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  2. 34

    Part of this gets to a core cognitive bias that is quite pervasive among software engineers – that self-hosting/self-managing/etc is better.

    I think this comes from a few places:

    • We like control
    • We like “simplicity”, and knowing all the moving parts feels simpler than some big black box
    • Many of us like our craft enough that it’s a hobby, and when in hobby-mode having an extra thing to do is often a positive rather than a negative. Open-source contributions are often done in hobby-mode.

    For professional open-source maintainers though it’s a lot more like consulting or working in a bigger company, there are priorities, and opportunity cost is a cost, as we are accountable to others in a way that hobbies aren’t. In addition, spending money for someone else to solve a problem cheaper than you can is good business.

    I certainly suffer from this bias sometimes, but I do my best to identify it at work, and also to identify when others may be in work mode even if I’m in hobby mode. I’ve also found that treating the development I do “for fun” closer to that which I do at work brings a number of benefits!

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      It’s also that we like independence. Being dependent on others is always going to be a liability in some sense. Especially if they’re a corporation with a closed, centralised platform.

      I think the normalisation of censorship we’re seeing in 2021 is proof of that, whatever your opinion of that may be.

      1. 4

        Daniel details the steps the project has taken to mitigate an interruption of service should that occur.

        1. 1

          You make a good point about censorship, although I think the average company or open source project taking this into account may be an overreaction.

          On the one hand, we’ve seen very few examples of companies/people being denied service in this way, and only for very egregious examples that have hit mainstream media in the US with a wide public audience. This suggests that most of us (non-US, those not inciting coups, etc) have little to worry about.

          On the other hand, we see a form of censorship day to day in things like Stripe not taking money for certain kinds of companies (I’m sure there are other examples). These are things we know to be essentially true, and they don’t cause a huge problem, we just work around them and while it’s not great, there are enough options to do so and still make a business.

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        H’m. I think I’m going to bookmark this, just in case I have to link to it the next time someone asks me to “provide excuses for” my “unethical software choices”…

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          There’s no engaging with those people, nor are they interested in your reasoning. Either flame them or just ignore them I say.

        2. 33

          Disclaimer: I represent a GitHub competitor.

          The opening characterization of GitHub detractors is disingenuous:

          The reasons for being against GitHub hosting tend to be one or more of:

          1. it is an evil proprietary platform
          2. it is run by Microsoft and they are evil
          3. GitHub is American thus evil

          GitHub collaborated with US immigration and customs enforcement under the Trump administration, which is a highly controversial organization with severe allegations of “evil”. GitHub also recently fired a Jewish employee for characterising armed insurrectionists wearing Nazi propeganda as Nazis.

          It’s not nice to belittle the principles of people who have valid reasons to cite ethical criticisms of GitHub. Even if you like the workflow and convenience, which is Daniel’s main justification, other platforms offer the same conveniences. As project leaders, we have a responsibility to support platforms which align with our values. There are valid ethical and philosophical complaints about GitHub, and dismissing them because of convenience and developer inertia is cowardly.

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            GitHub collaborated with US immigration and customs enforcement under the Trump administration

            This makes it sound worse than it actually was, ICE bought a Github Enterprise Server license through a reseller. Github then tried to compensate by donating 500.000$ to “nonprofit organizations working to support immigrant communities”.

            … other platforms offer the same conveniences.

            Maybe, but they definitely lack the networking effect that was one of main points for curl to use Github.

            1. 24

              The inconsistency is what kills me here. Allowing ICE to have an account became a heinous crime against neoliberalism, meanwhile how many tech companies openly collaborated with the US military while we killed a million innocent people in Iraq? Or what about Microsoft collaborating with our governments surveillance efforts?

              I’m not even engaging in what-about-ism here in the sense that you must be outraged at all the things or none. I’m suggesting that ICE outrage is ridiculous in the face of everything else the US government does.

              Pick less ridiculous boogeymen please.

              1. 20

                I see a lot of the same people (including myself) protesting all of these things…

                I feel like I should say something to make this remark longer, and less likely to be taken as hostile, but that’s really all I have to say. Vast numbers of people are consistently opposing all the things you object to. If you’re attempting to suggest that people are picking only one issue to care about and ignoring the other closely related issues, that’s simply wrong - factually, that is not what is happening. If you’re not trying to suggest that, I don’t understand the purpose of your complaint.

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                  The inconsistency is what kills me here.

                  Also:

                  1. Free Software and Open Source should never discriminate against fields of endeavour!
                  2. GitHub should discriminate against this particular organisation!

                  and:

                  1. We need decentralised systems that are resistant to centralised organisation dictating who can or can’t use the service!
                  2. GitHub should use its centralised position to deny this service to this particular organisation!

                  Anyway, how exactly will curl moving away from GitHub or GitHub stopping their ICE contract help the people victimized by ICE? I don’t see how it does, and the entire thing seems like a distraction to me. Fix the politics instead.

                  1. 14

                    Is some ideological notion of consistency supposed to weigh more heavily than harm reduction in one’s ontological calculus? Does “not discriminating against a field of endeavor” even hold inherent virtue? The “who” and “on what grounds” give the practice meaning.

                    If I endeavor to teach computer science to under-served groups, and one discriminated against my practice due to bigotry, then that’s bad. If I endeavor to make a ton of money by providing tools and infrastructure to a power structure which seeks to violate the human rights of vulnerable populations, you would be right to “discriminate” against my endeavor.

                    Anyway, how exactly will curl moving away from GitHub or GitHub stopping their ICE contract help the people victimized by ICE?

                    I don’t think anyone here has suggested that if curl were to move away from github that it would have an appreciable or conclusive impact on ICE and it’s victims. The point of refusing to work for or with with ice or their enablers is mainly to raise awareness of the issue and to build public opposition to them, which is a form of direct action - “fixing the politics” as you put it. It’s easy to laugh at and dismiss people making noise online, or walking out of work, or writing a heated blog post, but as we’ve seen over the last decade, online movements are powerful forces in democratic society.

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                      Is some ideological notion of consistency supposed to weigh more heavily than harm reduction in one’s ontological calculus?

                      If you’re first going to argue that 1) is unethical and should absolutely never be done by anyone and then the next day you argue that 2), which is in direct contradiction to 1), is unethical and should absolutely never be done by anyone then I think there’s a bit of a problem, yes.

                      Because at this point you’re no longer having a conversation about what is or isn’t moral, and what the best actions are to combat injustices, or any of these things, instead you’re just trying to badger people in to accepting your viewpoint on a particular narrow issue.

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                        If you’re first going to argue that 1) is unethical and should absolutely never be done by anyone and then the next day you argue that 2), which is in direct contradiction to 1), is unethical and should absolutely never be done by anyone then I think there’s a bit of a problem, yes.

                        does anyone say that though

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                      Your first two points are a good explanation of the tension between the Open Source and Ethical Source movements. I think everyone close to the issue is in agreement that, yes, discriminating against militant nationalism is a form of discrimination, just one that ought to happen.

                      There was some open conflict last year between the Open Source Institute, and the group that became the Organization for Ethical Source. See https://ethicalsource.dev/ for some of the details.

                      Your second two points, also, highlight a real and important concern, and you’ve stated it well. I’m personally against centralized infrastructure, including GitHub. I very much want the world to move to decentralized technical platforms in which there would be no single entity that holds the power that corporations presently do. However, while centralized power structures exist, I don’t want those structures to be neutral to injustice. To do that is to side with the oppressor.

                      (Edit: I somehow wrote “every” instead of “everyone”. Too many editing passes, I guess. Oops.)

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                        To clarify: this wasn’t really intended as a defence of either the first or second points in contradictions, I just wanted to point out that people’s views on this are rather inconsistent, to highlight that the issue is rather more complex than some people portray it as. To be fair, most people’s worldviews are inconsistent to some degree, mine certainly are, but then again I also don’t make bold absolute statements about these sort of things and insult people who don’t fit in that.

                        I think that both these issues are essentially unsolvable; similar to how we all want every criminal to be convicted but also want zero innocent people to be convicted unjustly. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, but we should keep a level head about what we can and can’t achieve, and what the trade-offs are.

                        I don’t want those structures to be neutral to injustice. To do that is to side with the oppressor.

                        In Dutch we have a saying I rather like: “being a mayor in wartime”. This refers to the dilemma of mayors (and journalists, police, and so forth) during the German occupation. To stay in your position would be to collaborate with the Nazis; but to resign would mean being replaced with a Nazi sympathizer. By staying you could at least sort of try to influence things. This is a really narrow line to walk though, and discussions about who was or wasn’t “wrong” during the war continue to this day.

                        I don’t think GitHub is necessarily “neutral to injustice”, just like the mayors during the war weren’t. I know people love to portray GitHub as this big evil company, but my impression is that GitHub is actually not all that bad; I mean, how many other CEOs would have joined youtube-dl’s IRC channel to apologize for the shitty situation they’re in? Or would have spent time securing a special contract to provide service to Iranian people? Or went out of their way to add features to rename the default branch?

                        But there is a limit to what is reasonable; no person or company can be unneutral to all forms of injustice; it would be debilitating. You have to pick your battles; ICE is a battle people picked, and IMO it’s completely the wrong one: what good would cutting a contract with ICE do? I don’t see it, and I do see a lot of risk in alienating the government of the country you’re based in, especially considering that the Trump administration was not exactly know for its cool, level-headed, and calm responses to (perceived) sleights. Besides, in the grand scheme of injustices present in the world ICE seems small fries.

                        And maybe all tech companies putting pressure on ICE would have made an impact in changing ICE’s practices, I don’t really think it would but let’s assume it would. But what does that mean? A bunch of undemocratic companies exerting pressure to change the policy of a democratically elected government. Yikes? Most of the time I see corporate influence on government it’s not for the better and I would rather we reduce this across the board, which would also reduce the potential “good influences”, but the bad influences vastly outnumber the good ones that this is a good trade.

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                          Yes, those are all fair and thoughtful points. I agree very much that with any system, no matter how oppressive, if one has a position of power within the system it’s important to weigh how much good one can do by staying in, against how much they can do by leaving. I rather wish I were living in times that didn’t require making such decisions in practice so frequently, but none of us get to choose when we’re born.

                          On the strategic point you raise, I disagree: I do think the GitHub/ICE issue is a valuable one to push on, precisely because it prompts conversations like this. Tech workers might be tempted to dismiss our own role in these atrocities; I think it’s important to have that reminder. However, I very much acknowledge that it’s hard to know whether there’s some other way that might be better, and there’s plenty of room for disagreement, even among people who agree on the goals.

                          When I was young, I was highly prone to taking absolute positions that weren’t warranted. I hope if I ever fall back into those old habits, you and others will call me out. I do think it’s really important for people who disagree to hear each other out, whenever that’s feasible, and I also think it’s important for us all to acknowledge the limits of our own arguments. So, overall, thank you for your thoughts.

                          1. 2

                            I recently read a really approachable article article from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (via HN), which I found really interesting and balanced in highlighting the tensions between (in this case study) “free speech” and other values. To me it also helps to understand that those apparent “conflicts of interest” are still rather possible to balance (if not trivially) given good will; and IMO that the “extreme positions” are something of a possibly unavoidable simplifications - given that even analyzing the positions of renowned philosophers, skilled at precise expression, it’s not always completely clear where they sat.

                            https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freedom-speech/

                            edit: though I am totally worried when people refuse to even discuss those nuances and to explore their position in this space of values.

                            1. 7

                              Anyone with a sincere interest in educating themselves about the concept of free speech and other contentious issues will quickly learn about the nuances of the concepts. Some people will however not give a fig about these nuances and continue to argue absolutist positions on the internet, either to advance unrelated political positions or simply to wind people up.

                              Engaging with these people (on these issues) is generally a waste of time. It’s like wrestling with a pig - you’ll get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

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                                I’m not sure I agree that anyone who makes a sincere effort will learn about the nuances. The nuance is there, but whether people have the chance to learn it is largely a function of whether the social spaces they’re in give them the chance to. I’m really worried about how absolutist, reactionary positions are the bulk of discussion on social media today. I think we all have an obligation to try to steer discussions away from reductive absolutism, in every aspect of our lives.

                                With that said, it’s clear you’re coming from a good place and I sympathize. I only wish I felt that not engaging is clearly the right way; it would be easier.

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                                  I’ll have to admit that my comment was colored by my jaundiced view of the online conversation at this point in time. “Free speech” has become a shibboleth among groups who loudly demand immunity from criticism, and who expect their wares to be subsidized in the Marketplace of Ideas, but who would not hesitate to restrict the speech of their enemies should they attain power.

                                  I’m all for nuanced discussion, but some issues are just so hot button it’s functionally useless in a public forum.

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                                    I completely understand, and that’s very fair.

                                    I agree with your assessment but, purely for myself and not as something I’d push on others, I refuse to accept the outcome of stepping back from discussion - because that would be a win for reactionary forms of engagement, and a loss for anyone with a sincere, thought-out position, wherever they might fall on the political spectrum.

                                    It’s fine to step back and say that for your own well being, you can’t dedicate your efforts to being part of the solution to that. You can only do what you can do, and no person or cause has a right to demand more than that. For myself, only, I haven’t given up and I’ll continue to look for solutions.

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                          There are a lot of people in the OSS community who don’t agree with your first point. You might find it contradictory, or “wrong” (And sure, I guess it wouldn’t be OSI certified if you codified it in a license). But it’s what a decent part of the community thinks.

                          And the easy answer to your comment about helping, let’s do the contrary. ICE has policies. Selling them tools to make it easier is clearly helping them to move forward on those policies. Just like AWS was helping Parler exist by offering its infrastructure. You can have value judgements or principles regarding those decisions, but you can’t say that it doesn’t matter at all.

                          And yeah, maybe there’s someone else who can offer the services. But maybe there are only so many Github-style services out there! And at one point it starts actually weighing on ICE’s ability to do stuff.

                          Of course people want to fix the politics. But lacking that power, people will still try to do something. And, yeah, people are allowed to be mad that a company is doing something, even they probably shouldn’t be surprised.

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                            And yeah, maybe there’s someone else who can offer the services. But maybe there are only so many Github-style services out there! And at one point it starts actually weighing on ICE’s ability to do stuff.

                            I’d expect ICE to be more than capable of self-hosting GitLab or some other free software project.

                            Of course people want to fix the politics. But lacking that power, people will still try to do something.

                            I don’t think it’s outside of people’s power to do that, but it is a lot harder, and requires more organisation and dedication. And “doing something” is not the same as “doing something useful”.

                            As for the rest, I already addressed most of that in my reply to Irene’s comment, so I won’t repeat that here.

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                          no disagreement with your main point, but… a crime against neoliberalism?

                          1. 4

                            I think they mean against the newest wave of liberal politics in the US. Not the actual term neoliberalism which—as you clearly know—refers to something completely different, if not totally opposite.

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                            there are active campaigns inside and outside most companies about those issues. It’s not like https://notechforice.com/ exists in a bubble. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Palantir, Salesforce and many others have been attacked for this. Clearly the DoD created the Silicon Valley and the connections run deep since the beginning, but these campaigns are to raise awareness and build consensus against tech supporting imperialism, concentration camps and many other crimes committed by the American Government against its citizens or foreign countries. But you have to start somewhere: political change is not like compiling a program, it’s not on and off, it’s nuanced and complex. Attacking (and winning) stuff like Project Maven or ICE concentration camps is a way to show that you can achieve something, break the tip of the iceberg and use that to build bigger organizations and bigger support for bigger actions.

                            1. 1

                              Clearly the DoD created the Silicon Valley and the connections run deep since the beginning

                              Oh, I’d love to be red-pilled into that!

                          3. 22

                            This makes it sound worse than it actually was, ICE bought a Github Enterprise Server license through a reseller.

                            LA Times:

                            In a fact sheet circulating within GitHub, employees opposing the ICE contract wrote that the GitHub sales team actively pursued the contract renewal with ICE. The Times reviewed screenshots of an internal Slack channel after the contract was renewed on Sept. 4 that appear to show sales employees celebrating a $56,000 upgrade of the contract with ICE. The message, which congratulated four employees for the sale and was accompanied by emojis of a siren, bald eagle and American flag, read “stay out of their way. $56k upgrade at DHS ICE.” Five people responded with an American flag emoji.

                            It was not as at arm’s length as they’d like you to believe. Several prominent organisations rejected offers of parts of the $500k donation because they didn’t want to be associated with the ICE contract. Internally the company was shredded as it became clear that GitHub under MSFT would rather be torn apart inside than listen to employees and customers and commit to stop serving ICE in the future.

                            There were plenty of calls to cancel the contract immediately, which might’ve been a pipedream, but even the more realistic “could we just not renew it in future” was met with silence and corporatespeak. Long-serving employees asking “well, if this isn’t too far for us, what concretely would be over the line?” in Q&A’s were labelled hostile, and most certainly not answered.

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                              We could debate the relative weight of these and other grievances here, but I’d rather not. My point is simply that the ethical concerns are based on reason, and Daniel’s blithe dismissal of them is inappropriate.

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                                Could you elaborate on the reasons?

                                You state that the reasons exist, and you give an example of someone you think github should reject as a customer. But you don’t talk about what those reasons are, or really go into principles, rationales or philosophy at all.

                                I worry that without a thought-through framework, your attitude degenerates into mindless shitstorms.

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                                  He has not engaged with the ethical concerns you raise. That may well be because he is simply not aware of them. You are overinterpreting that as “blithe dismissal”.

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                                The firing of the employee has been reversed.

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                                  Just a honest question: does this poop management actually makes them look better to you? Despite this being a reaction to public outrage that would have hurt the company? Like, do you think they that out of guilt or something like that?

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                                    Considering the fired employee was reinstated and the head of HR resigned, this looks like a much more substantive concession than the employment status Ctrl-Z that internet outrages usually produce.

                                    1. 3

                                      how? isn’t the “let’s sacrifice a scapegoat without fundamentally changing anything” a quite common strategy?

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                                        None of us know the details of this case. It’s way too easy to form a conclusion from one party, especially if they’re not bound by law from discussing sensitive HR details openly.

                                        So while I can project a hope that this is a lasting change at GH, you are free to cynically dismiss it as window dressing. The facts, as we know them, support either view.

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                                    Aye, and I commend them for that. But that doesn’t change the fact that “retaliated against an employee who spoke out against Nazism” is a permanent stain on their reputation which rightfully angers many people, who rightfully may wish to cease using the platform as a result. Daniel’s portrayal of their concerns as petty and base is not right.

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                                      Not only that but the HR person who fired him was fired.

                                      1. 4

                                        Probably out of convenience and not actually the person who gave the order. At least, I think that’s the case more than we know.

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                                          The person who resigned was the head of HR. It almost certainly wasn’t the person who made the call, or even their manager, it was likely their manager’s manager. That sends a pretty strong signal to the rest of HR that there will be consequences for this kind of thing in the future.

                                          1. 1

                                            Damn, the head of HR!? What a turnover. Maybe that means they’re taking this more seriously than I thought at first.

                                    2. 7

                                      Every time someone asked me to move away from GitHub it’s been because “it’s not Free Software” and various variants of “vendor lock-in” and “it’s centralized”. I am aware there are also other arguments, but those have not been stated in the two instances people asked me to move away from GitHub. What (probably) prompted this particular Twitter thread and that doesn’t mention ICE or anything like that (also: 1 2). Most comments opposed to GitHub on HN or Lobsters don’t focus on ICE either.

                                      That you personally care a great deal about this is all very fine, but it’s not the most commonly used argument against GitHub.

                                      There are valid ethical and philosophical complaints about GitHub

                                      According to your view of ethics, which many don’t share.

                                      1. 2

                                        I think that asking someone to change their infrastructure based solely on personal preferences is a step or two too far, be it based on ethics or ergonomics (“all the other code I use is on GitHub, yours should be too”).

                                        It’s at the very least a bunch of work to move, and the benefit is likely small. You’ve already made a choice when deciding to put your code where it is, so why would you want to change it?

                                        If asked, I’d recommend using something other than Github to work against the monoculture we’re already pretty deep in, but I don’t see myself actively trying to persuade others to abandon them.

                                      2. 4

                                        Isn’t sr.ht hosted and incorporated in the US? Or are only points (1) and (2) valid? :-D

                                        GitHub also fought the US Gov to get the Iranian developer access to their platform, which is also helping your platform as far as I know. https://github.blog/2021-01-05-advancing-developer-freedom-github-is-fully-available-in-iran/

                                        Any organization that is large enough will have some incidents which, when cherry-picked, can be used to paint the organization as evil. But really what happens is that they represent humanity. In terms of evil, you don’t have to look far to see much worse groups of people than GitHub.

                                        IMO a more compelling argument would be centered around how he is an open-source developer, depending on a closed platform. Daniel’s utilitarian view is understandable but also short-thinking. He is contributing towards building this monolith just by using it.

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                                          Or are only points (1) and (2) valid? :-D

                                          None of the points Daniel raises are valid, because they’re strawmen, and bad-faith portrayals of actual positions.

                                          Actual argument: “GitHub, an American company, is choosing to cooperate with ICE, an American instutition which is controversial for its ethical problems”

                                          Bad faith re-stating: “GitHub is American thus evil”

                                          There is nuance here, and indeed you’ve found some of it, but a nuanced argument is not what Daniel is making.

                                        2. 6

                                          collaborated with US immigration and customs enforcement

                                          I think “is American and thus evil” definitely covers this.

                                          1. 2

                                            Why are two [1, 2] of your most popular projects primarily hosted on github?

                                            1. https://github.com/swaywm/sway

                                            2. https://github.com/swaywm/wlroots

                                            1. 19

                                              I have been gradually moving off of GitHub, but not all at once. A few months ago I finished migrating all of the projects under my user namespace (github.com/ddevault) to SourceHut. Last week I also announced to my GitHub Sponsors supporters that I intend to leave the program, which is almost certain to cause me to lose money when many of them choose not to move to my personal donation platform (which has higher payment processing fees than GitHub does, so even if they all moved I would still lose money). If you intend to imply that I am a hypocrite for still using GitHub, I don’t think that holds very much weight.

                                              Regarding those two projects in particular, some discussion was held about moving to gitlab.freedesktop.org last year, but it was postponed until the CI can be updated accordingly. In any case, I am no longer the maintainer of either project, and at best only an occasional contributor, so it’s not really my place nor my responsibility to move the projects elsewhere. I think that they should move, and perhaps a renewed call for doing so should be made, but it’s ultimately not my call anymore.

                                              1. 10

                                                If you intend to imply that I am a hypocrite for still using GitHub, I don’t think that holds very much weight.

                                                Nope, I was just genuinely curious since I don’t follow you that closely, and hadn’t heard any explanation or reasoning why those repos are still on github when I have heard you explain your position regarding github multiple times. So it seemed odd, so I asked.

                                                In any case, thanks for explaining! I hope those projects are moved off too (@emersion !)

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                                                  Cool, makes sense. Thanks for clarifying.

                                                2. 2

                                                  I love that you represent another point of view here. I firmly believe that free software needs free tools. We don’t want history to repeat. And Yes, there will be some sacrifice for the switch.

                                                  Watching your actions closely for months, You represent how a free software leader should be.

                                            2. 9

                                              GitHub is a net positive for individual projects in the same way that using LinkedIn is a net positive if you are looking for a job or Microsoft Office is a net positive if you want your employees to be productive. All of these things have network effects that enhance Microsoft’s ability to surveil and control society, and some people think this is worth resisting.

                                              Sad to see that the author reduces this point to the strawman “Microsoft is evil.” Does he think Microsoft is good? Why does he think they are offering this purely good service?

                                              1. 4

                                                GitHub has an “account export” feature similar to Google Takeout; see https://github.blog/2018-12-19-download-your-data/ .

                                                1. 5

                                                  I think I’m going to bookmark this, just in case I have to link to something next time someone challenges the ideas that tech workers are entirely tone deaf to the difference between features of software and political actions and consequences.

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                                                    The context here is that Daniel has been confronted by randos on Twitter just for using a proprietary platform (and nothing else) and this is the concern he’s trying to address.

                                                    Aside, I find people tone-deaf who offload corporate responsibility onto consumer choices. What exactly are you achieving by confronting a user of GitHub for GitHub’s choice to contract with the US govt?

                                                    1. 2

                                                      Twitter is exactly as proprietary as Github is, and both companies are run by people with broadly similar political ideologies that inform what users they would be prone to deplatforming on political grounds. Personally, I think this implies that the case for not using Twitter is as good or better than the case for not using Github.

                                                      No matter which service we use, there’s always a risk that they will turn off the light one day and not come back – or just change the rules or licensing terms that would prevent us from staying there. We cannot avoid that risk. But we can make sure that we’re smart about it, have a contingency plan or at least an idea of what to do when that day comes.

                                                      This is actually a pretty reasonable point - any other entity’s platform can potentially deplatform you for any number of reasons, and everyone using such platforms should have such a contingency plan. Git hosting is actually unusually easy to switch to another provider, especially if you are taking steps to back up non-code related artifacts like bug reports, which it sounds like the curl project is doing. So using Github at the moment, while treating it as a piece of infrastructure that could in principle fail at any time, is a reasonable step to take.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        I agree that in an ideal world, neither Twitter nor GitHub would have anywhere approaching the level of structural power they presently enjoy.

                                                    2. 23

                                                      You know what. Daniel has been writing Open Source software and giving it away for free for 20 years. There’s probably 2 million dollars worth of his time[1], that he has given away to you for free, only because of his personal political beliefs.

                                                      But that’s OK, you go ahead and accuse him of being politically tone deaf and valuing other stuff over political considerations.

                                                      [1] based on $100k/yr for 20 years, and that’s really lowballing it

                                                      1. 9

                                                        Thanks for validating my point? I’ll add it to the same bookmarks. I smashed out a pretty long followup but I don’t feel like bludgeoning lobste.rs with walls of text.

                                                        tl;dw: the conflation of different value systems and the inability to talk across different value systems is the problem that both sides are equally poor at here. This topic doesn’t involve any conflict if both sides can talk across that gap, but that’s hard if you can’t or if you’re unconsciously or purposely conflating two or more values. TFA is tone-deaf about politics but I don’t make a judgement that that’s specifically good or bad; I’m sure we’d find in the same way that the original challenge was similarly unable/unwilling to bridge the value-gap and so failed equally (or worse, as the instigators) in whatever they were trying to communicate.

                                                        It is necessary to be able to separate out different kinds of values and to be comfortable with questioning one type of value or effect in the world whilst recognising the benefit of another. You can understand and work on technical and economic value whilst choosing not to engage or not acknowledging your political or social value, or acknowledging that you have different ways of quantifying those values.