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Why I am tired of writing pull requests

I am sick of writing pull requests. GitHub is an awesome place but it facilites a level of douchebaggery that was only reserved for the neckyist of neck beards. I have only written a few pulls (maybe 20) in the past few years I have been using GitHub and yet to have one accepted. Now I don't think it's because my pulls are bad, actually I am quite fond, normally tested feature additions or security patches to make the opensource projects I love the most... better.

Heres what happens to pull requests in my experience:

  • you first find something that needs fixing
  • you write a test to reproduce the problem
  • you pass the test
  • you push the code to github and wait
  • then you keep waiting
  • then you wait a lot longer (it's been months now)
  • then some ivory tower asshole (not part of the core team) sitting in a basement finds a reason to comment in a negative way.
  • you respond to the comment
  • more people jump on the negative train and burry your honestly helpful idea in sad faces and unrelated negativity
  • the pull dies because you just don't give a fuck any more

There is an alternate branch to this ever so common work flow for trying to help community software, right around you responding to the negative nancy, the pull request is derailed into something along the lines of an architecture discussion or best practices for software as a whole rather than pull itself. The discussion becomes so dense with people squawking about nothing in particular that the pull is forgotten.

Now that happens a lot, you see it in major repos a lot, Node, Rails, Sinatra. places where there is a large community trying to make things better. Now say by some strike of holy luck an actual person who can accept pull requests comments, I see this all too often. "Oh, I was gonna implement this in the near future... Pull request closed."

Why not accept the pull request, release, make the patch when you have the time, I know people are busy, then release again. Rather than taking someones elses time throwing it on the floor and giving it the worth of your future promise of sometime. Oh, and what's worse I don't think I can think of one, NOT ONE time that a person has actually gone back after closing a feature where the work is done and done it themselves.

So, that's it for me, I am sick of getting ignored, buried and placated for trying to help a community, so expect no pull requests from me


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unwiredben commented Aug 24, 2012

Sounds like you need to find better projects to contribute to. We've been taking plenty of community pull requests over at Enyo JS --, and when we don't take them, we try to offer feedback or provide alternate ways to contribute like our community gallery.


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aaronjensen commented Aug 24, 2012

links to rejected pull requests? I can't say I've shared your experience... hard to relate :/


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rubensayshi commented Aug 24, 2012

I can't really relate either, I've always been boasting to friends that I like github so much because of the ease of contributing through pull requests and how it can really fuel a community!


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jpmckinney commented Sep 10, 2012

I guess it really depends on the project. 90% of my pulls are closed, and it's always been because they were merged, were independently fixed by the maintainer, or were closed by me. Most of the open pulls are recent. I even became co-maintainer of one project that I wrote dozens of pulls for.

If you can link to the projects with the bad behavior, it might save some others some time!

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