gitblit's background

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Nov 13, 2011, 1:23:22 PM11/13/11
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Hi James,

I've seen your announce on the jgit list and looked around the gitblit
web page. Very pretty! I'm curious about the background of the
project: What's your motivation? Is this project sponsored by a
company? Who's already using gitblit?
Do you know gerrit? Do you see any possibilites to combine gerrit and
gitblit in a meaningful way?

Thank you for this nice project!

Regards, Thomas Koch

James Moger

Nov 13, 2011, 4:56:29 PM11/13/11
Hi Thomas,

Thanks for the kind words.

At work my team uses a mixture of CVS, SVN (and even folder
compares!). None of which are completely satisfactory, although
clearly SVN is the clear winner of that list. I had been wanting to
experiment with a DVCS system - and was going to choose Mercurial
because it had full http support and seemed less complex while giving
most of the same functionality. I hesitated because Hg is really an
application and not a library. Not sure why this really matters to
me, but it does.

While taking a break from Hg, I read more on Git and discovered that
Git and JGit both supported full http communications; Git didn't have
this feature last time I had checked. I also discovered the JGit team
implemented a servlet for serving Git repositories. When I learned
those two things I knew I wanted to create a pure Java Git http server
that was self-contained and included authentication & authorization.
I was actually surprised that no one else had already done this; it
seemed so obvious to me. :)

I read the ProGit book last Jan/Feb to get familiar with how Git was
different than Hg and started working on Gitblit in the evenings in
late Feb. I studied the Gitweb instance on by navigating
the available repositories and observing the urls. I created a
facsimile of Gitweb/httpd/Git using Wicket/Jetty/JGit. Windows is my
preferred deployment platform so its a first-class citizen in my
project. I've been a Linux user for 15 years, but I am a terrible
sysadmin. This is why I like Windows. :)

No company is supporting my project - I work on it in my spare time:
nights and some weekends. I pushed it out as an Apache licensed
project because I want others to be able to modify and integrate
Gitblit into their own infrastructure as they see fit. There is
nothing more irritating than having a cool open source project that
you want to integrate but are handicapped by the project's license.
I've gotten some contributions back through GitHub, which has been
welcome. And the bug reports have identified problems which my dev
team will not have to discover. :)

I do not know who is using Gitblit. I personally use it at work and
most of the improvements are driven by "what can I do with Subversion
that I can not (yet) do with Gitblit?". This is what inspired the
federation capability (e.g. svn-sync). This is what is inspiring the
planned Eclipse plugin for enumerating available repositories.

I'm aware of Gerrit. I have looked at EGit/JGit's Gerrit instance a
few times. I do not use Gerrit myself; too much procedure for my
small dev team. I see from the documentation that Gerrit supports
Gitweb, CGit, and custom web ui integration. Substituting Gitblit for
Gitweb should not be very difficult based on that information. I
imagine Gitblit could also authenticate/authorize against Gerrit,
although that is just a guess.

Of course now I'm motivated to build a useful AND popular open-source
project. I monitor the download counts of the binary releases and I
am looking forward to the next power of 10. :)


Matthias Sohn

Nov 13, 2011, 5:50:34 PM11/13/11
2011/11/13 James Moger <>
Thanks for the great work and good progress since the first release.
I like the nice design you introduced in 0.7.0.

We did some evaluation at SAP to use Gitblit as a replacement for 
GitWeb together with Gerrit which we already use on a larger scale.
We run Gerrit on a Java centric cloud platform where installing 
GitWeb would be a lot of effort compared to deploying yet another 
Java web application and so far the results look pretty promising. 

I'll now try to get the necessary internal approvals so that we can both 
use this and also contribute patches and additions where we see the 
need. One thing we would like to reach is Gitblit respecting permissions 
defined by Gerrit so that we can control from Gerrit who can browse 
git repositories using Gitblit. As we also contribute to Gerrit I see a
good chance that we can help making this happen.

We will now also start working on a repository discovery API inspired
by what Kevin did in the GitHub connector and we started discussing 
in [1]. Our goal is to provide a REST API for that in JGit and implement 
an integration into EGit so that all Git servers which serve this REST API 
can nicely advertise the repositories they host so that they can easily 
be cloned from EGit (or other applications based on JGit).


Thomas Ferris Nicolaisen

Nov 14, 2011, 1:44:01 AM11/14/11
Just want to pitch in my +1: Thanks for a great product!

We don't use Gitblit ourselves at work (we've got a very nix/ssh oriented infrastructure), but I'm presenting it at an upcoming .NET user group meeting at the end of this month as a great repository alternative for Windows.
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