Positive feedback about their project can help contributors. It’s probably easy to back this with references but for now I will just base this on my own experiences and what I have heard and read.
My Take on the Current Situation
Issues trackers are tailored to bringing up issues. Reviews are meant to judge your work. But I wonder if we are lacking a designated place for people to share positive feedback and appreciation for contributors and the things they have created.
Don’t take me wrong, I am seeing a lot of encouragement between contributors. Issues containing positive feedback and appreciation work done so far certainly exist. But I observed the following:
- Some contributors experience that the pile of bug reports and feature requests can become crushing and can make you question your work or feel bitter or angry against the people that are submitting even more issues.
- Users are unsure how and if they can give positive feedback but are quite eager to show appreciation for the app or library that they are using.
The word “burnout” quickly emerged while discussing this in the chat. I would agree that positive feedback and positive interaction could play a (small) role in preventing people from burning out, or at least people can note if they can’t even enjoy the positive feedback anymore.
But I also want to highlight that such ideas don’t need a net result in more productive and stable contributors. For me, it has a value in itself to enjoy positive feedback and to understand what emotions and reactions my work provokes in other people.
Vague Ideas for Concrete Action
I will keep this short, because there is very little concrete yet.
- Some platform/way to give positive feedback about apps or libraries.
- Feedback will be filtered by moderators. People bringing up issues, will be encouraged to fill an issue instead.
- Probably the approved feedback is visible in public.
- Additionally, feedback about ‘How do you use this app?’ could be encouraged to be given in an extra field. This could help to create more reliable user stories. However, this leads to huge topic of software usage information. This topic is quite big and shouldn’t be the dominant part of this discussion.
The practical disconnection of GNOME Software comments from app maintainers/contributors and the (imo) very small amount of reviews are not completely unrelated. But as mentioned before, reviews will not be a fitting solution for what I have in mind.
Currently, there does not seem to be an idea how to continue this topic. But at least, I wanted to document this idea.
I’m new to many parts of the GNOME community so please feel free to link or mention any discussions or ideas around this topic which already exist.