Call to developers without a GitHub account

I sent the link to HS-157 on #afpy channel hosted on freenode: he doesn’t have a GitHub account (ref, ref).

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HS-157 answered that meanwhile he created an account.

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Nonetheless I asked him to share his experience here. I asked @duck too.

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Quack,

So I do not really have a GH account. I was asked to get one for my work in the past and I created another one for my current job too. I did not feel comfortable trusting a single entity to hold my personal projects and I’m totally self-hosted (I could explain why but I think the fedeproxy site sums it up well).

That affects also my work since companies want to be where people are and thus feel they have to be on GH. And in projects wh
ere my company is using other systems the result depends: GL is GH alike so it’s less visible but ok, but Gerrit is clearly a
barrier to contribution which is really ok only for deeply technical projects (despite often using GH auth). So it’s GH as a platform, as authentication system (for unrelated services too), and also as a way of contributing that’s somehow feels imposed to me.

In the past when GH just started people still accepted direct mail contributions, or on the mailing-lists, but quickly people felt annoyed and asked for a PR on GH. Thus I just stopped contributing to non-self-hosted projects and wondered what to do. Bigger projects like Debian continued hosting their own sources and I could still contribute, even if sometimes externally hosted bits made things hard (you’re not forced to use the Debian infra to host your packages). Over years that was too difficult and I “borrowed” my professional account a few times despite hating it.

I felt better about GitLab since they seemed to be more open but did not create a personnal account either, and “borrowed” it a few times too. I was happy they released their software in opensource; it is a bit of a beast to install and proper packaging took a lot of time but it’s now successfuly used by many projects and I think that helps.

There’s still rare projects still using mails (libmspack, dicod, lynis…), a few projects still using older (but usable) forges like Redmine (myself) and I saw modern alternatives like sourcehut emerged. But that does not solve the problem with smaller projects which do not have an infrastructure.

In the end I did not find any acceptable solution and I guess that motivated me to focus on places where I can easily contribute, forget about less important contributions, and trick my mind with sweet excuses when I felt it was important to “borrow”
my work accounts.

I just discovered fedeproxy and the proxy feature looks nice but for a one-shot contribution or bug report that really looks like a lot to setup. I hope federation will be added in more places but I fear proprietary projects have no incentive to do so.

\_o<

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Indeed! The idea is that one could self-host fedeproxy but there could also be publicly available instances for people who do not want that. Pretty much like mastodon. Would that address your concern? Or did I misunderstand it?

I think for most people it would. I personally still tend to dislike when technical difficulties tends to recreate centralization. For eg for XMPP and now Matrix I waited until I was able to run my own server. Which also means that if I’m unable to do so then probably I should not use this technology (since I would not be able to move on to another instance later on (if I succeed I might still decide I don’t have time to maintain it or my servers won’t be able to handle the load etc and then use a public instance, but in case of emergency I know I would be able to do so)). In case of fedeproxy I have not tried since it’s not yet released, but having it packaged in major distros would certainly help to make self-hosting accessible.

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This is the difference between something that is self-hostable in theory and self-hostable in practice. I know that mastodon is self-hostable because I ran an instance for a few years. But I will stay away from (for example) OpenCollective because it is acknowledged to be very difficult to self-host: the installation procedure is not even documented.

I’ll keep this in mind for fedeproxy and although I can’t speak for @pilou, I think it is also something that matters to him, very much :slight_smile:

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