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GitHub isn't fun anymore (jaredpalmer.com)
646 points by MH15 20 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 606 comments

I’ve never considered GitHub to be “fun.” It’s a great tool, though.

Most of my GH interaction is through my desktop system, not a browser (pushing and pulling checkouts).

I’ve been using some form of source control for nearly 30 years (since Projector, in the 1990s). It’s a tool. A very, very important tool.

I appreciate many of the “glossy” features of GH, like hero images and GH Pages, but this shows how “out of touch” I must be, because I have never considered it to be a social venue or competitive arena.

It’s just a place I keep my code. I’m quite grateful for it.

Tangential: what is up with this inflationary expectation that everything should be "fun" and "exciting" and "thrilling"? I feel like western society as a whole is thinking more and more in terms of a six year old. For adults, there lies incredible satisfaction in mastering any but the most exploitative professions or jobs and fulfilling them dutifully, even if they are be no means "fun".

what is up with this inflationary expectation that everything should be "fun" and "exciting" and "thrilling"

A couple years ago I dubbed this trend "Flanders Computing" [1]. I haven't really given much thought about its origins, but it's probably got to do with the increasing demand for happiness that we Americans hold dear.

Collectively I think it's entered the American psyche that the answer to happiness is to avoid anything that makes us anxious or uncomfortable, which results in that toddler-level approach in many things. i.e. Ban things labeled "toxic", ban the boo-boos, keep everyone safe with happy feelings in this space only. But admittedly my thoughts are incomplete.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13353106

Your comment reminds me of a great quote:

"The desire for more positive experience is in itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one's negative experience is itself a positive experience."

from "The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck" by Mark Mason

Sounds like new age stoicism? Roman philosophers, 2000 years ago, were teaching us to curb our desires for they ultimately lead to dissapointment when things don't work out.

The Enchiridion of Epictetus is a good place to start. You'll also learn how to feel when your favorite mug drops, or when a friend pokes your eye in a wrestling match - spoiler: the answer is not giving it a fuck (for lack of a better term).

>increasing demand for happiness that we Americans hold dear

"The problem is not that we want to be happy; it is that we want to be happier." Not my own observation. But I like it.

Maybe that's because our sensory systems can't really feel states, only differences between states. Hot only exists in comparison to our memory of cold. Without that comparison, there is simply numbness.

If that's a general principle, it implies that happiness can only be felt as an improvement over the past. That would also explain why sadness is necessary for us to be able to feel happiness, and why we're attracted to tragic art. Someone who is the same level of happy all the time will become numb to it, but constantly becoming happier is unsustainable in the same way as a drug addiction.

> I think it's entered the American psyche that the answer to happiness is to avoid anything that makes us anxious or uncomfortable

Yes. For examples of this trend, look no further than American college campuses, especially in the liberal arts.

"Microagressions", "safe spaces", ... it does sound like a lot of people feel untenably fragile when entering the marketplace of ideas.

> Ban things labeled "toxic", ban the boo-boos, keep everyone safe with happy feelings in this space only. But admittedly my thoughts are incomplete.

I think your thoughts are incomplete. What they are missing is the knowledge of and empathy for people who are actually harmed by these behaviors.

>What they are missing is the knowledge of and empathy for people who are actually harmed by these behaviors.

Don't worry, most people asking for such bans don't have any real empathy for people who are actually harmed by these behaviors either.

And inversely, most people who are actually harmed, don't care for such bans, they prefer substantive and inherent (felt and voluntary) changes, not bans.

But then plenty of the same people that seek to police speech online and to claim the moral high ground are capable of and comfortable with quite horrible and unjustified forms of harassment, e.g. extreme levels of doxxing, getting people sacked for hurty tweets, even hounding people to suicide.

Let's not pretend there aren't plenty of cynics that employ woke culture to sinister ends.

Think of the children won't you!

Why do you think this is specifically a 'western society' thing? Browse Japanese sites and online tools and there is just as much gamification and 'thrilling' graphics and animation - if not more. Github looks like a technical white-paper in comparison.

Modern Japanese culture is considered to be part of "western society", for better or worse.

The converse statement is something like "Japan is not an eastern society" which just sounds... laughably incorrect.

Of course it sounds ridiculous. Boolean algebra says the validity of a statement's converse is independent of the original. P → Q, tells us little about Q → P.

Is it really though?

You could make the argument. Japan was actively xenophobic and exclusionary to practically all but the Dutch. And after that their biggest influence was U.S. occupation during the 50s. Lots of “western” influence there.

(Obviously in actual critical work, the word western isn’t useful at all as it doesn’t have much meaning)

I'd say their biggest influence was Classical Chinese culture.

Do you not consider Japanese to be Western? I mean, America literally rebuilt the moral, ethical, and political environment after dropping the bomb.

Japanese culture is quite different from American culture.

We did rebuild them, and McArthur is revered as a god, over there.

But they really have their own culture, and some aspects can strike us as quite strange (as, I am sure, some aspects of our culture weird them out).

I worked for a Japanese company, and went there, multiple times a year, for about twenty years (all Tokyo, so I can't speak for the rest of Japan). I think that there are a number of Japanese and US/EU expats that live in Japan, on this board.

> McArthur is revered as a god, over there

While he's undeniably a famous historical figure in Japan, my impression is that the majority of Japanese people don't have any strong opinions about him. After all, how many people actually care so much about historical figures when they're busy watching cat videos on YouTube? But for the people who do have some interest, I assume many have mixed feelings on the matter, which is natural for citizens of a former military dictatorship turned democracy only because they lost the world war. The rest are far-right people who, as you can imagine, hate him with a passion, though I do hope they're only a minority of Japanese people whose voices are amplified by Twitter echo chambers.

I'll have to hunt down the article that talks about it, but McArthur was actually "Emperor of Japan" for a few years, in everything but title.

I had several people point out his office on the top floor of a building facing the Emperor's Palace (some of the priciest real estate on Earth), in hushed, reverential tones.

Yes, he did have a strong political influence during US occupation, and yes, there may be people who worship him, but I can guarantee that it's not the norm. I'm actually fluent enough in Japanese to know this.

Cool. I am not a native (I only visited), so I will modify my view point, based upon your feedback.

I know that means I should leave the Internet, but I am right, usually because I am wrong, and learn differently.

None of us is “born right,” despite some people’s posturing.

Thanks for that.

>though I do hope they're only a minority of Japanese people whose voices are amplified by Twitter echo chambers.

Why? There's a reason Dugout Doug was fired during the Korean War. Guy was a menace.

Because the kinds of people who likes to pile on McArthur are mostly far-right people who are trying to discredit the positive things he did, especially his team's work on drafting the current Japanese constitution which established a democratic system with strong safeguards for human rights. It's not McArthur's own character that I'm taking issues with.

>McArthur is revered as a god, over there

When they talk to Americans, maybe.

Have you ever been to Japan?

Japan is twice as far from California going East as it is going West. The parent must be using that definition. ;)

I remember once it felt a bit jarring when I heard native American cultures contrasted with "western" ones. Surely they are more "western" than Europeans.

"Western" in this context is referring to the western tip of the Eurasian landmass. The western hemisphere is part of the cultural "West" because of the European diaspora, not because of its geographic location.

Because of Western Rome and Catholicism, I think Eastern Europe and Russia weren't part of the West. Aren't they?

Correct. The division goes back to the Roman Empire and the reforms of Diocletian. Arguably however there were underlying cultural differences between the Latin Romans and the Greek Romans that were beneath those reforms and the later Great Schism between East and West.

Yes I understand. Yet it in another sense remains geographically inaccurate or contradictory, and amusingly so.

It's my personal opinion that when we see such a discongreguity that we should perhaps choose other words.

Words are never some sort of perfect encapsulation of their meaning. They only achieve that via their definitions.

What you're suggesting is basically using the etymological fallacy as a basis for changing words. Because of linguistic drift, a majority of words would have up be changed at some point - words like "nice" which came to mean their opposite, for example.

I think my suggestion that we should "perhaps" choose different words occasionally was mistaken for a demand that we must.

Choice of words is an individalized thing and language allows us to be as flexible as we like within still getting the point across. If I choose to say "European" instead of "western" when contrasting with indigenous Americans that sounds fine to me. If you don't make that same choice that's fine too. We'll all be understood.

>It's my personal opinion that when we see such a discongreguity that we should perhaps choose other words.

Not really. Then we'd be changing terms established for centuries, that most people understand in their two contexts (geographical and cultural), with some new words we'd have to explain every time we use them -- so making things worse.

If I contrasted indigenous Americans with "European" culture rather than a "western" one, you would completely understand the meaning and it wouldn't be a big deal.

Not exactly.

I wouldn't know if you mean "European culture" in the sense of something unique continental European (the way Europeans have unique cultural traits different from US traits, e.g. analytical vs continental philosophy), or the shared western culture Europeans and US Americans, and Australians, etc have?

That would sound to me like a deliberate misread in the same way that taking "west" literally is to you. You would know what I meant to say, and so would I should you say it the other way.

>You would know what I meant to say

Not really, only with extra context/explanation.

It's common to divide US/European culture (even though both western), or to include Japan in the western culture (even though not in the west, and their culture is not European of origin -- west in that sense is more like "westernized").

West/East and western/eastern does not just have a geographical meaning.

It also has a political/cultural meaning, which has some roots in geography, but is otherwise totally different.

Native Americans and pre-Christian pagan Europeans had a lot in common. Both cultures that honor seasonal cycles, animals, nature, ancestors, animism etc.

Unfortunately “western” is now seen as the Abrahamic judeo-Christian capitalistic worldview, even though the west sprang out of pagan Greece and Rome.

Rome was Christian when the Western and Eastern empires were founded, and when they fell. My understanding is that modern West/East etymology is heavily influenced by the Western/Eastern Roman empires.

Yes, strictly speaking the West, the Occident, is born out of the leftovers of the Western Roman Empire.

>Unfortunately “western” is now seen as the Abrahamic judeo-Christian capitalistic worldview, even though the west sprang out of pagan Greece and Rome.

The west "sprang out of pagan Greece and Rome" when they decided to become Christian. The actual pagans had been slowly abandoning paganism as a dead-end and turning more into esoteric religions and neo-planonism etc and the influence of Egyptian etc religions for several centuries before Christianism was a thing...

>Native Americans and pre-Christian pagan Europeans had a lot in common.

Other than not having the Christian religion, no, not really.

>Both cultures that honor seasonal cycles, animals, nature, ancestors, animism etc

"Both cultures" ? What cultures ? Neither pre-Colombian Americas nor Europe shared a culture on their respective side. Even if most of Europe shared a common Indo-European root, religious practices were varying widely. Be it from the cross-pollination with different tradition (pre-Indo-European, Semitic and whatnot) or social changes. It's very hard to argue the official Roman religion as practiced in cities was any more "closer to nature" than Catholicism is.

>the Abrahamic judeo-Christian capitalistic worldview

Any more grand words to force into that sentence ?

Making the Christian religion itself being the deciding factor in your reading of history is a position that's very... Christian.

I don't understand why I'm getting downvoted. Is what I am saying incorrect?

A cursory glance at Japanese culture and values shows me that America has had far less influence on its development than you believe. On the scale of individuality/community, Japan is further on the opposite side. The anime/manga industry is quite different than anything we have in the West, and a lot of their values tie into the things that are depicted, what's okay, what's not okay, etc. We often see traditional influences on their media that simply don't exist in the West in the same way (comparison of the American and Japanese versions of The Ring: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01956051.2011.5...).

Yes. First you attribute what Japan is to how the US rebuilt it, when in fact this society has thousands of years of history before the US. Sure we can't deny US influence after WW2 and how integrated they are in the global economy, that doesn't make it a westernized country.

Not to be annoying, but can't this be said about most places? Like continental Europe.

Continental Europe is considered, by and large, to be "The West", as is the United States. In this context, the US is a new country but very much representative of the Western world.

Yes. Japan is generally considered part of the "Eastern World."


Culturally yes, but it depends on context. As mentioned in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_world , during the Cold War and after, "Western World" was roughly analogous with "First world".

That is to say, (again, roughly) - "modern, stable, (primarily) capitalist, democracies aligned with Western Europe/USA".

So, in the context of geopolitics and political ideologies many people still consider it to include Japan and South Korea. Yours truly included.

Not that I care as much about the "aligned with" part anymore, but certainly the "modern, stable, democracy" part.


I hold a diametrically opposite viewpoint and would like to present it.

I think people would be happier if they did think in terms of a six year old. There is nothing inherently "professional" about using drab and dull interfaces for coding and going to an office where you all dress in identical suits.

There is quiet satisfaction in achieving mastery like you mention, but (IMO) it should be accompanied by a pleasant feeling too. GitHub's cheerful, bright colors and interface enable that for me, and I'm grateful to them for it. GitLab and Bitbucket feel flat, dreary, and dull by comparison, honestly. It's like going to a brightly colored room with nice sofas v/s an all-grey room with a white desk. Which one are you going to be more productive in?

I think this is also why Slack is incredibly successful for something that is basically an IRC-in-browser implementation. It made work "fun" for a lot of people and thus steam-rollered opposers.

Thank you. I 100% agree. We've for some reason decided that "professional" and "enterprise grade" means dull colors, ugly interfaces, and zero room for "hacking" and "experimentation". That code needs to be "work". That the poster of the comment would claim that this is akin to the thinking of a six year old is in itself curious.

It's as if we're letting the jaded cynics of the world win.

TBF, I don't think the author is saying that Github needs to be fun, but rather that it used to be and now isn't. It's lost a nice quality that it had.

having a hard time understanding what the author is saying. i never considered github to be a place to have fun at. and i am surprised by this article and curious how other people see or use github...

by the way, the trending page is not everything about github!

i keep discovering and bookmarking github projects every now and then. for example, this repository where the author has implementations for trigonometry functions in k&r c: https://github.com/richgel999/triglib

i don't believe github has lost its quality either!

they recently pushed that new layout preview that made the app usable when my zoom level is at 150%. i was very happy about that. i can't wait for github to provide a better search engine. and i have the feeling that they are totally working on it :)

I don't use trending often enough to know that I'm correct in saying this, but I get the impression that the author is describing a shift from "most star-ed projects each day" to some new algorithm which seems to resemble "most interesting projects as of late", with the later being less dynamic. I suppose that's in part why they feel less excitement and less value in the tool.

I agree that a lot of the recent changes to GH have been really cool. This article sort of makes me wish that features like the trending page were more configurable.

> I suppose that's in part why they feel less excitement and less value in the tool.

Any karma system (in this case GitHub stars) can be gamed, exploited, and used to generate hype.

I would be very glad if GitHub started moving away from that (although I have no clue what would replace it, if anything at all).

Agreed, but I think us old farts are complaining the author thinks GitHub has changed while they have not and isn't considering that maybe their perspective shifted during the time as well.

I think the headline differs (perhaps for traffic). The post seems to discuss concerns about the discovery/trending feature - how developers "discover" new code.

no doubt GH wanted to develop their social site aspects to increase engagement and "stickiness" but I don't think they ever succeeded much, so while it's obviosuly different for the author, it's not much of a loss for everyone else.

I think it's a consequence of gamifying absolutely everything. If you had a online tool I used to quietly manage production at my cardboard box factory and then you went and added leader boards, badges, xp, recognition points and an influencer score, then box manufacturing better be pretty bloody exciting for me from now on. We now have an entire generation of software developers who have never known these tools without the gamified experience.

> If you had a online tool I used to quietly manage production at my cardboard box factory and then you went and added leader boards, badges, xp, recognition points and an influencer score, then box manufacturing better be pretty bloody exciting for me from now on. We now have an entire generation of software developers who have never known these tools without the gamified experience.

Maybe I'm just a little too old, but I've always rolled my eyes at those kinds of features and then ignored them. I find it impossible to imagine anyone actually caring about their badges or XP score on some company intranet wiki.

GitHub stars are called out by name in my company’s promotion criteria for evaluating the impact and influence of an engineer’s open source releases.

There’s a certain kind of manager that loves anything they can measure, however silly it is.

That's what makes those systems so great. It has a positive effect on the people that DO care, and essentially no negative effect on anyone else. It's a free win.

They are a distraction -- and many websites utilise dark patterns to make those UI elements hard to ignore.

Plus many professional tools need to make use of every square centimetre on the display, and putting this "fun" cruft in it is going to detract from the usefulness of the tool because it now can't accommodate all the necessary UI elements.

I guess I would come from the opposite direction and say: If you can make something important and useful - but generally seen as boring - “fun” there are big wins all around.

The jobs in one corner vs. fun in another usually creates a system where everything that’s fun is unfortunately useless, from a professional perspective.

And some people like that! They want to work for 8 hours and make memes/play games the rest of the time. They don’t miss the “lost” time at all.

But some of us really want to convert that useless time into something useful. You can hate us if you want, but I don’t think we are necessarily wrong to want this.

Example: I just don’t have enough time. I’m noticing now that when I take even 30 minutes off, in terms of my productivity- it hurts. I’ve personally concluded that the concept of “free time” just doesn’t apply to me, and I don’t really have any.

Another example: at a certain level, given the right approach, probably anything can be fun. Physics can be fun! Linear algebra can be fun! But you know as well as I do that when people talk about fun colloquially, they never mean linear algebra. So pushing back on what is “fun” exactly can have big on the job benefits.

In this context, switching 30 minutes over from “mindless entertainment” to “somewhat professionally useful entertainment” is a massive win. Enough to get me to stop doing one thing and do something else, actually.

I would guess a lot of people on Twitter would be in the same boat, based on how they use it.

> Tangential: what is up with this inflationary expectation that everything should be "fun" and "exciting" and "thrilling"? I feel like western society as a whole is thinking more and more in terms of a six year old.

Depends what you mean by "western society". A good chunk of Europeans I knew (including in Eastern Europe where I live) share the same mindset as your parent poster: a version control is just a tool and it is gauged on the basis of how much it helps you in your work. Absolutely zero fun factor required. We just want it to be useful and not get in the way (which, admittedly, Git itself isn't quite good at).

(I) There's still a relative scarcity of developers at any skill (even if there's no shortage of class-N developers taking their shot at class-(N+1) work).

(II) I'm not a progressive politically, but Western Society has generally improved. Bigger McDonalds meals that make you fatter is "improved" too under the logic of the market. Because developers are relatively scarce, a greater share of this improvement goes to what they want (whereas in burger flipping, the share gone to better golf clubs for execs is comparatively larger).

(III) There's something about law enforcement that attracts a certain kind of personality. I was never drawn to LEO (as a cop, bail bondsman, mall security, anything) because I don't have these personality traits. The same goes for computer programmers. There's certainly a childish trait going on that isn't present in Mad Men's Don Draper (but then, who knows if this guy existed); the web itself gravitates to a light, rounded, primary-colors visual language. I think in part there's a whiz-kid dynamic where many of us were much much more capable than adults in a moment of extraordinary technology shift (the introduction of the internet), whereas in previous generations adults knew better and youngsters wanted to emulate them. ("Never trust anyone over 30" has been around for a long time, but it was an angry sentiment, whereas now 40-year-olds are welcome to emulate whiz-kids if they still have it).

We need new and shiny things to challenge us, maintain established neural pathways and develop new ones. It's a physiological need for healthy brain functioning.

Yes, it is childlike, but there is no shame in that-- if anything, history is proving more and more that the generations who maintained that everything must be as repetitive and miserable as possible had no idea what they were talking about-- and are now dying with active diagnoses of dementia and Alzheimer's.

My guess is that it started as a differentiator in the market. This is 'fun', other things are not. Then it leaked into other places, such as the workplace which became increasingly infantilized at ultimately the detriment of the worker (benefits include: shitty health insurance, ping pong tables and foosball leagues!!). This further led to the internalization of natural negative or neutral feelings: you feel down? What's wrong with you? Everyone else is having fun! This is fun! Your job is fun! You must be broken, therefore you need to fix yourself.

> expectation that everything should be "fun" and "exciting" and "thrilling"?

Among other things, these emotions are addictive and are tracked indirectly via engagement metrics.

Fun may not be the right word for it. Github certainly never has deserved a description reserved for a world-class roller coaster... I don't think I've ever been "thrilled" by Github, but I've been very satisfied, contented, and sometimes amused by the experience. A positive experience really is useful as it makes getting other developers to comply with the process - something that was really lacking in source control prior to Github (and to a degree git itself).

I think the prominence of consumption industries like entertainment, media and social media have hooked us on the idea of happiness/meaning as perpetual bliss. I suspect these industries learned it from advertising, an industry which they created and evolved. The schools and religious organizations have tried to follow suit, with only mixed success.

"Fun" is a very poor imitation of "zen" or "peace" (the Christian concept) or "enlightenment" (the Buddhist concept), but has become sort of the sine qua non of secular Western democratic capitalist societies.

As a Catholic I can confirm. So many priests and lay people are trying to make Mass “fun”, it’s sad and most of the time cringy.

As a Lutheran, I feel this any time someone breaks out a guitar or a praise song. Church doesn't need to be "hip".

It's the same reason for buying ads.

If nobody does it, it would be fine. If everybody does it, then we're worse off than before. But if some do it, and others don't, then the ones who do it win big.

I think you could benefit from laying out a few examples, because on my own I’m struggling to put your claim into more concrete terms that I can relate to.

Pretty sure everything has been marketed this way since the advertising boom or sooner. Go look at soap ads from 100 years ago.

I think ultimately Sourceforge fell from grace because it wasn't "fun", whatever that may mean; it was lacking the social features, poor UX, etc. Many things that make it boring or "not fun".

I've looked at some tools used by Google - mailing lists, Gerrit, etc - none of those look fun. For a casual like me, fun is important.

I don't do much with open source because I don't have the headspace, willpower or persistence to contribute much so the discussion is a bit wasted on me, but I've used both Github, Gitlab and Stash (Atlassian) for work projects; the feedback loop that tools like this give is super important to me.

I think Sourceforge fell from grace because of underhanded tactics like hijacking projects and bundling adware no-one wanted with their downloads, then lying about it.

I never once thought "Sourceforge is boring". I thought they became villains.

To be fair though, they declined in popularity and mindshare and had a change of ownership a few times before it came to that. The sourceforge that served up malware in 2013 bore little resemblance to the one from the 90s.

I feel like it was more like: their offerings were no longer unique, the original team probably moved on, they couldn't make money, and they turned to desperation.

I thought it was because they started bundling adware with software without telling the creators of that software.

Yep [0], after been bought by Dice (they also drained off the Freshmeat and Slashdot communities around that time, then froze the former "as a result of low traffic levels").

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SourceForge#Controversies

I kind of do have "fun" with GH. I follow people and see what repos they have starred, or code/issues they're working on. I also follow repos and check the source code that's being committed from time to time. Just for fun, to learn new stuff. The "Explore repositories" option did help me to find a couple of interesting repos.

I feel that at some point GH decided to distance themselves from the social aspect of the platform, but I still cling to it.

Cannot agree more on this.

There are two sides to github consumption - active and passive.

On passive side - we are happy to stick to basics of git on CLI / IDE and get the job done of a version control. And the site is usually to configure CI/CD and so on.

However on active consumption of open source - it is all about discovery of repos relevant to tech you are into and people behind them. It is so amazing to go and find a good committer profile and see what repos he follows.

And the new github trending is simply axing their own feet here.

Your clash with the conventional usage and connotation of these terms was probably intended, but how is browsing repos active consumption (and vice versa)? Isn't creating and collaborating on projects much more active than just looking at interesting stuff?

In grad school I used GitHub as

1. A git-aware Google Drive, where I could stick version-controlled code I wanted to sync between computers and possibly share with colleagues (and also create a paper trail if someone beats me to the bunch publishing something, ha)

2. As a CDN serving open-source projects I depended on, but discovered almost exclusively by other means

None of my GitHub-hosted code ever had a README.md, I never starred anything, and I often never even visited the repos I depended on (their documentation would be hosted elsewhere and copying-and-pasting the GH URL from there was all I needed to do to depend on it). If I visited an Issues page, it was because I got there through googling an error message, not because I went there through GH's UI.

This Drive / CDN usage pattern is sort of the baseline, "passive" level of engagement with GH imo.

Ah ok, thanks!

If I'm being honest (and maybe others who are saying they don't care about the "fun" side of GH would agree), I have a knee-jerk slightly negative reaction to this side of Github. And it's because I don't really spend my free time contributing to open source projects. When I was younger I worked on more personal projects, and I coded in my free time just to learn new technologies, but I do this less and less now and am quite happy with that. Probably 90%+ of the code I've written in the past 10 years (some of it quite clever and solving some quite interesting problems, if I do say myself) has been for employers. I don't think that makes me a worse future employee than someone who contributes more to open source, and I feel very fulfilled spending my nights and weekends doing other non-programming things.

I'm glad that others have fun with open source and follow along and contribute to projects. It's amazing and it has benefitted me directly with the libraries I use. But as far as the social pressure of needing to be active on Github, for a while that seemed like it might become an expectation for all programmers. And I'm very glad that it seems to be on the decline now.

Edit: and as far as browsing for new libraries and solutions to use in a project, I guess I haven't ever found Github to be very useful for that. There's no easy way to judge the quality of a library, I have come across a lot of things that oversell themselves in the README and are very buggy and incomplete, as well as a lot of things that are maybe used in a small niche in production and very battle hardened but don't currently have a large active community. For me, Twitter and blogs or other discussion forums have been a much higher signal way to find libraries with the reviews of people actually vouching for them as being solid and broadly useful.

This is how I have "fun" with it as well. O wouldn't even consider myself a developer but thanks to my interest in Docker, GitHub has been a source of fun and now I maintain an automated build that integrates both platforms and now has 100k downloads.

I do this too. It's a great way to find projects I'm interested in

Never had any "fun" with github either. I have had my account since 2013 and I've just learned about this "trending page" thing. Can anyone explain what's it useful for?

The Trending page is news to me too. I discover GitHub repositories by googling for solutions to my problems or by following links in the sites of package managers (Ruby, Python, Node, Elixir.) I seldom check the other repositories of an account unless I have reasons to believe they do something else I need. What they follow, maybe never.

YMMV, but for me it does tend to show interesting projects that I otherwise would not have learned about.

This may also highlight one of the contrasts between my approach, and that of many of today’s engineers.

I am almost exclusively a Principal author of my work; with dozens of repos, and six figures of LoC (probably seven figures, if we include the code not available in public repos). I think I may have one forked repo; an embedded Web server library that I needed to tweak a bit to make work for my ffmpeg wrapper project.

This is not necessarily a good thing. By authoring my own code, I limit my scope. People who rely heavily on dependencies can have awesome results.

But they need to be very careful about the provenance and quality of these dependencies.

Dependency discovery is an important part of the vetting process. If we have choices, we don’t need to settle for second-best.

Also, I know that, for many folks, learning is a driver for repo discovery.

A lot of forks can indicate an inquisitive and open-minded approach to software development.

I do support it; but it is not how I work.

That's a fair point - and indeed I like those projects, not not just for finding good dependencies. I don't actually use that many external libs - but it's basically a version of "Show HN".

The projects can have interesting code to read or just show off a cool idea or a different way of implementing something than I'm used to.

I find github search to be immensely useful. Filter by file extension and you can pretty much search the open source world for some API in a language.

Talking about search: Our company uses GitHub enterprise. We have 1000+ repositories, each repo for a serverless function. Github's search is pathetically broken, I had to download all 1000 repositories in my Mac and search for a dependencies via Vscode. Surprisingly Vscode is blazing fast.

I use sourcegraph[0] for most of my searches even on non-entreprise github to work around how broken github search is. Sourcegraph has the ability to search in forks, in a specific commit, or in a set of repos that you define. It's really quite good at doing github-wide searches of arbitrary query. I'm pretty sure its self-hosted solution can be made to work with github entreprise, you might want to check it out :).

Disclaimer: Just a happy sourcegraph user.

[0]: https://sourcegraph.com

1000 repos seems a bit much. Does it mean that when developing a feature you have to change code in tens of repositories And then create separate commits and PRs for each of those? It just seems way too microscopic.

Text search in vscode is done by ripgrep[1].

[1]: https://code.visualstudio.com/updates/v1_11#_text-search-imp...

Well, I wrote a couple projects that gained a couple hundred (and thousand) stars. I've made the front page of Hackernews three or four times. I've been featured on HackaDay and I've been spoken about on Linux Gaming Podcast. I have received cryptic Russian emails, and I have had blogs written about my work. The thrill I got from the attention was huge. I felt validated to no end, and my "collection of stars" has sent recruiters haywire. I landed my most recent job with my github portfolio.

But that's just it. It's a bit of limelight. I'm thankful for the interest I've received, but that's all it is, really; it's validation from fellow programmers. It furthers your career in one or two aspects, just like Instagram fuels your self image, or prospects of influencing. But like Instagram, one can chase the limelight their whole life. Ego stroking is addictive. I urge those who come into a bit of limelight to enjoy it, but to stay humble and focus on delivering what you set out to do, not to bask in your temporory moment of glory.

I’ve never considered GitHub to be “fun.” It’s a great tool, though.

Yeah, seeing the headline of this article made me think of how I've never heard a carpenter exclaim what fun it is to use a cordless drill.

> Yeah, seeing the headline of this article made me think of how I've never heard a carpenter exclaim what fun it is to use a cordless drill.

Strange analogy. Many people go into carpentry because they like working with power tools. It's fun.

Programming is the same. Many of us were drawn to it because we like it. It's fun.

If you go through life doing a job that you don't enjoy a tiny bit, you're going to be miserable. Why not have some fun?

Then you are using the wrong tools. I still remember the first time I got to use a drill press. I totally could have drilled holes in stuff all day. Two thumbs up, would drill again!.

For some reason I read that as "Two thumbs ago, would drill again" and was sad for you and your drill press accident(s).

I'd argue, it _is_ fun to use a well-made tool. As opposed to using an ok tool that just does the job. For example, Fossil SCM as mentioned on HN few times.

GitHub is a well-designed tool for multiple use cases. One aspect was the 'Social Programming' as they were marketing it back then. Trending, stars, fork counts were feeding into that aspect. Even the Issue tracker is a kinda social feature.

I find GitHub as a tool is still a fun/joy/handy to use...if only they fixed the odd bug in mobile view that requires me to refresh several times before it loads the styling files.

Try drilling a bunch of holes using 3v ikea drill with dying batteries.. And then switch to a nice 14v bosh. It ia really a lot if fun!

Same here, it is just a place to dump a couple of stuff I very seldom work on, as means to provide something to HR.

I also interact mostly via desktop tools.

I work on GH-hosted code every day. My GH profile activity log is solid green.

But I have been writing open-source code for twenty years. An open repo site is quite useful for that workflow.

Sorry I didn't intent to mean that you also just dump code there, was actually thinking about the interaction via desktop tools.

No offense was had. I am quite aware that we all have different approaches and workflows.

leafpad & filezilla here. If I need organization I make a text file. Old versions are deleted.

Git can be used locally!

It was fun in the same way hacker news is fun. It has a trending section of relevant information.

It's clear that Github has changed the trending section to push api's of the big players.

He's just specifically talking about the "trending" list though, right? Sure, source control is just a tool, but an internet score board showing you new open source projects? That sounds like fun, to me! Showing you things that are inspiring and interesting is part of the functionality.

Yup, but there's waaaaay too much variety in software development to make this work for all disciplines and languages, so I will bet that it has always been optimized for JS/Full Stack.

I'm an Apple native developer. We aren't usually high on anyone's list.

That’s not Github in particular though, that’s any git remote.

No, GitHub has some aspects that make it very useful for me. It's the de facto standard for sharing code, or presenting a portfolio.

It also has a great API, and people have written some nice tools for it. The API is probably not unique (or even the best one), but it is well-supported by third parties.

If it ain't fun why do it?

For many of us SWEs on here, it's literally our job ...

let's get this straight --

You're doing the thing you love most in all the world, surrounded by people who feel the same way.

You've gotten every perk known to man from ping pong to free booze.

You're getting paid handsomely, more than any other humans on the planet.

You've created a buffer zone between yourself and the client that could withstand a rocket blast from a scud missile

And you are allowed to wear whatever adolescent threads you choose up to and including socks, sandals cargo shorts and a spiderman T shirt ..

Yet you're not having fun and you still call it a job?

CydeWays honestly what more could anyone wish for? Isn't it enough that you've bucked every professional convention? Aren't you satisfied with the greatest free lunch in the history of human enterprise?

Could it be that all these enticements are what's actually robbing you of the fun you so certainly deserve?

Who knows maybe I've read one too many Aesop's fables.

I think your list applies to a select few software engineers in Silicon Valley.

> You're doing the thing you love most in all the world, surrounded by people who feel the same way.

The thing I love most is understanding ideas and solving cool problems. Would have stayed in academia if the jobs,job security and money were there. There is plenty of problem solving but it's not an everyday occurrence.

> You've gotten every perk known to man from ping pong to free booze.

Might get some free booze at company events. We have ping pong at our yearly BBQ.

> You're getting paid handsomely, more than any other humans on the planet.

Definitely not true.

> You've created a buffer zone between yourself and the client that could withstand a rocket blast from a scud missile

I'm emailing or on the phone with clients on a weekly basis.

> And you are allowed to wear whatever adolescent threads you choose up to and including socks, sandals cargo shorts and a spiderman T shirt ..

This one's true.

The greatest professional sin is undervaluing the other person

It's only a job if you treat it like one.

But then again you most likely refuse to dress up for it, amiright?

And you'll throw every prevarication in the book at me as to why dressing up for work isn't necessary.

And I'll tell you that's employee mentality talking.

And you'll say but I'm an engineer.

And I'll say dressing up is fun, for children and adults alike

And you'll say fun has no place at a job.

And try as you might despite all of your engineer's training you won't be able to see there are more than three ways to frame any context.

CydeWays, I like you don't get me wrong.

We go about claiming that we're not saving lives and then we invest our entire existence on this earth towards things that aren't fun? We're going further than not saving lives bro, we're wasting lives.

And what's worse, you wouldn't consider a dress up job to save your career, nor does it strike you odd that there are no dress up jobs to be had.

By now you still haven't noticed that casual culture is a poor substitute for no fun and you're stuck treating your job like a job, so what exactly is the upside?

Because it is important? Well, actually doing important things is kind of fun, so never mind.

That's the spirit mihaaly. Now follow this line of reasoning a little deeper like good little knowledge worker my dearest colleague.

Did you read the article? It was all about the camaraderie created by the Trending page, which has become useless.

Git is a tool, yes. But GitHub is “social coding”, which should at least be a little fun.

> Did you read the article?

Umm...yes. Yes, I did. Be nice.

I understood what the author was saying. I never wrote that I disagreed with it; just that I viewed it through a different lens.

It appears that I am not alone in using this lens.

MS used be "new, shiny," but now, they are "blue chip."

I don't equate their properties with "fun," but I do believe they are serious about "let's get some work done," which jives with my lens.

Haha, ok, fair enough.

FWIW, I see GitLab and Bitbucket as more focused on the tooling and business-first aspects.

And since creating my first repo there, I’ve always seen GitHub as a social platform for gaining notoriety within the open source community.

I feel that GH plays an important role in exactly that (I have been writing open-source software for more than twenty years, but I'm not particularly "notorious." It has never really been one of my goals).

That said, I have never thought about it as the fulcrum for social networking along those lines. I have considered developer communities, like this one, or specialized ones, as places to connect, and GH as a "gallery," where we can send people to view our portfolio, after we have connected, or to "vet" contacts, like employers.

My experience with GH, is that the folks that really generate the most energy, are the JavaScript/Python/Full-Stack communities. I am an Apple software specialist, and there's not really the same energy, in that community, on GH, so it shouldn't be a surprise that I don't see it the same way as JS folks.

Hard pass on the suggestion to add more social network features. Such features are only conducive to drama and anxiety, we need less of that not more.

Social network features are such a 2015 me-too fad feature anyway. What they should add is AI, or maybe blockchain.

Before adding the newest fad features, maybe the should go back and add old fads that they missed.

One big fad from 50+ years ago that I'd welcome is folders. I don't want to just have all my repositories appear in a flat list ordered by time since last update. I want to make folders so I can organize repositories by topic--just like I have my repositories organized in my computer.

My favourite fad of the last few decades is: sorting.

You know because in Github you can't even sort your list of repositories.

HTML cant even sort

It sort of can with the Flexbox order property.

Neither can jpg.

JS can though, so can Ruby.

It doesn't belong there in my view.

We started out not knowing what anything should look like, we didn't even know what computers were suppose to do. Everything had to be envisioned and implemented. Different approaches were taken for a lot of things. Eventually we just know how something should work. At that point it can be abstracted away.

Similarly lots of things should stay in JS. If we've experimented and evolved to the point where we know how something should work we should grow beyond modules and have build in methods for it.

It is happening but much to slow in my opinion.

Say, we have a Date API, are week numbers a thing or not? Are they an unpredictable poorly understood thing? Does it bother anyone if the API supports it?

Everything should be able to migrate up and down from the metal to the highest level of abstraction depending on how much we use it.

edit: There is no point shipping [table] sort magic to the client on every page view that needs it.

It seems like you're simultaneously saying "sorting doesn't belong as a language function in JavaScript" and "we shouldn't ship a sorting routine to the client," which seems...odd. If the page view needs sorting, then isn't that the use case where we can most say that there is, in fact, a point to "shipping sort magic to the client"?

(Also, you can do an HTML table sort in about 10 pretty short lines of code[1], so this seems like a kind of weird hill to die on.)

[1]: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/14267781/sorting-html-ta...

JS should have an array sort function. HTML should have sort-able tables. We know what they look like. We shouldn't have to pump up our pages with a bazillion lines of js just to implement something entirely obvious.

IOW: If there is a table it doesn't hurt to be able to sort it by default.

The example is great! 10 lines... no wait... 30 lines... then you have something that... or no wait, it sorts numbers alphabetically. The cursor is wrong. There is no accessibility. The little arrows are missing ▲ ▼ did I pick the right ones? They look bulky, better add another span inside the th? Oh I clicked the th twice now the text is highlighted.

Why should I need to implement this myself? I'm not inventing anything new? I don't want to be dealing with colspan but we all know how it should work? I know its wrong but I usually leave out the <thead>, tables render just fine without it but when something generates tables like that the script needs to be re-examined to figure out why it doesn't work. There is some unknown number of other ways to break it.

A default implementation could deal with some common units out of the box. Monday could go in front of Tuesday, 50 cm could be smaller than 1 m, $100 could be bigger than $20. Just the simple obvious stuff. For everything else something like <th sort="foo"> with: foo = (a,b) => a.length - b.length

List items are a bit less obvious but I'm sure we can think of something sensible. Perhaps sorting by child class?

What is the drawback?

JFYI, they have those in gitlab.

Here's an example.


Ye, bit its not GitHub ;)

Exactly ;)

not everyone gets a choice in tools...

but many do.

The modern version is tags, but they lack good sorting/viewing for tags

Not wanting to start a discussion about graphs vs trees for organizing, but in my opinion simple folders are great to fulfill basic needs. I cannot imagine a book having no table of contents and just a list of tags with numbers indicating relevant page numbers.

That is just dumbing yourself down in favor of machine classification or search algorithms while a simple solution exists for this problem for higher order classification and context, which tags alone fail to provide, even with sorting.

Depends on a book type I suppose. Most have "index" section, which is just a list of tags. In recipe books I find it more useful than ToC actually.

I think it depends on your goal. If I want to browse new chicken recipes, I am going to open the table of contents, find the section on poultry and start flipping through recipes. On the other hand, if I want to cook a chicken curry, I am going to go to the index and look up curry, then find the relevant page.

Folders are great for when you don't know what you want and just want to browse or explore based on broad topics. Tags/indexes are better when you know basically what you want, and you just need a way to find it or items similar to it.

Al entry should go in a single category, chapter or folder. The index should provide a useful overview. Tags you may have in any amount. More is usually better.

A tag with a single entry is useful. Chapters should never have a single entry.

With limited entries of text or code you can just have them all on one page. Slightly more requires a folder or category system. If you have even more you need tags you should also keep the categories (everything must sit in a single category), If you have even more you need categories, tags and search. Trying to use one of those for the wrong volume just creates clutter.

It’s surprising to me that they don’t just do a folder based view using tags and relationships among tags.

I don’t like being restricted to single folders, but I’d love to symlink projects into multiple folders.

This would work out well if they just added some graph functionality among tags.

This so much. Another pet peeve of mine: GitHub is terrible for the workflow that Git was originally designed for. Specifically, the issue that there's no good way to review patch series. The key here is presenting a series of patches as a whole, but allowing reviews on individual commits of the series.

This is my second or third biggest problem with GitHub. If I want to submit a patch—the thing that Git was made for—I cannot use GitHub to do it. Assuming one has already gone through the "create a GitHub account" step, my closest option is to go to github.com to create a completely unnecessary on-GitHub "fork", go back to my local copy to add that remote and push to it, and then go back to the github.com and click around to submit a pull request.

Pull requests in Git were designed for trusted, frequent collaborators. I.e., project maintainers that are routinely syncing with one another. It's not supposed to be the preferred mechanism for ordinary contributions, and certainly not for drive-by contributions.

My biggest gripe, though, is that the on-GitHub fork from the first paragraph will live on in my namespace forever, unless I manually prune it. And even if I do prune it, I still have no way to control the fact that GitHub has silently set up a social networking timeline to broadcast a centralized index of all this activity to anyone and everyone, without asking me, and without a way to manage the stuff that goes into the timeline, control who it's shared with, or turn it off completely.

Assuming that we're talking about the same thing, this is possible in GH from the `Files` tab on the PR screen.

Not really. You cannot comment on the commit message itself. And, if I'm not mistaken, changes made in one commit that are undone in a subsequent commit won't show up even if the files view if filtered by commit.

Also, it's difficult to tell which comment is associated with which commit.

I don't think I ever factor in commit messages into my code reviews. I may look at the commit history if I want to see how they experimented implementing the feature, but I only care about the end goal and the code I will be merging in at the end.

The issue is that Github actually discourages reviewing by commit because it makes it difficult to do so. Though there are those who are only interested in the overall diff, there are others who want to be able to maintain a clean and informative history via version control. When the review system makes it difficult to ensure that's the case, then then version control history cannot be maintained.

Precisely. We're in a vicious cycle where most people using Git don't use what ought to be Git best practices for most serious large scale projects (clean history with self-contained logical commits and good commit descriptions) because GitHub makes it so difficult to do this. And to be fair, GitLab really isn't much better in this department.

And there isn't enough pressure on GitHub or GitLab to clean up their act because most people don't even know what they're missing. And so the cycle continues.

If you use squash and merge this won't be a problem, you will have a "clean history with self-contained logical commits and good commit history", and intermediary commits won't matter anyway.

Some features take more than a single logical commit to implement. Looking at the git mailing list, I see patch series containing anywhere from 1 to 10 commits (with some as many as 15 commits).

Also, having a single commit touching many parts of the code makes it harder to revert due to a greater chanche of conflicts with other commits.

I’ve recently switched from GitLab to Github enterprise due to a job switch. I am shocked at how bad Github enterprise is to navigate. It seems like I regularly have to depend on the search function to find the repo I want.

So, something like https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/user/group/ ? But this is gitlab.

I agree completely. I miss folders for YouTube subscriptions as well. It seems folders are on the way out in most modern tools and apps.

Yay! There's one thing I would absolutely love about having a blockchain in GitHub: The transfer fees.

If everyone had to pay $1 to submit an issue and/or a pull request, open source projects would get a lot less "support spam" :)

Also, it would certainly help if people need to wait 10 minutes for their last comment to be accepted into the network before they're allowed to comment again.

> If everyone had to pay $1 to submit an issue and/or a pull request, open source projects would get a lot less "support spam" :)

I dunno, that seems odd. Do you not want to know about bugs in your project to make it better? I realize people will submit a bug b/c they can't figure out how to implement something but that is worth being aware of real bugs in the code.

Now if you could "tax" the "+1" spam culture, I'd be all aboard that

Do people still do that? How long has it been since they added reactions?

Not only do I still see it but I ALSO see the thumbs up comment instead of just clicking the thumbs up reaction


I would like end-to-end encrypted repositories even they can't read - like keybase!

Thats possible now, right. If they supported it more I’m not sure how much value over just encrypting blobs. I wouldn’t trust github’s clients or servers to do it for me.

Keybase's remote helper (which does the crypto) is open-source, so if github did something similar you wouldn't need to trust them. That's the value of e2ee -- you don't need to trust the intermediaries, whether they start misbehaving, are forced to hand over data, get hacked, etc.

>maybe blockchain.

but git is already a blockchain. each commit is a "block", with a reference back to the previous commit.

There was this one guy, whom was a cryptocurrency fanatic but not a developer, who tried to convince me to get involved in a "blockchain code database for developers". I told him that Git uses a blockchain, and he simply couldn't accept that a blockchain has been used for years on something that isn't cool or possible to monetize.

It's pretty funny how people still think that a blockchain is this magical thing, yet I'm pretty sure anyone on HN is capable of writing a blockchain in an an hour or two. Maybe even less than that.

I have a funny story about how I told a colleague who was really into blockchain how I had updated our project to use a blockchain.

I demo’d github and described the distributed features with pull requests and stuff “oracle-based mediation.”

It was funny because this was maybe 3 years ago and had never heard about GitHub but had read all the blockchain literature.

They should add cross referencing (click on a symbol and jump to the definition, even if it is in a different repo).

This is actually coming online already. I don't remember what languages support it, but it's not very many.

This blog post seems to indicate Python, Ruby, and Go: https://github.blog/changelog/2019-11-13-code-navigation-is-...

I'm sure that will increase over time.

> What they should add is AI, or maybe blockchain.

So they should add 2018 me-too fad features?

Don't forget to write monoliths, have monorepos, only use PostgreSQL for all database needs, and use Kubernetes even when you don't need it.

And a monorail!

And my axe.

Also, did they rewrite in Rust already?

> Such features are only conducive to drama and anxiety

Great point. I haven't used a social network yet that didn't result in me becoming at least a little addicted at one point or another. In high school, I was constantly on Twitter, seeking the dopamine rush from those likes and retweets. Getting out of there has done wonders for my personal life.

I didn’t really get the impression here that Jared wanted a social network. He just wanted a better mechanism for discovering good quality and interesting projects. Popularity is often one good signal.

I'm not sure Github stars were/are ever an indicator of "good quality" or even "interesting".

And I think the Web Development community could do with a decent break from "new" as well. What would be great is if we could just prune some of the gajillion frameworks and libraries already out there, and spend some time to make the ones we keep decently robust and elegant.

GitHub stars suffer from the same problem as likes on Twitter or Facebook. A social network would actually need three separate kinds of positive interactions:

- a like ("I want to let the creator know I like this.")

- a share ("I want my followers to know about this.")

- a bookmark ("I want to be able to find this again later.")

Most social networks only have the first two. GitHub, even worse, only has one. (I personally use stars exclusively as bookmarks, btw.)

Yes, exactly. I'm more likely to star a small project that I find interesting even if flawed because I don't want to lose track of it. I don't really understand why I would need or want to star React or Nodejs for example. There is zero chance I lose track of those projects.

For me, this is a positive thing. With this, I can find some niche things that I can't find otherwise. People star it because it provides some value to them.

I wouldn't "like" project that are broken or half done, but I star it if it can solve my problem.

On the other side, when somebody stars my project I will invest more energy into it because I see that it is useful to somebody else, not just me. Most of my projects are sparsely tested, because usually I'm the only user and it is not mission-critical. When it's broken I usually know where. When I see starts appearing on my project I add more tests and handle edge cases better, so new users have a better experience. If they would only bookmark it, I wouldn't know if somebody wants to use my software. And they would also have a bad experience, and maybe drop it after evaluating as a piece of crap.

I agree.

Quote from the article: "I’d also be interested to see more social network-like features on GitHub".

Sites such as Advogato and Planet GNOME tried that in the past and for better or for worse, didn't succeed. Let's not repeat the mistakes of the past!

Iirc advogato was more a blog platform (with trust metric though) ? So.. freshmeat perhaps ?

I miss Freshmeat. That was the golden ear is neat open source stuff.

And man, did SF screw that up.

maybe we can just wait until they decided to provide both suggested timeline and linear timeline, like twitter.

I hate to say that I actually like that idea. I'm swamped in random notifications for weird parts of the repo I don't care about. I'd really like a "high # of comments and reactions/loc changes" feed.

I regret only that I have but one upvote to give.

I had a spare, you can have mine

you don't like github drama? (https://github.com/nikolas/github-drama)

They never implied there was no drama, only that they didn’t want any more.

I live for drama.

Imo, Github has only been moving further in the right direction lately — and more social features ain't it, chief.

The better value proposition lift from giving folks and teams more free private repos was huge, and the increasingly-prominent integration of Github into enterprise tools is facilitating (if not helping to force) the modernization of enterprise dev outside the software industry.

I've never been a bigger fan of Github, personally. Microsoft seems to be doing the same with Github that it did with Minecraft: amplifying what it does well, fixing what it didn't, and making it more accessible to more folks the way they want to consume it — all while not compromising what made it great to begin with.

Second this. With GH now letting you create Organizations with private repositories, it's starting to transform how I store core on GH.

All of my "big" projects on GH have more than one repo, usually 2-5 depending on what all work needs to be done. Before GH allowed you to create private repos in orgs for free I had hundreds of repositories and had to name them like projectname-website. Now I create orgs for my biggest projects so all my repos are starting to look more like projectname/website instead.

I'll admit, very small change but helps me keep my Github organized.


Overall Github has gotten only more and more important in my workflow. I find it amazing that this site went from "cool tool" back in my college years to "I literally cannot live without this tool" now.

I can’t wait for GitHub to support hierarchical orgs (like GitLab). I’ve started using GitHub for enterprise and it’s hard to have separate orgs or giant orgs as the two options.

Being able to nest orgs will be great so it’s still easy to organize an entire org as well as the ability to drill down.

Even better would be a tag-like structure where orgs can have relationships other than hierarchies. Topics doesn’t really do this now, but maybe could if they improve the topic search.

>With GH now letting you create Organizations with private repositories

I thought this was always the point of Organizations..?

Previously, organizations only allowed creating public repositories, so they were limited to open source projects unless you paid $9/user/month. Now they enable free private repo creation for organizations, although many "business" features like protected branches still require the Team plan (now $4/user/month) https://github.com/pricing.

As a Minecraft player, I agree. They let the teams run with more resources, and it has shown in both quality and features in both companies. GitHub recently has been killing in with features IMO

As a Minecraft player as well I disagree. They split the community into Bedrock and Java Edition players. Even very basic game and redstone mechanics differ between the engines.

The Bedrock edition introduced paid resources which would never have been a thing in the Java edition. Instead of considering cross-play to support the amazing work the CraftBukkit/Spigot devs, they opted to create a new protocol and split the player base. I didn't like the direction where Windows 10 Edition was heading, but I'm glad that there are still thousands of players on Java.

Minecraft already had a mobile app on a separate engine before Microsoft bought it, so this isn't necessarily something Microsoft is at fault for. They just turned it into "bedrock edition" to get it working on Windows and consoles in a cross-platform way, something that likely would have taken a lot longer for the Java edition to achieve.

That's true, I mostly stayed away from Bedrock, so it's hard to say on that front. I understand the split, but Java itself has been very well maintained

Well, this is a clear disconnect in their audiences. What the author misses are aspects of open-source, what you like is making it better for the enterprise.

The sooner they can kill azure devops and move it all to github the better.

yeah, really not a fan of all the social and trending content. i have a business to run and i can't turn this crap off.

I've sworn off Github for my own toy projects. The code I write off the clock is a form of escapism, I don't want to run the risk of having my repos nuked from orbit for any inadvertent profanity, nor do I want to triage issues from people taking issue with how I've named things, or forcing me to adopt an ultimately meaningless boilerplate CoC. I don't want to have to write a novel on why I'm not a racist or a fascist like Antirez recently had to.

I'm not implying that I would face all of these issues on Github currently. But I don't want to run the risk of being in that position and getting into a shouting match with someone - and then having to deal with all of the consequences.

Are these problems you've actually had? I have various stuff on GitHub and none of this has remotely happened to me. What you're describing does not jibe with my lived experience of what GitHub is actually like.

You don't really need to experience it to see how this one day might happen to you. Here is a recent example with RuboCop: https://github.com/rubocop-hq/rubocop/issues/8091

"Cop" suddenly became a problematic word and you can read the comments in that issue thread. Imagine you have some repo like "PinkKitty", and then someone blows himself up dressed in pink and pink becomes a symbol of Jihad or White Supremacy or what have you. The same kind of people will then come to your repo and harass you and your unpaid work.

Oh wow, that was hard to read and I only made it through the top 10 comments. Getting brigaded because some people are over sensitive must be a horrible feeling.

I've read that thread a few times and I see the people requesting the change doing so in a calm, reasonable manner. The only non-productive posts I see are from people who are vehemently and acerbically against it.

That's false in the first 10 comments

> emilyst commented 11 days ago I live in a country with a real dictator (although not on paper), unchecked police that's just an instrument in the hands of the government, and while no one here has any fondness of the Bulgarian police as an institution or our cops, I don't have any issues with the words "police" and "cop".

"works on my machine"

Additionally I haven't seen a single comment that is "acerbically against it" just calm people making reasonable arguments to not virtue signal. Especially in a way that doesn't even make sense.

When people complain about the OSS community and github this is what they mean. A bunch of rando's who had nothing to do with a project chiming in with breaking changes bec of their feelings. It really is a great example of what the GP is talking about.

They high-road the guy until their's no room left for discussion. They stop just short of calling him a racist authoritarian for naming his package RuboCop years ago. The creator isn't even from the US, it's a bit ignorant to assume the entire world shares their personal world view, and worse to assume the rest of the world should cater to it. I am entirely sympathetic toward the US' plight right now, and we have had protests in my city in a different country in solidarity. But it's a US systemic and cultural problem specifically, we probably shouldn't accuse random people from other countries of being racist just because they aren't immediately up to speed with your issues.

That's just what's frustrating me.

A ton of people out there want to prove to themselves more than anyone else that they care about this by doing totally meaningless things like renaming a project that has been maintained and used by thousands of people for YEARS and known throughout the entire (international) community as rubocop with all the reputation, tooling, clout, etc. built over the years, and completely destroy all of that just because you're sad and you feel like doing something to make yourself feel better.

The level of entitlement is just over the top. You don't like the name, fork it, rename it, and use that fork. Advertise it if you want. Don't come and demand from maintainers that have worked on this for years, for exactly zero dollars, to do such a thing. Honestly this is just another thing that turns me off from open source development.

That "works on my machine" comment in particular is flippant and definitely degrades a complex discussion in my opinion.

The project name is a pun on a science fiction movie, if the (unpaid) maintainer does not want to change it for compatibility reasons, that's entirely understandable. People should donate money or contribute substantial code effort towards the name change if they care enough.

Yeah, that remark really bothered me and I felt like it misunderstood the point.

"Works on my machine" is shorthand for the flippant dismissal that, "I don't need to care about that bug because it didn't show up or cause problems in a deliberately ideal environment."

The repo author is saying the opposite, that it "works" even in "non-ideal environments". That is, he has no inherent negative association with "cop" even in a near-dictatorship where, in practice, most cops are bad and work with impunity, since he thinks the concept is legit (enforcing law and order) even if particular jurisdictions get it wrong.

So, if anything, he was saying, "it even works on forgotten legacy systems"...

The tagline of the forked repo is "Fork of Rubocop without all of the 'cop' stuff. ACAB." (https://github.com/ruby-lint/ruby_lint)

From the README:

>The goal of this project is for the rubocop folks to merge this back into rubocop project, and rename its org/repo/domain/etc >The goal is NOT to maintain an ongoing parity fork of an active project

Insanely entitled in my book and far from what I'd call calm or reasonable.

It is the opposite of calm or reasonable. It is impulsive and downright flabbergasting that one would be so entitled to expect this kind of change to be merged into mainline rubocop backed behind such weak arguments.

I agree, practically everyone who's upset in that thread is villifying "SJWs" and "thumb democracy". I get this is a hot topic and people have strong feelings about it, and it's important to consider that the maintainer of this project probably feels personally attacked by this. But this is how discussions happen, respectfully, calmly, with educational links. 15 issue comments isn't "brigading". Asking someone to consider that the name of their project is problematic isn't shaming.

What's fascinating to me is this sort of abrupt and demanding language policing seems to overwhelmingly be a phenomenon with white people. This is very strongly reflected in those comments. This is something I've repeatedly noticed; I don't have much insight or commentary beyond the observation itself. (It's also very US-centric, though that is less surprising to me.)

If I were to reach a bit and try to look under the hood at what might be going on, I'd wonder if this behavior is itself an expression of white privilege in America. After all, these demands are based on the idea that one can change usage patterns overnight in one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. To try to exert so much immediate control over something that cannot be owned and that exists far beyond this one country seems to be a very privileged position to take.

I'm not normally a Malcolm X guy, but I read this quote from him recently and I feel like it put into words my feelings on these type of things far better than I ever could.

> The white liberal aren’t white people who are for independence, who are moral and ethical in their thinking. They are just a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. The same as the white conservative is a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. They are fighting each other for power and prestige, and the one that is the football in the game is the Negro, 20 million black people. A political football, a political pawn, an economic football, and economic pawn. A social football, a social pawn. The liberal elements of whites are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the Negro as a friend of the Negro. Getting sympathy of the Negro, getting the allegiance of the Negro, and getting the mind of the Negro. Then the Negro sides with the white liberal, and the white liberal use the Negro against the white conservative. So that anything that the Negro does is never for his own good, never for his own advancement, never for his own progress, he’s only a pawn in the hands of the white liberal.

I'm not saying every "white liberal" is like that, or even that they are doing it consciously, but looking at things like this makes me think the people who are arguing for the name change are doing it so they can feel good about themselves while solving a "problem" that wasn't really a problem.

Additionally, I'm not against changing hurtful terminology, but when I see white men arguing white men about what is best for other races or sexes, I kind of roll my eyes. As a white man, I kind of feel my role in all this is should be to listen, understand, and follow.


I'm not. Can I ask why you are asking that?

Wow, Rails actually changed blacklist/whitelist to denylist/allowlist.[1]

[1] https://github.com/rails/rails/pull/33681

You'll quickly stop being surprised on this one because this change is inevitable across the industry in the coming years. I too had the same reaction when I was first exposed to the change a year ago, but now I'm "meh" about it. Language evolves a lot over time, surprisingly quickly. And allowlist/denylist really are better words to describe what's going on, even ignoring the other connotations.

Another similar change that's rapidly approaching is renaming the master branch to main (which, again, seems like a superior choice to me even divorced from the larger cultural context).

I notice this a lot.

GIMP wasn't even a good name.

RuboCop is probably a trademark violation. I wouldn't have known it was a linter without another post in here mentioning a fork that changes the name. It's the first result on Google for "ruby linter," but it's half a page down on DuckDuckGo.

I didn't really have a problem with "master," but it does seem like it tracks back to master/slave tapes based on a mailing list post, and there are clearer terms to use.

And so on. If people are going to call to arms over a name or term, can it at least be one worth defending? For an industry that worships at the altar of Move Fast And Break Things, some people get extremely conservative about strings of glyphs.

Good point about GIMP. That always was a terrible name. Sometimes we coders are too "clever" for our own good and need someone who knows about branding to rein us in.

It'd be one thing if these changes weren't improvements, but they are, and opposing them solely because someone you perceive to be an "SJW" is proposing them is overly reactionary.

Openssl changes black list to block list.

Interestingly, there is no consensus on what terms are the best to replace master/slave.

Django uses follower/leader. Drupal uses primary/replica. Openssl uses parent/child.

How likely is it? I don't refuse to swim in the ocean because of the very rare shark attack. You can always point to the most extreme examples of something but if 99.99% of people will never be affected by them, then why make them the primary driver of your decisions?

Also, that link isn't even that bad in the grand scheme of arguments I've been involved in online. It's no proverbial shark attack. You can easily just ignore it and move on with your life.

Risk assessment is both about the probability of the event and the consequences when it happens.

The consequences here seem like barely anything. Again, nothing at all like the proverbial shark attack.

>"Cop" suddenly became a problematic word

Was it sudden? I mean black people have been being harassed and killed by cops for a long time. Is this only recently on your radar?

Police have serious problems ↛ the word cop is treated like a profanity.

A bunch of people suddenly start trying to capitalize on current events to look good → the word cop is treated like a profanity.

I am troubled by your use of a problematic word.

(See how that works?)

I don't see what's so bad in that link. It's not a good suggestion, but it was made in a polite and respectful manner. There was some good discussion, and ultimately the creator said no and laid out his reasons why.

The only people derailing that thread by being hostile or aggressive are the people who oppose the suggestion.

What's wrong with personal projects on a Free private Github repo? (they offer those now).

Previously I would just put my pet projects on Bitbucket because they offered free private repos.

Mostly habit - free private repos on Github are a relatively recent development.

gitlab for me, for the same reasons.

> I don't want to run the risk of having my repos nuked from orbit for any inadvertent profanity

If they did, it doesn't sound like it would affect you if you already keep your repos locally anyway.

Your point is totally valid, but I don't think that means that GitHub is a bad storage medium. It does mean that it's smart to always keep local copies of your code, as is true for anything one might keep in the "cloud".

Keeping a copy in the cloud could be zipping the dir and sending to s3. Interacting with GitHub and all its community features is something else and having that get nuked for some reason is a different thing.

In which case wouldn't you want to run an instance of GitLab? That seems to be different from just keeping personal code somewhere without the need for community/organization features.

I've just setup gitea on my home server, it lets me sidestep any issues like this and allows me to not contribute to the continued centralisation of a decentralised version control system. I think I'd like to see more people and projects go this way.

How does moving off of Github solve any of these but the first one? If you make the mistake of your software project becoming popular, and you give a shred of an indication that you're open to suggections/criticism/commits, you're going to get tons of emails telling you what to do and how.

What do you use then? Gitlab? Personal servers?

If you have your own server and need a Github-like webinterface, gogs [0] and Gitea [1] (a fork of gogs) are stable and very easy to set up. I have been running gogs for a few years now. For me it contains the perfect subset of Github features. Previously I just pushed to a bare repo on my server via SSH.

[0] https://github.com/gogs/gogs

[1] https://gitea.io/en-us/

I currently use bare repos on my server. It might be fun to give them a web interface, thanks for the links.

There's also sourcehut: https://git.sr.ht/

I've really been digging sourcehut recently, I really like that its just a dumb git+ssh receptacle with some modern build pipelines attached.

Feels like early gitlab but even more craigslisty.

I can't recommend Sourcehut enough!

The git.sr.ht service is just the tip of the iceberg, though. It also provides you with CI, issue tracking, mailing lists... And it works perfectly in Lynx so you don't even have to leave command line to use the browser interface.

A mixture of both actually. I'm a big user of Gitlab private repos which I'll sometimes make public.

How would this happen if you kept the repo private? Private repos are free now and most of my toy stuff is private (maybe shared with a friend I happen to be working on it with)

Kudos. You've found a perfect solution that works for you and doesn't try to move society in a particular direction. Even better, you're not trying to stop others from moving society in their favored direction. Win-win, right?

The master and slave debate was dumb, and reflects a creeping of political correctness into coding and software over the years that I do not look forward to. React’s keywords have been similarly attacked for promoting a “bro” culture with use of words like props or mount. And man-in-the-middle attacks are increasingly being described as person-in-the-middle, at the expense of alliteration. So many other examples out there.

This is a bit longer than I intended, but is my point of view, and not intended to dismiss what you’re saying at all.

I think it’s easy to dismiss conversations like master/slave whitelist/blacklist as overly PC or childish. I certainly don’t appreciate the overly-preachy feeling I sometimes get from people pushing their point of view. And my nature is to find pleasure in giving The Man the proverbial finger. The self righteousness can be intentional on their part, of course, but many times it’s not. I honestly get the similar feelings about the diet-of-the-year fad, too. I have been very lucky in life so far, in that I haven’t struggled with weight or the negative impacts of racism. But I’m discovering that language is an incredibly powerful tool for changing deeply-rooted habits, like which foods you find comfort in, or your default reaction to conflict. When I’ve become an unwilling participant in these changes, I have to ask myself: what is the balance of pros/cons for me and for others? Also, what is my net influence on others who are attempting to do good (no matter my opinion on its effectiveness)? I don’t think I’ve ever changed the default branch for any GitHub repo I’ve worked with. It should theoretically cause no issues at all, I suppose, but I can’t state that with certainty. So there’s a bit of a challenge that I’ll actually enjoy. And I’m not aware of any culture or richness of vocabulary that depends on the dynamic of this set of nomenclature. Besides, I still see words like “serf” and “lord” on a semi-regular basis despite it’s remove from our lifestyles, so these words aren’t disappearing any time soon. On the other hand, it’s hard to deny that racism has scarred our society very deeply. I remember being shocked when my wife told me how young age was when someone first attempted to take advantage of her for sex. I recently felt the same level of shock when my friend told me that she gets called the n word multiple times every day. If our vocabulary can change our mindset, then maybe removing the master/slave dynamic can be a net positive, like removing the vocabulary of war from our daily interactions. We end up turning to other defaults instead of the old ones. Maybe we end up no better off, and decide to change again. Who knows? But personally I don’t see a lot of downside in the attempt to better our world.

My initial thoughts on the matter were similar to yours. Why not perform a simple search and replace on the source code for a contentious word? Or click a few buttons to change the default branch?

The problem is in the unintended consequences. Once we started accommodating requests to change potentially-problematic words at my last company, those words went from "possibly problematic to someone" to "officially confirmed as offensive by company policy".

From that point forward, many people assumed that anyone accidentally using those words had ill intent. This peaked when an interviewer chastised a candidate for referring to the "master branch" during an interview. We also had someone try to cause problems because our Linux systems had "man pages", which they believed was proof that Linux distributions were sexist. It's one thing to search/replace your documentation for a specific word, but just wait until you have a team of people brainstorming complex plans to remove "man pages" from every Linux PC and server in the company.

Ironically, once we stopped making company-endorsed efforts to navigate problematic vocabulary, the number of people offended or insulted started to decline. The policies had the opposite of the intended effect.

It's one thing to make a personal effort to use a less contentious vocabulary. I have no problem with that, nor should anyone else. However, the problems come when using industry-standard vocabulary is assumed to have ill intent. No one wants to operate in an environment where they can be declared to be racist, sexist, or otherwise prejudiced for using a basic technology term without ill intent.

> people assumed that anyone accidentally using those words had ill intent

That's becoming a thing at my current job. I'm just accepting that I will eventually slip (or even just fail to keep up with the trendy list of bad words) and get fired.

Guess it's better than being eaten by a bear.

> We also had someone try to cause problems because our Linux systems had "man pages", which they believed was proof that Linux distributions were sexist.

This is a really interesting example. Naively, I'd expect the meaning of a word to matter.

Do you know if the person advocating for this understood the etymology?

> If our vocabulary can change our mindset, then maybe removing the master/slave dynamic can be a net positive, like removing the vocabulary of war from our daily interactions.

I'm not sure what you mean by "removing the vocabulary of war".

> But personally I don’t see a lot of downside in the attempt to better our world.

I see tons of downsides; people are losing their livelihoods over the mere appearance of impropriety defined by activist narratives. Putting so much weight into these types of things may unexpectedly cause us to view social justice in the hollow terms of performative things like word choice instead of actual equality, etc.

Which jobs have been lost by the master/slave debate? I see people losing job after harassing Black bird watchers in park due to public outrage, but I don't see a lot based on those vocabulary discussion.

I've recently been told at my job that it's a firing offense.

You know as well as anyone that people are losing jobs over the appearance of impropriety along very unforgiving, if not baseless grounds. Probably the most egregious so far is David Shor. These aren't racists, they're pretty normal liberals being singled out for any divergence from the BLM (organization not the ideal - read: Marxist ideologues) narrative.


Along similar lines, this guy that got booted from a climate change event for a past tweet that mildly linked COVID-19 and China:

>"COVID has taught us that the world is far more interconnected that we originally thought...we can’t always put ourselves first at the expense of others.


> It’s also made us realize that we are far too dependent on—and gracious to—China."


> like removing the vocabulary of war from our daily interactions

What I find funny is that the 'vocabulary of war' gets about 100000000x more actual discussions of war and how the US is regularly killing people and has been engaged in ongoing war for 20 years and about 1000s of other way more harmful things.

Apparently nobody gives a single shit about that stuff.

I don't really care about changing the vocabulary for these technical terms and enough people go crazy over it then lets just change it so I don't have to deal with the discussion. I certainty wont waste any energy defending the master/slave terminology, I doesn't really make any sense anyway in DBs specially.

Changing the default away from 'master' in git seem totally pointless as the term master is not only used in a master/slave context but in many other context as well. Its not like we have the master branch and slave branches. Again, I also don't care if we change it.

One of the issue with white/black is that the night bad, day good dynamic goes back 10000s of years. The same patterns exist in African and eastern religion and imaginary, so not sure purging all use of the color black for 'bad' is sensible.

Is the term Blackmagic or Black Humor also offensive now? I don't even no. I like Black metal, is that offensive? I hope not because that would be taking it to far.

I agree that overly-aggressive terminology is widely used, pretty much everywhere. Clickbait articles particularly: “They evicerated/destroyed/devastated them”.

Git doesn't have master/slave terminology. It has a master "copy" which is not the same thing at all. It's a stupid conversation. Really it is.

I've seen at least one interesting conversation that casts at least doubt on that.


But even the use of the word "master" as it relates to the primary copy seems to be related to a master, as in one who guides or rules others. So that seems to still be related to the master/servant relationship. I'm not an etymologist, so someone could point an error here.


The point isn't that every person from Linus on has been engaged in a giant conspiracy to spread hate via git repos (Side note: would there be a secret code you can interpret by arranging hashes in a particular order?). The point is really that our language and culture contain countless reminders of the belief that not all people should be treated with equal value, to the point that we've been using them without regard to or even understanding of their impact.

More hacker news users need to read this comment. Thanks for posting.

I think the debate on language is part of a greater discussion in the field as to the fact that software development and other tech fields are disproportionate in its representation, whether or not it’s a problem, and how to resolve it. These sorts of addresses approaches in language are an easy and immediate signal, like switching from language like policeman, postman, etc.

Arguably it is much harder and will face much more resistance if GitHub attempted to solicit internship programs, scholarship grants, and supported programs necessary to churn the wheels on rolling back the factors preventing our field from being friendly to a broader demographic set of people.

I agree with your point. Engineers love to use signaling as a tool to prove points, yet are conveniently saying signaling doesn’t matter here. It’s signaling that prejudice and racism matter.

Yes, I think that it is an easy signal that Microsoft (and GitHub) believes racism and prejudice is worth an adjustment in language. It’s much harder to actually perform systemic changes and I’m sure people would do plenty of gnashing of teeth about any significant movement, such as if Microsoft had grants only available to BIPOC (black/indigenous people of color, who have unique hardships in discriminatory systems in America compared with Indian or East Asian people who have and continue to face discrimination but they do not largely have existing government sanctioned forces to disenfranchise them from their birth to their death.)

I think I follow what you’re saying. And I don’t think it has to be one or the other.Corporations and People need to both signal and action towards more equality. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

It is much harder but through signaling we raise the importance of the issue and increase the likelihood for action.

I think both is indeed important. But I also think (and wish to focus on) that if Microsoft/GitHub leadership wish to indicate that they care about systemic racism and racial bias/inequality in their workplaces, they cannot stop at language adjustments on their platform. They must put up capital.

(Also, I think that criticism that only language changes are relatively useless is not without some substance. If we had more BIPOC in our workplaces and leadership, and it is something black people in tech advocate for, then it is a problem that would solve itself because tech companies would have to choose between losing their CTO/CIO/Chief Architect/Director of Technology Platform Worth $$$$$ and adjusting their language to be welcoming to their employees.)

I've always held the same view, I call it "companies taking the easy way out". Another recent example is Disney making the lion cast in The Lion King 2019 live action movie black. What a completely disingenuous statement. Disney could actually fund and make their first black male lead in a Disney movie, which would actually contribute significantly in addressing systematic racism in at least the movie/animation industry. Instead Disney chose to massage their egos so that whenever they get called out for the lack of black characters in leading Disney roles they can say but we had an all black cast for the lions in The Lion King.

> bro culture...props and mount

who has made this accusation?

Saw it on the forums for MeteorJS some time back.

I think it is not logical to take a single argument and ascribe it to a greater movement. I once knew someone who claimed to be a feminist who told me there is no such thing as consenting to penetrative sex (that all penetrative sex is rape). But it would be unreasonable to assume this ascribes to all feminism, or more obviously that all women felt this way because I saw it in one woman.

I do feel a lot of the fear around PC is based on taking extreme examples and thinking everyone is trying to destroy things. For instance the Rubocop - someone suggested it, some people agreed, some people disagreed, and ultimately they did not rename it.

The React props and mount thing is just ludicrous...unfortunately the people with the most extreme viewpoints often shout the loudest.

Yes I agree that the props/mount thing is silly, which is probably why it's only seen in one discussion years ago and hasn't gained any traction since. It's far different than the issues that garnered the rise of community guidelines, which were broad, systemic, and repeated in several communities.

It didn't gain traction because the woman who brought it up was told to fuck off. It almost would have gained traction if just a few more people decided to agree with her, but the resistance was instantly discouraging.

There are plenty of folks who are more worried about looking for the latest crusade to join than who are worried about a well developed view of any topic (feminism, transgender rights, etc). These folks will use any and all excuses to jump on the attack bandwagon, and that they happen to be self-labeled progressives is itself almost incidental at best.

Rage mobs aren't new, they still can cause plenty of damage and ruin careers.

And I think it is unreasonable to assume that a single bad take on a subject made by an anonymous user years ago should be held as an example that there is an overwhelming movement of harming the OS community. It is simultaneously possible that plenty of individuals have uninformed, clumsy approaches to a topic and that it is not an overwhelming movement or agenda.

> an overwhelming movement of harming the OS community

I think there's no global intent. There's no formalized group that has a weekly agenda of "Destroy Opensource!"

> It is simultaneously possible that plenty of individuals have uninformed, clumsy approaches to a topic

Right and this is what I mean by the crusade/rage mob analogies. Somebody gets upset about something, and they may be genuinely offended (and still wrong), so they go to Reddit/Twitter/etc and create a post "I can't believe X is doing Y! They're evil and we should stop them!"

Now, there's a whole bunch of people who don't have nuanced well researched opinions on X or Y. They just want to be upset and have a good fight, and this is a nice convenient thing that feels just to fight about. So they hop on and start jumping in on a side. This is why I use the crusade analogy - you don't care about the pretense, you're just in it for the battle.

The issue with rage mobs, whether it's in regards to the open source community or what broadcasters can air on television, are purely destructive. They don't care about fixing problems, they have no interest in improving the community or advancing things, they simply want to join in a fight and express anger. If a rage mob gets it's demands (you cancel that sitcom that portrays a gay family positively) then the mob doesn't go away - it just finds something else to attack and eventually it attacks itself.

I find crusade a very poor analogy because it implies there is an organized force (the crusades are a well-known religiously motivated militarization). I also struggle with this idea of rage mobs, because like I've brought up before, it's difficult to assume a mob exists right now because of a bad take someone made years ago. That seems, on its face, dissociated from how reality functions.

It speaks of privilege to think having a debate on this is dumb. It's literally how human beings reconcile issues. You want to outright refuse the possibility that this is an issue to begin with.

If you want to keep using your colonialism-inspired language, go ahead and ignore the critics (surely you can't believe github is going to ban you over it) but do not complain about this criticism existing because it makes you uncomfortable that someone does not like the language you use. That's not very liberal.

> If you want to keep using your colonialism-inspired language

It's not colonialism inspired language though.

Edit: I also love the irony of invoking liberalism as a justification for silencing dissent.

You want your thing to be above criticism, who is silencing dissent here?

No, making this a problem of racism speaks of privilege. A lot of privilege actually and a solid amount of detachment.

The word "privilege" is derived from the Latin "privilegium" , specifically its historical medieval use in laws like the Privilegium Maius and the Privilegium Minor, both of which were legal instruments of autocracy and imperialism. I think you should reconsider your use of imperialism-inspired language.

Btw. "dumb" is an ableist slur.

To the last point: It is, I'm sorry, I should pick my words more carefully.

100% agree with this.

I would say someone will respond (were all not liberal).

And that this is beyond liberal and conservatism. This about signaling and human decency. Words make people uncomfortable and words have history.

Question, then, is: where does this end?

I don’t think it ever ends and I don’t think it needs to. We live the human experience which is subjective and we use language to communicate that experience. Until we become a singular entity we will always rely on language to externalize our world, because of that we should always think about the language we use to communicate and express ideas. Words shape the world we see and the world we experience.

The point is, there will always be something some people will find offensive. How long before "animal" or "robot" are found to have undesired connotations?

Robot is an excellent example: it originates with the Czech word robota, which means forced labour or slavery.

We've been policing language through social norms since language was invented, so I'll bet on never.

Or, you know, you could just not name your things master/slave and outright mention you do not take contributions if you do not care about doing that right either?

next would be the red-black trees or some utter nonsense.

Literally read a post about some terminology that used red/green in them, and how that was biased against the colorblind. Not that some interface used the colors red/green, but merely the terminology used the words. As a red/green colorblind person ... words fail me at the stupidity of that.

red/green is commonly attributed to testing - usually the interface has red and green, though. I just dont get how people get offended over such stuff, like err... "Mains in computer engineering"

Can you speak to the historical racism or slavery associated with the name red black trees? I’m genuinely curious as I don’t know the history.

Lynching black people and hanging them from trees where their red blood ran. "Red black tree" reduces that history to a mere three words and should really be changed.

That may sound preposterous, but it's making the same claim as the rest of the moral panic over names in tech.

According to Wikipedia it’s because of the printing capabilities in the 70s


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