Is a “thank you” too much to ask for?
I often reward open source and “freeware” developers for their efforts by sending them small donations ($10 to $30) or buying them items on their Amazon.com wish lists. It’s my way of thanking them for their efforts.
In many cases, the service I get from these developers is above and beyond what I can get from major software developers whose software cost hundreds of dollars. (Adobe and Microsoft come to mind.) For example, I recall trying a freeware program and then sending feedback to the developer with a wish for a certain feature. Within a week, a new version of the software was released with the feature I wanted. You can bet I coughed up a donation pretty quick!
Nine times out of ten, the folks I send donations to respond with a quick thank you e-mail to me. I appreciate this, mostly because it confirms that they’ve actually received what I’ve sent. (I hate to spend money without it or the thing it purchased arriving at its intended recipient.)
But what really bugs me is when a developer makes it clear that he expects a donation, I send one, and then I get neither a quick acknowledgment nor any kind of support for his software. I’m in that situation right now with a relatively popular WordPress plug-in developer. I sent him an item on his Amazon.com wish list at a cost of about $25. Not only has he failed to acknowledge receiving it, but he has ignored my questions looking for a fix to a problem related to his software.
It pisses me off. I feel as if I paid for something I’m not getting.
In any case, it has made me a little more careful about donating to developers. And that’s unfortunate.