Omar Roth
rss


Stepping away from open source

Published August 1, 2020, tags: invidious

Starting September 1st, I'm shutting down the user-facing portion of https://invidio.us and stepping away from development. If you have an account on the site, you can export your data here, which will allow you to import everything to another instance or self-host.

The API will continue to function until October 1st, to give time for any services relying on it to migrate to other solutions. If you're a patron on Liberapay, I would urge you to switch your donation to iv-org, as that will ensure it goes to the stewards of the project going forward.


At the time of this writing, the main Invidious instance has roughly 35,000 users. It's difficult for me to even begin to think of those as actual people, and not just a number. At that level, the amount of feedback I receive, which I would consider rather small in comparison to others I've seen, is overwhelming. It's demoralizing not being able to respond to all of it properly. Even more so when I've received something that deserves an involved response, but I haven't had the time to reply, which counter-intuitively means the best comments are least likely to receive any response. To echo antirez: it's crushing not being able to be "there" for people.

Lately, I've felt myself withdraw much more in return. For any project though, especially something that requires maintanence, it's difficult to actually "unplug" and mentally recharge. Turning off notifications has helped, but it's definitely taken its toll.

For any project of a certain size, it's more important for the lead to be a manager more than a developer. As an example, it's mostly well-known that Linus Torvalds hardly does any coding anymore. At that point working on a side-project becomes a job, and not one I particularly enjoy. If I had known that I would've ended up in that position on a passion project, I'm curious if I would have made it open-source, or started working on it at all.

In either case, I consider myself extremely lucky to have people that can manage the project in future, and can only imagine what it would be like for someone without that luxury. I can't help shake the feeling that somewhere, the software I use is being developed solely by volunteers who would rather quit, but don't have the ability to say "no". This post has been delayed for that very reason, especially when so many people have given so much, and I feel they deserve a proper goodbye. At this point though, I can't find the strength to leave on better terms.

I don't want this to read like I somehow feel underappreciated or underpaid. I'm not motivated by praise or money. After working on the same thing for three years, I'm just tired and ready to move on.