[Chicago] GitHub & SpamBayes

Dan Krol orblivion at gmail.com
Tue Feb 5 07:36:56 CET 2013

Git does help. Github helps more, again specifically because of the
pull request feature.

On Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 8:14 PM, Skip Montanaro <skip at pobox.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 8:12 PM, Adam "Cezar" Jenkins
> <emperorcezar at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I think you're mistaken on how most people find projects and contribute to
>> them. In my opinion most people find a project because of a need.
> That I most certainly understand.  Those of us who are/were SpamBayes
> developers worked on it because it scratched an itch we had.  It's
> still in use on mail.python.org (whether you realize it or not - it
> provides a bit of spam filtering for most mailing lists like this one,
> and serves as the only spam filtering for Usenet news messages
> gatewayed to python-list at python.org).  We all used to use it.
> Eventually though, our mail service providers wound up in one of three
> camps:
> * Some developed good spam filter technology themselves.  Gmail falls
> into this category.  I presume other major big name mail providers do
> as well (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc), though I have no direct experience with
> them.
> * Others were pressured by the above 800-pound gorillas to not simply
> forward all the spam along.  Pobox.com, who provides mail forwarding
> for me, falls into this category.  It was easy to provide leverage.
> All the big guys had to do was threaten to start refusing mail from
> those forwarding services if they didn't do what they could at the
> front-end (while the SMTP connection was still open - blackhole lists,
> greylisting, etc).
> * They were driven out of business because they didn't do what groups
> like pobox.com did.
> I wound up with effectively no spam reaching my mailbox, so I had
> nothing for SpamBayes to munch on.  I eventually decided that the
> combination of Gmail + pobox.com was "good enough".  I suspect most
> other open source developers fall into the same camp.
> SpamBayes is now left with a few users who need help and are decidedly
> not developers.  I doubt that most of the open source developers who
> could fix the problems SpamBayes has on Windows would need its
> features either.
>> If it
>> doesn't work and they are developers, they will probably want to make it
>> work. Github makes it much much easier for them to push a button and push
>> those changes back to you.
> I find it unlikely that a developer for whom SpamBayes scratches no
> itch is going to fix bugs.
>> Without something like Github, the barrier to contribute back is higher.
> But isn't that Git speaking, not necessarily GitHub?  Could I just
> convert the Subversion repo at SF to Git and get the same benefit?
>> Your original post talked about the users of your project, so you already
>> have a community. You talk about how they need to use the project, so you
>> already are fullfilling a need. What you don't have is a simple way to
>> contribute back. You had a user suggest Github as a way to do that.
> Yes, but the people with the problems are not developers.  The
> SpamBayes developers no longer need or use the tool.  I'm left with a
> community of users who can't help themselves (well, except perhaps for
> this one fellow who didn't say, "move to GitHub and I'll fix your
> problems", but "move to GitHub and someone else will fix your
> problems"), and a community of (former) developers who no longer use
> the tool and have moved on to scratch other itches.
> It's unclear to me that the investment of my time in moving from
> Subversion to Git (be it at GitHub, SF, or somewhere else) is going to
> pay itself back.  It would be different if I was still actively
> working on SpamBayes myself.  Then I would have no problem moving to
> Git (or Mercurial, or Bazaar).  With no current developers, it would
> seem to make little sense to move the code repository on the
> off-chance that someone will find it and start contributing.
> Skip
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