Every time you direct somebody to GitHub and ask them to file an issue or use it for some other kind of work (esp. without even stopping to consider whether they even have an account), imagine you have a Facebook group instead, and you're telling them to post in it. Stop and think about why you feel that doing the same thing with GitHub is any different.

Being a GitHub user should not be a prerequisite for public participation.


@colby Do you have any alternative in mind that has no costs, does not impose registry although provides moderation (spam and a likes) and has a decent user experience ?

I totally agree with you and am against imposed registrations, but i can not think of such a service that ticks the above

@BinaryUnit I understand where you're coming from re your constraints, but the last line in my post was the key. Facebook is a bad user experience for anyone who isn't on Facebook. Likewise for GitHub.

When we talk about GitHub here, it's to focus is on the effect of choosing only one (private) means of access. It's similar to the effect we can see in how many people/orgs have made Twitter the only means of contact, as if Twitter is a public resource like the post office or the Internet's infrastructure for handling email. The result: turning away anyone who isn't also on Twitter (or railroading more people into the privately owned garden, which is actually what we should be discouraging).

So choosing GitHub is okay—it's even fine to prefer it. Not many have adverse reactions to who your email provider is, for example. The problem with GitHub, just like with Facebook, is if you go further and tacitly insist that everyone *else* uses GitHub, too, and shut off/shut out anything and everything else. Imagine only accepting emails sent from @gmail.com. The "alternative" I propose is as simple as letting GitHub be the front door (if you want), but not the only way in or out.

@colby I did understood you, and i am as well not happy with the state of walled gardens, specially when they become so prominent and often enough to some, perceived as "the only place to go for x"

Although regarding the service itself (in this case github) it can only come from within the company culture itself, something like focus more on the greater being of OS software rather then we more accounts hits etc….which seems not to be the direction

@colby We actually see things going the other way, darn, sometimes i have the feeling that sooner rather than later we will have to register to clone a repo.

Funny enough a Role based feature is in the roadmap, which could potentially could lead to actors that do not belong to the platform to interact with it, but from the information available, seems that it would be only for enterprise accounts…who would have thought…


@colby Discourse solved this problem by closing any ticket sent to their GitHub project and directing people to their support forum, where they routinely banned people for reporting bugs in the bug reporting subforum.

@ben @colby Sounds like the project itself is a mess in the first place.

@colby This goes for selfhosted code forges too like people's personal gitlab or gitea. We shouldn't require signing up on them to discuss or contribute. I use either 100% sourcehut, or use a code forge with a sourcehut mailing list, because people can then contribute with just email (which doesn't even have to be real.)

@cadence @colby while I agree that discussion should not require signing up for an account on a specific server, I don‘t think mailing list based discussion is the answer, at least as only means of access. I acknowledge the fact that email infrastructure is neutral, but using a mailing list to submit an issue for me is about as inaccessible as it can get. Especially id you care for privacy of your email address

@cadence @colby There have been a bunch of projects that I ended up not taking part in because the only way to reach out was through signing up for a mailing list, yocto comes to mind for example

@peacememories "I don‘t think mailing list based discussion is the answer, at least as only means of access"

Cool, me neither (for multiple reasons). So if in your comment you're trying to ascribe that position to me, then please don't. It's neither what I meant nor what I said.

@colby no, i was replying to @cadence , sorry you got caught up in the reply chain^^‘

@colby Honest question: What would you recommend I use instead? would you be okay with a gitlab mirror?

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