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Public APIs Situation [ READ THIS ISSUE PLEASE ] #3104

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matheusfelipeog opened this issue Mar 17, 2022 · 75 comments
Open

Public APIs Situation [ READ THIS ISSUE PLEASE ] #3104

matheusfelipeog opened this issue Mar 17, 2022 · 75 comments
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good first issue Indicates a good issue for first-time contributors important This is important

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@matheusfelipeog
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matheusfelipeog commented Mar 17, 2022

Hi community

This message is to clarify and make transparent the current situation of Public APIs, in addition to demonstrating the frustration of us maintainers. So read this if you find it interesting, please.

Well, I keep the Public APIs project together with other 3 developers (@pawelborkar, @marekdano and @yannbertrand) for a long time.

1 year ago, the Public APIs project was dead, with over 300 open pull requests and dozens of unresolved issues. We started work and resolved all PRs and open issues in about 2 months. Since then, more than 1000 PRs have been resolved, dozens of issues resolved, several improvements to the project and a remarkable growth. So it's clear that we've revived and improved the project.

See more at: #1268

Over time, we had several other ideas to further improve the project for the community, but we encountered a number of problems that prevented us from executing them. Many of these issues are related to our access level in the public-apis organization/repository, as we needed to activate special features in the settings and create new repositories in the organization.

We started making attempts to communicate with people working at APILayer (current owner of the public-apis organization/project) to try to help us improve the project, but this proved extremely difficult.

I spoke with employees and ex-employees, but could not get help. I also spoke to John Burr (APILayer's General Manager) but he hasn't responded for many months.

I made several more attempts to communicate with Julian Zehetmayr and Paul Zehetmayr (co-founders and former CEOs of APILayer), but got no response. I believe they are very busy people.

See more at: #1268 (comment)

Just trying to communicate with APILayer to help us improve the project and failing in almost every attempt is frustrating for us maintainers. In addition to other problems caused by the apilayer-admin user, who sometimes made undue modifications that caused all our tests and project policies to be broken.

See the history of apilayer-admin: https://github.com/public-apis/public-apis/commits?author=apilayer-admin

Also, we noticed that this week all of us maintainers had our access levels lowered without any communication, motivation or anything close to that. Now we don't even have access to the basic settings in the repository.

So realize how frustrating this is for us, but we're still trying because we believe it's important to the community.

We have no idea why APILayer is acting this way with us maintainers who help revive and improve the project. We just want help and collaboration so that everything works well without harming the community.

So, due to all these problems, I have indicated possible solutions to help us to APILayer representatives:

  • APILayer add us as one of the owners or members of the public-apis organization with the necessary access to move forward with the project
  • Or if APILayer is not interested in maintaining and helping to evolve the project (which we believe, given the whole situation), transfer it to one of us maintainers so that we can improve it. I believe that this is an adequate measure given everything I have described, and it would solve several communication problems that APILayer would not need to deal with, in addition, of course, to help an entire community to improve it all. Transferring projects is very well seen by the community, and this transfer to the right people who will maintain the project.

But again I didn't get any straight answer to that. Then notice how frustrating this is.

We greatly want APILayer's collaboration and understanding. We don't want the project to die again or be used in a way that harms the community with inappropriate additions. We just want to help.


@yannbertrand also wrote about the situation on his blog:

Other links that may be useful for more information:


If this issue is permanently deleted to hide what I've described, you can find a permanent record at:

Wayback Machine:

archive.today:

@yannbertrand
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To complete the discussion you should know that they lower our maintainer access after I reverted some abusive commits. apilayer-admin tried to replace our sponsor logo to their company logo.

It's not the first time they're trying to link the Public APIs repos to their company despite they have never contributed nor gave help maintaining the project.

@yannbertrand
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ab16db6 They are now pushing their own business APIs above others (breaking the alphabetically-ordered CI rule). This goes against our contributing rule.

Please be careful accessing links by now as we maintainers can't assure they're not pox.

@yannbertrand
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They now removed the repo maintainers list, they know what they are doing 831ff03

@bonesoul
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this needs more attention. apilayer seems to commercialize this project which is not any good.

@JoshuaBehrens
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I tried to reach out on twitter https://twitter.com/mangafreak1995/status/1504411468699160578?s=21

@pawelborkar
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I've mentioned about this issue in order to describe the current situation of the project to the current projects/websites that we've added to the readme and are using the public-apis project at their core. And has ask them to mention it in their website's homepage or write a blog (if possible) or a tweet regarding the current situation. As these website may have some of the traffic which can help us bring this issue in front of the community members and reach the masses so that we can make sure the project survive.

@bjesuiter
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Do we want to fork this as a community? This sounds exactly like the situation to do something like this.

@mtmail
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mtmail commented Mar 20, 2022

Apilayer took over the restcountries project, stopped support, took down the website (restcountries.eu, domain still registered to apilayer) and as far as I see never acknowledge any user feedback. @amatosg, who is still a maintainer, forked it last year (restcountries.com). apilayer/restcountries#253

@asim
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asim commented Mar 30, 2022

Honestly you need to fork it. There's no other option. If you truly want it to be community led the entire admin ownership needs to be distributed amongst trustworthy peers.

@matheusfelipeog
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Forking was one of the first possible solutions we considered, but that's a difficult task now.

Public APIs are over 6 years old, 185k stars and over 250k views/month, in addition to forks over 2 years old and over 4k stars. I believe that simply forking this will have no effect, this is extremely difficult.

Also, the difficulty increased as we were unable to correctly direct visitors from Public APIs to a new repository. We do not have access to modify the README.md to report this.

We are currently awaiting a response from the project's original creator, @toddmotto, who has attempted to contact the current owners.

@asim
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asim commented Mar 30, 2022

Maybe just move on to focusing on a website and an API itself? The GitHub repo can remain but just shift the outward focus to putting the data in an API and website you own.

@JoshuaBehrens
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@matheusfelipeog Can you change the pull request template?

You want to contribute? Do it here!

@matheusfelipeog
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Maybe just move on to focusing on a website and an API itself? The GitHub repo can remain but just shift the outward focus to putting the data in an API and website you own.

There is already an official API widely used by the community and maintained by a former collaborator to Public APIs. There are also several alternative sites that use this API's database, however having an official website was in our future plans, but unfortunately this situation ends up making everything difficult.

@matheusfelipeog Can you change the pull request template?

You want to contribute? Do it here!

@JoshuaBehrens This would certainly be useful, but unfortunately we no longer have an access level that allows us to make changes to the repository.

@asim
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asim commented Apr 2, 2022

Your options are very limited at this stage. If you're being met with hostility by the admin there's not much you can do considering they own the repo. As much as you may want to hold on to the traffic and GitHub stars, it's not clear it's of much value if the owner can basically do whatever they want with unilateral authority.

At the end of the day it's a text file. So you should feel quite comfortable forking and moving on. Even renaming to something more interesting.

@bmrony501
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`

@jaens
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jaens commented Dec 28, 2023

For people just arriving here, who do not want to read 200 comments:
Use these forks:

This was referenced Jan 17, 2024
yjlmotley added a commit to yjlmotley/content that referenced this issue Feb 18, 2024
* Please see this issue : public-apis/public-apis#3104

* Because of this, I'm proposing that we change the link of our lesson page to this: https://github.com/marcelscruz/public-apis vs. the original: https://github.com/public-apis/public-apis (where public concerns are not heard and it's not maintained to the public interest). There is also this fork, however I don't believe this is maintined as well (https://github.com/public-api-lists/public-api-lists). 

* As a community of developers and new students, we should use this new link for public apis and help the community make this the new standard github link for public apis. Why should we use the one that's not maintained and geared toward public anymore?
@maru9990 maru9990 mentioned this issue Mar 13, 2024
@parth0301
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that actually needs more attention!

@7heMech
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7heMech commented Apr 23, 2024

It does indeed

@ardywibowo
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Looks like they took down the API catalog endpoints as well? I can't access:

https://api.publicapis.org/entries

Any alternatives?

@marcelscruz
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Looks like they took down the API catalog endpoints as well? I can't access:

https://api.publicapis.org/entries

Any alternatives?

I have a fork that auto-generates a /db folder.
You can then use Octokit + fetch to get the resources in that folder.

Here's a minimal snippet on how to accomplish that:

import { Octokit } from 'octokit'

async function fetchResources(file: string) {
    const octokit = new Octokit({ auth: process.env.GITHUB_ACCESS_TOKEN })

    const { data } = await octokit.rest.repos.getContent({
        owner: 'marcelscruz',
        repo: 'public-apis',
        path: `/db/${file}.json`,
    })

    if (data.download_url) {
        const result = await fetch(data.download_url)

        if (!result.ok) {
            throw new Error(`Unexpected response ${result.statusText}`)
        }

        return await result.json()
    } else {
        throw new Error('Download URL not found')
    }
}

@PrathamKumar14
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Hello everyone! I'm Pratham, and I recently joined APILayer to manage their developer activities. I understand that some of you may be unhappy as a result of our prolonged inaction. Public-APIs has been an excellent repository and project. I used it to build my final year engineering project. This repository has served a valuable function in the development community all over the years.

Thank you for your detailed discussion and for sharing your experiences and frustrations regarding the Public APIs project. I sincerely apologize for the lack of communication and the difficulties you and your fellow maintainers have faced. Your hard work and dedication to reviving and improving the project are truly appreciated APILayer.

We acknowledge the challenges you've mentioned and the impact they have had on your ability to manage and enhance the repository effectively. Your efforts in resolving over 1000 pull requests, numerous issues, and implementing significant improvements have not gone unnoticed. The project's growth and success are a testament to your commitment and expertise. Coincidently, while writing this comment, I noticed we crossed 300K stars on this repo.

We regret that our communication has been inadequate and that attempts to engage with APILayer representatives, including John Burr, Julian Zehetmayr, and Paul Zehetmayr, have not been fruitful. We understand how frustrating it must have been to experience a lack of response, especially when seeking support to further develop and maintain the project. The issues arose due to changes in the company's landscape and acquisition, which led to other campaigns being prioritized. Unfortunately, this resulted in the treasure repository being left to run on autopilot.

We also apologize for the recent change in access levels for all maintainers without prior communication. This action was not intended to undermine your efforts or contributions. We recognize the importance of transparency and collaboration, and we should have communicated any changes more effectively.

We understand that top comment was made two years ago and that there has been a significant period of inactivity since then. This delay in addressing the issues raised is regrettable and not reflective of the level of engagement and support that we aim to provide. The reasons for this inactivity are multifaceted, including organizational changes and resource constraints, but we acknowledge that these are not justifiable excuses for the lack of responsiveness.

To address the current situation and improve our collaboration moving forward, we propose the following steps:

Restoration of Access Levels: We will promptly restore the previous access levels for you and your fellow maintainers to ensure you have the necessary permissions to manage the repository effectively.

Regular Communication: We will establish a regular line of communication between APILayer and the maintainers. This will include scheduled meetings to discuss ongoing issues, proposed improvements, and any support you may need from us.

Enhanced Collaboration: We are committed to working closely with you to activate the special features and create new repositories as needed. Your ideas for further improvements are valuable, and we want to support you in implementing them.

Ownership and Project Transfer: If you believe that transferring ownership of the project to one of the maintainers is the best course of action, we are open to discussing this further. Our goal is to ensure the project's success and the community's benefit.

We understand the importance of this project to the community and want to ensure it continues to thrive. Your passion and dedication are crucial to this endeavor, and we are committed to supporting you in every way possible.

Thank you once again for your patience, hard work, and understanding. We look forward to working together to enhance the Public APIs project for the benefit of the entire community.

Best,
Pratham, Technical Brand Strategist and Advocate

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