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RFC: new list of self-hosting options

From: bill-auger
Subject: RFC: new list of self-hosting options
Date: Sun, 2 May 2021 23:21:43 -0400

related to the suggestion of distinguishing forge hosts (eg: from the software running on them (eg: the gitlab
forge), i suggest that it should be presented with far more
significance than an innate disambiguation

any software which the user can not control, is effectively
non-free - that is the primary distinction to emphasize; and it
applies equally to all of the current examples - it is merely
incidental, that is the only one which also publishes
a libre version of it's software; and there are others in the
pipeline currently

self-hosting is clearly much more aligned with the fundamental
principles of the FSF and the GNU project - as it stands alone,
this list of SaaSS forges, is a blatant contradiction to those
fundamental principles; by neglecting to recognize these websites
as substitutes for services that each project could be operating
itself, and neglecting to present the many adequate DIY options
as preferable - that is a concession at best, and a missed
opportunity to illuminate the importance of freedom and
self-reliance, vs. subjugation to the convenience of third-party

i am suggesting a future direction for this work-group: to plan
on publishing a new list of self-hosting options, emphasizing
self-hosting as the preferred recommendation overall, and
de-emphasizing the original list, by alluding to some of the
inconvenient truths inherent in it, such as:

   You and your users have zero software freedom while using any
   of these!

   However, if it is impossible to host your own forge,
   here are the least awful SaaSS options, as a last-resort.
   [link to: "Who does that server really serve?"]"

   You are not entitled to your own data while using any of
   these! You have no assurance that these services will remain
   affordable, or will even exist tomorrow, and there is probably
   no way to rescue your data when they shut-down!
   When that happens, or should you ever decide, that another
   hosting alternative would better suit your project, your
   virtual community, will simply dissolve in the process.
   Even if you can get your data out, you will have no contact
   information for the participants of conversations, or for
   those who have subscribed to you project's activity notices."

those are not trivial concerns for any responsible project
maintainer to ignore - many people expect the webby
bells-and-whistles of these forges, as an essential part of their
work-flow, and use the web forge exclusively for all
communications - that makes the prospect of ever switching
to another host, very unappealing - if the project did not
self-host from the beginning, it is likely that it will remain
in this predicament forever

"DIY-SaaSS" has been on the HPP list for four years, and should
be among the loudest messages from the FSF today, yet there is
barely a mention of it on any other FSF or GNU web page - this
project is in an ideal position to emphasize the importance of
self-hosting, and to discourage reliance on third-party SaaSS

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