1. 26

A bright future for GitHub

    1. 42

      GitLab is really worth a look as an alternative. One big advantage of GitLab is that the core technology is open source. This means that anybody can run their own instance. If the company ends up moving in a direction that the community isn’t comfortable with, then it’s always possible to fork it.

      There’s also a proposal to support federation between GitLab instances. With this approach there wouldn’t even be a need for a single central hub. One of the main advantages of Git is that it’s a decentralized system, and it’s somewhat ironic that GitHub constitutes a single point of failure.

      1. 17

        Federated GitLabs sound interesting. The thing I’ve always wanted though is a standardised way to send pull requests/equivalent to any provider, so that I can self-host with Gitea or whatever but easily contribute back and receive contributions.

        1. 7

          git has built-in pull requests They go to the project mailing list, people code review via normal inline replies Glorious

          1. 27

            It’s really not glorious. It’s a severely inaccessible UX, with basically no affordances for tracking that review comments are resolved, for viewing different slices of commits from a patchset, or integrating with things like CI.

            1. 7

              I couldn’t tell if singpolyma was serious or not, but I agree, and I think GitHub and the like have made it clear what the majority of devs prefer. Even if it was good UX, if I self-host, setting up a mail server and getting people to participate that way isn’t exactly low-friction. Maybe it’s against the UNIX philosophy, but I’d like every part of the patchset/contribution lifecycle to be first-class concepts in git. If not in git core, then in a “blessed” extension, à la hub.

            2. 2

              You can sort of get a tracking UI via Patchwork. It’s… not great.

            3. 1

              The only one of those Github us better at is integration with CI. They also have an inaccessible UX (doesn’t even work on my mobile devices, can’t imagine if I had accessibility needs…), doesn’t track when review comments are resolved, and there’s no UX facility for viewing different slices, you have to know git stuff to know the links

          2. 3

            I’ve wondered about a server-side process (either listen on http, poll a mailbox, etc) that could parse the format generated by git request-pull, and create a new ‘merge request’ that can then be reviewed by collaborators.

          3. 2

            I always find funny that usually, the same people advocating that emails are a technology with many inherent flaws that cannot be fixed, are the same people that advocate using the built in fit feature using emails…

      2. 6

        Just re: running your own instance, gogs is pretty good too. I haven’t used it with a big team so I don’t know how it stacks up there, but I set it up on a VPS to replace a paid Github account for private repos, where it seems fast, lightweight and does everything I need just fine.

        1. 20

          Gitea is a better maintained Gogs fork. I run both Gogs on an internal server and Gitea on the Internet.

        2. 9

          Yeah, stuff like gogs works well for private instances. I do find the idea of having public federated GitLab instances pretty exciting as an alternative to GitHub for open source projects though. In theory this could work similarly to the way Mastodon works currently. Individuals and organizations could setup GitLab servers that would federate between each other. This could allow searching for repos across the federation, tagging issues across projects on different instances, and potentially fail over if instances mirror content. With this approach you wouldn’t be relying on a single provider to host everybody’s projects in one place.

      3. 1

        Has GitLab’s LFS support improved? I’ve been a huge fan of theirs for a long time, and I don’t really have an intense workflow so I wouldn’t notice edge cases, but I’ve heard there are some corners that are lacking in terms of performance.

        1. 4

          GitLab has first-class support for git-annex which I’ve used to great success

    2. 20

      Having got one business prediction right, I will stick my neck out and make another one (plus the obvious one that the world will not end because of this purchase).

      1. -3

        Since we are doing wild predictions … Here is one, I’ll stick a neck out on … You’re probably young, early in your career, say <5 experience in the industry. Certainly not in the industry since the 90’s early 2000s. It’s fine, there is nothing I can say on this topic that will change anything whatsoever. But save this thread. Queue it up for the day after your 30 B-day or say in 7 years. You’ll be amused between what the you of today believe and what the you of tomorrow will have learned in this industry and specifically about this purchase.

        1. 23

          Checking that one is too easy after he linked to a blog with posts dating back 10 years. And checking out posts from 2008… There it says having not taught programming for 25 years.

          1. 21

            IIRC @derek-jones was on the C99 standardization committee.

          2. 3

            The beauty of predictions is there capability of being wrong. I was wrong, surprised to be so, but wrong.
            However, another prediction is still undecided, the impact of MS buying Github and how they will manipulate their influence over it compared to the counterfactual. I’m seriously not a tin foil hat kinda guy, but MS is just never a good thing when then step into any area whether the Internet, Browers, Software Development, OS’s, you name it. It is always a net-net-negative (not from a business standpoint of course) but from an overall “good” in that respective area. Far more harm than good will result.

            1. 5

              I still don’t get your reply to Derek. He never claimed that MS purchases are good for the community. In fact, he is predicting an EDG buyout solely because he thinks it will allow for vendor lock-in.

              1. 4

                I believe Derek triggered him with the line

                (plus the obvious one that the world will not end because of this purchase)

                Where he propably refers to his experience from earlier (pre-git, pre-internet) times and how there will be other ways for open source and development (back to Mailing lists, Gitlab, …).

                But Grey, when hearing about GitHub not being changed too much (as Derek also stated in his posting, “sluggish Integration”, but also “more data friendly”), remembered history on Microsoft (they were anti-open-source and are working a lot on changing their image). GitHub being an “open-source community” therefore is in danger getting swallowed by this “anti-open-source business”.

                And I can understand getting emotional about such things. And emotion kills rationality. Which propably led to this misunderstanding.

    3. 15

      I was hoping it was Red Hat or some company like that. Microsoft holding all those FOSS projects isn’t good.

      1. 13

        I agree, I hope this will initiate a push towards an end of the GitHub hegemony. And hopefully it won’t be just another switch to the next centralized, closed alternative (to host a open, decentralized VCS)…

    4. 33

      hopefully this will get a bunch of FOSS projects off github. they should never have been on there in the first place.

      1. 7

        Where should they have been?

        1. 1

          I used to host everything on Gitorious. It was around since slightly before GitHub, but then got aquired by GitLab and shut down. It looks like everything was migrated over to GitLab some time later, but by then I was happily self-hosting bare clones with a static file server.

        2. 1

          a computer running a vcs

      2. 10

        Who are you to tell open source maintainers where they “should” be?

        If you believe it’s important that open source projects need to use open source tools, you need to start by making the open source tools great, not by lecturing people for using effective tooling to advance their projects.

        1. 4

          maintainers of free software should use free tools to support the free software ecosystem, and so that others don’t have to give away their freedom in order to participate. you seem to be implying that the only valid criterion for using a tool is how “effective” it is in the short term; i don’t agree with that.

    5. 10

      This just makes me think of when Facebook bought Oculus and everyone was like, “Well fuck, I really wanted on, but I guess not now.”

      It’s interesting even how, a decade past the days of Bill Gates as a Borg, even as our community has matured and we don’t had on MS anywhere near as much as we use to, we still see this as not something we really want.

      I agree, Microsoft is really not the company to be running Github. I wonder if it will still stay strong or end up going the way of Source Forge.

      1. 32

        Well, for me, it’s not the ancient past so much as present. They patent troll the crap out of companies. That’s anti-innovation that will control an innovation hotbed. The Windows 8 UI debacle and them putting ads on paid services like Live makes me weary of UI-facing changes they might do. Then, they put surveillance into their products mostly for advertisers but maybe governments, too. They do this is in paid products which arent those you expect to sell your info.

        So, the company’s current actions show they suck in a lot of ways which include screwing over their customers and suing innovators. Bad fit for Github.

        1. 33

          Not even the ancient past:

          • Spying on your activities through telemetry
          • Not providing full opt-outs in compliance with GDPR
          • Installing stuff onto your computer without your consent like Candy Crush
          • Forced updates, sometimes regardless of whether you’re doing something uninterruptable at the time

          That’s just off the top of my head for Windows 10 as of now.

          1. 10

            Spying on your activities through telemetry

            Telemetry seems to be getting built into everything now as well, Visual Studio and Code, SQL Server, the OS (backported into Win 7 and 8 too), not sure about Office (offline) but it can’t be far behind if not already in there.

          2. 3

            Installing stuff onto your computer without your consent like Candy Crush

            Is the crapware issue really on Microsoft, or OEMs like Dell and HP?

            1. 1

              Its my understanding its on the home/free versions. The LTSB version is the cleanest.

              1. 1

                Damn. Windows got even shittier. I honestly didn’t think it possible.

      2. 7

        It doesn’t matter to me if it’s Microsoft or not. If Microsoft hadn’t acquired Github, then some other megacorporation probably would have. It just so happens that Microsoft is trying to mind its manners after getting pimp-slapped by Google, Apple, and Facebook, but I’m not going to trust them just because they’re currently the underdog.

        The problem isn’t Microsoft. The problem is the way we allow corporations to operate in the US. Every time one corporation acquires another, the acquiring corporation becomes bigger and more powerful.

        This might seem quaint, but I don’t think that corporations as large as Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, AT&T, Alphabet, Comcast, Samsung, Disney, etc. should be permitted to exist. I think they’re inherently inimical to free markets and to democracy. I think that when a corporation’s market capitalization exceeds a certain threshold, it should either be regulated as a public utility, broken up, or dissolved.

    6. 16

      Well, there goes the neighbourhood.

      Bitbucket are good. - Free private repos make these people super compelling.

      GitLab are good too. - Explorer interface makes this more of a public destination too, like GitHub.

      We do not forget the Halloween documents, nor the phrase embrace, extend, extinguish.

      1. 7

        Bitbucket being closed source and super expensive to self-host I’d prefer gitlab tbh…

      2. 2

        There are a lot of options actually, if you’re after paid, private repos.

        I’m sure I’ve missed a lot too - those are the ones I remember working with or reviewing for clients in the last couple of years.

        1. 1

          I used Assembla for a number of years until 2017. The UI was somewhat clunky but I had no other issues so it’s a workable option. It also offered free private Git repos, although I’m not sure it still does.

    7. 6

      I can definitely see some places wanting to jump ship because of this - I don’t think it makes sense because of this, specifically though.

      However, it does force at least some people to reconsider where they host their code, which is a net positive, regardless of their internal reasoning, because a monoculture like GitHub is way more scary to me than “oh Microsoft bought this thing people who hate Microsoft use”.

      I dont have much time for Microsoft, but GitHub hasn’t shown itself to be all that great either, so any focus on alternatives is good to me.

    8. 8

      Contrary to most opinions I think that acquisition might be a good thing:

      • Microsoft is a different company now their open source strategy recently is quite good.
      • Github seems in decline for some time, the inability to lock a permanent CEO, low number of new features
      • MS has all the resources to put Github on the next level if they don’t screw it up.

      What could be bad is if MS buys Gitlab, then they would control that space. Gitlab is also a heavily VC backed so investors will seek for an exit at some point.

      1. 10

        Honestly, my hope is that the fear factor of this, convinces more people to consider alternatives.

        I’ve setup gitlab (a few years ago) for a client, and it was a fucking pig. I’ve looked at your solution too, and wasn’t completely sold on some aspects of it (sorry, dont remember what right now) - but these things obviously work for some people, and getting out of this mindset that “GitHub is just what all developer use” is crucial to me.

        Monoculture should scare people a lot more than the boogey man from Redmond.

        This line from the Bloomberg article sums up the issue:

        San Francisco-based GitHub is an essential tool for coders.

        This is honestly like claiming “Windows is essential for technology companies”.

      2. 13

        Microsoft is a different company now their open source strategy recently is quite good.

        I’m getting awfully tired of people saying there’s nothing to worry about because they’ve been nicer for the past handful of years. They have been antagonistic to free software for decades.

        Microsoft changed their tune because it became profitable to do so. If it becomes profitable to be dicks again, they will be dicks again.

        I’m glad we have a kinder, gentler Microsoft. Don’t kid yourself about their motivations.

        1. 10

          Also good to remember: they still routinely attack Linux and related free software by threatening with their patents, and extract patent royalties from many terrified companies who use Linux

          1. 4

            They’ve collected over a billion dollars on Android alone.

        2. 1

          I never said to not worry about. I’m writing this based on a feeling MSFT will do good with Github. Time will show, and their motivation is quite simple, buy more power and make more money.

      3. 1

        That would be very cool that as @nickpsecurity mentioned, RedHat take a shot at gitlab.

        1. 3

          Given the high performance has for on-premise installations, that would be a great addition for RedHat, TBH.

          (I see GitLab, even paid, everywhere at clients and I have yet to see a GH Enterprise installation in the wild)

          1. 3

            Riot games had GH enterprise a few years ago, just for their web team. The rest of the company was using perforce.

          2. 2

            I’ve got the opposite experience. I’m seeing big installations/companies use GHE all the time, and none of them Gitlab.

    9. 9

      Observed MS since the the early days. And depending on how long you have been around is probably how well you really know them. This is not a company that you want to be working around or dependent on. And no they have not changed.

      Moving all 108 of my repos to Gitlab now. If you are smart you will as well. Do not be fooled by these people. The purchase of Github is solely to make you a pawn, a play thing, in their 10-Q “Cloud Revenue” report to Wall Street. They will screw you over in a heartbeat and will do so without fail or regret. Not a whit. Oh, they are much more careful now and will do things slowly, but their goal is clear, to solely manipulate and corral you over time. MS does evil. It has been so, is today and always shall be their very DNA.

      1. 16

        Moving all 108 of my repos to Gitlab now. If you are smart you will as well.

        Or if you are really smart you won’t move to another free hosted service that can be bought out by someone you think will screw it over.

        1. 1

          Hopefully he meant to say “self-hosted Gitlab”.

        2. [Comment removed by author]

    10. 4

      Please, let’s merge all this Github discussion into the existing thread. Lobste.rs isn’t a news site.

    11. 3

      How do you all think this development is going to affect the Atom vs VS Code editor space?

      1. 1

        So far they’ve only said they’ll build tighter GitHub integration into VS Code. I really see why they had to buy GitHub in order to build that integration; I think that’s just them virtue-signalling by placing emphasis on one of many QoL improvements they could’ve added to their editor.

        1. 1


    12. 3

      This is silly drama about something we already have far too many submissions for.

    13. 5

      this full-throttle tinfoily panic mode of some people right now. “move to hosted gitlab!!1 that will show ‘em!!11”. i’m not anti-gitlab, but hosted gitlab has the same set of problems like github. like, for example, being bought by $EVILCOMPANY

      if microsoft now decides there will be no more free repos, it’s ok! they can do with their property however they please (just like before that acquisition github could’ve done). don’t bitch about the free lunch not tasting right. that is the deal if you use resources of others for free.

      1. 3

        I think for most people, if gitlab took a similar turn, a self-hosted (or pay someone else to host it) OSS version of GitLab would be fine.

        People use gitlab.com because it’s hands-off, not because it’s the commercial version for free.

      2. 3

        It’s not “that will show em” at all. No idea where that is being quoted from.
        I can say my statement was, IF the MS acquisition bothered you, and there is enough historical precedent that it may reasonably do so for reasonable people, then note that Gitlab does currently have 1-click repository migration from GitHub. In addition that is is also a possibility that Github may unilaterally sever that capability IF the migration becomes a flood. Ergo if you are going to do it, then do so now and don’t wait.

        1. 1

          it was a purposely overstated made-up-quote (easily spotted by the liberal use of “!!111”).

          microsoft is an actor on the market and as a result does things to maximize profits. one only has to take that in account when choosing to use their services. i’m not overly happy with it either, but gitlab is an actor too and plays by the same rules, including the possibility of being acquired. just self host, it’s not even hard, scaleway has prepared images for that for example.

          regarding the importing functionality: if they break the mechanisms to do that, i guess many other things won’t work as well, like bots acting on issues, etc. i don’t think they will break the whole ecosystem, as effectively that’s what they’ve paid for. maybe they’ll do that in the extended future, like twitter breaking their api for clients.

      3. 2

        Imagine what would happen when MSFT after buying GH also gets travisCi , which i believe they will do :)

        1. 2

          It should also be quite a bit cheaper, afaik they never took VC money.

    14. 4

      I’d said it again:

      Contrary to most opinions I think that acquisition might be a good thing:

      • Microsoft is a different company now their open source strategy recently is quite good.
      • Github seems in decline for some time, the inability to lock a permanent CEO, low number of new features (They have already a plan to put a new experience CEO from MS.)
      • MS has all the resources to put Github on the next level if they don’t screw it up.
      1. 1

        The 2 submissions were merged. Your comment is now a double-post.

    15. 4

      Here is another prediction … Currently Gitlab can seemlessly “import” your project for Github by a simple OAuth authorization. If the already reported volume of projects being imported continues unabated Github will sever this capability overnight. If you are comfortable with the MS acquisition then fine, if not, I would import off of Github now while it is still a painless click operation.

      1. 3

        Eh. No. This is factored in and taking such a step would just kill their public image. And Microsoft is very careful (and good at that) about their image in the OSS communities now.


        If you look closely at the numbers, they only surge because they were low to begin with. Also, those seem to be mostly small repos with roughly ~2 issues per repos. It’s probably single-maintainer repos.

        Those aren’t terribly interesting for GitHub anyways (they give no visibility) and also very easy to migrate, as you don’t need to migrate a team along with it.

    16. [Comment removed by author]

      1. 11

        [X] Do not share even bit of valuable open source (*do not count azure toolkits)

        Sure, I’ll bite: P, Dafny, F*, Lean, Z3, TLA+, Boogie. Those are just their formal methods open source projects, and just the major ones at that!

      2. 5

        Linux Foundation isn’t really an “open source community” nor does it represent the interests of one. It’s an industry group of companies that rely on one.

        1. 0

          Yeah, you’re completly right, but due to its scale (Linux Foundation) has the impact on the open soruce projects beacuse a lot of them are “sponsored” by this companies. This is not the age of geeks working “after hours”

    17. 3

      Not bad for a web interface built around a piece of software put together in a month by a guy named Linus Torvalds.

    18. 2

      Remember, it’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you.

    19. 2

      This should be merged into the github thread.

      1. 1

        Ok. What do I do, create a comment there with the same content and then delete this?

        1. 1

          Nevermind, after looking at the github+microsoft thread, I get what you are saying. Hey @pushcx.

    20. 2

      That’s rich, from a guy who done his best to advance client-server cloud model in his time.

      OK, not really happy about the acquisition either, but overall GitHub has been a massive boon to the community in general. It lowered the threshold to collaboration, publishing your projects and facilitated a bunch of dependency fetching ecosystems with much higher availability than was possible before.

      1. 5

        How did he do that?

        I thought he was involved in writing Netscape Navigator browser and its mail component neither of which promote cloud model.

        1. 2

          You posted that comment using a web browser which identifies itself as “Mozilla” and a cloud-hosted application called “lobste.rs”. IMO it’s fair to say that someone who was both a primary author of Mozilla-the-browser and a founder of mozilla.org was involved in enabling, even promoting the model lobste.rs uses.

          1. 2

            This is basically an argument that the web itself or really any client-server approach is promoting cloud model which I find absurd. Cloud-hosted wasn’t a technologically inevitable outcome as you could build something similar to email. You still can as you can use those same technologies JWZ help building to run your stuff on your own hardware.

            I don’t remember either JWZ or Mozilla in his time promoting running stuff in cloud (other people’s computers).

            1. 1

              He wrote software that made it feasible to put even user interface code on a server running in a colo somewhere. The UI on such software was primitive and laggy compared to using alternatives like MFC or Qt, but on the other hand a webapp didn’t have to be purchased, downloaded or installed.

              I don’t recall him saying that anyone should write webapps. But he wrote software that made it feasible, and did his best to get that software installed everywhere.

            2. -1

              Other people’s computers? You make it sound like a P2P network. I know zero cloud services hosted on other people’s computers, as opposed to other corporations.

              Oh and funny how email was decentralized right until its consolidation as browser-based client-server (sorry, cloud) platforms.

              1. 3

                “Other people’s computers” is a popular description of where cloud-hosted apps run. I don’t think anyone, certainly not me, means P2P by that.

                Email is still decentralized. You can run your own server as I and many others do. It can also have a webmail interface like mine does and that has been true for 2 decades. The fact that users are consolidating on few providers does not make underlying technology more “cloudy” and that did not happen for the first decade also strongly suggest that change did not happen because of underlying (web) technology.

                1. 1

                  What share of the world’s email has to be stored in a single database before you consider it centralised? 50% perhaps?

                  Google alone hosts a two-digit percentage of email users. I’ve heard the number 25% mentioned. Assuming one From address per message, an average of 1.4 To/Cc addresses and a 25% market share for Google, Google stores 50% of the email that was sent yesterday on behalf of the sender or any recipient. I self-host, so Google stores about 33% of my email.

                  (I made up the number 1.4. I don’t really care about the precise details. And I don’t care about whether you want to consider just Google or the also the next ten big hosters.)

                  1. 1

                    This debate has moved far away from JWZ and cloud to what feels off topic to main theme (Github+MS).

                    Since you asked, I have no idea what percentage of contained data if any should be a limit at which something counts as centralized. I think your question reveals and underlying dilemma which is are we talking about effectively centralized in a sense that for all intents and purposes everything happens at one place, or actually centralized in a sense, that it can’t happen elsewhere.

                    Clearly in the second sense email is not centralized as one can demonstrably run their own server as still so many do without penalties as long as the server is properly configured. It might not make economic or otherwise sense, but at least for now you are not technologically locked out.

                    I don’t think it is centralized in the first sense either and I am not sure your metric is valid. In that sense the whole web is already centralized or was, as Google scrapped everything public so in a way it stored close to all of it. Let’s imagine that we are left only with two email providers of approximately equal size and usage pattern. Then by your approach each of them will contain more or less all email and yet neither of which would actually be in a position where everyone had to be.

                    And to bring this closer to thread’s original topic, I don’t think any of this has much to do with web as such. It happened because costs of running your own server did not fall like the cost of hosted accounts which also provided a degree of freedom compared to ISP’s or company’s. What web did do, as it improved, is change client that is used to access email as there was less need for native OS ones. And even that is not completely true since Gmail has native client both for Android and iOS.

                    I think we would move to “cloud” services over time even if web did not exist or remained limited to HTML2. We would just be using Windows apps to do so.

    21. 1

      We already have a thread for this. Staaaaahp.

      1. 3

        Lobste.rs didn’t warn me about duplicate URLs… oh you mean another ready on this topic. ah. Well here is the official confirmation if anyone cares to read it.

      2. 1

        At least this confirms that the situation that was previously rumored is actually true…

        1. 1

          …making it a great comment in another thread.

          1. 1

            Can users suggest merging threads into others?

    22. [Comment removed by author]