[Chicago] GitHub & SpamBayes

Skip Montanaro skip at pobox.com
Tue Feb 5 01:08:07 CET 2013

Based on the thread asking for people's GitHub info, there seem to be some
GitHub experts here.  Indulge me for a moment to ask a question about
GitHub and what it can "do for me." (In my defense, SpamBayes is a
Python-based project.)

I'm one of the SpamBayes developers (http://www.spambayes.org/), but we
have all moved onto other things.  Consequently, it's been pretty dormant
for at least three or four years.  The bulk of the infrequent questions
sent to the spambayes at python.org mailing list these days relate to the
Outlook plugin which Mark Hammond, Tim Peters and Tony Meyer developed.  (I
think it's telling that Outlook users still have no better spam filtering
solution than a long dormant open source tool, but that's a conversation
for another day.)  As you probably know, Windows hasn't stood still over
the past few years.  We've had Windows 7, Windows 8, 64-bit versions of
Outlook, and who knows what all else.  Consequently, it can be challenging
for your typical Windows user to get SpamBayes installed and functioning,
if, in fact, they even can.  More commonly, people upgrade their OS or
Outlook versions and find SpamBayes stops working.

During a recent thread about SpamBayes' (lack of) Windows support, one
correspondent wrote:

*This is where you officially move the project(s) to GitHub and pay
attention to pull requests.  You're more likely to get people contributing
on GitHub than SourceForge.  Forking, modifying, and submitting pull
requests is just as easy as merging and accepting the pull request into the
main branch.  If you don't want to do any development (the hard part
anyway), the key is to stay on top of pull requests and don't let them sit
around in the queue for more than a couple weeks.  The work on your end
becomes rather minimal - taking more of a hands-off managerial role.*

It seemed to me that the author was suggesting that if I would just move
the project to GitHub, all my cares will disappear.  Elves with Windows
experience will sneak into my workshop at night and solve all my problems,
leaving pull requests for me to respond to in the morning.  As you might
expect, I'm just a little skeptical.

What do the assembled GitHub experts think?  Will Windows elves magically
appear to fix Windows support if I simply move SpamBayes from SourceForge
to GitHub?  Where will these pull requests come from?  Do I need to come up
with a clever Super Bowl commercial to attract developers?


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail.python.org/pipermail/chicago/attachments/20130204/96c0430a/attachment.html>

More information about the Chicago mailing list