The Open Source Community Has No Place for Disrespect
Daniel Li

A Modest Proposal For Dealing With Rudeness In Bug Reports

When facing a user who is being just plain rude in a bug report — i.e. while they might point out a problem, their primary purpose is to denigrate or insult the code or the coder — there’s another approach to take.

  • Suggest that the bug reporter try another project instead — perhaps this library over here might be better for them? Then close the issue.

Obviously, there is a danger here to appearing openly dismissive of all users, so use this with caution. Be sure you’re only doing it when the reported bug is clearly not something helpful to your codebase or to other users or viewers of your bug tracker.

But one way to promote better behavior in your own project’s spaces is to redirect people who exhibit bad behavior to other projects. It’s not like there isn’t plenty of other open source software out there, and in the majority of cases, the loss of that rude user is far less important than the loss of respect and good behavior from the rest of your community as a whole.

The open source world has endless choices, and in many cases is going mainstream across technology and outside of it. The rest of the world has little patience for rockstars who insult people giving their software away for free. Keeping your project’s public spaces civil and respectful will always pay off in the long run.

Good luck!