On Being a Free Software Maintainer
“How dare you not (use your free time to) fix this ultra high priority bug that is affecting me?” or “This is an absolutely basic feature! How is it not implemented yet (by you on your free time)?!” or even “You made me move to Software Y, and you need to win me back” are going to be realities you will have to face.”
I genuinely feel bad for maintainers/developers on open source projects. The constant demand for software to be fixed in the enterprise where you pay for things from vendors is stressful enough as an end user. But man when you see how little maintainers get back for fixing things it makes me rethink about submitting a bug or posting about an issue on some software since it might be super minor or only affecting me.
In my opinion your should definitely report bugs and offer feedback to devs - but of course do it in a constructive way
My experience is mainly from Android. I don’t always get a reply from the dev, but those who do, are often interested in feedback and you get a nice low trafic conversation going.
In my experience there’s often a correlation between the responsive devs and a well maintained app and I often tend to use those apps more often and way longer (until I grow out of them).
Many devs like to hear how their work is being used in the wild
And just like Tom Lawrence I’ve changed how I look at paying for SW. It’s no longer a pay-once up front and expect updates for decades/eons to come. I often donate after major updates or when a bug concerning me was fixed.
This seems to be a major trend the places I visit on the internet…