If people are interested in your project then that's a good indication that you're doing something right or at least solving a problem people care about.
I personally like the metric and do use it on my judgment if I should use a project or not. It's like a first filter.
However, it doesn't tell you how interested someone is in your project--only that they're interested enough to click a button on their mouse. Moreover, it doesn't even tell you much about how interesting your project is; it doesn't tell you what portion of your GH page's visitors thought it was sufficiently interesting to click the button. They might well get another 1K from this HN article; does that mean their project became twice as interesting today?
If I was investigating some password solution in Go and gloss over a gopass project with 1k stars I would certainly investigate it.
If another project only has two stars it would get investigated later in case gopass doesn't meet my requirements.
That is not the only metric I use but it is a first pass. I don't think anyone has time to analyze every project out there to see if they're good or not.
It's a little like how people filter out some CVs based on X attribute.
Which is unfair and it isn't the perfect metric but when the volume is too big you gotta have a first filter.
Obviously if someone in my network highly recommend a CV, or, in this case, a Golang pass tool, I would investigate it first
I mean, I think that'd tell you more than GitHub stars, no? Or at least complement the GitHub stars metric? The downloads would be more useful than stars in the way that it's more likely to be used once someone has downloaded. But so many people use stars as a way to bookmark something they find interesting.
I had to switch over to support a team who were using gopass too for secret sharing, otherwise I'd probably just be on pass still.
It sounds serious, for sure, and this software deals with sensitive data, so that is important to keep in mind (though, it versions with Git, so that's a nice safety). I just want to point out how responsive they were in your issue: it appears there was a fix merged in less than a day later!
> Only 12k have more than 1k stars, that is gopass is now within the 0.6% most popular GitHub projects!
> That's an odd age to celebrate. I (and many others) have had plenty of birthdays over several decades.