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I'd like to contact a developer on Github to see how I can help out, etc. Any way to do this? I don't see the option anywhere.

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6 Answers 6

up vote 19 down vote accepted

You can contact a GitHub user by going to her/his user page (https://github.com/[USERNAME]) and on the left-hand site you should see her/his email address (if they have provided one).

For example, here's my user page: https://github.com/sobi3ch

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Thank you. Good to know for the future. –  Josh M. Dec 5 '12 at 16:33

Although GitHub removed the private messaging feature, there's still an alternative.

GitHub host git repositories. If the user you're willing to communicate with has ever committed some code, there are good chances you may reach your goal. Indeed, within each commit is stored some information about the author of the change or the one who accepted it.

Provided you're really dying to exchange with user user_test

  • Display the public activity page of the user:
    https://github.com/user_test?tab=activity
  • Search for an event stating "user_test pushed to [branch] at [repository]". There are usually good chances, he may have pushed one of his own commits. Ensure this is the case by clicking on the "View comparison..." link and make sure the user is listed as one of the
    committers.
  • Clone on your local machine the repository he pushed to: git clone https://github.com/..../repository.git
  • Go to that directory cd repository
  • Checkout the branch he pushed to: git checkout [branch]
  • Display the latest commits: git log -50

As a committer/author, an email should be displayed along with the commit data.

Note: Every warning related to unsolicited email should apply there. Do not spam.

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If users are active on GitHub, you might be able to catch their email address from a commit log or open up an issue on a project they are working on.

If they are inactive however and don't have a visible email or repository there doesn't seem to be a direct way. I came up with this workaround that might be worth a try in extreme cases:

  • create an empty repository
  • add a README.md to it containing your message and include a reply email
  • go to the Settings of that repository
  • send the repository via Transfer Ownership to the user in question

This should produce a notification for the user and allow him to contact you.

In cases when a user account is completely dead and you just want to get rid of it so that you can use the name for your own projects, you can also contact support, they will remove dead accounts:

https://help.github.com/articles/name-squatting-policy/

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Check out the repository and look for their email address in the Git log.

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I don't know how long this has been in place, but now you can add @username message_content in a discussion and that user will be notified.

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Could you say a bit more about where in the interface this can be done? –  batpigandme Jun 20 '13 at 11:10
    
Probably any where you enter "comments" e.g. on an issue. –  Josh M. Jun 20 '13 at 14:23
    
Just write "@user ping" in any of issue comments –  Fedir Jul 26 '13 at 12:05

I don't know about sending them a message directly, but if you post a comment in a discussion that they are involved in, then it will appear as a notification in their github account.

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Yeah, I was hoping to avoid posting my email but ended up doing it anyway. Thanks. –  Josh M. Jul 21 '12 at 17:06
18  
It would be nice if there was a direct-message mechanism, oh well! –  Josh M. Jul 21 '12 at 17:07

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