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Re: how much of a forge is SaaSS?

From: Yuchen Pei
Subject: Re: how much of a forge is SaaSS?
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2021 14:14:45 +1000
User-agent: mu4e 1.4.13; emacs 27.2

bill-auger <> writes:

i started a new thread for this discussion, to avoid steering
the codeberg thread off-track

On Tue, 29 Jun 2021 10:33:00 +1000 Yuchen wrote:
> 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.

using a forge (or a web browser), does not require communication
with any other computer - it is a perfectly valid use-case, to
operate ones own forge for private, local, use

Using a forge as a means of publishing and communication does require communication with other people's computer, either to view someone else's repos, or to let others view your repos.

in any use-case, the use of a forge, certainly does not require
all communications to be mediated through a third-party, who has
no obligation nor stake in the project

SaaSS is less about mediation through a third-party than what kind of activities is mediated through a third party, whether it is doing computing on your behalf.

On Tue, 29 Jun 2021 10:33:00 +1000 Yuchen wrote:
Code review, forum and mailing lists are all communications so should not count as SaaSS.

the fact that communication is involved, does not exempt it from
being SaaSS - when those communication are mediated by a forge,
there is much more happening than simple "communication" - there
is code being executed on a machine, which _none_ of the users
control, but which could be executed on a machine that one (or
all) of the users _could_ control

It is not about who controls the execution of the code, but what kind of functionality such execution does.

On Tue, 29 Jun 2021 10:33:00 +1000 Yuchen wrote:
Take mentions for example. Say the functionality is you get an notification when someone @you in an issue tracker. Is this SaaSS?

likely no; because the computation is so trivial - but the task
itself is also trivial - a forge and a web browser are absurdly
complicated tools for that trivial task - that same task could
be accomplished, using only simpler, local software (email,
XMPP, etc)

Again, whether a service counts as SaaSS has less to do with the complexity of the computation, but the functionality.

On Tue, 29 Jun 2021 10:33:00 +1000 Yuchen wrote:
because there's no way of getting the notification without communicating with the server.

yes there is - you could operate the server yourself on a
machine that you control - other contributors would get
notifications from your server; but at least one of the team
members controls that server

Who controls the server is less relevant. If it is SaaSS, the fact you / your project control it does not mean it is no longer SaaSS, as people with no control to the server will still be harmed when using your service.

On Tue, 29 Jun 2021 10:33:00 +1000 Yuchen wrote:
Clearly Forge A gives users more control than Forge B

Forge A may give users more _options_ than Forge B, regarding
which computations happen, and when; but none of the users have
any _control_, over any of the computations, on either forge

On Tue, 29 Jun 2021 10:33:00 +1000 Yuchen wrote:
Perhaps the SaaSS essay needs an update to cover the bells-and-whisles.

i agree - most policies should be reviewed/revised periodically,
to stay current with the technologies that people use

likewise, these repo-criteria are showing their age, by ignoring
self-hosting forges as a viable (if not the preferred) option,
and indeed, the general solution to the SaaSS issue

Quote from the essay (

Rejecting SaaSS does not mean refusing to use any network servers run by anyone other than you. Most servers are not SaaSS because the jobs they do are some sort of communication, rather than the user's own computing.

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