Okay so I’m just a user passing by, I haven’t really been involved in Mastodon development one way or an other so I might not know everything.
However, I find quite worrying the fact that Mastodon still depends mostly on the will of one person, whoever that person might be.
Mostly because from what I’ve seen in other projects (which sure were different from this one), you have a problem each time that very person want to quit. And there are plenty of reasons for that, and I highly doubt none will ever come real here. That person might want to move on with another project, and maintaining both could be completely impossible, or they might be unable to maintain it anymore (let’s give a few ones : burn-out, financial problems, mental health issues, etc.). I have seen many people think they could do that forever and one day found themselves unable to do that anymore.
To me, no matter how you put it : this is a bad governance, even if the person if real good at doing it.
Some other issues I find troubling have already been pointed out : the job doesn’t seem to be doable by a single person. Gargon you said yourself that you couldn’t review all the issues on GitHub, and even if there are some that are here twice or more, if some aren’t really issues you can solve, or are baddly put, I don’t see how you can decide which is which. Therefore, you might miss serious issues that should be reviewed (and from the little I’ve seen, there are a big number of issues tagged with a high severity and some have been opened for several month).
Now, and I think this will be my last point : I personally really hate when there’s a way for a “dictatorship” (now I know, you’re not president of a country, this is “just” a project). But still, everything depends on your good will, even this talk on Mastodon’s governance depends on you. Now I’m not saying you aren’t listening anyone (from what I’ve see, this doesn’t look true), however you could still do that if you wanted to, and apart from people stopping to contribute to the project, there would be no way to change that. Now, my personal idea of how things should be managed probably influences what I’m saying here, but I don’t find it ridiculous.
Here’s the little I had to say about this topic.