[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Please review

From: Yuchen Pei
Subject: Re: Please review
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2021 10:33:00 +1000
User-agent: mu4e 1.4.13; emacs 27.2

bill-auger <> writes:

On Mon, 28 Jun 2021 17:03:45 +1000 Yuchen wrote:
A forge defined this way does hosting / publishing and communication only, not computation, thus it should not be considered SaaSS.

its a valid point - i believe there was an unwritten implication
in that quote though - it was implied that the those tasks could
not be accomplished on ones own computer

I was also under the impression that whether a task counts as SaaSS depends on the significance of the computation in the tasks, but re-reading the essay I don't think that is true.

Rather it is about computing tasks where the activity does not inherently involve anyone else (see the section "How Service as a Software Substitute Takes Away Your Freedom" in the SaaSS essay). An example would be editing a photo, and a non-example would be publishing like posting blogposts and communications like mailing lists.

surely, some people do not have a reliable internet connection
- for those people, a freebie service may be the only option; but
self-hosting is possible, and hosting is affordable

i think that the "gist" of the SaaSS definition, is that it
covers any computing task, which could be done on one local
machine, or at least one controlled by the user

and which does not require communications with someone else's computers.

perhaps publishing is not a significant computation; but forges
do much more than publishing - they are complete applications -
they actually simulate several discrete applications (bug
tracking, code review, signature verification, forum, mailing
lists) - also live alerts / web-hooks / @mentions, third-party
API integrations, and other webby bells-and-whistles

Code review, forum and mailing lists are all communications so should not count as SaaSS. Not sure about bug tracking, signature verifications, live alerts, web-hooks, mentions, as that depends on the definition of these functionalities.

Take mentions for example. Say the functionality is you get an notification when someone @you in an issue tracker. Is this SaaSS?

Suppose Forge A sends an email to the user for every issue message like most forges do, then you can set up the notification by you own using the mail client. So it is SaaSS.

Suppose Forge B does not offer the service of sending an email for every message in the issue tracker and it does not offer an API for clients to grab messages? The user will then need to write a parser and have to be mindful about the rate of requests sent to the forge service. But assuming the user has no way of getting these messages without using the forge web service, then it is not considered SaaSS by the definition, because there's no way of getting the notification without communicating with the server. So the mention functionality is not considered SaaSS.

Clearly Forge A gives users more control than Forge B, so it feels wrong to fail Forge A on SaaSS criterion because of this.

What do you think?

Perhaps the SaaSS essay needs an update to cover the bells-and-whisles. For one thing, the FSF Member Forum (a discourse forum) has the mention notification functionality.

I think the general problem with deciding or ensuring that a service is not SaaSS, is that it is much harder to do so than deiciding or ensuring a piece of software is free, because for the latter we just need to check the license or stamp it with a free license and let the license and the copyright law do the heavy lifting, but for the former we have to do detailed analysis of the functionalities of the service.


PGP Key: 47F9 D050 1E11 8879 9040  4941 2126 7E93 EF86 DFD0

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: PGP signature

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]