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    I’ve never used Fossil, though it seems like an interesting project. But, serious question, isn’t there a risk in providing “all the things” given that not all of those things are likely to be the best available? I’ve seen this mentioned as something SourceForge did wrong by providing a huge assortment of (mediocre) project hosting tools.

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      Fossil is primarily developed for SQLite, so they add whatever they need. In that sense, it doesn’t worry too much about adding too much or too little.

      One difference between Fossil and Sourceforge will be that the former is a tool and the latter a service. I am more independent Fossil, not to break the UI, to insert ads, or to be unavaliable when I have no network connection.

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        Indeed. Also, Fossil doesn’t provide “all the things” so much as building blocks for all the things. Fossil provides defaults, but prescribes nothing. The settings for ticketing system, for example, include the ability to completely rewrite the SQLite schema provided you include the documented fields required for base functionality. The ticket pages themselves are TH1 scripts (a subset of Tcl), which can be completely overwritten by the administrator. Reports are SQL scripts entered directly in the web UI. You can add any kinds of fields you want. You can add JavaScript if you feel like it.

        By default, the ticket system is a simple bug tracker. With a little effort you could turn it into a project management system like Jira, or a customer support page like Zendesk. Fossil does all the heavy lifting for you. Of course these systems would be simple, minimal clones of their counterparts—that’s part of the allure. You can build exactly what you need and only what you need with a few hours of work. Who really uses every feature of Jira?

        I feel like people underestimate the time investment for setting up and configuring systems like Jira or Zendesk, and overestimate how long it takes to build something bespoke. Especially when using an easily extensible core like Fossil.

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          By default, the ticket system is a simple bug tracker. With a little effort you could turn it into a project management system like Jira, or a customer support page like Zendesk. Fossil does all the heavy lifting for you.

          We use Fossil at my place of work for some things and for a while it was also the bug tracking system for a small group of (related) teams. It still has some information in it for some bugs, but at this point most everything has been migrated to Jira. This is probably because Fossil’s bug tracking is wholly inadequate for large scale projects with lots of repositories and bugs or features that affect multiple repositories. To get that to happen would involve enough customization that using an existing system is almost certainly less effort.

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            For sure. I don’t mean to say that customizing Fossil could replace every use case. I more meant simple and minimal use cases where you don’t really need the full power of bigger tools. Was Fossil inadequate before you grew in scale?

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        I run a local instance of Fossil wiki and store my work notes there. These are usually well formatted notes that I could use to quickly refer something, or some code snippet I could quickly copy and send over to a co-worker, but I mostly use it to jog my memory. After about a year, it’s worked well enough, and I’m happy with it.

        So far, I have not found a need for the ticketing system or forum as it would be rather lonely, but after playing around with it a little bit, felt that it could be used to manage projects and communication in a lightweight manner, and I will seriously consider using it, when the need arises.

        Say you’re running a community VPS, and hosting some projects, you could use something like Gitea, and that has an issue tracking system, but at some point you’ll need a wiki, a forum for which you’ll need to setup and configure other pieces of software. Running Fossil as an integrated code hosting service, wiki, forum, and now Chat might fit the bill for some.

        The only downside I see is that you’ll need to learn how to use Fossil-the-VCS, which is kinda disappointing because I’d imagine many of us have invested a rather large amount of time learning to use Git (tig, magit etc.) well, but if one can get over that, I’d say it’s worth a shot!

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          That’s a good point. The major difference, I suppose, is self-hosting. Another reply mentioned this as well. Certainly, in that light, I can see how all-inclusivity is desirable.

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          Mediocre is relative. For a while Sourceforge was best in class for project hosting. I don’t think the assortment of features was their problem. I think it was more due to falling asleep at the wheel when first Google’s Project Hosting and then Github happened.

          Add to that the fact that there was a brief stint where later owners were trying to extract money by dubious means and sourceforge is a case study in plain old bad management.

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            They were far and away the best zero-cost hosting, for a very long time. They had custom sites with custom domains, mailing lists, shell access, very robust hosting of downloads on a network of mirrors (I don’t think any competing forge matches that today, honestly), web based support forums, issue tracking and a small pile of ancillary services. Paying someone to host what they did for a medium sized project would’ve been beyond my means in the early 2000s.

            At Sourceforge, the process of applying for a project used to be a bit heavy. You had to spend a paragraph or two describing your plans and explaining why your project was a good use of their resources. Then it took a few days (and sometimes a bit of email back and forth) to get it approved. When Google Code, Code Plex, GitHub and BitBucket came along and the process of starting a project on one of those was just a few clicks -> instant repository, Sourceforge didn’t catch up to that for a long time, and that kind of explains why they were on the decline before the unfortunate series of management changes.

            Then one of the many “new management” groups started allowing really shitty ads and even “monetizing” installers for popular tools. They’ve stopped that, and I think they’re generally OK now, but nothing there today makes me feel like that’s the place to start something new.

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            Generally one of fossil’s main benefits is that it’s “all inclusive”. I’m a bit worried about ephemeral chat though - like email, it’s hard to imagine a team without access to some form of non-fossil chat - so I’m not sure I see the value.

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            I am glad Fossil exists.

            There are a broad spectrum of design choices for version control, and I think they get overlooked too often. I use Git, but I’m not a member of the Cult of Git.

            I’ve tried Fossil – most recently, a few months ago, IIRC. However, the visual look and feel / user experience wasn’t what I wanted.

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              Do you mean the UI of the command line tool or the web UI?

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                I wasn’t a fan of the overall web user experience. I generally liked the CLI.

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              This announcement really drives home the difference between open source and open development, or open community. Having some ephemeral place for discussions like IRC or a low-tier Slack already privileges the people with the time (in the correct timezone) to hang out with the core folks. It also allows for decisions to be taken with no official permanent record, which can be somewhere between unthinkingly exclusionary and toxic.

              Of course it’s not a surprise that SQLite would take this a step further as it’s very much a closed project with open releases; for many open source or free software projects “private maintainer-only chat cabal” would be a community anti pattern.

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                It also looks like it’s just one room, further impressing that this isn’t for the general public, but rather a collection of trusted devs.

                Still, it is rather neat to see.

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                  The ephemeral nature is a little confusing because all newer chat tools emphasize loggable convos, because otherwise things you bring up will be lost before you get the time to turn it into something more formal. Otherwise this seems worse than even just /joining a channel on Freenode.