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Public APIs Situation [ READ THIS ISSUE PLEASE ] #3104

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matheusfelipeog opened this issue Mar 17, 2022 · 30 comments
Open

Public APIs Situation [ READ THIS ISSUE PLEASE ] #3104

matheusfelipeog opened this issue Mar 17, 2022 · 30 comments
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@matheusfelipeog
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@matheusfelipeog 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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@yannbertrand yannbertrand commented Mar 17, 2022

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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@yannbertrand yannbertrand commented Mar 17, 2022

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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@yannbertrand yannbertrand commented Mar 17, 2022

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

@bonesoul
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@bonesoul bonesoul commented Mar 17, 2022

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

@JoshuaBehrens
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@JoshuaBehrens JoshuaBehrens commented Mar 18, 2022

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

@pawelborkar
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@pawelborkar pawelborkar commented Mar 18, 2022

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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@bjesuiter bjesuiter commented Mar 20, 2022

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 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 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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@matheusfelipeog matheusfelipeog commented Mar 30, 2022

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 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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@JoshuaBehrens JoshuaBehrens commented Mar 31, 2022

@matheusfelipeog Can you change the pull request template?

You want to contribute? Do it here!

@matheusfelipeog
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@matheusfelipeog matheusfelipeog commented Apr 2, 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.

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 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.

@bjesuiter
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@bjesuiter bjesuiter commented Apr 16, 2022

Could we not simply list alternatives in this Issue Thread here for redirecting impressions?

@JerryKim1023
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@JerryKim1023 JerryKim1023 commented Apr 16, 2022

There is a widsom that if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.
I think the present 21st century exists because there are many open sources.

Evnethough there are 1,269 contributors who love PublicAPI, API-LAYER made all the code company's without any consent.

I think @bjesuiter's solution would be great for now!

@jnv
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@jnv jnv commented Apr 22, 2022

Looks like https://github.com/public-api-lists/public-api-lists popped up as a fork, already with 4.6k stars…

@matheusfelipeog
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@matheusfelipeog matheusfelipeog commented Apr 22, 2022

Looks like https://github.com/public-api-lists/public-api-lists popped up as a fork, already with 4.6k stars…

Yes @jnv, I mentioned that fork here: #3104 (comment)

@marcelscruz
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@marcelscruz marcelscruz commented May 17, 2022

Hey folks.

I've cloned the repository into https://github.com/public-apis-dev/public-apis, as an attempt to keep the Public APIs website going.

Whenever this situation is solved and we have a defined place to continue the project, I'll be more than happy to give back any contributions we receive until then. And if you want to help me moderate this new one, you're also welcome.

@JoshuaBehrens
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@JoshuaBehrens JoshuaBehrens commented May 17, 2022

image

@muhammadismailkhan0009
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@muhammadismailkhan0009 muhammadismailkhan0009 commented May 19, 2022

@marcelscruz thank you for providing the new link. I have starred the new repo. Definitely what was started as open source with no mention to make it private in future must stay open.

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