Just read a post asking Eugen to resign from developing Mastodon and I really have to ask: what are you folks smoking?

It’s his project. It’s open source. Fork it if you want to. But what kind of mind-blowing sense of entitlement drives you to think you can tell someone they should stop working on something they’ve built?


@aral Yeah, asking for him to resign is going to stop the project dead. No one else has the know-how or motivation to drive it at large. Even the two well-known forks have minimal developer resources.

It's still not wrong to ask him to consider uses that are different from those of, and to lobby for features that may not fit his vision for future development of the software.

@galaxis @aral resignation is a bit extreme but the letter has A LOT of valid points... He should dissolve the llc though...

@galaxis @aral there is ~5.8k€/month or 70k€/year of drive here

Although that also has to pay for hosting and moderating And probably other stuff. Still think it goes a pretty long way.

People do think should get better moderation, but also has to be shrunk...

@aral I assume the monthly paychecks they are sending is why they feel entitled to ask for Eugen's resignation.

@meisam @aral Then the right step would be to stop sending those paychecks? The Mastodon gGmbH is still a privately owned company, AFAIK

@sheogorath Apparently, the sarcasm was not so obvious in my last comment! Sorry about that. 😅

@meisam @aral they entitle them to stop paying. Eugen can go eat five bottles of rancid wine for all I care but this is just more pathetic children pretending to be adults.

@aral Most of us develop a resistance against the widespread f**king arrogance.

@gert @aral This response is amusing because I can’t tell which party you’re taking about.

@aral If someone really doesn’t like his work, they could work on a whole new project that interacts fine with ActivityPub. It’s not like we don’t already have a few of those.

@aral I wonder if things like these are attempts to stifle progress. I think we're pretty susceptible to trolls and sabotage in that regard.

@aral I agree. Even though I disagree with his view on how users should use the software I just find the letter absurd.

@aral exactly, fork it and good luck but I'm pretty sure nobody will achieve what Mastodon did.

@aral Mastodon already has several forks. That open letter mentions one. This account is hosted on another. It's not the same thing. Gargron is the founder of Mastodon. He's the face of the project. And the project isn't just a piece of software anymore, it's all our communities. Which are now at risk.

Tech is never "just tech". You should know better than most people. I thought you did.

@notimetoplay Right, tech is never “just tech”, it’s political. Fully agreed. So remind me where it says you have the right to make someone else stop working on something they’re building?

If the sternly-worded letter doesn’t work, what next? Should we shackle his hands to make sure he can’t type? Do you also take a kid’s Legos away if you don’t like what they’re building? Heck, even that isn’t a good analogy because the kid probably didn’t mold and craft the Legos himself.

*still smh*

@aral @notimetoplay I haven’t read the letter, but a call for resignation is most definitely an act for the politics of the thing rather than the code. As such it feels disingenuous to me to simply insist someone fork the code. What are all the non coding contributors to do? Do they not get a say in the culture of mastodon just because their contribution area doesn’t have the mechanisms necessary to fork?

Is it a silly demand for an open source project? A bit. But that doesn’t make the people making the demand silly or drug users/addicts. For many people Mastodon is their first or only experience of the fediverse and/or open-source.

How do we build a community around the fediverse such that we can collectively push for changes when and where they are necessary? Does it produce a vibrant and healthy community if the only or main way to address leadership we don’t agree with is to build our own camp/software? Seems like a lot of repetition of effort to me.

@notimetoplay @aral How does one client not including a few features put your community at risk? If your community likes those features, use a different client. This isn’t even “fork it!” - the work is already done for you.

@aral I get those types of requests weekly. People figure someone needs to do the job (not themselves) but not the guy doing it, just some mythical savior.

@aral for me I think it would be good to challenge and propose changes to the management structure of the software.

It's used by more than his two big instances, but I don't feel like admins like myself get any say in the direction of the software without chipping in code (and running an instance takes most of the time I might have to contribute even if it was incorporated) maybe a board or working group is needed?

But asking him to stop doing EVERYTHING seems pointless

@M0YNG @aral

I don't think Eugen should resign, but there /are/ valid issues being raised such as a claim that sponsors should be "family friendly", but then still accepting sponsorship for questionable organisations such as casinos or essay writing services, directly contradicting this policy - that doesn't look good if one intent is to encourage a wider group of people (including potentially vulnerable young people) to use the Fediverse more...

@vfrmedia @M0YNG @aral I don't get what's wrong about essay writing services. Could someone explain me why, please?

@avalos @M0YNG @aral

in many countries (such as UK) using one (especially for work assessed as part of your final grade) would be classed as cheating.

You risk being expelled from your school/college/uni, and maybe even interviewed by the Police and given a juvenile penalty such as a Caution.

This will stay on your record for some years and make it difficult to get jobs, as employers will see it as a crime of dishonesty.

@avalos @aral @M0YNG

its a legal grey area as advertising or providing such services isn't in itself illegal, but using it can be if the end aim is to gain financially (such as a qualification that helped you get a better job).

It is like selling a car to someone who has no full driving licence; and no one to supervise them when they drive on provisional/learners permit. An ethical person would not sell the vehicle in these circumstances, even if they weren't directly breaking the law..

@vfrmedia “Everything must be family-friendly” is a cancer of this era. I don't see how prudish hypocricy has anything to do with developing software.

@tennoseremel but it does not make sense to put up a claim that sponsors should "family friendly" and then simply ignore it; as it just then looks like the organisation is dishonest in other ways, and that simply doesn't look good no matter how liberal anyones views may be..

@aral Well, thats not exactly true. There more contributors and quite some public funding. Its not his project, its ours. But yes, a fork is needed, since this project is going nowhere useful anymore.

@gcrkrause Cool, if it’s your project, please keep building it and thank you for your contributions.

You cannot – and neither should you be able to – stop anyone else working on it (or a fork of it).

@aral I was in no way implying this. I am just questioning your definition of ownership here, which is just wrong and capitalistic and quite the opposite of what open source is about.

@aral Well, I agree. But I also think he should listen the giant community he created. A bit more of democracy wouldn't hurt.

@aral a common story, as far as I noticed. A popular project grows "community leaders" who, while contributing pretty much nothing, start treating the founder as an oppressing dictator and campaign against him (it's usually "him"). "We don't need a BDFL" and all that stuff.


'Fork it if you want.'

I'm sure you are familiar with the retort: 'That's not practical for most people'.

And that is very true for most people on Mastodon. Even the tiny percentage who would have sufficient skills to do so would mostly not be in a financial position to maintain a fork.
Gargron can run his project any way he likes but he can't control the reactions to his unilateral decisions.

As someone said there are valid criticisms in the letter.
The Eunomia issue hasn't been fully discussed.

@dublinux Right, it’s not practical for most people to fork a project. Correct.

It is also absolutely ludicrous to tell someone what they can and what they cannot work on.

@aral Eugen has courted these people for ages. He doesn't deserve it, but he should not be surprised.

@aral I'm really out of the loop - what's the reason people want him gone?

Thank you, somehow I always think things like this will be less dumb than they are. A blog on "" is complaining about "sketchy" bitcoin VPS companies and some how that has anything to do with software they didn't build... Dumb on top of dumb. These types think they can tell everyone what to do.


@aral @vrsmd I think it's this… (was wondering myself what this discussion was about)
@aral eugen is a total faggot who believes in helping the EU develop a social credit system and the combined faggotry of mastodon instances, the block list and all the other sjw idiocy is a good reason to get rid of eugen

@aral Any link on this? Is this all happening because of the iOS app not having a local timeline?
If so, who's forcing users to use that app? There's countless other clients for it if they'd like that feature.

@florian @aral it’s more political : i mean, the official app removes core features that the creator of the software doesn’t like anymore… it’s kind of bad omens for those who likes those features. The fear that local and federated timelines might not be there to stay is legitimate.

I don’t think it’ll go that far, but i’m convinced that Gargron has a biased pov on his software, based on his experience on one of the biggest instances. And he already showed that he wasn’t always a good listener…

TBH i’m not even using mastodon so i’m kinda not the best suited to talk about that. Or am i exactly for this reason ?

Like i said elsewhere, i’m pretty sure we could find a solution that suits both people using local timeline for thematic / community purposes, and people who think those are useless, trashy or overwhelming : groups.

Cross-instances federated thematic groups that you could join from any instance.

They’d even be better than local timelines even for small communities since they’d really be about one topic.

@Guerin @aral but in that case, it's not his responsibility to deliver these features. Instead, if there's a big enough group of people that feel that way, they should fork the project.

@florian @aral since he doesn’t seem to like those timelines but a large part of his users do i think’s it’s not absurd to ask for him to deliver. He’s the one wanting mastodon to rise and gain more users. Yet he doesn’t really listen to his userbase.

Not all folks here are developers, we can’t all just fork. And maintain the new software. He has the skills, the funds, and the human ressources.

@florian @aral oh and btw i like how he says that public timelines are features for techy people and yet forgets that “decentralized-platform” (which is his main argument for mastodon) also is a feature for techy people

But that’s another topic

@Guerin @florian I don’t have a problem with any of what you’ve articulated. However, raising the points you just did a world and a half removed from saying that someone who has built something should stop working on it because you don’t like how he’s building it. Which is what the open letter I read was saying.

@aral @florian not sure i understood the part with “a world and a half…” but to be clear i don’t think Eugen should give up his work. I just think it’s too bad he doesn’t listen a little more to feedback when it doesn’t suit his views. But like you said, his project his rules. Even though great things can appear when taking some distance and confronting pov.

I hope this “drama” won’t stay just that but turns out to be an opportunity for an even better software :)

@aral I don't feel like he has to *resign* but should seriously change his attitude...

I've seen so much times of him "I don't like this feature, it won't be there", even if it doesn't cost him much effort to add beyond a review.
Do we *really* have to make 1337666 forks just because 1 guy doesn't want a particular feature?

@finlaydag33k What’s the alternative? You whip him until he implements it?

@aral Him not being an asshat? :^)
Seriously... it takes a few moments of his time to review a PR and press "merge".

@aral As soon as you have users who depend on you, it's no longer "your project" alone. Continuing to ignore them and do user-hostile things makes him a tyrant.

If you turn Better into an ad farm, people aren't going to just say "oh well that's Aral's right" and keep using it.

@mdhughes And no one is forcing anyone to use anything.

It’s a huge leap from “you can’t force anyone to use what you make” (agreed, entirely) to “stop working on your app because I said so” (which is what the open letter demands).

@aral People are very invested in Mastodon already. The only alternative is a lot of effort to move to new software with risks.

So asking him to stop being a tyrant is the first "do less harm" step.

@aral It worked when they tried it with the Free Software Foundation.

@aral @mattskala
can i ask why do you see such a profound difference pertaining to the point you made?

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