I'm on the Community Relations team at GitLab. I'd love to learn more about your experience as a member of the GitLab community.
When you say that opening an issue on GitLab doesn't make you feel part of a community, are you referring issues on one of GitLab's projects (ex: https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab) or are you referring to issues on open source projects being hosted on GitLab.com?
Community is very important to us so when there are areas for improvement that feedback is really valued.
I wish that somehow people carried identity across Github / Gitlab / Gitea / other services. Like, a federated issue tracker. Or otherwise that the issues themselves were easily movable between platforms, with no lock-in. But the incumbent platforms rarely want something like this.
An alternative is to eschew platform issues entirely, and use decentralized issue comments hosted as Git repositories, like https://github.com/dspinellis/git-issue or https://github.com/neithernut/git-dit or https://github.com/MichaelMure/git-bug - I think that Gitlab should offer integration with one of them. I mean: both allowing to export issues and PRs into a Git branch, and allowing people to comment on issues and PRs by pushing to a Git branch.
This is exactly what FedeProxy is dedicated to.
I'm referring to issues on open source projects hosted on GitLab.com so I think what this is about is out of your scope in some way? Also I've noticed that my initial comment is probably biased heavily by the projects I tend to follow on GitHub and GitLab. Gigantic projects (e.g. Inkscape vs. PyTorch) aren't different for me due to the active communities and after a second thought I have to admit that a lot of projects I follow and software I work with (PyTorch, Tensorflow as well as smaller ones like Potree, pyAIS, MIDI2LR) seem to live on GitHub. That's how some projects I did end up being on GitHub as well. On the other side me and my working group believe in Open Source so larger projects tend to end up on GitLab.
I'm not even sure if it helps but I didn't want to leave it "unanswered".
It’s been easy to set up and maintain. Not that I get many comments!
I've personally built a number of apps on top of Github Gist. One of my apps is a bookmark sharing application, the idea is you create a bookmark collection and share it with others, all seperate from your browsers bookmarks. I ended up using Github Gist and got the ability to share bookmark collections right out of the box with GistID's.
I built an app for bookmarks but you can really apply it to anything where you need to keep small amounts of data and that data doesn't need to be private (gist has a "Private" mode but it's similar to unlisted Youtube videos).
Using the platforms people already use to discuss to host your comments is a great idea!
So far, looks like I’ll need to make it custom, unless someone knows of an existing tool.
Not affiliated. Just think it's cool.
Otherwise it's still a good thing to have your comments in a repo because it'll live forefer and can be replicated anywhere.