Yeah, but dev.to already has a mass of users on it, and it's run well enough that there's no real reason to try to fork it.
What makes a lot of sense, though, is running a "clone" of dev.to that isn't targeted at software developers. Most of dev's functionality is just a generic community blogging platform with an emphasis on performance.
Indeed. I guess it's the culture and the community that brings many people here. You would have to build that elsewhere, which is hard. But even if done, I don't think it would really affect dev.to. The major risks do not come from the outside but are internal to the community.
Great points. Still, I see the benefits of open source but I’d be reluctant to open source core parts of an application is my money maker.
It worked for Reddit. There are several forks of the site, but none of them have significantly put a dent in it because the audience is on reddit.com.
Unless Dev adds Mastadon-esque federation, nobody's going to choose a separate instance over the mothership unless they have no choice. For example, stuff that violates the CoC (voat.co) or their needs require them to do significant mods to the site (lesswrong.com) or they specifically want a different audience (news.ycombinator.com or lobste.rs).
The last two are really funny, since they truly prove that it doesn't matter if you open source your codebase or not. It's not that hard to code up a clone of Dev or Reddit.
note: You'll notice that the Reddit source code repo I linked to isn't updated any more. Reddit is no longer open source. I assume it has something to do with their proprietary ranking and anti-spam algos getting harder and harder to keep separate from their "core".
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