Why I decided to open up Retrospring again

Well, since Modernspring developer skewten/ivan, or currently hoster of an justask instance simply called like this, has written a post about it, I might as well post the reasons why I decided to put Retrospring back online after harshly taking it down with a four-day warning before the actual happening.

In this post, I’m going to explain why we shut it down, at least the reasons known to public, the reasons for the relaunch, etc.

Why we shut down Retrospring

We were overrun, as simple as it sounds. We got so many feature requests with the amount of users increasing every day, working on justask (the software behind Retrospring) ended up being more stressful than fun, more a hassle than feeling like we got something done, the endless demand broke us down. All over that, we are still in school, I’m personally in my final year, and I probably spent too much time on Retrospring instead of school, but in the beginning that was the thing I wanted to do. And with the community aspects, and the famous quote from me, always used in this argument:

We never cared about the users or the community.

It’s actually true. Or was. Retrospring, justask or however you want to call it, was a project from nilsding and me, because we wanted a better alternative for ourselves and not for you, we can’t be held accountable for stuff that was probably never meant to spread this much it would stress ourselves out. Yes, we had problems with the community. Had. This is why we changed the entire model Retrospring is built on, to take the stress from us, but also get it forward. But now to something else:

Why I decided to put up Retrospring again

It was not nilsding’s choice. It was mine, out of the blue, you could say. And the main reason is not because of arguments with ivan, like spiting him and his project or whatever he is talking about. What I always saw from ivan, either on Retrospring or on Twitter, was shittalking everyone or everything he didn’t like, and that’s pretty much where my senses kicked in. In the beginning, he wanted to sort out bad people or people that asked bad questions with the simple step of just answering pure shit or close-to-harassment like answers to those specific people, which made him quickly to the most reported person on Retrospring. After it’s shutdown he started talking bad about skiprope, a really nice project and Retrospring replacement by yuki, and that was enough. Yes, he can shittalk us for “poor reasoning to shut the site down”, but he shouldn’t talk bad to/about people trying their best, because he didn’t achieve anything himself yet.

With nothing I mean, he is using our software. Everyone can, we open sourced it. Changing the theme is changing a few variables. And we are still not seeing his replacement he wanted to code in 24 hours, spamming everyone on Retrospring that followed him and people that mentioned “Retrospring” on Twitter with “Hey, look out for Modernspring, the cool replacement” which ended up being an empty promise, for now.

Setting up a justask instance isn’t hard, especially with our step-by-step installation guide we specifically wrote for the time when justask is getting open sourced.

You may ask yourself what it brings to put up Retrospring again. Well, we have the users, we have the popularity and a community that lives on it’s own by now. I simply wanted to stop the entire thing of people trying better and making others feeling worse, now we want to get people having focus on the main instance and help it improve with contributing. But hey, people can choose between Retrospring and Modernspring…or ask.fm. We don’t force usage onto anyone.

But will Retrospring go down once again?

No, I can guarantee that. Retrospring is now, except for the hosting, a project that is mostly in the community’s hands. We look over the pull requests made to the site, so we can insure nothing bad will be injected into it and a certain code quality is met. So there’s that, but if you are skeptical about this, I can fully understand you all, let it sink in and watch over the site, it won’t run away this time.

How can people help making Retrospring better?

We now have a community contribution repository and a public bug and feature tracker for Retrospring, so people who want to improve the code, add new features or simply request and talk about new features should definitely visit this place! You should know some Ruby, CoffeeScript and HAML thought, these are the most prominent languages used for the site!

I don’t want to bash on Modernspring any further and I don’t encourage people to do so either. I wish ivan luck with his project, once it is ready to be used.

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