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Feature Request: External Contributions

TL;DR: Open Source is a infinite-length can of worms. Are there any plans on opening it?

Not much more to say apart from the title. I can imagine some tradeoffs.


  • Source code may be important to keep proprietary/hidden for money/licensing reasons.
  • Managing a public repository is an additional moderation exercise with significant management overhead.
  • Source code may not even be easily uploaded to common open-source hosting services.
  • Public source code hastens the process of security vulnerability discoveries in the service.
  • External contributions can easily become bikeshedded wazones with multiple external contributors.
  • Pointless code criticism can often be wielded as general service criticism (i.e. "look at this specific technical decision: i think it's foolish therefore the entire service is garbage").
  • Pressure to merge public PR's might conflict with internal development directions, which might look messy on the surface if PR merges stall out.
  • ASSC may be ideologically opposed to allowing/supporting labor without compensation.
  • Niche features that might be on the roadmap but deprioritized due to scheduling can be contributed up by weird nerds that really want the feature.
  • Boring nerds that enjoy writing nice documentation may even make internal development easier? (okay this one is a stretch).
  • At least one random person (me) can satisfy their curiosity.

I would imagine an ideal world for me would be a public (or maybe invite-only to slow down spam issues) github org with a couple repos of various cohost components (i.e. client, server software). More pragmatically I could imagine a read-only mirror of an internal repo, updated adhoc.

I really enjoyed reading ASSC's manifesto, so I'd like the lend a hand if appropriate to see the club succeed. At a glance I very much understand if the answer is "No we won't open source Cohost" given the tradeoffs & the work involved (that would be my answer too if I were in your position), but I figured I'd ask in case the answer surprises me.

Thanks for reading!

See this tweet for reasons why cohost isn't open-source currently;

1 person likes this
The tweet seems to have disappeared so I’ll re-up this one because I’d love to contribute if I can.
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