… Or you shouldn’t. I don’t know, I’m just a random person on the internet. Don’t let random internet blog posts make your decisions for you, carefully weigh the options and decide what’s right for you. Or don’t.
Disclaimers aside, many people have brought up the fact that despite hosting much of the best open source code on the planet, Github itself was not open source. Recently there was quite a rustling over an open letter to Github, which seemingly spurred Github to make all the actions they were taking to make the platform greater more publicly accessible. That’s great, and Github obviously offers a great service, and is pretty loved by developers everywhere, but the fundamental problem of the code that runs Github being closed source is still an issue.
I’ve long been a proponent of non-Github choices for repository hosting, such as Assembla (whom stopped using them when they made a change to their freemium model, but it looks like it’s changed again?) and Bitbucket. If anything I supported these sites because I didn’t want everyone in the open source world to only put their eggs in one basket. While unlikely, if Github decided to make any move that was heavily anti-open source or unwanted by users, everyone would suddenly have their juevos in a vice. That, and a little bit of the burgeoning hipster in me wanted to use a code hosting system that wasn’t so “mainstream”. Despite that itch being scratched, the fundamental problem of the code not being open source in and of itself was still present.
Turns out there are many open source alternatives to Github/Bitbucket/Assembla: Gogs, Gitlab are particularly prominent. When looking at these options, I focused more on the self-hosted bit of the problem (giving developers a way to host a github-like service internally at their various companies). In a past life at a previous company, I was extremely interested in Gitlab for this very potential (and even set up a local Gitlab instance at the company) — since we were suffering from a severe lack of dev-friendly repo management. However, for some reason I’d never considered that one of these companies might have taken the steps to address the other side of the coin: a Github-like place for everyone to store their software for everyone else to see, beyond the walls of any one corporation.
As is increasingly common these days, a comment or two on hackernews alerted me to the fact that Gitlab did in fact have a free Github-style offering. The cogs immediately started turning in my head on when I could start moving all my repos from Github/Bitbucket to Gitlab.
As of now, I’ve moved all of the repos I had on Bitbucket to Gitlab, and am glad to have done so. The interface is refreshing (even if it’s a little hard to find things at times), and while Atlassian isn’t a bad company by any stretch, I’m super excited to support Gitlab. I actually wish they’d offer some sort of premium user service so that I could show my support with cash. Tomorrow/Next Week/Sometime in the future, I’ll look at moving myself completely off Github (I don’t use it much right now anyway), and then this chink in the armor of my open source ideology will be pretty much healed.
You can find some of the newly moved public projects here:
Merry Go Forms – A simple JS plugin to show carousel-style forms on your website – https://gitlab.com/mrman/merry-go-form
Now I get to go around and update this blog, my local repositories’ “origin” remotes, and anything else that might be pointing to the old repos. Yay