My Ramblings
June 4, 2018

Microsoft+Github, My thoughts

Posted on June 4, 2018  •  3 minutes  • 521 words

I am currently on a train heading down to London for Elasticon and been reading the whole Microsoft is buying GitHub. The reaction from places like Twitter and hacker news is that the sky is falling and we should all move to gitlab. rather then setting up a self hosted version

While I think that the whole sky is falling drama is way over-blone, Microsoft has taken some good steps in the opensoure comunutiy with things like VSCode DotNet Core and even powershell being open soured on Github. They even have had to acknowledge that in enterprise people think linux first for the most part,so now Microsoft had to make SqlServer run on linux. Just for fun I will also not that the old favourite code editor on Windows notepad++ can run on linux now thanks to snaps (although this has nothing really to do with Microsoft Github thing, just thought it would show where the dev comunity is)

In the past few years several alternatives have come out that replicate the web interface, bugs/issue and pull requests model of GitHub but in a manner that can be self hosted and opensourece. Tools like Gitlab or the lightweight Gittea come to mind both I have setup used and liked. The problem come with the “community aspect of Github” its the same old social network effect that pluges other areas such as new socail networks. There are millions of developers that experimenting with projects finding and fixing bugs or new features and contributing back code. My self although not a big bug fixer rase bugs when I find them or create useful tools. such as an migration from phpbb to flaurm (although this is mostly abandoned atm). If everyone went to there own self hosted git servers as we had back in the old days, the barrier to entry into these projects increase let alone finding them.

Git as a tool is designed to be distributed there should not be a centralised repo that if it goes away we all screwed. A possible solution to this is to have some sort of federated git server where along with the code issues and pull requests can be manages. Its not that far off there are several Federated services from Matrix or Mastodon. By using a federated service there is not a single point of failure with code and bugs tracker could also be federated ah dreams of slightly sleep deprived Developer on a train

I have for a while had this niggling thought at the back of my mind with the whole reliance on Github as the single point where our code is hosted. With the thousands of posts where Github goes down (although rarely) and big projects move to GitHub troubles me. I wrote a post when a TOS change caused the last freaked-out about GitHub over a year ago where I thought about these things (/2017/03/14/my-problem-with-github/) and looking back at that post now it comparing it to this one I am saying the same thing. Looks like I may have another Idea to stick on my backlog of crazy ideas.

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