Tobias Tom sent me this article over the weekend and I really liked to read it. Michael Bromley shares good points in why maintaining open source projects is so hard, while creating projects is very easy. He acknowledges that an open source author has “taken on a small portion of responsibility to you as a user of my code”, and points out one of the most important facts that users of open source projects ignore constantly:

Crucially, you agree that I, in acting without remuneration, am free to assign priority to the above points [dealing with user issues] as I see fit.

Now, I like to add one point. As author of an open source project we take responsibility for our work. Once we know (and usually you know at least when you get a new issue months after you last touched the project’s codebase) that we’re not going to maintain a project actively, we can indicate that in the project’s README file. I did so for many of mine, and it took me two minutes to push this. I think such a notice is crucial to avoid people getting angry about you or your project and it requires very little effort.