What are Open-Source Happiness Packets?
People are generally much more loved than they think they are. Especially when things don't go according to plan, other people almost never think as harshly of you as you might think of yourself. It's easy for us to complain when bad things happen, and yet we're often fairly silent when things are good. Open-source communities are no different, especially when our main communication channels are textual and virtual.
The feeling that you made a difference, that your work matters and has value, and that the people you work with are happy to work with you, is an awesome feeling. With Open-Source Happiness Packets, we're trying to spread that feeling.
How does it work?
Openly expressing appreciation, gratitude, or happiness to other people can be difficult. This is especially true when you don't know them very well. Many of us come from cultures in which people are not open by default about such feelings, and naturally feel uncomfortable or even creepy to share them.
Open-Source Happiness Packets is a very simple platform to anonymously reach out to the people that you appreciate or to whom you are thankful in your open-source community. Your message can be sent anonymously if you feel uncomfortable to share your name with the recipient. Of course, we encourage you to share your name, but it's completely optional!
If both the sender and the recipient agree, we can publish the Happiness Packet on the website. We hope to build an archive of open-source happiness that communities can draw inspiration from.
As an example, here are two random messages from our archive:
From Burhan Khalid to Tim Graham
I just wanted to say thank you for helping me out with my first PR on django. Thanks to your comments I realized what areas to check into for my next commit; and I appreciate the patience it must have taken to hand-hold me through it all.
From Zach Brown to Justin Flory
It seems too often that I watch communities that celebrate and surround FOSS descend into tribalism and antagonism.
Unfortunately, many of these communities are those I find myself involved in on a day-to-day basis. They are often the same communities that have the opposite, most positive sides as well.
It's easy to look at that which surrounds you and be affected by it. More recently, I've found much of these attitudes that seemingly surround starting to manifest themselves in myself and others I work with. Just the thought makes me disinterested and withdrawn.
Then as I'm casually scrolling through social media feeds I see a tweet you've retweeted or a community you're involved with. The content is almost always overwhelmingly positive. Reminding myself, and others, of what FOSS is supposed to be about. Just those occasional gleams of positive interaction remind me why I got so involved in FOSS communities from the start.
And for your positive demeanor, your intent on spreading the true core principles of FOSS, and the way in which you do it, I thank you.
I hope this can serve to you as the same type of positivity and enthusiasm that you so commonly impart on others.