Drinks-for-stars promo on open-source GitHub project scrapped after disgusted devs shame it into oblivion

An open source project on GitHub has become a mess after taxpayers complained that it was being promoted through a free drink in exchange for a star.

The promotion, now withdrawn, appeared on a site operated by SK Telecom, the largest wireless communications provider in South Korea, which sponsors the project. There were step-by-step instructions for creating a user account and starring in the Metatron Discovery project, an application for real-time data analysis, based on a customized version of Apache Druid. The campaign seems to have had some success, and the project has almost 2,500 stars.

  A promotion operated by SK Telecom offered gifts in exchange for starring in a GitHub project

A promotion operated by SK Telecom offered gifts in exchange for starring in a GitHub project

A GitHub star is a public marker. Users highlight a site to add it to a list of favorites so they can easily find it again. Although it is not the same as a "like" button on social networks, it has some similar features and GitHub uses it in its list of trend repositories. "We look at a variety of data points that include stars, forks, commits, tracks and page views, weighting properly," says GitHub.

  Stars on the project page, but how many were the result of an unreliable promotion?

Stars on the project page, but how many were the result of an unreliable promotion?

The developers involved in the project had a weak vision, creating problems titled "Stop abuse GitHub Star" and "[WARN][GITHUB][ABUSE] Get a free drink opportunity from Starbuck by starring in this repository." "I don't think this helps taxpayers, including SKT employees," said one. "You are ruining all the efforts that communities have made of the stars of GitHub as a valuable indicator."

Why do such a thing? The project owner tried to explain, in a publication that has now been replaced by a brief apology, stating that it was difficult for an open source project to survive within an important company and that achieving a high star count would help prove its worth. shame despite the company's internal policy, although it is not clear how the case could be with such an obvious and public incentive to add stars.

A developer apparently from the company closed the discussion, stating: "We fully respect the voice of the community and decided to restore our repository. We are waiting for Github's response on the procedures and we will follow his guidelines … We will continually listen and respect the voice of the community and we will do our best to comply with the open source spirit of the ecosystem. Once again, we are deeply sorry and we apologize for this problem. "

SK Telecom has done the right thing, but the incident shows that GitHub intended to be a developer-to-developer guide The popularity of projects is open to abuse. ®

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