[wp-meta] [Making WordPress.org] #1381: Trac could have a "Thank You" button or link

Making WordPress.org noreply at wordpress.org
Thu Nov 5 08:04:24 UTC 2015

#1381: Trac could have a "Thank You" button or link
Reporter:  pdfernhout   |      Owner:
    Type:  enhancement  |     Status:  new
Priority:  lowest       |  Component:  Trac
Keywords:               |
 **Suggestion:** There could be some easy way to say "thank you" for a
 contribution on Trac without making a separate comment.

 **Implementation:** If there was a "Thank you" button alongside the
 original Trac ticket post and each reply, anyone logged into WordPress.org
 could click the "Thank You" button to acknowledge the contribution. "Thank
 you" totals could be recorded alongside the contribution, and maybe daily
 or weekly batch emails could be sent to issue contributors with all their
 thank yous (either just a simple count or perhaps the list of specific
 people too). People who click the gratitude button could perhaps also get
 a list somehow of things they have been grateful for. As an alternative,
 rather than a button with custom code related to it, a more general way to
 implement this might even be to just have a service at WordPress.org
 supporting links (e.g.
 gratitude.wordpress.org/thankyou?topic=meta.trac:1378#comment:3) to say
 thank you related to some topic specified in the originating link. There
 might need to be a JSON-based REST API to conveniently retrieve a bunch of
 results at once for, say, a Trac issue with a dozen comments rather than
 hit the gratitude server a dozen times. Since the server would handle many
 small requests, Node.js might be a good choice for its implementation. The
 amount of code to change in Trac would then be very small, limited to
 adding links to say thank you and probably doing a JSON REST request to
 get current thank you totals for an issue and populate the DOM with the

 **Justification:** Extra "thank you" comments create more work for others
 to read them and generate extra emails and most people generally get too
 much email already as it is. But it is still an important part of human
 culture to say "thank you" when someone does something that benefits you
 or the community. So, recipients of these gifts of another person's time
 on Trac are caught in a dilemma. They can say a polite thank you and thus
 waste people's time who they are thankful to. Or, they can not say thank
 you out of respect for the other person's time but risk being seen as
 uncaring or impolite or the person feeling unappreciated. Here is a recent
 example of the dilemma as I faced it
 [https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/1378#comment:4 a couple hours ago]
 but remain uncertain if I did the right thing. So, a thank you button
 could increase the sense of overall community well being by resolving this

 **Science:** This may sound silly at first maybe, but gratitude buttons or
 links provides a way for more people to be involved in WordPress
 development without generating messages that take up developer time. Even
 just saying thank you could be helpful. As in a recent Google study Matt
 Mullenweg posted on called [http://ma.tt/2015/10/hr-meets-science/ HR
 Meets Science], gratitude is good for long-term career happiness.
 Gratitude is also generally good for health. Any web search on "gratitude
 and health" will turn up many matches -- here is an example one from
 Harvard Medical School]. Historically, various cultures have made
 gratitude an important aspect of daily traditions, so that also suggests
 there is likely some important long-term individual and/or community value
 to gratitude.

 **Origin:** I thought about this after contributing a plugin and the
 approval email said essentially, "Don't send a 'thank you' email as it
 just makes more work for volunteers." That just seemed like a sad
 situation that maybe someone could help improve somehow. Still, I read so
 much here and there, it would not surprise me if someone else said the
 same thing many years ago like on Slashdot and I read it and forgot about
 it -- maybe even more than once, given it often takes humans several
 exposures to a new idea to begin to notice it. :-) If so, thank you
 whoever suggested it first. :-)

 **Expansion**: If a "thank you" button proves successful with WordPress
 Trac, this idea could be expanded to other areas of WordPress.org than
 Trac, perhaps by including links in such plugin emails or other emails
 that could be clicked on to say "thank you" without causing significantly
 more work for others you are trying to thank. With a link-based system,
 people could potentially click on links that could be anywhere at
 WordPress.org, not just Trac. Such an idea could even be expanded to
 WordPress.com Happiness emails or even eventually for all WordPress posts
 and comments (either in core or as a plugin). So, the links could even
 someday be anywhere and everywhere in the WordPress ecosystem -- maybe
 making the web a much better place to be? :-)

 **Prior art:** There already exist like and dislike buttons in many
 systems (even WordPress addons). However, liking is not the same as
 gratitude. I don't know of any system with a "thank you" button. There
 might well be some such systems somewhere perhaps, and I would be curious
 to learn of them. In any case, this post serves as public disclosure of
 the idea to make it harder for others to patent.

 **Caveats:** But if this is a new thing, I don't know what unexpected
 negative consequences there might be. Could people get sad they did not
 get "thank you" messages and the whole idea would backfire? John Holt
 wrote about overpraised kids who live in terror of lack of praise, and
 others like Alfie Kohn have written about being "punished by rewards".
 Although its gratitude the same as praise or rewards? Would many people in
 the community feel compelled to mindlessly click the "thank you" button a
 lot all over the place to be "supportive" instead of doing more productive
 things? An extra button might also clutter the Trac user interface as
 another possible negative, or people might click it by mistake. Again, I
 don't know how big a problem that would be in practice or if the negative
 would outweigh the positive. If this system was too successful, it might
 place too heavy a load on WordPress.org servers. There might be some way
 to exploit it somehow in some bad way that is not obvious yet. People
 might be annoyed by the aggregate thank you emails. Or people might feel
 it violates their privacy to have their name recored (although maybe that
 could be a preference in someone's WordPress.org profile). The whole thing
 might seem too impersonal. And so on...

 One could also consider adding a complaining "Raspberry" button or
 something like that, but I tend to doubt that would have much benefit in
 this context (even as negative feedback can be important sometimes), and
 people really intent on being negative can probably figure out a way to
 complain in other ways (like leaving a comment). But I'm not sure about
 that. Raspberries might make the system seem more real and require people
 to make a choice -- but they just seem riskier in general. See for example
 the "positive principle" of "Appreciative Inquiry".

 People might also try to link the "thank you" button to a donate button or
 something, and while obviously donations are important, they still seem a
 different thing that would happen at a different time that just regular

 I don't know for sure how this idea would work out. But maybe it could be
 tried as a temporary experiment for WordPress' Trac system, knowing it
 might not work out?

 **Thank you:** Anyway, thank you to gratitude researchers, and thank you
 to Matt Mullenweg for posting the Google video mentioning gratitude. Thank
 you to Mandolin Orange for the music ("Waltz About Whiskey" and "Darling
 Girl") I listened to repeatedly from YouTube while composing to this. And
 thank you (but to whom?) for creating and maintaining Meta Trac to post
 issues like this one. :-) And thanks also to Trac maintainers for quickly
 fixing Python errors like the following and also
 [https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/1380 another] that showed up on
 Trac a couple hours ago for only a few minutes so I could eventually post
 this suggestion. :-)
   File "/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-
 packages/Genshi-0.6.1-py2.7.egg/genshi/template/markup.py", line 99, in
     pos[2] + (err.offset or 0))
 TemplateSyntaxError: unexpected indent (, line 2)
 (/home/trac/resources/templates/site.html, line 7)

Ticket URL: <https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/1381>
Making WordPress.org <https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/>
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