When working on open source projects should one time contributor's (I mean like single or minor patchset, nothing that would be considered a major contribution ) be listed as an Author? or should they simply get listed in say an acknowledgement section somewhere? If you contribute a small patch to a project where do you want to get listed?

  • I have a feeling this depends on project's license (and possibly other factors)
    – Mchl
    Jul 23, 2011 at 9:30
  • most licenses require attribution, though it doesn't say "how" Jul 23, 2011 at 17:54

1 Answer 1


It depends.

If the single contribution ended up being half the project, then yes, of course the contributor should be listed as an author. However, that's probably not what you had in mind. It all depends on the fractional workload - how much that one person has contributed compared to everyone else. It doesn't matter if the contribution was a once-off occurrence of if they submitted multiple contributions.

I wouldn't want to be treated or acknowledged any different than anyone else. If my work was seen as equal to another developer's, I would want to be where he is listed. If he isn't acknowledged at all, I wouldn't want to be either.

  • I suppose the fact that I said "nothing that would be considered a major contribution" was completely ignored. Also you may be looking at larger projects than what most of mine are... for most of my projects I am a lone developer and any other contributions are one offs and in no way have "major" impact. I'm trying to determine whether or not I should list these few lone contributors as "authors" of the project, which would be next to my name... or perhaps I should just list them in some sort of contribution aspect. Jul 25, 2011 at 7:00
  • I suppose I could take away from this that since they do less than I do for these project, they should either not be mentioned, or given some kind of secondary acknowledgement. As a way of saying they aren't considered primary contributors. Jul 25, 2011 at 7:01
  • @xenoterracide: It's completely up to you, since you're the owner of the project(s). You're looking at this from a very narrow-minded view though. Spend more time thinking about others and not just people stealing your glory.
    – J.K.
    Jul 25, 2011 at 11:33

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