Cool cool, @Gargron moving all @Mastodon project discussion behind a proprietary walled garden that requires agreement with Microsoft terms of service (and their analytics tracking). Now THAT makes a ton of sense. 🤦‍♂️

I suppose it's time again for my monthly posting of "Free Software Needs Free Tools" by @mako:

@downey @Mastodon Our bug tracker has always been on that proprietary walled garden, and everyone who has ever contributed code to Mastodon has an account on there. It only makes sense to move discussions that are so tightly related to bug tracking there so that people don't have to make an extra account, or check a separate site.

@downey @Mastodon Let me be clear: I care that Mastodon as an end product is free software. I do not care if the tools used to create Mastodon pass a free software purity check. If a tool will make the job of creating Mastodon easier, I will prefer it. See: GitHub, Discord, and so on.

@gargron @downey @Mastodon I think having a Twitter account makes more sense as a requirement to participate. Let projects like LibreOffice require a Microsoft account. Just fits better that way! 🤦‍♂️

@Gargron @downey @Mastodon Mastodon is such a popular piece of software, it also has a pull effect. If you were to choose a Free Software source forge and discussion forum, you would also attract people to make the move to this platform.

It's not only a problem for purists, it also affects the independence of the project. By tying everything to GitHub or another proprietary provider, you are buying into vendor lock-in.

@mxmehl @Gargron @downey @Mastodon no, you're not. GitHub is just a git repo after all, you can just push it's remote wherever and migrate the discussions easily.

@bobrzasty @mxmehl This .. is not true. Most of GitHub consists of proprietary components other than git.

@downey @mxmehl it is true. It takes one command to move the project's important bits elsewhere.

@bobrzasty @downey Did you every attempt to migrate issues, wiki entries, CI builds etc to another provider? The more services you use, the harder the migration because they neatly integrate into each other.

It's not entirely impossible, but it's very costly in terms of time, energy, and friction with established workflows. That's the definition of vendor lock-in (plus money, if you cannot do it all by yourself) :)

@mxmehl @downey I mean, if there's an API on both sides, and you have some time on your hands... GH issues or wikis are pretty simple entities. It's not JIRA (which is a nightmare in itself, not to mention migration).


I dont agree with your argument. But what difference does that make in this case..

@downey @Mastodon

@downey Not sure if you have ever participated in this forum but it is in 95% dedicated to getting technical help with setting a Mastodon instance up for a first time or upgrade issues. There is a certain overlap between things discussed there and GitHub issues. For this, GitHub might be a better place.

I spent some time on this forum and I will not miss it as it were.

Bashing @Gargron because "Discourse hosted account" might be better than "Microsoft hosted account" is unfair.


@Gargron consolidation makes sense. The issue is to use a proprietary tool in the first place

i recommend to actually read (or watch the talk instead)

the development platform is part of the user experience when they report issuer or request features

@codeberg is a great alternative to GitHub. It's a Gitea instance hosted by a german non-profit association. it does not have as many users as github, but if that would be a criterion we should go back to twitter


@davidak @codeberg @downey Using tools that suffer from the network effect problem when you are trying to develop a tool that suffers from the network effect problem is needlessly increasing the difficulty of what you are trying to do.

Will using a custom GitLab/Gitea server add barriers for developer contributions? Yes

Will using a custom GitLab/Gitea server help Mastodon gain more users? No

@Gargron yes, i always try to do the right thing, which means increasing the difficulty to max. i respect when people are more pragmatic and therefore achieve more. sometimes that is better

i just wanted to make the point

sure a gitlab/gitea instance would be a barrier for many, but github is too. many people use mastodon because they want to avoid companies like microsoft


Well, both Gitlab and Gitea have SSO options. And I am pretty sure you can configure Gitea to use Mastdon as a OAuth source

@davidak @codeberg @downey

@selea @davidak @codeberg @downey As someone who has run my own GitLab for a few years, I definitely do not want to run my own GitLab. If that was my job, to run a GitLab, then I could see doing it, but it is a gigantic distraction, for no benefit - GitLab is not better than GitHub. And I doubt Gitea - an even smaller project - can be better than GitHub either. Being free software is not enough. It has to actually be better than its competitors.

@selea @davidak @codeberg @downey I do not expect people to use Mastodon because it is free software. I believe Mastodon is actually better than competitors in multiple ways. Being free software is just a bonus. I think that's how it has to be.


I dont speak for everyone, or many people in either. But some people use mastodon since it is free software - and I do.
I also use it because the community is better.

However, lets say that you decide to move to Codeberg instead of github. How much easier would it be for you to provide feedback to that platform? Would the Gitea/Codeberg devs listen to your oppinions? I think so.

Anyway, in the end it is your choice, but I do hope that you reconsider :)

@davidak @codeberg @downey

@mgrondin @Gargron @selea Use the best tools available. One should not lower your standards for foss. Even though I am a hardcore foss supporter, I think one should use tools that promote efficiency and optimize your workflow.

@fatboy True for sure...but on the other side if no one uses the foss solutions how will they get any better? People have to use them. Figure out what works what does not and try to make them better. Otherwise we might as well all give up and just use the big proprietary tools that everyone is used to.

It's not an easy choice to make IMO

@Gargron @selea

@mgrondin @Gargron @selea Also true. I would say, use foss as a secondary solution for the sole purpose of contributing to the project to improve it.

@mgrondin @fatboy @Gargron @selea I totally agree, see @blender if they hadn't used the tool in production before it was feature complete it would have never developed to the extent it is now .... basically displacing industry "standard" tools. Also, friends don't let friends use surveillance platforms. The more we feed the beast, the more power it has.

@mgrondin @fatboy @Gargron @selea to add to this, you basically have direct access to the developers to make the changes you want/need which IS NOT the case with proprietary solutions, again see #blender @codeberg


I dont agree.
People encourage each other with "vote with your wallet" - buy clothes where people are not harmed in the production - buy electronics where people and not harmed either.

We should "vote" with our code and product we use aswell.
If a certain Free Software product is bad - contribute with feedback, code or money.

@mgrondin @Gargron

@selea @fatboy @mgrondin @Gargron

See, @kensanata, here's ye olde Consequentialism vs. Deontologism divide. Can't stop seeing it everywhere now.

@fatboy @mgrondin @Gargron @selea

Completely agree - for professional use.

For private use: use what's fun is my motto.

@Gargron @selea @davidak @codeberg @downey
This is a very ambiguous statement....
Plus the assertion that software adoption depends on the quality of the software is an oxymoron, if it were the case, M$ would never have been where it is.

Gitea really is a very well composed piece of software. I find massively more intuitive and pleasant on the user side than Gitlab, and the hosting is effortless.
@selea @davidak @codeberg @downey

@Gargron @davidak @codeberg @downey

It's a reasonable position. But by the same principle, users should be signing up on Twitter, if they look at Mastodon as a mere "tool" to do something. There's value in principled stances and thinking for welfare of the ecosystem beyond our own self-interest.

@nilesh @Gargron @davidak @downey Lock-in is real, infrastructure decisions are sticky.

What are the "rational" (as in technical) requirements to free Mastodon developers? What features are required and missing at ?

Let's get the discussion started. For real, not trolling.

@codeberg @Gargron @davidak @downey

IMHO, these are features that Git, not codeberg, lacks. By leaving out basics like issues, releases, git allowed walled-gardens to be built around this open-source technology. True decentralization will be if a project uses things like Fossil SCM so that a centralized website - proprietary or not - is not needed in the first place.


Or as the Mastodon website says:

"Host your own social media platform on your own infrastructure. Don't let your business or non-profit depend on a company that could change the rules of the game—write your own rules!"

@Gargron @davidak @codeberg

@Gargron @downey @Mastodon It'd be nice that those of us who only try to report bugs don't have to sign up there, though. I use this (M.S.) to report them, but many times they pass unnoticed, I assume.

@Gargron @downey @Mastodon Purists have some legitimate concerns, but your decision makes sense.

@gargron @downey @Mastodon it only makes sense to move away from proprietary walled gardens like Twitter and GitHub. Period.

@downey @mako skimming throuth the article, the main point is as relevant as ever, but the details need an update

@downey @Gargron @Mastodon I don't know enough code to contribute to mastodon but I feel that it would've been better to move away from github instead of moving closer to it.
SoureHut model would've been nice. Anybody can contribute without even creating an account. An email is all that's needed. But that said, it's mastodon people who built it, I guess it's their decision. For good or bad. Though listening to what the community thinks would've been nice (not saying that wasn't done).

@famubu @downey @Gargron @Mastodon

Yes. What is interesting is that both for #Discourse and for #Gitea there are plans to add federation support. In Gitea the first commits are already made after @forgefriends graciously made some money available from their own project budget. AFAIU they did not get @NGIZero grant, but will continue nonetheless.

And as for Discourse. The Pavilion plugin builders have shown interest to start in 2022 their #Fediverse entry.

@famubu @downey @Gargron @Mastodon @forgefriends @NGIZero

I hope both these projects do commence, as I consider them both very important for the #Fediverse as a whole. In any case they should get any encouragement and help we can give if only spreading the word on these intentions, like I do now.

@downey @Gargron @Mastodon Its a shame for people leading fediverse to put us in the hands of corporate tools despite (already) having better choice. Especially in the area of versioning tools where some people are working hard to federate git FOSS projects using ActivityPub.

@downey @Gargron @Mastodon

It’s really sad IMO. I do think running a forum for project like social network makes little sense as most of people will just use masto to communicate or issue on a tracker to submit problems. It’s as useless as providing Teams/Slack to discuss development of xmpp/matrix. Looking at the masto discourse it’s pretty dead anyway so should be wiped as it wasn’t used. What worries me is the argumentation behind the move. I think projects like mastodon should actually promote and use solutions that are made within the community it co-creates. It should set an example and show that just like social networks, other tools exists and can be succesfully used outside walled gardens. Especially for a project that does exactly that. Most of the contributors/feedback givers would most likely have no problem switching to alternative, as this was most likely their motivation to use mastodon in the first place. Sure move from github is probably hard and something you can’t just do in one click, but if done (move to codeberg for example) could be a big signal for others that it is possible as well as pull people into such solution. With fediforge we might soon have federated git issue trackers.

Don’t dismiss work of others @Gargron ! Embrace the ecosystem you are part of. Don’t worry, people will follow. :ablobcatheartsqueeze:

@muppeth @downey
@aaronpk @Gargron

> Luke—“Is the Github stronger?”
> Yoda—“No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.”

I believe we are at a time when ethics should guide our decisions a little more.

@downey @Gargron @Mastodon this is extra embarrassing since lemmy just federated. Like there's no excuse for not using something already in the fediverse. It's just that they don't want to put in the effort to use their own ecosystem.

@downey Good. Less infrastructure for the project maintainers to maintain means more time to spend on the actual product. Running a Discourse instance isn't free, both in money and time.

@aaronpk Wrong: The Discourse project offers free hosting to maintainers and has for many years:

Shilling for Microsoft is pretty far afield from the ....

@downey I think you'll find most of the IndieWeb community is not the die-hard FOSS fans. Open source is important, but is not an end goal in and of itself. There's plenty of examples of not open source IndieWeb software that happily interoperates with the open source software.

@aaronpk Pretty sure moving to the proprietary walled garden GitHub where a project's data has no escape route fails at least 7/11 of the principles.

❌ Own your data
❌ Make what you need
❌ Use what you make
❌ Open source your stuff
❌ Modularity
❌ Longevity
❌ Plurality

@downey I just agree with gargron that the tooling around a project doesn't need to blindly follow FOSS just for the sake of it. But I do realize I'm sending this to

@aaronpk There's a really great theory called POSSE. It's the idea that people and groups should own their own content. You should check it out sometime.

@downey @Gargron @Mastodon oh, that is... unfortunate. I would expect a project like Masto to embrace open - and increasingly, federating - platforms like Codeberg or SourceHut, not move even further away from them.

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