Pain points in Git's patch flow

dwh at dwh at
Sat May 8 12:08:55 AEST 2021

On 19.04.2021 17:49, Konstantin Ryabitsev wrote:
>On Mon, Apr 19, 2021 at 07:54:37AM +0200, Sebastian Schuberth wrote:
>> > of these proposed alternatives involve moving away from something that's
>> > a distributed system today (E-Mail infrastructure, local clients), to
>> > what's essentially some website run by a centralized entity, in some
>> > cases proprietary.
>> That's a good point, I admit I haven't thought of that. Probably
>> because I also don't care much. So *does* it really matter? What
>> exactly concerns you about a "centralized entity"? Is it the technical
>> aspect of a single point of failure, or the political / social aspect
>> of being dependent on someone you do not want to get influenced by? I
>> guess it's a bit of both.
>Patches sent via email remain immune to this. Even if vger falls over, it's
>merely a list service -- there are alternative ways of transmitting RFC2822
>messages that don't involve a central host (such as via a NNTP gateway,
>publishing a public-inbox "feed", etc). Email remains one of the few protocols
>that are designed ground-up to be decentralized and I'm afraid that we are
>again finding ourselves in a world where this is increasingly relevant.

I agree with Konstantin on this one. To this day, email is still the
most decentralized and "user sovereign" system on the internet. The
standardization of protocols and file formats is not perfect but it is
"complete" in the sense that it meets all of the requirements for
decentralized software development.

Think about it like this. Right now, I could use an IMAP client to
download all of my emails from GMail, store them in mbox files, then
use the IMAP client to upload the email to Fastmail or or some
other email provider. Or better yet, I can install local tools for
working with my email. The fact that email providers/tools are largely
interchangeable and replacable--despite Google/Yahoo/Microsoft's best
efforts--gives maximum power to users.

Like I said, I totally agree with Konstantin and I think the vision he
described in his post on developer sigchains is what I've always wanted
as an open source developer. It is common to hear the argument that
centralized systems are more convient and easier to use and the more
decentralized a sysetem, the harder it gets to use. I suspect that is
only a half-truth because I don't think we've achieved full
decentralization which is what Konstantin touches on in his post too.
Full decentralization will bring automatic maintainence of p2p
connections and synchronization. Things will "just work".

I know I'm veering off topic a bit here but decentralization has been
the focus of all of my learning, research and work for more than a
decade now. Email is critical for maintaining decentralized development


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