The answer to "is and/or mailing-list-driven development harder for drive-by contributors than GitHub?"

@sir Setting up git sendmail requires being able send mail via the sendmail binary, or via an SMTP port (25, 465, 587), which is not something a lot of people have these days. Compared to that, the hoops GitHub makes one jump through are much simpler.

Much as I hate it.


@liw wait, who doesn't have SMTP access?

@sir A lot of people. Most people use webmail of some sort, not SMTP and IMAP clients, for example.

@liw their email provider almost certainly provides SMTP access.

@sir Arranging for that is much more work than using GitHub, though. Been there, done that. Several times. Not going to debate this. Your lived experience is clearly far different from mine.

@sir @liw Which requires understanding of where to find the information and how to authenticate.

@jhulten @liw if they can't google their email provder's SMTP help page then they're in for a bad time with the rest of git

@sir @jhulten I think you're being more than a little arrogant and disingenuous with this requirement that to use git one must have also have, and know how to use, an SMTP provider.

Or in claiming that only "engineer" should use git.

@liw @jhulten here's what I'm getting at: if you intend to write code, you should be comfortable learning new technology things and looking up docs. If you are, then figuring out SMTP is not hard. You just have to find a few magic strings and plug them into the right places, and tutorials telling you Googleable names of those magic strings and exactly where to put them exist.

@liw @jhulten and I don't believe in making coding more accessible to people who aren't willing to read docs or solve problems they aren't familiar with. Those are essential, indespensible, non-negotiable skills in the toolbox of a developer.

@sir @jhulten @liw git isn't just for code though, I often use git to work on LaTeX documents for publications or reports.

@sir @liw I don't believe in forcing people into yak shaving exercises as a form of gatekeeping.

@jhulten @liw if anyone's being disingenous here this is it

@liw @sir Especially when the comparison is to Github or even Gitlab. The simplest case I can see is a documentation fix. With either GH or GL, a local checkout is not required. This is a serious low bar to clear.

If all you care about is people that write code like you write, maybe you are right. But most new contributors start small to learn and to see how the community reacts to their input.

@sir @liw

I'm currently postmastering for a large organisation, and I spend as long as possible trying to get developers to STOP SENDING EMAIL from their systems. An email is rarely the right answer when compared to an actual API call (even if that's only an HTTPS POST).

Even internally, email is NOT RELIABLE due to the number of defences we have to put inline due to constant egregious misuse by criminal groups (e.g. spam, malware, compromised accounts, etc etc.).

@jim @liw as someone who also maintains large email systems...

Deal with it. It's not nearly as bad as you're making it out to be.

@sir @liw Simply processing SMTP transactions isn't difficult. But when you look at the problem from a higher level of "who/what is communicating and who/what is supposed to be receiving" then if it isn't a human talking to a human (and even then) email is probably not the right system in the first place.

@jim @liw to be fair I think being a mail server admin is the worst part about email. But I intend to eventually offer hosted mail and will deal with it for people.

@sir @liw Well then good luck to you, I wouldn't wish deliverability concerns on to anyone! There's a number of good mail-admin self-help lists, one of the lowest-volume vs highest signal is [Mailop], which I recommend

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