this post was submitted on 11 Apr 2024
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[–] [email protected] 98 points 3 months ago (7 children)

Content warning: this is a rant from a teenager who has strong opinions.

Okay...

However, it holds a monopoly on software.

You don't know what a "monopoly" is.

they could just go “Boop! You’re gone!” and there’s nothing I could do about it other than move forges.

Yeah, nothing you could do about it, other than moving to one of the many other git hosts. Monopoly!

And then after listing off a whole bunch of alternative git hosts...

Centralization is not bad by itself but it’s bad when there’s no other option. There just needs to be ways to contribute to code without having to use Github.

You have plenty of ways to do that, and you know that because you just listed them. Github is not a monopoly.

Also, I don't see the concept of open source mentioned at any point in this rant.

[–] cmhe 36 points 3 months ago (1 children)

You don't know what a "monopoly" is.

What the author is probably searching for is "vendor-lockin", which is an anticompetitive practice for so long that it became the way many companies rely their business on. It favors established products over new-comers by making switching offerings difficult/expensive or even impossible, thus better products often have no chance of competing in a field, that was dominated by a single supplier for a while.

IMO there should be strict regulations and high fines associated with it, because it hinders innovation massively across all industries.

The cost of switching away from github for a project is high, but not as high as in other fields.

[–] DacoTaco 23 points 3 months ago (1 children)

Imo github doesnt have that high of a vendor lock-in. Its git, you can clone and push it to another server. Sure, youll have to convert the ci's and templates, but thats about it really.
And a good yaml is easily converted as the ideas and actions are the same, only the action names are different.
But yes, i think that is what the author was getting at.

[–] cmhe 12 points 3 months ago (2 children)

It has more than you expect, if your project is established on github and want to move away you have to deal with:

  • migration of issues
  • migration of pull requests
  • migration of all review comments etc
  • migration of the wiki
  • migration of the pages
  • convince all contributors to possible create a new account somewhere else
  • changing of the project urls. I don't think github offers a url rewrite service
  • forks on github will not have the new destination as the fork base
  • change the ci and release process
  • because you cannot add url rewrite rules to your old gh project, you might need to only 'archive' the project there with manually written text, to point to the new destination, for people to find it
[–] DacoTaco 8 points 3 months ago (6 children)

Ye, some of these i started thinking of after i made my comment, which is my bad. Its true a project that uses the full github stack is harder to move, its its still relatively easy. The only problem you'd have is redirecting traffic to a new host, but this problem exists in all platforms and not only in project management sites like github.
As for your bulletpoints, i have a few remarks. Mainly that github pages are silly and they should not be used as a website. And even if you are, there are tools out there to convert the markdown from github pages into html/css/js so moving that is easy. Same with wiki pages, they are just markdown. 90% of markdown is compatible with other sites, and the parts that arent probably have a site specific syntax that youll need to look up, nothing bad. Review comments i will disregard, as those are part of the PR process. Once a project is moved you could hide the PR tab on github or close all new ones redirecting them to the new host. All older ones can be handled and phased out. Once a pr is merged, get the commit from github and push it to the new host. Thanks git!
Random contributers have nothing to say imo. If a project's team feels the need to move away from github a true contributer/side team member/helper will move with them, and if they dont then so be it. Once a project team feels the need to move, something bad must be going on and moving will always be the better move for their mental health than to keep working with bad stuff.
As mentioned before ci/release pipelines are all yaml. Their odeas stay the same, only action names & their patameters change. Nothing complex there to move there...

So im short : only moving your traffic is a real problem, but is a problem on all websites and all communities, not just github or a project on github

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[–] [email protected] 6 points 3 months ago (1 children)

All of those issues would arise if you wanted to migrate an established project to Github as well.

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[–] [email protected] 9 points 3 months ago (7 children)

So, is google not a monopoly because there are other search engines out there? Does Apple not have a monopoly among US teenagers because there are Android phones available? Does Microsoft not have a monopoly in desktop computing because Apple and Linux exist or because phones exist?

What is your definition of monopoly and how does Github not fit it? I'm genuinely curious.

Anti Commercial AI thingyCC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Inserted with a keystroke running this script on linux with X11

#!/usr/bin/env nix-shell
#!nix-shell -i bash --packages xautomation xclip

sleep 0.2
(echo '
spoiler Anti Commercial AI thingy [CC BY-NC-SA 4.0](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/) Inserted with a keystroke running this script on linux with X11 ```bash' cat "$0" echo '``` :::') | xclip -selection clipboard xte "keydown Control_L" "key V" "keyup Control_L"

:::

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[–] DacoTaco 9 points 3 months ago

Ye, i went to this post diagonally and it felt like a rant without any merit. Dont get me wrong, i dont fully like github either but this was just a waste of time to read...

[–] [email protected] 6 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

You don’t know what a “monopoly” is.

Do you though? A clarification that most people miss : "In economics, a monopoly is a single seller. In law, a monopoly is a business entity that has significant market power, that is, the power to charge overly high prices, which is associated with a decrease in social surplus." (from Wikipedia) So are you 100% sure that the author was talking from an economical rather than legal viewpoint?

So sure, in theoretical economics GitHub is not a monopoly, rather it's part of an oligopoly. Yet, in law, it is in practice a monopoly. GitHub is so big that it does shape the market of collaborating on (open-source) software, even though alternatives do exist.

[–] [email protected] 4 points 3 months ago

Not like you can just visit some other selfhosted community on lemmy or reddit and see how others started hosting a local git appliance for their scripts and what not.

[–] [email protected] 4 points 3 months ago (8 children)

Well, if you want to contribute to a project to github then you are pretty fucked if the gate keepers won't let you

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[–] [email protected] 41 points 3 months ago (1 children)

I would recommend that you check Codeberg - it uses Forgejo. If you're interested in self-hosting, you can also run your own Forgejo instance.

[–] [email protected] 2 points 3 months ago (1 children)

I kinda hope they change the software to also be called codeberg. Its sich a good name and forgejo is so difficult to say and have people know how to spell it

[–] cmhe 7 points 3 months ago

IDK. I think that just causes more confusion. Like with "Use gitlab", do I mean the application or gitlab.com?

[–] [email protected] 34 points 3 months ago

Did you just discover this? It's a Microsoft site after all.

[–] [email protected] 23 points 3 months ago (1 children)

It is indeed surprising how a Microsoft-owned site has become the default home for open-source projects. Have people thought this through?

[–] hamms 29 points 3 months ago

To be fair, it only became Microsoft-owned after it had already become that home.

[–] [email protected] 20 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

GitHub isn’t.

The code on it is.

You could use gitlab, or something else.

[–] Resol 17 points 3 months ago (1 children)

The fact that GitHub is owned by Microsoft alone makes it not open-source.

[–] [email protected] 20 points 3 months ago (2 children)

Microsoft has developed many open-source projects. The view of Microsoft as some kind of anti-open-source crusader is 20 years out of date.

[–] [email protected] 8 points 3 months ago

I will now attempt to invalidate your opinion by parroting the words "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish". :^)

[–] Resol 5 points 3 months ago (1 children)

So has Google, they've done the Chromium browser, but everyone on Lemmy sees that so called "open-source project" with suspicion.

[–] [email protected] 13 points 3 months ago (2 children)

There's quite a series of leaps of logic here.

Because Google (not Microsoft) released a project under the BSD license (an open source license) but "everyone on Lemmy" doesn't think it's open source, therefore a hosting site owned by Microsoft (not Google) is not "open source."

I'm not even sure what is meant by GitHub being "open source." It's a hosting provider, not an actual piece of software. The site itself doesn't have a source license. The individual repositories can have licenses, which can be whatever the user who created the repository sets it to be - including open source licenses. Do you mean GitHub Desktop? Microsoft released that under the MIT license. And you don't need GitHub Desktop to use GitHub anyway.

[–] 4z01235 4 points 3 months ago (1 children)

GitHub is a git hosting provider, but it also has its own service software for all the peripherals - organizations, issues, pull requests, all the user account management stuff, etc. AFAIK those parts are mostly/all proprietary.

[–] [email protected] 4 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago) (1 children)

So we've moved from "GitHub is not open source" to "GitHub has some support software for peripheral features that is not open-source?" I'm definitely failing to see the rant-worthiness of it at this point. It's certainly not monopolistic, platforms like GitLab and Bitbucket also provide these features. And I'd bet that some of them have their own proprietary software to support these things too.

[–] 4z01235 3 points 3 months ago (1 children)

"We" haven't moved anywhere, I just chimed in for the first time with my interpretation of what the other person was talking about. Jeez.

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[–] [email protected] 14 points 3 months ago

The fact GitHub is not open source on their servers is not really a problem for me, there are many open source platforms to host code. And for centralized platform I won't be able to change anything myself anyway.
My rant would be about having to run their proprietary code on my machine to use GitHub.

[–] [email protected] 12 points 3 months ago (3 children)
  1. You can use other forges, but they have the exact same issues as GitHub. You need to make an account, you need to accept terms of service and if they feel like it (or are forced by a court) they'll ban you and your repository.

  2. git send-email exists. So it's not like you absolutely can't contribute to projects that are hosted on GitHub.

At some point in the future gitlab will get federation, but that's not a solution for now. It'll take a while.

[–] [email protected] 6 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

At some point in the future gitlab will get federation, but that’s not a solution for now. It’ll take a while.

Gitlab had more than a decade to implement federation and didn't give 2 shits about it until one single dude (oelmeki?) decided to start implementing it. And even now, Gitlab hasn't built a team around federation and only have that single, external contributor writing all the code, tests, etc. . The only thing they're providing is "guidance". It wouldn't surprise me if oelmeki isn't even getting paid.

Gitlab feels like just another company happy to be #2 and not willing to do anything more to be better because most other alternatives are way behind. I bet if they were #1, they'd be just as bad as any other company that's #1.

Hopefully forgejo gets complete federation first and becomes real competition for gitlab. Gitlab doesn't deserve #2.

Anti Commercial AI thingyCC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Inserted with a keystroke running this script on linux with X11

#!/usr/bin/env nix-shell
#!nix-shell -i bash --packages xautomation xclip

sleep 0.2
(echo '
spoiler Anti Commercial AI thingy [CC BY-NC-SA 4.0](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/) Inserted with a keystroke running this script on linux with X11 ```bash' cat "$0" echo '``` :::') | xclip -selection clipboard xte "keydown Control_L" "key V" "keyup Control_L"

:::

[–] Drummyralf 4 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago) (1 children)

Total noob here when it comes to all things git, but can't you simply host git in a privately owned server? I thought I saw that when installing some packages on my Synology NAS.

[–] [email protected] 6 points 3 months ago (2 children)

Yes, but how are you gonna accept pull requests? You need a frontend and a frontend needs an account.

Of course, all of these alternative forges (gitea, forgejo, gitlab) can be self hosted on your own private server.

[–] [email protected] 2 points 3 months ago (1 children)

no, you can accept them on an open port or via CLI

[–] [email protected] 3 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago) (3 children)

Not sure what you're suggesting. Here... are you suggesting random write access to a port on a device you host? Anybody can push a branch to your selfhosted repo?

Or are you talking about self-hosted forgejo, gitlab, etc.?

Anti Commercial AI thingyCC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Inserted with a keystroke running this script on linux with X11

#!/usr/bin/env nix-shell
#!nix-shell -i bash --packages xautomation xclip

sleep 0.2
(echo '
spoiler Anti Commercial AI thingy [CC BY-NC-SA 4.0](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/) Inserted with a keystroke running this script on linux with X11 ```bash' cat "$0" echo '``` :::') | xclip -selection clipboard xte "keydown Control_L" "key V" "keyup Control_L"

:::

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[–] [email protected] 2 points 3 months ago (3 children)

You need a frontend

Yes, but the requirement of said frontend are very small.

and a frontend needs an account.

Not required at all actually. For example, mirror a github repo in gitea. You'll see all the commits, their messages, and who made them. Yet that gitea instance isn't accessible publicly. None of those people have an account, and none of them can login even if they could access the instance. A commit is just attached to a name, that is user configurable, and a lot less data minable than a "real" account.

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[–] [email protected] 5 points 3 months ago (1 children)

It'll follow the enshitification path of every other big-tech site, give it time.

If you can't wait, https://gitea.com/

[–] slazer2au 7 points 3 months ago

Gitea is also privately owned. forgejo is the community owned fork of Gitea

[–] [email protected] 3 points 3 months ago (1 children)
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