have to remember to have some restraint when interacting with our consumers. The old adage of killing people with kindness should apply to most of the cases we deal with. As consumers of open source software, it’s important to follow some basic etiquette rules when hitting a problem and reporting a bug:

  • Be civil and positive when reporting bugs. Saying the !@#$ing software sucks isn’t going to help.
  • Be patient when reporting bugs. Some people work on projects on a volunteer basis (if you need better support, some open source projects have commercial support offerings).
  • Don’t double post and spam all the open source project’s communication channels.
  • Read “How to Ask Questions the Smart Way” and live by it

In the end, it’s all about interacting with people. Over the net, it’s easy to forget that we are actually dealing with people; not autonomous robots without any emotion.