We have, previously spoken about upstreaming changes and the etiquette associated with doing so. Perhaps now is a good time to mention that the effort we recommend you to put forth when contributing to a project is also needed when you are the upstream.

If you are fortunate enough to be upstream in a popular F/LOSS project then you may find yourself garnering contributions from the community you have fostered. This is a wonderful situation to be in, but it can also be a great burden on you. We have mentioned that when you offer code to an upstream you are effectively offering a burden not a gift. This means that as an upstream you need to recognise that the offer of a change is not something you must feel beholden to accept. By the same token, if the person making the offer has managed to demonstrate their dedication to the community then you can usually trust that they'll help look after their contribution on an ongoing basis.

Looking after a project as an upstream is often a thankless task and can become quite a grind to maintain a pleasant outlook in the face of the less experienced who may flock to you for assistance with your work. Learning to be gracious in accepting any and all contributions which are not negative in nature can help you to foster a community of people who will then police themselves and assist you with the greater effort of looking after everything.

Of course, you could just be a curmudgeonly upstream who acts as though the thought of anyone using their software is abhorrent. That won't stop some intrepid users so be aware they might send you patches or suggestions anyway. Do try to not scare them too much. If you do then they might fork your code and change it in unexpected ways; but with your name all over the codebase you might be inundated with questions anyway.