This morning I arrived in my office to see an email with a request to make a change to one of my free WordPress plugins: SDAC Translate. I take requests and have made changes to pretty much all the plugins I have available as long as they are reasonable and would help/benefit other users as well.
The person who emailed me started off by calling me a “bigot” because I used the US flag for English and the Portuguese flag for Portuguese (instead of also offering the UK and Brazilian flag as options). They then told me I should take all the money I earned from people donating (over 2,500 downloads, no donations) to go fly to the countries so I could see the difference between the US/UK and Brazil/Portugal. They then also told me they were disabling the plugin until I made the change – and were going to tell everyone why they disabled it.
While I thought about it for awhile – I realized this could get ugly fast. I would potentially then have to have a Canadian flag for both french and english, Mexican/Peru, etc for Spanish, etc It is just not something that I thought would be a good thing for the plugin. The flags are there for a general representation of languages. Google Translate does not care if it is US vs UK – you still get the same exact EN translation.
While name calling and threats apparently work- for putting in extra development (free) time for a plugin which is also free – I decided that I would keep the integrity of my plugin as is and not make any changes. I then mentioned how they could easily take what I had under the GPL license and make their own changes to it – without any issues.
Something to remember – when making any requests for free development on a free product – at the very least, be kind or do it yourself.