Wednesday, April 20, 2022

How We Lost 54k GitHub Stars

Jakub Roztočil (via Hacker News):

Due to an unfortunate sequence of events, I accidentally made the project’s repository private for a moment. And GitHub cascade-deleted our community that took 10 years to build.


It’s a peculiarity of GitHub, to put it mildly, that making a repo private permanently deletes all watchers and stars. I was even aware of this, and I obviously had no intention to make httpie/httpie private. So, why then?

The proximate cause was that I thought I was inside a different repo; one with no content and zero stars.


The problem is that the [confirmation] box looks exactly the same for repos with no commits and stars and for repos with a decade-long history and 55k stargazers and watchers.


The GitHub team themselves accidentally made the GitHub Desktop app repo private once. And they restored everything for themselves within hours.


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