All my repos moving to Gitlab


He mentioned Netscape as evidence (that’s 20 years ago now). Show me something bad business-wise in the last five, even ten years. Even the Windows Telemetry thing was addressed ( … etry-data/) and was blown way out of proportion.

I believe Microsoft has changed and has open source developers best interests at “heart”. I would wager in five years from today, that statement will still ring true.

I went to a Microsoft event in the early days of the Mono Project. Ballmer was on stage doing Q&A and I asked him what he thought of Mono. His face turned redder (it’s always red I think) and he clearly disliked the concept of open source software. But he complimented Miguel and made an attempt to be gracious (failing, but not badly). It was clear that from a leadership perspective, Ballmer (and probably Gates behind the scenes) didn’t understand the benefits of OSS. But Scott Hanselman, Scott Guthrie, and Satya Nadella have changed the culture of Microsoft. Their flagship development platform .NET now has a completely open source and cross platform implementation that’s lauded by those using it. They started ripping apart IIS and rebuilding web server technology as opens source components. (of course web servers are about to become extinct with static web hosting and serverless API’s now en vogue). There’s an open source beta project to compile dotnet core in WebAssembly so you can run C#/ASP.NET in the browser. That’s not a company trying to lock people in to anything. That’s a company just building cool tools.

My read here is that you and many others were burned by Microsoft in the past (and in many cases, the very distant past, like A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away distant past) and you can’t find a way to look at the current 2018 industry with an open mind. If there’s anything about computers that’s true is that everything changes very quickly and if you want to stay in business, you really can’t keep pissing people off. The Nokia purchase is an excellent example. I think Ballmer had good intentions, but their legacy of abuse tainted Windows Phone and well, Apple+iOS was the sexy new thing. That was the lesson they needed to learn. They tried to make Windows Phone work for several years. They simply could not get any serious developers to care. They couldn’t even pay developers to care.

The second they realized they’d lost the developers, they knew they’d screwed the pooch and had to make wholesale changes to even survive. Luckily for them, Windows and Office are still fundamental business tools that allowed them to muddle through the transition to cloud and open source.

But that’s it. They did make that transition. They have the largest footprint of open source software of any organization in the world and although they have work to do, they are making an honest effort to win back the developers.



It is an understandable desire not to put all your work and pet projects in the hands of an international corporation that may have some access to your work contact book from LinkedIn and Skype. Because international corporations are never “good” or “bad”, they are big and they do big business. It does not matter if Microsoft is good now, because they can turn all sorts of bad in the future.

Personally, I don’t use Gitlab much, although I did squat the “ifiction” group. is slow and prone to failures; tried hosting my own omnibus - too expensive. So until they finish ActivityPub federation, I’m using small Gitea forges on the Internet like Notabug or Heropunch.


(Jesse McGrew) #23

I too used to hold a grudge against Microsoft for their actions in the XP era and earlier. But the Microsoft that bought GitHub isn’t the one that wrote the Halloween papers, it’s the one that’s been relying on GitHub to host 1800+ of Microsoft’s own open-source projects, including their entire web/server development stack (.NET Core, ASP.NET Core, Roslyn, MSBuild, Visual Studio Code, TypeScript, even PowerShell).

As for that TechRights site, it’s enlightening to go back and read their archives about, say, Mono and see how many of their predictions have come true.



I don’t want to be near Microsoft. That’s a fact.
Examples of «great work» are their office suite, skype breakdown, own QRcode failure, OS defects attribuited to user, ‘to fix this error by new version’ actitude. For years without them, the best ever. I’m moving to gitlab as well.


(Piergiorgio d'errico) #25

well, I’m a Linux stormtrooper :smiley: and I don’t care much about m$ aside recon & intel, and the current state of the OS/closed-sorce disagreement can be termed “cold war”.

In the specific, I distrust cloud computing and cautiously trust backup external HD. My …/if directory incl what really matters, …/if/wrk, is weekly mirrored in every HD, online and offline.



Unpopular opinion: GitHub will be fine, nothing will change, no reason to migrate. But if something does change, and it’s really bad, I can migrate then.


(David Griffith) #27

Have you witnessed the chaos MS caused with their “GVFS” and flippancy over namespace collisions?


(Jesse McGrew) #28

Kudos to Microsoft for tackling the issues plaguing large Git repos that the Git community was unwilling to tackle, I guess. Facebook and Google ended up just choosing Mercurial instead.

What exactly was the problem? That they called it Git Virtual File System (GVFS) when there was already the GNOME Virtual File System (GVfs) – not to be confused with GnomeVFS (!) or the Linux Virtual File System? If so, you’re in luck, they’re soliciting new names.


(Andrew Plotkin) #29


Now that I look, still don’t see much chaos. A couple of annoyed reddit threads, yes. Anyhow that was a decision they made over a year ago, so why does it make you think RealNC is wrong?


(David Griffith) #30

Stomping on namespace is bad enough taken in isolation. Usually that can be explained by a momentary lapse of judgment. When Microsoft does it, it’s yet another example of placing no importance upon ideals of writing and implementing programs with an eye to security and stability.

Here’s another example of why you don’t want Microsoft getting involved in Open Source projects: … packaging/
That one came out on Friday and the problems discovered yesterday. There is no reason why Microsoft couldn’t have gotten this right unless they just don’t care to do it right.


(Jesse McGrew) #31

What on earth does project naming have to do with security or stability?

Read the comments on that post for some perspective. Also, note that when he reported it on Microsoft’s forums, he got two affirmative responses from Microsoft the same day.

In any case, if “sometimes they write bad code” is a reason not to want them involved in OSS projects, I’d say it’s outweighed by the much larger amount of good code they’ve written.



No disagreement there. Not a MS fan myself. But with GitHub, I’m not actually installing anything from them on my machines, and neither do I have any private or sensitive data stored there. I just have my public Git repos hosted there. For as long at it works, it works. If that changes, people can just move on. Right now, it works just as well as it always has, and I don’t believe this will change any time soon.

With that being said, GitLab is trying to capitalize on the migration hype and is offering some of their premium services for free to open source, non-commercial projects. So it might be a good idea to switch anyway. Not due to MS buying GitHub, but because of GitLab potentially offering a better service at no cost.


(Andrew Plotkin) #33

My reaction to the news, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, is that I’ve pushed copies of my open-source repos to Bitbucket. (They’re not publically visible, but they’re there and I can light them up at any time.)

So, worst-case scenario, if Microsoft shuts down Github without warning and I have a hard drive failure the same day, I haven’t lost anything.

All other scenarios are less bad.

In the meantime, I am a customer of both Github and Bitbucket (as I’ve been for several years, cheapest paid plan of each). I will continue behaving as such, meaning I keep an eye out for policy changes I don’t like.


(Jesse McGrew) #34

Do you get much use out of the paid Bitbucket features?

Compared to the free account, the paid one has 500 build minutes instead of 50, 5 GB quota for LFS instead of 1 GB, and unlimited users instead of 5. I haven’t gotten close to the free limits on any of those.


(Andrew Plotkin) #35

Most of my proprietary projects live on Bitbucket (a habit I got into in 2011, before Github had unlimited private repos). I prefer not to rely on free hosting for anything job-related.

I could consolidate and stop paying two subscription fees, but I’m lazy and the costs aren’t inordinate. And I do in fact want both services to continue to exist.


(Daniel Stelzer) #36

Oh hey, I didn’t expect to find an explanation here of all places for why my /bin/sh suddenly changed.

While I have no affection for Microsoft, and they’ve quite thoroughly ruined Skype and many of their other acquisitions, I’m cautiously optimistic about Github. Like zarf, I’m keeping everything on Bitbucket too, but this doesn’t seem like any sort of emergency yet.



Jim Henson had a wait and see attitude, now we have wrong sounding muppets!
But seriously, I don’t trust Microsoft in the slightest. Also David, why the hell do you still maintain Inform 5 for Unix? As far as I can tell, there’s no need for it.



Microsoft bought the muppets? And murdered the original puppeteers? Hadn’t heard about that. :astonished:

Even if you don’t trust them, even if they do screw up GitHub, do you really believe they would confiscate your repositories without giving you a chance to retrieve them?

Worse case scenario is that they change GitHub in a way you don’t like and you move your repos then. In the meantime it continues to be a useful service.


(David Griffith) #39

I don’t maintain Inform5. That repo is there just to provide an easy way to play with Inform5 with the same convenience as the Inform6Unix repo.


(Piergiorgio d'errico) #40

Last time I checked, inform 5.2 and 5.5 compiles fine under GCC… but I’m the guy whose some years ago manages to compile out-of-the box the oldest extant C source (1972 vintage…) with a recent GCC.

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.