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Meghan (she/her)
Meghan (she/her)

Posted on • Updated on

Centralization is rampant. And I'm not sure how we should fix it..

I love self-hosted apps and the idea of making the Web decentralized again.

I make multiple apps that are coming into maturity the more I work on them (and don't worry, will all get posts 👀), but recently started using Gitea for a few projects for a group I volunteer for. And I love it!

Once I'm able to, I'm tempted to run and/or move many of my projects to my own instance, but I'm worried about stigma/FOMO of not being on GitHub. This is very akin to the Twitter/mastodon conversation. Everyone's on GitHub. Developers are on GitHub, companies are on GitHub, non-profit organizations are on GitHub.

I was thinking about this, and realized it's tough because even if Gitea/other git server apps made federation work in a way where you could star/follow members from any instance, GitHub won't. Or at least would be very unlikely to. Integrating with federation is something I imagine investors would think is a bad idea, particularly this late in the game. GitHub's already at the top, so why help people leave the platform?

How do you think we should go about breaking the centralized bubble? Should we?

Top comments (5)

moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

Git is already decentralised, though. You can "federate" to GitHub just by adding it as another remote.

For what it's worth, as my single data point, I've never worked at a company that uses GitHub as its origin. Historically I've had projects that either self-hosted or ran from BitBucket.

ferricoxide profile image
Thomas H Jones II

GitHub, GitLab and BitBucket are all just remotes. Where you maintain your cardinal project is immaterial if your goal is simply visibility: it's fairly trivial to set up replication to any of those "public" remotes. So, really, develop your cardinal content on your preferred service, then replicate to the "high visibility" services as you see fit.

Note: I use a couple of different projects that, essentially, work this way. At their GitHub presence, they include a link-back to the "real" project source so that people can either clone from there or clone from the "high visibility" location.

nektro profile image
Meghan (she/her)

Thanks for this!

dominicduffin1 profile image
Dominic Duffin

I absolutely think that redecentralising the web is really important. That being said, we also live in a world where centralised platforms carry a huge amount of weight, so although I would advocate moving projects to small or self-hosted platforms, I would also suggest that maintaining a presence on the big centralised ones is also a good idea. It seems from other comments that that can be done with Github easier than I'd thought, which is encouraging to hear.

rhymes profile image

Humans are social animals and tend to be on the lazy side when they found something that works. Being on Github or Twitter means you're part of a pre existing community you derive value from and possibly contribute value to.

I'm not sure what's the solution given that. As others fortunately you can use Github as another tool but at same time you'd make it harder for people to participate in your community.

It's a conundrum I know.