I have never cared about all the "social features" that work tools seem to always end up introducing...
You don't need to use any of those, but I think that the large community is partly what makes GitHub such a valuable tool.
How do you see this being different from providing that dev with a hyperlink to the bug report? In either case, the developer is made aware of the issue, no?
> or seeing an newsfeed update that your favorite framework is making a breaking change in the next release
I don't actually know if changelists have RSS feeds, but supposing they did, couldn't you subscribe your reader to those feeds to achieve this result?
> or opening a PR/MR in another project without having to create _yet another_ account.
Yeah, you got me here. Though I'm leaning towards "build a physical key that automates account creation everywhere" so you still have a zillion accounts under the hood, but that's mostly transparent to the user. Sort of like Facebook/Google SSO, but instead of storing data in one data-hungry corp's DB, you're generating essentially random data in one place (your physical key) and distributing it across zillions of little DBs, thus reducing the incentive for hackers to try to obtain any of them.
Like when telephone lines were introduced, they were a massive boost to productivity. Even if they could be used as a social feature within companies, it was not why they were useful there.
Of course gitlab projects do have RSS feeds, so you could use that I guess.
However, I find the "sense of community" features on GitHub to be really important, because I also do a lot of unrelated open-source work as a hobby. In those areas, I'm able to follow people who are coding things similar to mine. I'm able to see when they create a new project, and seeing their stars often leads me to new tools that I find useful. I'm hopeful that the people that follow me or my repositories feel similarly. A sense of community helps to make me enjoy the work I'm doing a little more.
It's kind of like running into someone who's looking through the same section of the hardware store as you. I'm not going to the store to talk with them, but if I end up having a nice interaction with someone who's working on something similar to me or having the same problem I am, it usually brightens my day a little bit.
Integration of community features improves visibility and situational awarness. Compare this to emails or IRC, or forums.
Of course, effectiveness of this is as good as the ability to manage the vast information that get generated in open projects like this. What's the point of having everyting in one place if it's hard for users to find the information they need, or if no one is able to properly care for the tons of issues raised from the community... Anyways, GitLab is a tool that helps one organize and tie together these streams of project information.
What do you see being some benefits over the older tech? Because when I think "community features" I'm picturing something like Tweetdeck for devs (which, in fairness, may be completely different from what you're picturing). Basically, this repo I'm watching had these updates. That sounds like the same thing I get in email from an issue tracker, complete with comments from others watching.
Think of a remote-first collaboration arrangement. In such scenario the concentrated communications become vital for collaboration efficiency.
'Old' approaches could work too, emails can be typed and sent with a right set of CC, also IRC can be set up for chats, teams can roll their own messaging tool of choice.
It's all about policies and consistency in adhering to them. When these features are devised together as part of a tool, it offers to a client those policies out of box. Thus, feature planning or collaborating on a merge request becomes more transparent, perhaps more real-time, when the tool supports the 'social' features.
Just a feature as simple as "@user" mention notifications may promote the level of collaboration.
When I am working, I am not trying to be social but to be professional.
 - https://forgefed.peers.community/