1. 48
  1. 3

    GitHub is changing. It is important to understand that GitHub is moving away from being a Git Repository hosting company and towards a company that provides an entire ecosystem for software development.

    Hasn’t this always been the case?

    1. 5

      No, if you look back to when Git was first becoming popular (around 2008) the alternatives to hosting your own Git repository were very cumbersome. Using pull requests instead of sending patches was part of the draw, but the main thing was “be able to use Git without putting up with (for instance) the terrible user interface of Rubyforge.

      1. 6

        But a pull request isn’t part of Git, so I think my postulate still holds true.

        1. 6

          What I said was that pull requests were a small part of the draw, and the main thing was being able to host a git repository without dealing with apache or sourceforge.

          1. 1

            Is it possible to get actual numbers from some kind of VCS server log from 11 years ago?

            Did you know Fossil is 12 years old? http://fossil-scm.org/home/timeline?c=a28c83647dfa805f I just found out.

            1. 1

              I’m having a hard time seeing any connection between what you said and what I said. Wrong thread, maybe?

              1. 1

                i get your lack of sight on account of my lack of clarity so here’s some of that:

                when Git was first becoming popular (around 2008)

                … as a rhetorical point, boils down to a dispute between you and zg regarding these like long-range ecosystemic benefits (and the pull request thing is kind of an aside - you are in agreement more than youre in disagreement, imho, and causality is not inferrable about why git and github pulled ahead, is it? it’s pretty contingent)

                is it possible to get actual numbers

                this refers to numbers about popularity

                otherwise talking about some farfagnugen ecosystem-level obscurities is kind of pointless

                i mean zg kind of just said rhetorically that he doesn’t agree with the fossil guy and you kind of just said that one time in history one thing happened once, and so i figured that having maybe some actual rigorous data would allow us to come to some kind of conclusion, but I know that it’s not very important or interesting, but i was just curious, actually, and i feel like there’s a slim chance that some literal data on vcs usage might exist and that that would solve a lot of these “does the ecosystem come before the theoretical innovation in VCS design or the chicken before the egg or what?” types of questions. since they take place in an ahistorical vacuum otherwise. doy.

      2. 1

        Ya pretty much. I think the author missed the point of Github. It was never really about Git more than to the extent that Git appeared to be in the lead at the time and perhaps some preference by the founders.

        The value proposition is everything around supporting the Git workflow.

        1. 2

          A few things:

          1. Fossil exists in contradiction to the value proposition of “everything supporting git,” to solve problems that aren’t yet solved…

          2. Fossil is NOT git, in the same sense that, once upon a time, GNU was supposed to be NOT Unix…

          3. Literally, GitHub invited the guy AS the Chief Point-Misser in a special critical capacity.

          4. Everything around supporting the git workflow is a value proposition – only to the business supporting “everything around the git workflow! …

          4.1 (continuing) … – but that’s a proposition about the ecosystem NOT to the conceptual framework of what it means to “do VCS stuff.”

          I explained this to epilys, but also wanted to point out to you, that the author probably “missed the point” of GitHub intentionally, whereas you missed precisely that point…

          1. 1

            If you say so.

            1. 0

              aren’t you saying that GitHub matters but VCS does not?

              aren’t you saying that Git is irrelevant and the whole thing should just be called “Hub?”

              when you say “it was never really about Git… etc., etc.,” what do you mean by “it,” if not GitHub?

              aren’t you just saying “value proposition” in the hopes that everybody forgets that GitHub is a “value-proposing business”… running on a vcs called GIT?

          2. 1

            I disagree. I’ve been a Github user since 2009ish and I used it 90% for “hosting a git repository” - that was in addition to hosting my own git repos via ssh/gitolite, so also some mirroring.

            When my company paid for github, it was to have a git repo. And pull requests, but nothing else. And I simply don’t believe I’m the outlier here. Sure, webhooks were nice but that’s the extent of any added benefit there.

          3. 1

            #include jolly-sarcasm-compiler.h

            I don’t know! But let me look in a BOOK or a TECHNICAL GUIDE at the very least - oh here’s one…


            When you say “always” do you mean “since we moved away from mainframes?”

          4. 3

            I find it awful that developers think Github should try to “improve” git. If the author wants a change, they should bring it to the git dev mailing list where the actual git development happens.

            1. 0

              Do you find it awful that car tire manufacturers try to improve tire traction? Or do you think that’s the responsibility of “the road people?”

              It would break the analogy for me to suggest that there’s a mailing list for roads, but there’s trade shows or standards organizations or whatever.

              I think you are in serious need of a history lesson, and I have a pretty “serious” writing style so I should say upfront that I mean this in the least annoying, most gentle way, and I’m pretty sincere in a meaningful way but not that serious in an angry way, and I always mess this up so I just need to be very clear, and there’s an imaginary huge spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down included, and, should you disagree, you may take it with a grain of salt (to your taste).

              Fossil is not “some project” by “some developer” – it is THE weird rebel VCS (TM)(R)(C) backed by the full powers of freaky FOSS ideologies that have been falling all over themselves (omnidirectionally) to hack new stuff since the beginning of computer time when von Neumann made the 32-bit array from giant tubes and this one whacko named Nils Barricelli immediately started making “life” in the form of cellular automata (that Stephen Wolfram pretends he invented) on punchcards.

              OK, that’s exaggeration – but I’m “serious,” there was Subversion, then there was Git and Mercurial. There’s also Fossil. On the side. Not “off on the side somewhere,” but in the center of being off to the side. If there were a rave of obscure VCSes then Fossil would be the DJ. (I’m joking but I’m totally serious.)

              Git has literally been the same for the last twenty years. All the variously (non-)exciting “UNIX simplicity” manifestos kind of break down when you consider carefully the issues entangled within git that have remained unresolved for developers generally because the ubiquity of the most important technologies is an impediment to further progress. This is not unique to git, but it is true about git.

              That simplicity cannot be improved upon while no consensus regarding improvement exists within GitHub. Why? Because they are the material being that represents the ubiquity of the technology of git in the market. If there’s no money behind it, it can’t happen. And there isn’t money behind Fossil. Which is the best place to improve not just “the ecosystem” but the actual technology of VCS itself. It is about the ideas and not about the profit or the users.

              That is the reason that the creator of Fossil was invited.

              That is the reason that he was invited, even though everyone knew he would be a contrarian.

              I submit that you are 100% correct when you say: “If the author wants a change, they should bring it to the git dev mailing list where the actual git development happens.”

              I further submit that this has already happened, but you just weren’t around for it.

              Finally, I helpfully suggest that it’s not “awful” to have the kinds of feelings that you, in the innocence and naivete of youth and scholarship, also helpfully looking out for the community, called awful.

              In fact, it is not awful, it is itself the community looking out for itself. But that just can’t happen properly until you have the knowledge that allows you to fully consider, in its genuine context, why the developer of Fossil is not the same as some complaining “developers.”

              I know it’s a pain in the butt to be unexpectedly in the position of having someone take a stand against you, but really I am taking a stand against the world, pointing out the little red line between Us and Them, and hoping you will recognize that you already have friends on our side. Literally our side includes the members of the exact mailing list that you think (thought? :D) the guy “being awful” should have contacted. I don’t blame you for having this opinion whatsoever – your mind is just probably running the wrong VCS :) maybe rebase that opinion

              also check this out it is so cool https://fossil-scm.org/home/doc/trunk/www/index.wiki

              1. 6

                Thank you for the reply.

                Fossil is not “some project” by “some developer”

                I didn’t comment on any of this. I think you picked up some kind of dismissal and irony from my comment.

                Because they are the material being that represents the ubiquity of the technology of git in the market. If there’s no money behind it, it can’t happen

                While it’s true that capital pretty much controls linux and friends, the git community is independent.

                I further submit that this has already happened, but you just weren’t around for it. This is not relevant because the problem is the author tries to make github pressure git, instead of communicating with the developers.

                I should not reply to the way you express yourself because it is irrelevant to the discussion and your points (it’s an ad hominem) but since you comment on it I will tell you my opinion: saying you have a certain kind of tone doesn’t mean others should tolerate it; it’s not an excuse. Mature discourse is not like this. You can share your opinions without being mildly condescending.

                Also, thank you for the other comment about my site :)

                1. 0

                  > Thank you for the reply.

                  You’re welcome, and I owe you a continual debt for your continued engagement with a lesser being of my particular variety. I’m not trying to troll, I’m absolutely not trying to excuse myself, and I should point out the meaning of the root of apology. (Unrelated: website in link is maintained by a single individual! Incredible. What an example of cathedral-style development…)

                  > the way [I] express [myself]

                  Technology is my hobby, not my profession. So sorry if I’m not what you expected. And I’m sincerely curious. I’m not joking around when it comes to knowledge, opinions, and exacting detail. I am really hungry to know. I just don’t know how to communicate with developers very well (it is NOT easy) and I have a terrible proclivity for prolixity. I’d rather read your replies, although I will accept your downvotes.

                  > dismissal and irony (yours in my opinion, but only in my mind in your opinion!)

                  So what?

                  (Note: I’m asking. I’m not asking “rhetorically.” I’m asking because I want to know.)

                  > capital controls linux

                  I’ve taken heat before for having been invited here by one of those sympathizers with intellectual radicals, a self-avowed hypertext crank, and possibly stupidly I don’t blame myself for the fact that everyone seems to think I share all his opinions – we’re strangers. I just wanted to be a part of the best forum in cyberspace, so I asked him.

                  Anyway, does capital really control Linux, or is that just a lame explanation of the fact that nobody “controls Linux,” and everybody thinks that capital is a big deal? When I said:

                  > no money behind it

                  … what I meant was, “No people with deep pockets supporting the one crazy Fossil developer, directly.” Are you really replying to me? Am I misinterpreting you by thinking that we’re not really talking about the same thing? Now we’re talking about different communities, and I am lost. When I said:

                  > the community (which I said twice)

                  … I meant two things. The first time, I was using the term in a sentence about you. I meant the community that you (in my opinion) were looking out for by defining “the author” as one of the developers who, when thinking about improving things, thinks about things that you “find awful” (that’s OK – it is your opinion!) – things like saying GitHub should improve the technology it has used to get itself acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 x 1,000,000,000,000.00 USD (woah! crazy talk!). IMPROVEMENTS LIKE FUNDING FOSSIL IN THE FLAMING NAME OF HADES. Sorry. That was autocorrect, not me. I’m just gonna leave it there. Hopefully it doesn’t render poorly on mobile.

                  The second time, I meant you, me, and everyone invited here by people invited by jcs. Because this is a community. Communities are places where developers go to read news and be annoyed by crazy old men and find romance. Communities are a huge problem. Communities are where keyboards interface with chairs. And this chair-to-keyboard interface started short-circuiting explosively upon learning that such a noble and talented person as yourself (I really do like your terminal emulator!) was capable of being deceived by the complacency of the powerful. I think it is popular to believe, on this very technically advanced forum, that everything sucks. And this is a terrible opinion. We, you and I, do not suck. That’s like, one of the categorical axiomatic booleans of writing software that doesn’t become an unimprovable Legacy pile of bloatware. No? One of the categorical axiomatic booleans of doing stuff that we can pretend is great until it really is great.

                  And it is also the basic postulate of my entire philosophy on free software, which in my opinion is the only exciting software, because, to quote a really old guy who probably nobody here knows about or is interested in, credo quia absurdum. It really is the irrational man that is the source of all progress, because if only logical actions are taken then any mind which is not omniscient will remain in a local minima of cost when greater cost savings are possible. I believe that wisdom adheres to contradiction like flies to fly paper, and I literally think that is why everyone around here thinks that all software sucks, because it is a forum filled with talent.

                  Anyway, it is apparent (to me, not apparent to some kind of objective mind that would literally be physically impossible to create because the model becomes the map eventually) that you think the only community that could possibly matter in this discussion is the git community. I would like to know why that is. I know it’s an annoying and tiresome question. I literally don’t know the answer and I do very much seek to know. I think it’s the wrong answer, and the only – literally the only – reason I can give you is this: “Fossil seems cool to me.”

                  Look, I don’t have a classical education in this stuff. I know there’s such a thing as naming files for version control with dates and symbols that’s all neat and tidy called “SemVer,” and that mentioning this is a great way to convince your boss for a few extra weeks of what is in reality more free time to read Lobste.rs while you “convert to the new system” by running a shell script in the background, and I can honestly say my knowledge about VCSes stops somewhere around there.

                  I also know every time somebody posts about GitHub a bunch of hot-blooded FOSS fanatics come out of the air like Rumpelstiltskin (mixed with poor, finally-defeated, possibly-woman-hating-but-probably-not-Hitler RMS) to complain that they hate the system of “stars.” But that is not the best evidence in favor of GitHub, and also not the best evidence in favor of Fossil.

                  So, apparently, you think there are two communities. One is Linux and friends, and the other is the git one.


                  How is anybody supposed to know what community is where – we are talking to each other, and that means you and I are in communion (in a very boring sense) with one another. We are online together and that is what this whole stupid project of sitting in front of a useless glowing rectangle is about. I mean I love mine and don’t know why, I guess because there are people on the other end… but I am sooo curious to know – what are your real thoughts?

                  You can’t hide behind a statement that something very not mysterious is “awful” by saying that you weren’t commenting on whether when you said “developers” you meant people distinct from the author of the thing this is all about.

                  Sorry I don’t have a literal technical argument. I hope you can follow the thread of my thought. Sorry if the words are too complicated I gather you’re from the Continent. (I mean that I’ll rephrase it if needed!) I am genuinely curious. I can accept downvotes for bad style. (I’m trying to improve it.) (Although who doesn’t want to be sardonic, flippant, tedious, and … wait for it … unwelcome?)

                  (JK >.< but only about the unwelcomeness – i love the other qualities too much!)

                  And SUCK == FALSE!

                  1. 1

                    Oh and sorry I have l’espirit d’escalier but I also read…




                    and this

                    … approximately 2.5 years ago after I found out about Fossil. I find out about things every week, but that was one of the good ones. I’ve been meaning to get back to it, and learn about all this mumbo-jumbo on my own, but you know, VCS is like waaaay down on the to-do list, and 1/($7.5*10^9)th less far down on the to-read list. (We can also start saying “One Githubth” if that’s easier than “One seventy-five-hundred-millionths.”)

                    My questions are real. Maybe there’s not any right answer. I can accept that. But I just don’t get it. Why not use the better tool? Why not fund its development? Why ignore the guy after inviting him to the thing? You know what I mean?

                  2. 0

                    > the problem is the author tries to make github pressure git, instead of communicating with the developers

                    Can you say more

                  3. 3

                    Git has literally been the same for the last twenty years

                    Git is only 14 years old :)

                    1. 2

                      I heard Linus carried the entire source code in his brain exactly as it exists today for exactly 6 years… 14+6=20

                      JK im an idiot thanks myfreeweb

                      1. 1

                        by the way

                        fossil is “only” 14-2 years old! just found out

                      2. 3

                        Finally, I helpfully suggest that it’s not “awful” to have the kinds of feelings that you, in the innocence and naivete of youth and scholarship, also helpfully looking out for the community, called awful.

                        Your comment was overall well-put and an interesting perspective, but I feel like this was patronizing and unnecessary. It’s the kind of thing that derails from what could be a useful, continuing discussion. :)

                        1. 1

                          i appreciate you pointing this out, i will try to not do that

                        2. 1

                          also if you were using fossil it wouldn’t be such a pain in the butt to rebase

                        3. 0

                          also your website abt meli is beautiful