Move from Github to Gitlab?

  • 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.

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

    @alan_g the answer to your question is pretty obvious if that is the only possible scenario, but I don't think those are the only parameters we should take into consideration.

    A realistic ETA for the move could be a good first step. I don't say you're wrong stating "one month" but I honestly don't know if it would take one week, one month, or perhaps even way more.

    On the other hand, I see one of the main developers (@mariogrip) showing an intense discomfort to the current platform, and I'd like to hear the rest of the UBports developers about how they feel about all of this. Because in a volunteer based project personal motivation is very important and that can also be affected when developers feel like they're betraying their principles, ideology, etc or just hate for whatever reason the tool they're using.

    I mean, developers feeling bad or uncomfortable using Github can affect the project too.

    The opinion of the community as a whole is important and has its weight, but the final decision has to be made by those doing the heavy lifting: developers & sysadmins.

  • Somehow this makes me upset... I think because it makes me feel that you can almost buy anything if you just have enough money...
    While I really don't like the thought of spending one month just for moving things from github to somewhere, I think on the other hand all the open source projects should take the opportunity to show them that they cannot buy everything...

  • @hummlbach said :

    all the open source projects should take the opportunity to show them that they cannot buy everything...


  • Personally speaking being attached to the great micro will feel wrong. But, there's time to plan, consider all the implications to people, projects, UBports in general and the time scale to move evertything smoothly to wherever (git lab looks the most obvious) oh and add in half the time again just to cover the inevitable issues (Do you use TSB !!).
    But if at all possible (which seems most likely) lets get OTA 4 out there first and have a stable base to move from.

  • To be clear of what was the among problems of Github:

    • Having operational costs higher than income (loss in the range of 60 mil $$ in 2016)
    • Having no CEO, and no one obviously wanting to have this job
    • Probably not getting more money from the banks

    So, in this situation, you got 3 choices: Cease to exist, or get a partner, or sell. Github is free for public code, but obviously not enough people wanted to pay for it. File bankruptcy is not an option, it would hurt the planet a lot, and you will be forever in the books as "the guys who destroyed FOSS", ignoring the fact that FOSS is not Github.

    Getting a partner as second option needs a strong leadership which was obviously not there. Unable to find a CEO for such an attractive company seems very odd to me. Whats wrong in their owners and board level, if they are looking for almost one year? So probably also partnering up was out of question.

    So sell it. Especially for that price. Of course money can buy anything on this planet, if it is just enough of it.

    The time of all-free services on the internet is over, and we should rather ask, what is it worth to have an independent provider of services? And what everyone would pay for it?

  • I'm in favor of moving but I think we should wait and see what the merge of github and Microsoft look like...

  • @flohack said:

    Of course money can buy anything on this planet

    Precisely not the free softwares; that is why it is important to be as consistent as possible in this matter.

  • Videolan words are so right (except for the verse on M$):"
    And the @github acquisition (potential) explains why we self-host all sourcecode at @videolan with git or with our @gitlab instance.
    @Microsoft has been a great citizen for open source lately, but it shows you can never know what will happen with a non-open-source SaaS." (

  • I suggest waiting a few months (preferably at least six months) to gauge whether GitHub will change for the worse in any way. If you notice changes for the worse, then plan an orderly exit at that time. But if you don’t notice any changes for the worse, no need to divert precious time from development.

  • nothing prevent to try make the transition to gitlab and see if all goes well after the OTA4 and while still using github and without rush.
    the process seems automated (Bugreport/issues, projects and naturally code), mario grip says that he already ported all its personal projects so this seems will be a not so time hungry process. also the extra feature on gitlab could make it convenient on a long run.
    so I'm for what @NeoTheThird says

  • Now reading that Gitlab uses Google cloud for all their services and I asking myself if Google is less evil than MS (probably not). So I am still not sure where all that MS hate comes from. My first PC was an IBM XT in the year 1989 and of course it used MS-DOS (first PC-DOS by IBM, but IBM did not get it right over the years ;)) - I used MS products since then, some were good, some were real crap, of course. But in the end, everyone has the right to fail.

    So I really want you to think about this like: Modern computing would not be on the same level as it is now without global players who were trying to make a business with it. MS drove a lot of standard committees (of course with their interests but also for our all benefit) and invested money into technology. Whet-ever you like or use their products is one thing, but hating is really inappropriate. In the last consequence it would mean to hate everyone on the planet who had a clever sales idea. Thats too anarchic for me.


  • @flohack I think it's not a hate, but a vigilance. And that's probably in right place.
    Btw, my prediction for next year when Ubuntu goes public is, that Microsoft will acquire it, or buy a substantial chunk of their business. I do not want even think about that.

  • @flohack You are of course right, but it is not just that. Look at the other side of the coin - Microsoft hurt Linux a lot in the past. Among well known examples I could even share a local example: In 2000 Microsoft almost destroyed a computer selling company named Mironet because they preferred Linux. They had their computers confiscated for almost 2 years based on Microsoft telling police they have illegal software on their PCs - which turned out not to be true. Before this all happened they were the biggest computer selling company in the Czech republic and because of this other company (Alza) took their place instead (czech source). And not much has changed now with things like this.

    In any case I don't intend to spam here. Just wanted to say I don't trust Microsoft - but maybe they are better now than in the past. And I understand that GitHub had issues and had to act. Regarding myself I wasn't sure whether I should move my own projects over to GitLab or stay until I read this thread's first post. But it is of course much easier to move a few projects of mine not relying on anything than such a complex infrastructure UBports has. And therefore I agree with you the move should note be based solely on the fact Microsoft has taken over the service as it works well for the project now and would require quite a lot of resources to proceed with the move.

    Who knows what Microsoft plans for GitHub. But it surely will no longer be what it used to be as so many people moved away in the last day or so. And I must say I miss the nice, simple and straightforward interface on GitLab.

  • @flohack

    For some free software is a political, ethical and even philosophical subject, for others it's only business as usual with the banal predation methods of globalized financial capitalism.

    It's not a matter of love/hate.

    UBports is lucky not to be a business and to be able to act in accordance with principles.

  • @libremax said in Move from Github to Gitlab?:

    For some free software is a political, ethical and even philosophical subject, for others it's only business as usual with the banal predation methods of globalized financial capitalism.
    It's not a matter of love/hate.
    UBports is lucky not to be a business and to be able to act in accordance with principles.

    I don't see where principles apply here: Github has never been free software, it has always been propitiatory software and infrastructure supported by investment and revenue from commercial services. Only the source of investment is changing.

    I understand that some hate Microsoft, and I certainly don't love them (ask my wife!), but they have done good as well as bad. If they want to fund infrastructure for source control without asking any more in return than Github already gets then why should we care?

  • Perhaps what's really needed for FOSS, is the Wikipedia model: everything open and accessible, and if or whenever the foundation needs financial help, then ask the community for donations.

  • Ok so here my 2c...

    I fully support the move to GitLab, but not for any real reason to do with Microsoft acquiring GitHub (although i do get others concerns). For me it's more about the project management aspect of UBports.

    GitLab supports groups and subgroups so it's easier to organise our 300+ repositories, making it easier for everyone to find their way round, and also visualise the different parts of the project/platform and how they fit together. There could be groups for Unity8, System Apps, Core Apps, Packaging, Infra, Documentation, Tooling, Working Groups, Experimental... the possibilities are endless but each group is easy to digest and only contains repos specific to each groups goals. On GitHub you just get a giant list of all repos and you almost have to remember repo names as paginating through the list is just painful if you can't.

    GitLab supports issues, milestones and kanban boards at both group and project level. This makes it really easy to organise per project as well as at the group level and get a higher level view of what's going on. You can also move issue between projects which is handy!.

    GitLab CI would also be a great thing to have at the project level. Each project could define it's own pipeline for merge requests, doc generation, building and publishing clicks to open-store etc... and not have to use an external tool like TravisCI. Jenkins is probably still the right tool for the building ubports repo and could continue to build debs on changes to master, xenial, bionic branches. But allowing a project to define it's own pipeline, even attach their own hardware via a dedicated gitlab runner in my opinion is quite a powerful thing. Members of the community could even offer up spare hardware and create a pool of runners for UBports 🙂

    GitLab releases new features nearly every month, so things can only get better.

    GitHub is serving it's purpose right and doing the job ok, so it definitely doesn't need to be rushed if a decision is made to move.

  • I am okay with moving to GitLab. I think this platform has more benefits than most out there right now, including GitHub.

    Regardless, I am in favor of waiting so the projects can be finished. Despite GitLab having lots of tools to help people migrate to their platform and what-not, they are a bit overloaded right now and moving 300+ repositories now will take days or even weeks. It will be a complicated task and if we do it now it will take longer than we can take.

    The strategy should be planned in a future meeting by the devs and decide on what is the best course of action to minimize recursions and find the best occasion to make it happen.

  • Read also the much friendlier post here which explains a lot (to me).


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