The Gentle Art of Patch Review


Open source is wicked hard. It’s difficult on a number of levels, most of them social if we’re honest. It’s really difficult to express emotion as text. Whether that be in an email, a Slack channel, a Trac ticket or Github issue. There are times when someone may mean well and it comes across all wrong, there are other times when someone has had a bad day and it blatantly comes across in a reply. It’s a mixed bag of a lot of things but it can have a profound effect on the receiving end.

An open source project should want to foster contributions. We should spend some time thinking about how to do that in the most effective way possible, right? I think it’s a challenge that requires iteration, not a blanket solution. This piece has some great, detailed points on a process behind responses to patch suggestions from both the submitter and maintainer perspective. It’s great to get some terminology behind the various parts/aspects of iterating change in an open source project.