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.
Firstable, I need to explain who’s speaking so you can get a better picture of me 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…
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 - 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.
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.
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
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
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 . 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 )
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)
I created a note on each of the apps for the technical people around here:
- Looking for new maintainer⋅s · Issue #23 · YunoHost-Apps/diagramsnet_ynh · GitHub
- Looking for new maintainer⋅s · Issue #56 · YunoHost-Apps/airsonic_ynh · GitHub
- Looking for new maintainer⋅s · Issue #84 · YunoHost-Apps/dokuwiki_ynh · GitHub
- Looking for new maintainer⋅s · Issue #33 · YunoHost-Apps/cheky_ynh · GitHub