My name is Jono and I started as Director of Community back in November at GitHub. Obviously I am pretty new at GitHub, but I thought I would weigh in.
Firstly, thanks for your feedback. I think it is essential that GitHub always has a good sense of not just what works well for our users, but also where the pain points are. Constructive criticism is an important of doing great work. I appreciate how specific and detailed you were in your feedback. Getting a good sense of specific problems provides a more fruitful beginning to a conversation than "it suxx0rs", so I appreciate that.
I am still figuring out how GitHub fits together as an organization but I am happy to take a look into these issues and ensure they are considered in how future work is planned. We have a growing product team at GitHub that I know is passionate about solving the major pain points that rub up against our users. Obviously I can't make any firm commitments as I am not on the product team, but I can ensure the right eyeballs are on this. I also want to explore with my colleagues how we can be a little clearer about future feature and development plans to see if we can reduce some ambiguity.
As I say, I am pretty new, so I am still getting the lay of the land, but feel free to reach out to me personally if you have any further questions or concerns about this or any other issue. I am at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My personal pet peeve is not being able to mark a public repo as 'deprecated'. There are a lot of other people with the same frustration , but we have no idea how to get that on GitHub's roadmap.
Perhaps if Github used their own issues system to gather feedback on Github itself, they'd more rapidly improve it. I'm sure they'd feel a lot of these pain points in a far sharper, more visceral way if they were subjected to them daily.
Open source ties in with my work. Every one of my private repos has open source dependencies hosted on github.
Privileging the priorities of my private repos over their public dependencies would be shortsighted.
I think that’s Github’s call, but I definitely don’t disagree with you and apologize that I came off that way. Open source projects exposed me to Github and greatly benefit the projects I work on in private repos. I really do want those projects to have an effective platform for growth and stability. I don’t want to water down their needs; I just wanted to offer some balance to the discussion.
My point was simply that this probably isn’t something that is as easy for Github to solve as it may appear on the surface. Any changes they make to the issues system can’t upset the low friction way it works for repos with a modest amount of contributors (and +1’s from clients are appreciated). I hope that positive changes come out of this letter.
If Github were to leave Open Source projects high and dry, they’d lose my business.
But you're the huge majority of people who give GitHub money. It makes sense not to prioritize the pain points of open-source projects when you lose money by hosting them.
We only chose GitHub because we wanted to host our open source repos there. If they don't prioritize the open-source projects then we have no reason to pick them over BitBucket or something else like that.
Much of that is due to the OP's requested features that are currently missing. But tbh, it is too late to get us to switch.
> Issues are often filed missing crucial information like reproduction steps or version tested. We’d like issues to gain custom fields, along with a mechanism (such as a mandatory issue template, perhaps powered by a newissue.md in root as a likely-simple solution) for ensuring they are filled out in every issue.
For instance, is something we basically implemented in our local version of GitLab but aren't sharing because our implementation pulls this from internal docs other people can't use. Our CSRs put issues into GitLab but they tend to forget steps while on the phone with a user.
We wouldn't have bothered if we had something like this when I was evaluating GitLab vs. GitHub.
I also have a public account that I use for contributing to public projects so it could also help to avoid duplicate accounts in search results.
All accounts should be searchable for username/real name with GitHub's search anyway.
Your private repo's and contributions are not made public, so there's no "risk" involved.
Huh? Github isn't opened sourced so how is a different fashion from anyone else using private repos?
Users can use those buttons to +1 or -1, and any comments that contain nothing but an emoji (like `:+1:`) are automatically converted to emoji awards, as we call them.
What I came up to work around this is:
- Create an org named <YOUR-USERNAME>-deprecated
- Move the projects to the organization
- Set the avatar of the organization to your avatar, with desaturated colors (purely cosmetic, optional)
Another good example is harthur's "[UNMAINTAINED]" 
I search and then i see it in the title.
Better would be an Option in Github to set a project to unmaintained or deprecated, with an optional link to the new project (if some exist).
Github could then change the background color from white to an other color or add a border around the page, so that it is really obvious that this project es EOL.
ATTENTION: Please find the canonical repository here:
What this tells you is that enough people are not only using this repository, which was last updated in August 2014 with a change to the README directing people at the new source, but people are giving it stars this week such that it shows up as "trending" higher than the correct repository.
There has to be something wrong with the deprecation process if this happens.
Aye. Some folks in the discussion linked to by krschultz complain that "People sometimes don't read the README and -thus- don't notice deprecation warnings.". To them I ask: "What makes you think that those sorts of people will notice anything less than an overlay that prevents them from interacting with the Github UI for that particular repo?".
Sure. But... like... git doesn't know anything about deprecated repos. AFAIK, that's not a feature of git's repo fetch machinery. Anything Github would do to address this would have to modify the contents of the repo, right?
> ...go get for example would need some sort of structured metadata [to do reasonable repo deprecation warnings]
More details here: https://golang.org/cmd/go/#hdr-Remote_import_paths
Fair enough. (I don't use go, so I'm unaware of pretty much all of its internals.) 
> ...coordination between go and github could implement something for deprecated repositories without changing anything in git.
A couple of things:
* This only fixes things for Golang. It doesn't fix it for the couple-thousand other tools that pull things from Github.
* I never suggested changing things in git. That would be freaking nuts. :) EDIT: Or did you mean "without changing anything in the git repo"? If you meant that, then I strike this bullet point and apologise for the noise. :)
* Frankly, having a well-known file in your Git repo that contains meaningful tags seems far more compatible than changing git, or altering the $BUILD_TOOL<->GitHub integration... for one thing, the convention could be trivially adopted by non-git users. :)
 Thanks for the documentation link, BTW! :D
The people who ask for more proprietary features (or should I say anti-features) in Github are encouraging lock-in inside of Github. Github ought to be a hub. I'd like to emphasize on the hub part as it should be one hub out of many. It should not be the center of the software universe any more than AT&T/IBM/Microsoft/Google/Facebook/Uber.
So, I heartily agree that vendor lock-in is bad.  However, git doesn't handle mailing lists, or issue trackers, or hands-off repo push access control, or.... So, if you're going to do more than just serving git repos, you're almost certainly going to have to do these things yourself, and you very well might end up doing them in a way that differs from how everyone else is doing them.
I mean, as long as you can get complete exports of the data in the important non-git bits, who cares, right?
 I'm STILL mad about how Hangouts turned out.
I feel like if you have so many direct dependencies that you can't keep tabs on them, you simply have too many. Whoever decided it was OK to depend on that library should be able to follow it closely enough to say when it cannot be depended on.
There are a lot of "if's" and many things might go wrong -- there's almost never 100% guarantee, but every mean that makes end product more reliable is a good idea.
"I feel like if you have so many direct dependencies that you can't keep tabs on them, you simply have too many."
Such number of dependencies is common when building custom Kernel/OS + application. Also, I've never mentioned direct dependencies, some are just tools to build tools. It wasn't event that big of a project -- a relatively small (~150 Mb) custom OS with Qt application for an embedded device.
Anyway, a good example of a successful feature request – shared since it might help others in their quest for success – included me attempting to reduce the problem, scoping it and suggesting a solution. If you can find examples of this problem over multiple open source repositories (in my case nodejs) it seems to contribute to it getting fixed.
- Note the feedback.
- Bring in the right folks to consult with on your end.
- Write a public response with concrete information (should be first interaction).
- Finally, reach out to the authors of this post. Perhaps, getting them more clarity on your roadmap and your thought process will go a long way in resolving matters like this with high profile maintainers.
The next step, as you mention, is to bring the right people in. This is why I want to ensure this is raised with our teams inside GitHub to explore ways to rectify some of these concerns.
Linode could take a leaf out your book in terms of dealing with people not entirely happy (if I'm been kind) with the way they deal with stuff.
At present, I’m not sure how this response is different from the "empty response" that motivated the publication of this document in the first place, except that this response is also public. Comments like "happy to take a look into these issues", "considered in how future work is planned" and "ensure the right eyeballs are on this" uses a lot of words to say nothing. If the community department is not the right place, maybe it’s time to walk over to where the the product group sits and ask. They probably read Hacker New too.
I’ll also highlight a possible theory: the right people at Github have already looked at these requests and decided that is not what Github Issues is for. Perhaps Issues is prioritized for the masses, not the small minority of very popular projects (but not resourceful enough that they have staff). Each of these feature requests do add friction (if only in complexity) and the majority of projects that do not need and should not utilize them. Hopefully someone at Github will quash this theory but it is consistent with events so far.
Why not have the option to enable issue voting? It could be as easy as stars for issues.
Custom issue instructions would be trivial to tuck away in the settings page or associate with a specially named markdown file. They turn a wiki on by default, but you can't instruct users about the info you expect in their issue on the page where they create the issue. Documentation is very effective when it is inline with the system it is describing.
Custom issue fields with validation is a little more complex. Punt.
When people submit your issue tracker to hackernews/reddit/twitter all hell breaks lose and time gets wasted for nothing.
1) apologizing for being new
2) extending borderline patronizing praise (the OP likely wanted a response to the issues put forth, not your approval)
& 3) a promise, which you can't necessarily keep, to put eyes on the issue instead of speaking to the issues raised directly.
It's not what I would expect from someone in that role at that sort of company. It's, unfortunately, what I would expect from a company that had the sort of issues raised by the OP.
Edit: Essentially the same as reported here: https://github.com/isaacs/github/issues/268
Here are some of my fave :+1:-a-thons that help demonstrate when the issue system starts to be less useful, and the Github acknowledgement seems sparse:
Also, you might consider empowering your social media team. I see Github as a pretty cool company. And when I sent this tweet, I was expecting to have a bit of a shared chortle with this tweet as I know I would of had with @SlackHq:
But instead I got nothing, except a vague sense of having offended someone (sorry BTW, it was only a joke! :'()
Similar to the way twitter provides verified accounts maybe
GitHub should consider a tagging these popular repositories to allow for more advanced control over the collaboration project.
When I first read the letter I was a little bit disappointed, one thing I've enjoyed (to an limited extent) is the low barrier of entry to pull requests. The spring boot team especially are extremely patient and understanding when it comes to pull requests.
Hopefully there's enough community will in this to encourage GitHub to make the change, if it does really come down it not being worth the money it would be a disappointing sign.
* Are "we" in such a huge hurry that we don't look at our scrollbar to see if there's more to the document that we're viewing?
* How did "we" get so incurious that we don't even attempt to scroll down to see if there's more information to read?
I mean -seriously- the intended audience for this particular open letter is technical people.
After re-checking the link:
Ah! See, the document that you are looking at is hosted on Github. At the time of my comment (~six hours ago), it was a two-printed-page document hosted on Google Docs. dang comments here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10907271 (four hours ago) that he changed the link from the Google Docs document to the Github document.
(And now that I know that, the wave of downvoting makes a lot of sense. (even though pvorb explicitly says that he's looking at a document hosted on Google Docs))
And yes, most of the time "we" are in such a hurry. At least I am most of the time. Time is limited.
Given many open source project adopting it for their code repository its important question to be answered.
Otherwise sourceforge.net story will repeat again, this time with github. Many projects adapted it when it was closed source and then when they open source it slowly and later due to falling revenues just started crumbling.
And gitlab is now 99% feature-compatible with github. If you aren't using the developer ecosystem of github.com, you are not missing much using the free software option already.