[Dev] Code collaboration platform GitLab acquires rival Gitorious, will shut it down on June 1

hellekin hellekin at gnu.org
Wed Mar 4 00:38:14 GMT 2015

Hash: SHA512

On 03/03/15 15:40, Jorge Araya Navarro wrote:
> FYI: http://thenextweb.com/insider/2015/03/03/gitlab-acquires-rival-gitorious-will-shut-june-1/
*** See also https://about.gitlab.com/2015/03/03/gitlab-acquires-gitorious/

Rolf Bjaanes, Gitorious CEO, gives some background on the reasons for
the acquisition: “At Gitorious we saw more and more organizations
adopting GitLab. Due to decreased income from on-premises customers,
running the free Gitorious.org was no longer sustainable. GitLab was
solving the same problem that we were, but was solving it better.”

I have talked with Gitlab CEO:

17:26 <   hellekin> hello, can someone explain the rationale behind
shutting down gitorious? Is there a specific channel where that can be
17:28 <  dblessing> hellekin: yeah, no one for GitLab B.V. proper is
here. gitorious will be available until june 1 and users will be given a
method to migrate to gitlab.com easily
17:29 <   hellekin> dblessing: thanks.  I can't wrap my mind around this
as being "a good thing" for software freedom.  Not that I will miss
Gitorious though.
17:31 <     haynes>
https://about.gitlab.com/2015/03/03/gitlab-acquires-gitorious/ contains
a little bit more info on the background
17:34 <   hellekin> haynes: thanks, it makes sense.
17:34 <     sytse_> gitlab ceo here, happy to answer questions about the
gitorious acquisition
17:34 <   hellekin> hi sytse_, thank you for showing up!
17:35 <     sytse_> no problem, Drew indicated you had a question
17:36 <   hellekin> sytse_: I want to start by telling you how much I
like gitlab.  I'm working with Devuan.org, the Debian fork, and we're
using it as our devolpment platform.
17:36 <     sytse_> great to hear that!
17:37 <   hellekin> sytse_: haynes just pointed me to
https://about.gitlab.com/2015/03/03/gitlab-acquires-gitorious/ where the
CEO of Gitorious, Rolf Bjaanes, explains that Gitlab solves the public
repo hosting better than Gitorious.
17:37 <     sytse_> we noticed you used GitLab, hopefully in inspiration
to Debian
17:37 <     sytse_> yep
17:38 <   hellekin> sytse_: wait a sec... That needs formulation...
17:39 <   hellekin> sytse_: when I first read about Gitorious shutting
down, I thought that it was some blow on the diversity of alternatives
to Github.  Something quite negative at first sight.
17:41 <   hellekin> sytse_: then I read this comment by Rolf Bjaanes and
thought that it makes sense, as you're simply allowing them to "exit"
before the business becomes too bad and the big customers want to shift
away to Github.  Can you tell use more about how you came to figure out
this strategy?  I mean, beyond the nice gesture, how important is it for
you to grab that market share so to speak.
17:43 <     sytse_> thanks for asking, Rolf from Gitorious contacted us
because their business was no longer sustainable and they wanted to exit
without a bankruptcy or so
17:44 <     sytse_> we saw a potential to get more awareness and users
for gitlab and they thought GitLab was a good fit for their existing
customers (more features and based on open source)
17:44 <    jalcine> isn't gitorious open source too?
17:44 <     sytse_> yes
17:44 <     sytse_> AGPL3
17:45 <     sytse_> so gitorious would have shut down anyway, we tried
to make the best of it together
17:45 <   hellekin> yes, that's a pity gitlab isn't AGPLv3+ as well
17:45 <     sytse_> the headline on TNW was the choice of the publication
17:45 <     sytse_> we like the MIT license but opinions vary
17:46 <   hellekin> sytse_: I'm a GNU maintainer :)
17:47 <     sytse_> so I won't start a debate :) it is already quite a
show on https://about.gitlab.com/2015/03/03/gitlab-acquires-gitorious/
17:49 <   hellekin> sytse_: BTW, that's something of a disension between
the FSF and Github, the way they "look" at copyleft.  That means a
window of opportunity for you to differentiate from the competition and
reassure AGPL fans.
17:49 <   hellekin> dissension
17:51 <     sytse_> there maybe is a market for that but we're
comfortable with the MIT, we think our actions our more important than
the license, do we ship a great GitLab CE month after month?
17:53 <     sytse_> yeah, the wiki could use some love, see
17:55 <   hellekin> sytse_: see how I used it yesterday:
17:57 <   hellekin> sytse_: indeed I tested block diagrams and
transclusion yesterday.  [[incude:other-page]] would definitely remove
the need for Mediawiki AFAIC
17:57 <     sytse_> looks nice!
17:57 <   hellekin> sytse_: the great advantage of using markdown is
that we send the newsletter straight to email without modification.
17:58 <     sytse_> markdown is awesome, I hope lawyers will also start
using it soon
18:00 <   hellekin> sytse_: well anyway, thank you for showing up, and
for enabling a great alternative to Github.  If you switch to GPL I can
convince RMS to use it for Savannah ;o)
18:02 <   hellekin> sytse_: I'd be interested in pursuing this
conversation some time.  My GPG key is public.
18:03 <     sytse_> feel free to email me at sytse at gitlab.com, i don't
use GPG yet
18:03 <     sytse_> and thanks for the conversation
18:04 <   hellekin> I will.  TTYL sytse_
18:06 <     sytse_> ttyl hellekin

Rob Myers thinks they will be wiped out by Github because they lack
business skills.  I'm not so sure.  In any case, besides the poor
license choice, I much prefer the Gitlab code than the Gitorious code,
so I won't complain.


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