GitHub Launches Initiative to Help OSS Contributors and Maintainers

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As part of the initiative, GitHub has asked open source software (OSS) contributors and maintainers to share inputs on sustainability of OSS.

 GitHub has recently launched an initiative to improve support for open source software (OSS) contributors and maintainers by understanding the frustrations and problems facing them.

As a first step, GitHub’s open source product manager Devon Zuegel has set up a short questionnaire/contact form asking open source contributors and maintainers to be part of the conversation, reported ITWeb.

Explaining the initiative, Zuegel wrote in a blog: “OSS makes world-class tools available to everyone. It feels so routine now, but … every ‘import’ or ‘include’ statement is the contribution of a team of experts who, together, have devoted immense energy to the problem so that each developer importing their work doesn’t have to. OSS maintainers and contributors build tools for the rest of us, yet they don’t have all the tools, support, and environment they need to succeed.”

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She highlighted a list of problems facing the OSS maintainers and contributors and it includes lack of communication resources, work overload, inadequate resources, sparse analytics, insufficient recognition and inadequate governance.

Also, she said, there are the problems of “asymmetric recognition”, where “hard work, including project maintenance, can go unnoticed and unrecognised” by project users, and, the flip-side of that: abuse.

Zuegel pointed out that OSS contributors are often on the receiving end of “harassment, demands and general disrespect, even as they volunteer their time to the community.”

She hopes the GitHub initiative will keep the spotlight on the issue, and enable the broader OSS community to address it, and hopefully find solutions.

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