Move from Github to Gitlab?

  • Linux and its community represents the computing of the people of the town, if you buy little by little what it is for the people, goodbye to freedom, to privacy and what GNU-Linux is,

  • The acquisition has been confirmed. I would vote to move out, Microsoft is incompatible with the free software spirit of UBPorts, unless they also decide to GPL all their code, which they will not do. Gitlab looks like a good option.

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    Here's the official GitHub Statement and a blog post from Nadella.

    I wouldn't make this so much about feelings. Let's face it: Microsoft is not evil. But Microsoft isn't necessarily good, either. Microsoft is just a very big company doing what they think is best for their business, and that doesn't always mean it's what's best for everyone else. And yes, they're dabbling with some open-source stuff, but only where it's required or at least very difficult to justify not to have it open. Microsoft wants to stay in control. They already lost the windows-server market to the "foss revolution", so they understood that they have to join the winning team if they want to stay on top. That alone doesn't make them evil. In fact, most companies work that way (even GitHub always has, that's why the GitHub server is proprietary), but they could still change. So let's give them credit for embracing foss where they are and encourage them to abandon their proprietary projects and selfish business techniques. They're saying they aren't the enemy, let's believe them that. But that doesn't automatically make them our friends.

    What's worrying to me about this potential acquisition is that it will concentrate too much power with one entity, and that can't be good. This is a development that has been going on for a while now, the FOSS community made the mistake to place too much trust in GitHub for a long time.

    GitLab is different that way. It's still a for-profit company behind it, but the client is open-source. You can even host it yourself, and even though real federation is not there yet, it's a lot more likely to come.

    The biggest problem GitLab has at the moment is that it's a lot smaller than GitHub. GitHub has 27 million users and 49 million repositories, [GitLab only has 100.000 users/groups (even though that number seems to be pretty old). When we moved UBports from Launchpad to GitHub a little more than a year ago, we discussed GitLab as an option as well, but dismissed it because of lack of adoption. Since then, Gnome has proven that it's possible to move a big open source project to GitLab, and it worked for them.

    All in all, i have to say i'm in favor of moving, but i would not rush things. The migration itself is pretty straightforward thanks to great tools, but there's a lot of stuff around it that needs to be modified. Most work will probably be updating the documentation and workflows. Worth it, but no need to rush it. We could make some preparations now, really analyze what to look out for, and make the move after OTA-4.

    And for the lack of users, build it and he will come i guess 😉

  • Yes, lets move to GitLab, the Github acquisition by Microsoft is just like the perfect excuse but if we were starting from scratch I would vote for GitLab over Github.

    I also agree with @NeoTheThird statement. It's worth the move but there is no need to be in a hurry.

  • @neothethird I stand in agreement with this general position. Move, but do so in an orderly fashion. I agree with the others that MS cannot be trusted. The history is too dark to 'redeem' so we must, in order to stand for freedom, make immediate plans to start the move.

  • I agree with @advocatux & @NeoTheThird. There's no rush.The freer, the better.

  • I also think gitlab has a lot to offer. But...

    I have a lot of experience in the industry and I know changes to project infrastructure never go as smoothly as they ought. Moving to gitlab (or anywhere else) would divert a significant amount of effort from moving the project forward.

    While I agree that Microsoft will act in Microsoft's interest, they have no interest in making github worse. On the contrary, they host a lot of their own projects there and these would benefit from improvements.

    We don't need to move (yet). Let's not commit to it until there is a clear benefit to the change that justifies the disruption.

  • I agree that there is no need to rush but without postponing "aux calendes grecques" as we say in french.

    As soon as the decision in principle has been taken, it will be advisable to communicate as soon as possible because it is a question of coherence with the objectives of the UBports project.

  • Microsoft is going to want something from this $5 BILLION investment...

    They can already read and use all the code, so it's not that. My guess is that they're going to introduce a pay-to-use option, either for all or some of the services.

  • I am against any move until we see a negative impact for us. We got over 300 repos hosted on Github now, and Infrastructure is already now under pressure with keeping up with open work items. Moving now, not even when the deal is dry, without seeing any policy changes is overreacted IMHO. We want to finish OTA-4, and when we start moving to Gitlab now you can forget any release at end of June, or even longer.

    After OTA-4 we can review this again. But I strictly disagree on any fast reaction now.

  • @flohack I agree, of course OTA 4 is the top priority now.

  • @advocatux it isn't just "now".

    Even after 16.04 ships do we really want to spend a month moving everything instead of...

    • Porting to new phone(s)?
    • Getting anbox support released?
    • Getting Unity8 desktop working again?
    • Delivering other cool stuff?
    • Fixing bugs?
    • Promoting the project?

    Really, unless we realistically expect things to be better after the move this has to be a bad idea. (Getting 50% more work done afterwards would be a good argument - that's break-even in 3 months.)

  • This M$-github thingy is unfortunate, but we should keep OTA4 (and critical bugs!) at priority one. If there are going to be some pay-to-use $$, maybe then we should look some replacement for github..

  • For me the workflow with git and github ist totaly new. I try to work on this and want to contribute to the project. For me it's better to stay on github for now. Otherwise i need to learn how gitlab works

  • I agree with @alan_g , I think the project should be more important than the fact that MS bought a website UBports, lots of Linux and FOSS developers are using.
    Especially since we don't if that affects the project in any way, yet we know that the move would probably cost the project time.

  • I strongly dislike Microsoft and all their stand for - based on what they did in the past the company is not to be trusted no matter how well they may disguise their actions nowadays. But as some people realise there should be no rush on this - take the time. Just be ready in case Microsoft is about to introduce their "better" new services that will limit everything and cost money as a bonus.

  • Be like the "boy scouts" be prepared ,in case the move is needed at short notice.

  • Move to GitLab, UBports should make at least a firm commitment to move to GitLab in the next two to three months.
    Community will forgive if this delays other plans for UBports a bit. What they won't do is contribute to a project that doesn't make it clear they do not support Microsoft's agenda and wont stand for their embrace extend extinguish.
    Let us not forget that Unity failed to GNOME mostly because of Ubuntu CLA and similar stuff that didn't align with the foss philosophy in the minds of many Linux devs and users.

    This is more than just a PR move, this is about how we do this things in the future too. I say let us not do compromises in face of events such as this one. Make a firm statement that UBports does not do compromises and that UBports will move to other service even if Microsoft doesn't have an agenda, do not wait to see the negative impact, make it clear that UBports will be paranoid so that you don't need to be, so that you could have a peace of mind.

    A piece of software that is free and doesn't have any proprietary attachments because UBports is not Microsoft and wont stand for their agenda even if they buy GitHub and try to shove it down our throats by their corporate force...

    This move will most surely strengthen the bond and the trust between the project and it's community.

    @alan_g has some good points and I would agree with him if we were together in a company but sometimes, like in this case, the most economic and the most efficient thing isn't the right thing to do.

    [edit]: I feel like this is appropriate: click for the video

  • @flohack I fully agree with you, @alan_g, @advocatux @NeoTheThird and almost everyone here, right now is not the moment but the infrastructure should be there ready when the time comes in the future.
    Thanks for everything.

  • I fully agree with @aresminos I think a move to gitlab is more a statement for our community as well as for the opensource community in general.

    Also, like other said no rush is needed. A move after OTA4 will be OK I guess, but maybe an official announcement for when the move will be.

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