Pachli's application - Public Q&A and Discussion Thread

Pachli’s application has been published, here: Pachli - Nivenly Application | The Nivenly Foundation

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Let us know your questions about Pachli!

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Why a fork and not a contribution back to main? There may be an obvious reason or I may have missed something spelled out in the documentation already (if so I apologize), but while I see a lot of things to work on I don’t see a reason for a fork.

What is the relationship with the Tusky developers/project? Are any of the (now former?) Tusky developers working on this one?

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I believe this might shed some light: Stepping back from the Tusky project — nikclayton

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is Nivenly in a good position to address those concerns? @nikclayton


Why a fork and not a contribution back to main?

I stepped back from the Tusky project earlier this year, after contributing to that project for about 8 months (~ 150 PRs), running the two previous releases (Tusky v22 and v23), and being the main (or possibly only) person posting from the @tusky account for ~ 2 months.

Stepping back from the Tusky project — nikclayton sets out why I stepped back from the project. It’s the failures of project governance there, and a clear lack of willingness to address them, that made me think a fork was reasonable.

In particular, if I’m going to talk the talk I should be prepared to walk the walk.

The lack of project governance with the project was noted as an ongoing issue as recently as Oct 30th by @connyduck, Tusky maintainer (Conny Duck: "Tusky" -

What is the relationship with the Tusky developers/project?

There isn’t one.

The Tusky project produced a statement that repeatedly lied (Update #2 on "Stepping back" — nikclayton onwards).

Since then two more members of the project have resigned, one of whom I believe was bought on specifically to work on the issues I raised. I do not know why they resigned.

It’s been more than three months since the Tusky project put out a release, effectively stranding the contributions that people have made to the project in the interim time (features, bug fixes, and translations). There is a “nightly” build, but that’s used by less than ~ 5% of the userbase (at the time I left, I don’t know those numbers now).

From what I’ve seen (and I appreciate that this may come across as harsh, but I think it’s important to speak clearly) the Tusky project is an object lesson in what happens when an open source project becomes an integral part of many peoples’ experience of a service, but with no workable plan to scale and govern the project accordingly.

As the user base increases so do the number of feature requests and bug reports, with the communication and project management burden that that brings.

This leads to maintainer burnout, with its associated human cost.

This is not to cast blame – the sudden influx in November 2022 took everyone by surprise. But the project has not been able to adapt, or prioritise adapting.

Are any of the (now former?) Tusky developers working on this one?

Not at the moment. Given the project’s statement and the refutation I posted I would be surprised if any of them were to contribute.

That said, contributions from anyone, whether it’s in the form or PRs or not, is always welcome.

I hope so. They have a head start in thinking about project governance models and providing expertise to other, larger projects. The Nivenly board (Who is running Nivenly? | The Nivenly Foundation) membership covers for at least some of my own blind spots, biases, and gaps in experience.

The Nivenly membership would provide a much larger sounding board for ideas that I have about e.g., using membership fees to fund grants for contributions from people who would like to participate in the project but are economically unable to do so at the moment.

By way of an introduction as well (and mostly swiping from About Pachli | Pachli):

I’m Nik, I’ve been contributing to open source projects since the early 1990s. I’ve run large open source events (I was one of the co-founders of BSDCon Europe back in 2001). I’ve started open source projects, joined open source projects, been given stewardship of existing projects, and handed stewardship of projects I’ve started over to other people.

On Mastodon I’m

I contributed to the Tusky project December 2022 - August 2023. My first contribution improved the FAQ (#16). Since then I contributed more than 150 PRs to the project. If you were affected by Tusky bugs like:

  • The swipe sensitivity between tabs being way too high (fixed: #3148)
  • Losing your place when you press “Load more” (fixed: #3000)
  • Missing notifications (fixed: #3700 (and many others))
  • Images getting “stuck” when trying to zoom or swipe between them (fixed: #3894)

then I’m the one who fixed them.

I also work on accessibility including #3003, #3121, #3272, and #3248.

I was responsible for the 22.0 and 23.0 Tusky releases, and a great deal of the interaction with users via the Tusky Mastodon account. I also did most of the review and merge work of new contributions.

I’m in Zurich, and will be checking in on this thread a couple of times a day (Zurich time) to read and respond.