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

Fabio Pesari fabio at pesari.eu
Wed Mar 4 18:50:05 GMT 2015

Did not know about NotABug; thanks for showing it to me!

I haven't had the time to look into it in depth but it seems to be
alright. Some things need to be tuned up (for example, I think the JS
code should be made LibreJS-compliant and their fork of Gogs should be
AGPLed) and it's obviously a work-in-progress but it feels great and
certainly has the potential to dethrone GitHub.

It doesn't seem to be enterprisey like GitLab and that's a good thing,
in my book. I don't know too much about peers.community, they seem to be
some kind of programming collective which has released some interesting
applications. I'm honestly interested in learning more about them and if
they can manage a site at least as popular as Gitorious was.

I've just heard about this site randomly so I hope they will get their
marketing going, and soon. We Free Software developers like to believe
that marketing is corporate bullshit (I know I did until recently) but
it really is the most important factor if you aim for wide adoption. It
makes no sense for a site like NotABug to be niche, it should be as
popular as possible, otherwise GitHub will never be replaced and we'll
all be stuck using it to contribute to Free Software projects.

They should also look for the FSF's approval and endorsement. I know
Savannah fits their requirements so well but Savane is pretty much a
dead project (too bad, it had a decent codebase) and it would be
extremely hard to convince people who use GitHub to switch to it, this
one seems a better candidate.

I'm willing to help them if I can, I'll look into it. We all could help
them, if we agreed about it: perhaps Parabola could become one of its
first adopters, that would boost their popularity quite a bit. But,
first, we have to be sure about where they stand philosophically and
also about their resources (in other words, if they can take it).

On 03/04/2015 03:07 PM, Digit wrote:
> https://notabug.org/ fulfills many of those criteria listed by Fabio,
> and seems the best option around (so far, given an absence of other
> freedom respecting git webware).
> started by some fsf members mere days before the news of gitorious'
> impending doom, they didnt expect the need for it to suddenly become
> so pressing.  a fortuitous psychic piece of project starting.  :)
> the more free software supporters who get in at the ground floor, the
> better chance we have of helping keep it steered in the right
> direction.
> i have confidence in the intent of notabug.org's creators, and its
> philosophy.  now lets just see if we can help make it all we hope it
> to be, practically (~practicably(?)).
> -Digit
> ps, i too tire of the convenience trap and mindshare brainwash of
> github.  this gitlab conjured gitorious-death jostling might just be
> the impetus we (the whole Free Software community) need to get
> ourselves sorted with better.
> On 04/03/2015, Fabio Pesari <fabio at pesari.eu> wrote:
>> I knew something along these lines would eventually happen. Gitorious
>> did have some traction (I think Qt was hosted there) but to be honest, I
>> always found its interface incredibly clunky and ugly - I'd rather use
>> SourceForge than Gitorious.
>> But I really liked the fact that it was AGPLed. I actually dislike
>> GitLab.com more than I dislike GitHub, Inc.: they have adopted this
>> backwards "open core" model where they release a proprietary version of
>> their program (called GitHub EE) along with the MIT version. Using
>> GitLab.com is as bad as using GitHub.com since you cannot read the
>> actual source code of either. I'd still rather use it instead of GitHub,
>> though.
>> I don't think GitLab is ever going to take over GitHub and if you want
>> to contribute to Free Software you are going to need a GitHub account in
>> any case these days, plus GitHub can be fully operated through Free
>> Software by using git and their "hub" program - the only "proprietary"
>> thing about this is the JSON API calls made by "hub", but as the FSF
>> says that's a service rather than software, so it's another matter
>> altogether.
>> Nonetheless, I would love an alternative to GitHub, in fact I think
>> GitHub is one of the biggest problems in Free Software culture, as it
>> depicts collaboration as social networking and promotes proprietary
>> software (GH itself is proprietary and you can host proprietary software
>> on GitHub [1]) and open source "culture".
>> But let's take a look at the alternatives (those which support git, as I
>> myself do not want to go back to CVS and SVN and everyone who supports
>> Mercurial also supports git):
>> BerliOS: Good alternative, although it used to run ads and it closed
>> down a few times. It would also need a redesign, how does one browse a
>> repo? And the approval process does not scale well.
>> GitLab: Best solution out there but it still promotes an open
>> source/proprietary culture, like GitHub does.
>> Savannah: Would need a total redesign, plus I think that their approval
>> process does not scale well (but they're the best out there when it
>> comes to freedom).
>> SourceForge: Changes owners too often, clunky, has ads.
>> Now, I'm afraid something like Savannah might never be accepted by the
>> mainstream, so GitLab remains the best choice if we want to replace GitHub.
>> In my opinion, a replacement for GitHub should be:
>> * Completely Free Software
>> * Modernly designed
>> * Run by a nonprofit organization
>> * Ad-free
>> * Marketed, and heavily
>> * Supported by some big Free Software project (such as Debian)
>> * Strict on banning nonfree projects
>> * Able to import from GitHub by clicking a button (this would make
>> migrating trivial)
>> * Without any paid accounts
>> To achieve this purpose, GitLab CE is already perfect from a practical
>> perspective, its only faults are ideological. Someone should just fork
>> it as AGPLv3+, host it on their own servers with their own Terms of
>> Service and well, get working on finding funds and marketing it, because
>> that's the hardest part by far.
>> But I doubt that would kill GitHub anyway. For many people, GitHub is
>> synonymous with git is synonymous with collaborative development. People
>> don't ask you "where's the source tarball" or "where's the repo", they
>> ask you "where's the GitHub?". And if someone releases a program, people
>> will ask him/her "can you release it on GitHub" or "GitHub link?" or
>> something along these lines. GitHub has successfully brainwashed the
>> masses so that they believe that "pull requests" and "forks" would not
>> exist without them.  Go on a tech site like reddit and see these
>> pathetic displays of ignorance yourselves. I'm not saying this because
>> I'm a snob, I'm just tired that a whole culture that has been around for
>> decades has been attributed to a single, private corporation which
>> doesn't even give a damn about it and has engaged in censorship several
>> times.
>> I'm personally tired of having to use GitHub to contribute to projects I
>> like, but programmers nowadays either host their projects there or watch
>> them die so I understand them. That's the power of marketing and I don't
>> believe a philosophically better alternative would fix what is
>> fundamentally a problem of consumer society as a whole.
>> [1]:
>> https://help.github.com/articles/open-source-licensing/#what-happens-if-i-dont-choose-a-license
>> _______________________________________________
>> Dev mailing list
>> Dev at lists.parabola.nu
>> https://lists.parabola.nu/mailman/listinfo/dev

More information about the Dev mailing list