I recently came across two examples of the worst that can happen to a Free Software project beause of centralized resources
- I(Syuilo) don’t accept any issue and pull request to Misskey(Git Repository: https://github.com/misskey-dev/misskey) for an indefinite period of time.
- Due to a reason above,I remove all collaborators from Misskey.Beacuse they still can make a issue and pull request.
On 30 March 2021, Leah Rowe appointed herself once again as leader of the Libreboot project, removing then lead developers Sebastian ‘Swift Geek’ Grzywna and Andrew Robbins in what the latter described as a coup.
Centralized organizations try to prevent this unfortunate turn of events by creating a foundation or organizing democratic elections to delegate the power to a group of people. It works to some extent because a takeover requires a group of individuals and cannot be conveniently done overnight by a single person. But it eventually leads to the same problem and the project is controlled by an elite (see “the nature of elitism” explained in the tyranny of structurelessness). I won’t go into the details of my own reasoning but I’d be interested to have that discussion of someone is motivated.
Fedeproxy (and Enough) chose a different approach by establishing a structure for a horizontal community of individuals. The bottom line is that a horizontal community makes it possible for every member to takeover or destroy all centralized resources. Should that happen, other community members will be forced to give up using the centralized resource that is no longer shared according to the manifesto. This is the primary reason why the fedeproxy information system is infrastructure as code: if someone was to lock everyone else out of the current instance in the same way the misskey lead did, other members could conveniently rebuild it in a matter of hours using the documented procedures.
But there is one thing that would still make it very unpractical: the domain name. It is a centralized resource that cannot be conveniently rebuilt. People bookmarked it, links to the domain are scattered all over the internet. If someone seize control, it will effectively be very difficult for other community members to compensate for that loss. People and machines would still go to the original domain name, not the newly created one. They would have to rebuild an audience, starting from zero. I recently had a discussion with @misc on that topic but it only confirmed the problem is difficult to solve.
It would be great if there was a simple way to solve that. Or better yet: an example to follow.
What do you think?