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So I was lucky to be able to contribute to DateUtil in python(just a small documentation). I recently received a mail regarding the release 2.5.0 . So I was all exited because it was the first time I saw my name in a very known open-source library. But the problem is I dint reply to those mails. I really don't know what to say. I mean should I say Congratulations or thank you. I am not sure.

Do people respond to those bulk mails? will that make those Core committees happy or will they just ignore you? what do normal contributors do?

P.S: English is not my native language.

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  • 2
    This seems impossible to answer without knowing what the purpose of the email in question was.
    – user
    Feb 29, 2016 at 8:15
  • 4
    Was it a bulk email from an individual, or from a "bot" that won't respond to replies? If the latter, there's no point in replying. If the former, then by all means reply telling them you are excited to have contributed and that you are looking forward to contributing more (assuming you are, of course!) Even if you get no reply, no harm will be done and they might appreciate it. You know English well enough to have written this question, so don't worry about that either.
    – David Arno
    Feb 29, 2016 at 8:22
  • A reply it typically not expected for such emails. They are announcements, not solicitations for comments.
    – TZHX
    Feb 29, 2016 at 9:02
  • 1
    @MichaelKjörling sorry for not being clear, it was regarding "Release Announcement"
    – Ja8zyjits
    Feb 29, 2016 at 9:18
  • @DavidArno Point Well taken, it is a human that takes response.
    – Ja8zyjits
    Feb 29, 2016 at 9:19

1 Answer 1

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Congratulations for your effort and your new experience. Contributing to any open source coding community is a great thing.

Don't worry, in time you will learn what kind of communication is appreciated. Do what you think is right, people will give you any time to adapt. If something really goes wrong, people will inform you.

Anonymous Bulk Mails

From my experience, I receive change notification mails like this:

In order to send mails to the developer list, use this address: ...

In order to remove yourself from the developer list, use this subject: ...

Summary of the day:

  1. [Product name/subject] 5711f6: fixed #17921 (GitHub)

  2. [Product name/subject] af1b16: #18046 - rate calculation: special case (GitHub)

  3. [Product name/subject] #18046 - printing of interest table bugfix (GitHub)

...

Detailled messages:

...

Log Message: ----------- 5711f6: fixed #17921 (GitHub)

Commit: de8c19e04206972fea485a081b179f52ef50275c https://github.com/The_Application/commit/de8c19e04206972fea485a081b179f52ef50275c Author: John Doe

Date: 2016-02-24 (Fri, 24 Feb 2016)

Changed paths: M Services/Init/classes/class.asInitialisation.php

Log Message: ----------- Merge pull request #137 from klees/release_5-1

fixed #17921 (for 5.1)

Mails like these contains author names, but they inform the community about newest code changes: where, what, when, issue number, why. This is broadcasting one-way-communication. No answer is expected. In time, it is natural to read your own name there.

Triggered by such a mail, one might contact a programmer fellow directly by the mail addresses written with a specific subject, but often it's even better to communicate by the issue management tool (e.g. JIRA or Mantis discussion site).

Personalized Bulk Mail

If you receive a mail not that anonymous like my example above, but rather like this:

Dear programmer community

We are pleased to announce the release of version 6.7 of XY. Everybody has worked hard ... bla ... We would like to thank all the people who have helped... ... ... see list below ... ...

Best,...


John Doe, was coding XY

Sam Sample, was coding XY

... ...

In that case, it is meant rather personal and people probably appreciate if you answer with a short note that you are pleased to be mentioned.

Personal Communication

Further, some times ago, I could document and file a bug in MySQL. Then, a developer from the community answered me and mentioned that the bug was well documented and therefore easy to track. Which is a good thing for any programmer. I answered with some "Glad to help". This communication is just like oil in the wheels, it's friendly, and technically it could be cut.

The Big Silence

Then, sometimes I file some bug and suggest a solution, but don't hear any answer. Anything is possible. Maybe the project got stuck and nobody has time any longer. Then, I do try not to lean on the doorbell, for several reasons.


Edit 1.3.16:

Established Etiquettes

Some communities have worked out communication rules and have made them public. So it could be worth to look around or to ask specifically for the (N)etiquette(s). In fact you are helping if you find and consider them, as open source communities are complex structures. Here are examples:

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  • Hey it was the second mail, regarding the release milestone and the number of issues closed with the names of all those who contributed. Yes and even I was considering to reply, just wanted to learn a open source contributor etiquette. Thanks for the support.
    – Ja8zyjits
    Feb 29, 2016 at 10:26

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