When we receive patches, improvements, suggestions, advice and whatever that lead to a change in curl or libcurl, I make an effort to log the contributor’s name in association with that change. Ideally, I add a line in the commit message. We use “Reported-by: <full name>” quite frequently but also other forms of “…-by: <full name>” too like when there was an original patch by someone or testing and similar. It shouldn’t matter what the nature of the contribution is, if it helped us it is a contribution and we say thanks!
I want all patch providers and all of us who have push rights to use this approach so that we give credit where credit is due. Giving credit is the only payment we can offer in this project and we should do it with generosity.
The green bars on the right show the results from the question how good we are at giving credit in the project from the 2014 curl survey, where 5 is really good and 1 is really bad. Not too shabby, but I’d say we can do even better! (59% checked the top score, 15% checked the 3′)
I have a script called contributors.sh that extracts all contributors since a tag (typically the previous release) and I use that to get a list of names to thank in the RELEASE-NOTES file for the pending curl release. Easy and convenient.
After every release (which means every 8th week) I then copy the list of names from RELEASE-NOTES into docs/THANKS. So all contributors get remembered and honored after having helped us in one way or another.
When there’s no name
When contributors don’t provide a real name but only a nick name like foobar123, user_5678 and so on I tend to consider that as request to not include the person’s name anywhere and hence I tend to not include it in the THANKS or RELEASE-NOTES. This also sometimes the result of me not always wanting to bother by asking people over and over again for their real name in case they want to be given proper and detailed credit for what they’ve provided to us.
Unfortunately, a notable share of all contributions we get to the project are provided by people “hiding” behind a made up handle. I’m fine with that as long as it truly is what the helpers’ actually want.
So please, if you help us out, we will happily credit you, but please tell us your name!