Dear Github Maintainers2016-01-15 #github #comments
A rebuttal to "Dear Github".
So recently in Reddit, there is this thread going around about Dear Github, which points some problems with Github issues pages.
Thing is, most of the problems are not problems with Github itself, but by the community that grew around it.
For example, the most annoying one is the huge amount of "+1" in comments. I've seen this and yes, it's annoying as hell. Lots of people come around and post a simple "+1" instead of really contributing. This is not an issue with Github, it is an issue with the community that instead of helping fixing a problem, thinks that posting "+1" to point that it is important to them is actual help. It isn't. I've seen issues with so many "+1" that if everyone who posted a "+1" actually submitted a single change, the bug would be fixed with spare lines.
(Unpopular opinion: Github should have support for "+1", but actually ban it. It is unhelpful. If it's important to you, you should at least give a try to fix the issue instead of "+1" and giving yourself a pat in the back for "helping out".)
Issues missing important information surely is a problem, but that's why you need to triage your issues. Is there any missing information? You can reply to the poster. "But why should I ask when I can put a form for the user to fill issues?" Dude, seriously? You're worried that you will lose 30 seconds of your life to ask something? Why don't you want to talk to your community, why you don't want to teach people how to properly report errors? Is it that hard to be part of a community?
But the hurting point is the "if Github was open source, we would fix this ourselves". Gitorious was open source and never had that much contribution from the community, to the point it was closed and moved to Gitlab. So I have to ask: If Bitbucket implemented this, would all of you move to it? My guess is an indignant "No", because Github means exposure while all the other public Git sites are not.
To me, the whole list is not a list of problems with Github itself, but a problem with the open source (in the general, broad term) community that's growing around Github. We should worry about building communities, not building code with 400 forks, 1000s of "+1" comments and a single maintainer.