Is Kbin dying? I wanted to address the deleted thread and provide some insight into the current situation.

/kbin is certainly not dying, as @fr0g pointed out, work on new features and bug fixes is ongoing. However, it may give the impression that it is, and for that, I take full responsibility and owe you an explanation.

Several factors have contributed to this situation. The first and most significant reason is my family issues, which I must prioritize. I'm doing my best to stabilize the situation as quickly as possible, but not everything is within my control. The second reason is unfortunate financial matters. When Kbin suddenly gained popularity, the project's maintenance costs far exceeded my initial estimates. While community support still allows for the cluster's maintenance, I also need to take care of my own livelihood and commitments. Another reason involves spam campaigns and other issues that I need to address behind the scenes. I don't want to go into specifics right now, but there will come a time when I can share more. My top priority is to resolve all these matters so that I can return to working on Kbin full-time.

I spend every spare moment writing code and reviewing code? from other contributors. It's a lot of work that goes into development, and I try to verify every accepted pull request and make improvements when I can. It also takes up a lot of time, more than it may seem. I have also delegated some responsibilities and permissions to the Kbin core team (https://codeberg.org/org/Kbin/teams), which has allowed the project to continue to grow, and I am immensely grateful for that. However, I still want to maintain overall control, although over time, we will work on better processes to make it less dependent on me.

I paused updates on kbin.social some time ago until the release of the first version. Hence, the impression that nothing is happening. Kbin is, in fact, developing so rapidly that I wouldn't be able to respond to potential issues quickly enough, adding to the stress.

I've given myself a deadline to resolve all my issues and release the first official version by the end of September. If I can't meet the deadline, I will step down from leading the project and transfer full rights over the repository and instance to the contributors. Of course, this includes the budget I mentioned earlier, earmarked for instance maintenance.

I feel truly awful about this. I can't even keep up with threads on Matrix Spaces, notifications here, etc. Right now, the only way to contact me is through the contact form. However, I want to catch up on everything as soon as possible and stabilize the situation. It's crucial to me, but at the moment, I can't put it above family matters. I apologize for letting you down, and I appreciate your words of support. If it weren't for such an amazing community, I might have given up a long time ago.

Darkrai,
Darkrai avatar

Take time for yourself, I don't think anyone's going to blame you for that. And honestly, I don't have any issues with the current state of Kbin, there's a couple bugs here and there but it's entirely usable otherwise. Finally, I think giving yourself a deadline to resolve personal issues might be counterproductive and make you more stressed than you should be. It sounds like you're already taking steps to help spread the workload around, I would just keep spending a little bit of time helping out the team do some stuff you can't do until you're able to get a better work life balance or something.

I guess I'm trying to say, things are great to me and I imagine you're getting that unfortunate side effect of only having people who have something to complain about reach out whereas everyone who has everything going well isn't saying anything. So, in my opinion, you can stay to course (as long as it isn't killing you mentally) and I don't think the site is suffering any for it.

ShadowRam,

I'm just glad they found some time to update us on the current situation!

Maeve,

Yes, and I feel bad that I haven’t said how great the kbin team are doing. Thanks to everyone, I’m sure it’s not a light load.

Teppic,
Teppic avatar

Hijacking the top comment since I feel like Ernest's buy me a coffee link should be signposted here:
https://www.buymeacoffee.com/kbin

RickRussell_CA,
RickRussell_CA avatar

Caffeinated!

Seraph,
Seraph avatar

If I can't meet the deadline, I will step down from leading the project and transfer full rights over the repository and instance to the contributors.

I respect you entirely but this is a bit dramatic. Not all projects can be on time due to complications and no one is asking you to step down. Please just do what is necessary - you're doing fantastic!

Looking forward to the first version!

debounced,
@debounced@kbin.run avatar

100%. and therein lies the beauty of open source: if someone thinks they can do a better job, then fork it and move on.

Seraph,
Seraph avatar

If someone thinks they can do a better job they can go fork themselves!

Spaghetti_Hitchens,

Just don't fork their dongle. That does not go over well.

RickRussell_CA,
RickRussell_CA avatar

Everybody says that, but that's not really practical. It would be much better to merge those features into the main project, than to fork it and get stuck maintaining a separate codebase in perpetuity.

Now I will say that if someone thinks they can do a better job, they should sign up for the project and commit their changes to the main project, so all ernest has to do is approve it, rather than write it himself.

debounced, (edited )
@debounced@kbin.run avatar

oh, i totally agree with your points and i think most of us are already doing that... i was being borderline sarcastic. now, that said, i have no knowledge of what prompted this as a possible resolution by @ernest and it's none of my business, but i can take an educated guess at the calibre of individual(s) that prompted this as a solution. sometimes you have to be a hard-ass if you want to maintain quality and vision (cough mr torvalds) and @ernest has made it clear he's too nice. :-)

blightbow, (edited )
blightbow avatar

Yeah, there is no need for "final solution" style accountability here. This was a project that a single developer was working on when the stars just happened to align and drive a lot of attention to it at once. A commercially oriented website in the same situation would struggle to deal with it and be forced to take out loans in order to expand staffing and infrastructure capacity.

The phrasing of Ernest's initial post suggests that there is at least one exploitable vulnerability that spammers are taking advantage of and can't be openly discussed until the gates are closed. I understand the frustration and optics problem that comes with "easy and important fixes" sliding on the schedule (i.e. the topic of the other thread), but look at it this way:

  • Ernest is too slammed with work to be consciously creating more work for himself.
  • He needs the spam and bot problem to go away so ASAP so that it stops taking time away from him. This includes the missing moderation tools, spam/bot campaigns that are operating at a scale that those additional tools would have difficulty addressing regardless, and the issues he can't talk about yet that were hinted at above.
  • If he is waiting to push out a fix to problems that would greatly reduce his workload, there are very good reasons for it.
  • If he is not able to push out fixes that reduce his workload, it stands to reason that fixes unrelated to them are also sliding.
melroy,
@melroy@kbin.melroy.org avatar

Indeed, nobody is asking you (Ernest) to step down.

ryan,

I've given myself a deadline to resolve all my issues and release the first official version by the end of September. If I can't meet the deadline, I will step down from leading the project and transfer full rights over the repository and instance to the contributors.

Ernest, please don't be so hard on yourself. Deadlines slip, even for products formally released by companies, and this is more of a hobby frankly. I think what might help is less of a deadline and more of a roadmap - like, here are the major bullet point items we want to target for release by end of 2023, by end of Q1 2024, and sometimes those slip but then the roadmap can be revised.

I've been updating my own kbin instance pretty regularly, every couple of weeks, and I've seen things become more stable over time (less frustrations in upgrading, more features, etc). I'm quite happy with the progress so far. This project has grown so much in such a short time, and the fact that the kbin issues matrix is much quieter than it was speaks to the growing stability of the platform.

As far as kbin.social itself, I would agree with some other folks that you might need more volunteers on the actual instance administration and moderation front.

And as far as spam - email, the original federated messaging platform, still has that problem! Each email provider has to handle it on their own, using increasingly sophisticated methods, and they're still not perfect and it's been decades. Yes, spam is frustrating, but due to the nature of ActivityPub we will always be in an escalating war with spam. It will never be solved, only mitigated for a time.

Anyway, perhaps I've written too much here, but I have a ton of confidence in this project and also in you, and I hope you look back and see how much has been accomplished in a short amount of time, how much kbin.social has grown, and how the amount of other contributors indicates an overall great level of confidence in what you've created.

abff08f4813c,
abff08f4813c avatar

Thank you @ernest for all you do and all you have done!

Absolutely do not want to see you run yourself into the ground over kbin matters, your family and your health come first.

I don't question your judgement, but I think the "step down" bit is a bit extreme, even if you fail to meet the deadline. Worst case, maybe let the community appoint a second-in-command temporarily to get some things moving along while you take a well deserved break?

McBinary,
McBinary avatar

Agreed, stepping down is a bit heavy handed. There are a lot of moving parts, it's okay to take time for your self and let others take up the reigns temporarily if you need to. I've seen quite a lot of merges on the core recently - so it's obvious things are moving in the right direction.

NotAPenguin,

Thank you for explaining and thank you for the work you're doing!
Of course you and your family's wellbeing comes first, take the time you need.

JustAWoopie,
JustAWoopie avatar

Thank you for the transparency about the situation! Taking time to resolve personal problems is not something to apologise over, we’re all thankful for the incredible work you’re doing so we can use Kbin.

HipPriest,

If end of September is a self imposed deadline why not just extend it a little? I don't feel like you've got anything to prove here and you certainly shouldn't in my book

I'm always telling people in my team health/family etc comes first (from learning the hard way myself)...

Obviously if that's not possible for reasons we don't know that's different. But I honestly enjoy using Kbin in its current state pretty much daily and I think most people here would agree you've done a cracking job on it.

Hope things work out for you either way

TellumSiege, (edited )
TellumSiege avatar

You've done an awesome job. And anyone complaining needs to remember that Kbin/ Fediverse is still in its infancy stages: It's going to cry, teethe, piss and shit itself when you least expect it. But with the right care (and time), one day it'll be a lot easier to manage.

originalucifer, (edited )
@originalucifer@moist.catsweat.com avatar

dunno, i kinda got into running an instance after reading about all the hard work you put into it. it would be hard for me to separate the ernest from the kbin ... so, dont do that?

take your time, take care of yours. this shit will be here

Mars2k21,
Mars2k21 avatar

Building something this large completely as a volunteer service is commendable, honestly. Most people wouldn't think of taking up something like this.

This place is completely usable for me and bugs have become noticably less frequent. Most features I need are on here. You've done a good job, especially for so much of the work being done by a single person. I can only write a simple script of code, lol. In the future, just consider bringing in some people to help out on Kbin (especially with moderation).

If you need to take a break, delay some updates, or just step back, do so. Your personal matters need to be resolved first, and us random internet strangers can come later. You can stick to the deadline if you'd like, but I think it's more stress you don't need at the moment. It won't kill Kbin if some features took longer to come out.

indieterminacy,

slow and steady wins the race :)

lots of people trust you and from what I can tell you have a great team around you.

dont fret, it will be ok.

maybe just delegate a bit more out to some deputies you have confidence in.

downpunxx,
downpunxx avatar

hey @earnest, original (and multiple since my bad poster here) I just wanted to drop a note here, and wanted to thank you for your response. i couldn't see any replies to my original thread this morning, figured it was users that i had blocked trolling me through some loophole in the blocking/"not really blocking" feature, and reposted a couple times today.

i will stop doing that now that you sent me that message, i'd sure like to see the other replies to this thread (your thread) but can't see a single comment.

take your time, do your thing, i truly utterly and gratefuly appreciate you taking the time out to respond to this, and your efforts, preivous and ongoing are valued and i'm just glad kbin is a workign alternative to lemmy. wish you nothing but good for your family, and other ongoing commitments, and here's to the future of kbin!

Keegen,
Keegen avatar

You're doing great Ernest, don't be so hard on yourself!
As for funding the project long term, if Patreon/Coffe/LibraPay ever stop being enough, maybe a Wikipedia-like style banner on the top of the page asking for donations could work? I think it's more than fair to remind people to help pay for the upkeep of the free project they use, and if they have a problem with it they can go fork (it) themselves!

Hegar,

I've been perfectly content with kbin since I joined, thanks for all you do!

RickRussell_CA,
RickRussell_CA avatar

For desktop browsers, I like it better than regular lemmy. Admittedly, I'd like to use a client with it so I look forward to an API for mobile clients, but I'm pretty happy as a desktop user.

ForestOrca,
ForestOrca avatar

Kbin FTW! Thank you Ernest, and the rest of the team. As a reddifugee, I feel I've landed in the right instance. And on the 'end user' side I'm committed to fostering the good growth of the magazines (m/SantaFe, m/Photobiomodulation) I've started. All of us together, we're building a better fediverse. I feel very hopeful.

8BitFriendly,
8BitFriendly avatar

Hi Ernest, just a little message to tell you that we can wait. Give your family issues priority. First things first. Thanks for all the work done.

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