So I’ve been trying to use Radicle a lot and mentally comparing the efforts of Radicle with projects like Gitea in combination with something like ForgeFed.
I’m not closely familiar with the Radicle project roadmap and I’m only informed by my occasional look at the repositories, this community and the occasional conversation with @cloudhead.
But, I think there’s one main thing, call it a “feature request” or a “product suggestion”, that I think would help the most with bridging the gap between a UX like Radicle and the existing repository management systems we use today.
Basically, we’re used to finding things on the web. We’re used to casually looking through a project before engaging to potentially grab code or file issues. So we’re used to have some place on the web to be pointed to in order to find a project’s repository. That’s the way it is and it’s not going to change any time soon.
So, to bridge that gap and fill that need developers have, I think a killer product would be a way to host a web-fronted Radicle “front page”. Basically a program that you configure by giving it some Radicle projects (by their ID) and let it be hosted on a domain name. The program uses the Radicle network to find these projects and keep an updated view at all times. It can thus also act as a seed for them. But at the meantime, it providers a Gitea-like viewing experience through the project.
This doesn’t make this page the arbiter of what the project is, namely everyone can host a front page for a certain project. It just gives you something to point non-Radiclers to for them to see the project. Potentially also instructions on how to get the code.
A non-exhaustive list of features such a front page could have:
- configuring projects in a tree (f.e.
"/rust-bitcoin/hal": "rad:git:xxxxx"which makes
domain.org/rust-bitcoin/halhost that project)
- it can optionally host a read-only git repo so that people can pull it from it using their git
- it could even accept anonymous pushes with patches if we can find some anti-spam measure. they could be published in the name of a special account making it clear it was an anonymous contribution through the front page
- once ForgeFed materializes, the projects hosted there could emit ForgeFed events so that they are interoperable with other ForgeFed self-hosted repositories
It might seem like this is looking a lot like a Gitea clone, but it is far from the truth. It’s entirely read-only. Gitea is all about access management, determining the state of branches, tags, … But making it read-only and just a way to represent the already-existing Radicle state to a web front-end, it’s just a front-end.
Anyway, something like this might already be planned/in progress, I don’t know. I feel like something akin this is what would convince many projects (and thus developers) to adopt Radicle.