Time to move on - end of packaging for me

Hello,

I used to be an app maintainer and I want to say officially that I don’t want to do that anymore. This post is there to explain to the community why.

who-am-i

Firstable, I need to explain who’s speaking so you can get a better picture of me :slightly_smiling_face: I am a french white male in it’s mid thirties and a computer enthusiast. I work daily with computers at my office job as I am a linux system administrator, SRE, devops, you call it…

First steep with YunoHost

I believe in “libre software” and to give freedom to the people that want to get a grip on their digital life. For everybody, not only for the technical people as myself who have the knowledge to “selfhost”. I used to want to install GNU/Linux on my relatives computer. (who thought that Android would do it for me :partying_face: - it’s a troll, don’t feed me)

I migrated my services to YunoHost when a previous server died. It seemed a better option as I could get better functionalities (SSO, user management, backup, etc) and peace of mind with a streamline behavior and a bigger project.

Contributing

It took me a long time and two physical meetings with Kload and then with Bram to feel confident enough to contribute to YunoHost packaging system. I learned a lot while doing this and it was kinda fun for me. Contributing to commons felt good to my ego and to the community.

Today

A few years later, I don’t have much free time outside work and I have a family to take care. Also, the fun is not there anymore. It’s like my job and there are a lot of tasks that needs to be done: coding, testing, communication on the forum, bug reports, etc

With the covid lockdown and unemployment, I had more time but as I have been away for a long time, packaging format had changed and I didn’t want to spend half a day to try to understand the latest changes from the example package: "no more sed everywhere? Well, hello ynh_app_setting_set and ynh_replace_string"

Also, not so many people uses my YunoHost box. The GAFAMs / BATX / NATU are more appealing and their data will be “safer” from hackers or hardware/backup failure. To exploit the data, metadata and human behavior for selling ads or profiles, not really :face_with_monocle:

Conclusion

In my opinion, YunoHost is a great tool for power users or people willing to spend the time and energy on it. This project is so small and precious. I will continue to use it.

To me, a better way would be the CHATONS so the “tool” is managed by a community to reduce the “bus factor” and “maintenance load”. Also, some apps are too heavy to be selfhosted for a few people (Mattermost or Peertube comes to my mind)

On a personal side, I don’t want to work for free and do the work that capitalists don’t want to do :money_mouth_face:. See this great comic : The truth behind Open Source apps | CommitStrip and the stories behind GNU GPG and OpenSSL: Internet lobs $$$s at dev of crucial GPG tool after he runs short of cash • The Register
I will continue to push toward this political position as the way “work” and “property” is seen can only be changed this way.

Thanks to all people who work on the project and who have worked on it.


( Kind of hypocrite to continue to use YunoHost after that statement I know :see_no_evil: )

I also have the feeling that the hype is moving towards docker and kubernetes for the technical people that want to self host. (No more scripts to manually edit as the maintenance is done on the upstream docker images.)
The simplicity of YunoHost is that it can be understood by a Linux curious person. Kubernetes is on another level of complexity and abstraction (I’m using it a work)

About the apps

I created a note on each of the apps for the technical people around here:

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Have fun in your life, and continue to use YunoHost, even for yourself :slight_smile:
On my side, I’m the tech person in my family, so I have a YunoHost server, but they all use it and like it, even if they also use all the #### from big tech companies.

Thanks for what you did, and for the message explaining your departure, and long life to YunoHost !

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Bravo et merci! pour ce travail et bonne route !

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Hypocrite to use your favourite software, because you have been helping to build it and now cordially put down the work? Not at all by my book!

I can’t speak for you, but I think the decision has been difficult enough. Thank you for (and all others) for helping to make my favourite project a success :slight_smile:

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Thank you for your service, and thank you to all of those kind-hearted souls who continue to do the thankless work of building, maintaining, and packaging apps for Yunohost.

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Thanks. I have no idea how big or small yunohost is. I would like to know. There may very well be a trend towards docker, I use it myself too. It’s just too easy. But I do trust yunohost more. I don’t know if there is a docker mailserver that warns me about reputation management (is there?). Or that seems to keep an eye on the update process of all the apps installed. Maintainers of the images may do this just fine, but so far yunohost has not disappointed me there. Pretty headache free.

Yeah, Docker and Yunohost are not trying to achieve the same thing. Docker’s goal is basically to provide a good standard for containerizing single apps (or rather single processes - and app being possibly composed of several processes, typically the app service + the DB server)

YunoHost goal really is to create a distribution to facilitate as much as possible server administration, and encompass having an app store with one-click installs (and upgrade!) procedures that work out of the box, reasonable security by default, backup tools, single sign-on user portal, server diagnostic, etc. In fact Yunohost could be based on Docker for (some aspects of) app management, but doesnt (for multiple reasons which are out of the scope of this discussion). But ultimately comparing Docker and Yunohost is like trying to compare Makefiles and Debian.

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