Open Sourcers are revolting over GitHub

rms-meets-open-sauce-detail-1Open Sourcers are revolting over GitHub’s management and support channels and have sent the website a stiff letter of complaint.

Posted on GitHub itself, the letter starts by praising the repository for its achievements and how the team has “done so much to grow the open source community and make it really accessible to users.” However, the letter quickly starts lighting torches and sharpening pitchforks. The letter is signed by 1200 angry developers.

“Those of us who run some of the most popular projects on GitHub feel completely ignored by you. We’ve gone through the only support channel that you have given us either to receive an empty response or even no response at all,” he wrote. “We have no visibility into what has happened with our requests, or whether GitHub is working on them. Since our own work is usually done in the open and everyone has input into the process, it seems strange for us to be in the dark about one of our most important project dependencies,”

GitHub is used the repository to store open source code. It promotes itself as being open and visible when it comes to code, but many developers want to know why their issues aren’t handled in the same respect.

Other key complaints noted within the letter include:

  • Issues are often filed missing crucial information like reproduction steps or version tested. The developers have instead asked for issues to gain custom fields, along with a mechanism for ensuring they are filled out in every issue.
  • Issues often accumulate content-less “+1” comments which serve only to spam the maintainers and any others subscribed to the issue. While +1s serve as a means for maintainers to know how widespread an issue is, the current system could be replaced with a voting system for better efficiency.
  • Issues and pull requests are often created without any adherence to the contribution guidelines.

“If GitHub were open source itself, we would be implementing these things ourselves as a community – we’re very good at that!”