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Why I Haven’t Fixed Your Issue Yet

Michael Bromley on his blog:

There is an implicit agreement which needs to be understood by both consumers and creators of FOSS projects1. It goes something like this:

  • I agree to provide you with some free code which solves your problem.
  • I recognize that in doing so, I have taken on a small portion of responsibility to you as a user of my code.
  • I agree to try to help you if you have difficulty in using my code.
  • I agree to try to fix bugs that you find in my code.
  • Crucially, you agree that I, in acting without remuneration, am free to assign priority to the above points as I see fit.

The last point is the reason why I haven’t fixed your issue yet.


As a package consumer you should be grateful for the free code you’re given. Keep in mind that when you use someone else’s code, you are responsible for that code as well. If a package maintainer solves an issue for you that’s great. If he or she doesn’t, than that’s your problem, not the maintainer’s. You can always submit a PR with a fix. And if the fix or feature doesn’t get accepted you can always maintain your own fork.

For our own packages we try to respond to every single issue in a timely manner. The users of our packages are generally very friendly and helpful. There’s only one instance when things went sour.  I do make a point of thanking everybody who takes the time to submit a PR. It’s a small thing but I do believe it helps creating a positive vibe on our GitHub repo’s.

Freek Van der Herten is a partner and developer at Spatie, an Antwerp based company that specializes in creating web apps with Laravel. After hours he writes about modern PHP and Laravel on this blog. When not coding he’s probably rehearsing with his kraut rock band.