Microsoft acquires GitHub

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John Clements

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Jun 5, 2018, 1:12:40 AM6/5/18
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David Storrs

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Jun 5, 2018, 5:27:14 AM6/5/18
to John Clements, Racket Users
Ah, fooey.  It may be unfair of me, but I can't think this is going to have good results.  I hope Tom got a good price, at least.

On Tue, Jun 5, 2018 at 1:12 AM, 'John Clements' via Racket Users <racket...@googlegroups.com> wrote:
JFYI:

https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2018/06/04/microsoft-github-empowering-developers/

John



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Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠)

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Jun 5, 2018, 10:51:38 AM6/5/18
to David Storrs, John Clements, Racket Users
I think it will have excellent results. Gitlab migrations have already shot up to unprecedented levels.

Microsoft acquiring Github has allowed more people to realize that developing free software on a centralized proprietary service is problematic.

-- 
   /c

On Tue, Jun 5, 2018, 11:27 David Storrs <david....@gmail.com> wrote:
Ah, fooey.  It may be unfair of me, but I can't think this is going to have good results.  I hope Tom got a good price, at least.
On Tue, Jun 5, 2018 at 1:12 AM, 'John Clements' via Racket Users <racket...@googlegroups.com> wrote:

John



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Lehi Toskin

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Jun 5, 2018, 1:33:49 PM6/5/18
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The devil is in the details. If they try to sneak in some nonsense into the user agreement, I'm just going upgrade my VPS and host my code on an instance of GitLab.
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Neil Van Dyke

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Jun 5, 2018, 3:16:25 PM6/5/18
to noch...@gmail.com, Racket Users
Academics generally don't like to "talk politics" about whatever
controls money and jobs in their field. :)

FWIW, the Racket package system isn't tied to GitHub.  Initially, it was
especially involved with GitHub, but then Racket decided see other
people more.  An "open systems relationship" is often good software
engineering practice.

noch...@gmail.com

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Jun 5, 2018, 4:47:29 PM6/5/18
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You are right. This isn’t the place for it. Sorry about that.

Neil Van Dyke

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Jun 5, 2018, 6:39:09 PM6/5/18
to noch...@gmail.com, Racket Users
Oops, I only meant to suggest a reason that you won't hear as many
voices as you'd expect here, so don't feel alone in being concerned. :)

Where to hear more voices on this: I don't know whether the EFF will
weigh in on this particular topic, but I bet the FSF and RMS will, as
well as some major open source projects.

In the meantime, it's too late to take back GH's access to the developer
profiling info you already gave them, but I don't anything expect
anything overtly hostile to happen immediately with GH (they are not
dumb, and they want to be liked right now), so you can just double-check
that your off-GH backups of any data are still good (you are doing
backups, right? :), and consider your options at your leisure.

(BTW, I think it helps the near-term, that some of the alternatives are
open source that a project can quickly self-host on widely-available
inexpensive cloud services, which I think means a frenzy of buyouts of
the established turnkey services can't be used to quickly corner the
market.)

Matthias Felleisen

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Jun 5, 2018, 6:57:02 PM6/5/18
to Racket Users
Guys,

don’t become paranoid. Or what you should generally think about
is that so-called social networks aren’t. (Thank you Todd J. for
teaching me this Americanism 30 years ago.) So when the next GH
comes along, don’t use it as anything but a platform for storing
your code and serving your web pages and keep those under your name.

— Matthias, not on any social networks



Neil Van Dyke

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Jun 5, 2018, 7:58:13 PM6/5/18
to Matthias Felleisen, Racket Users
Matthias's advice about avoiding "social networks" is well-taken. (Even
the name itself is telling: a term changed from meaning connections
among people, to meaning a company's effective ownership and control of
those connections.)

But I suspect most of the concerns about GH actually have little to do
with "social networks", and are from people who are aware of certain
industry practices and realities.  If you know the public history of
overwhelmingly repeating patterns, some concern here is simply prudent,
and good engineering.  (And I'm very impressed by students who already
have some sense of this, despite not yet experiencing it first-hand, nor
having lived through some of the heydays of it.)  And, as I said, I
think anyone who is concerned has time to consider their options.

I look forward to focusing on research, and trusting those savvy 20
year-olds to save the future. :)

Matthew Butterick

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Jun 6, 2018, 2:18:12 PM6/6/18
to Neil Van Dyke, Racket Users
I've now moved all my private repos off GitHub. 

I would like to move my public repos too, subject to some further consideration about the best alternative. 

I hope that all open-source maintainers also eventually move their projects off GitHub.

It has nothing to do with MS per se. Rather: GH rose to the position it has by holding itself out as a supporter of open source. They ran their business consistently with those principles (more or less). That will continue to be true for a little while. But then it will disappear. This is just the natural path of big tech mergers (despite whatever soothing assurances are floated at the outset). No hard feelings. 

But as an independent business, I prefer to support other independent businesses. There is absolutely nothing special or interesting about GH's service. 

Alex Gian

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Jun 6, 2018, 2:32:27 PM6/6/18
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Aside from any generic concerns about corporate conduct, MS's track record of leaving committed users high and dry in the most offhand manner is quite... enviable.
Anyone who's been watching over the last 25 years doesn't need me to enumerate the instances. (Oh, hello Nokia...)
I am just glad that that this scene is so aware of the issues, I often find that too many forums are teeming with apologists.
I can only hope that the prediction about the "switched on 20yr olds" is true, never too sure about anything these days, any more... 😈

James Platt

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Jun 6, 2018, 3:42:57 PM6/6/18
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Those of you who have accounts at both GitHub and GigLab may have noticed that GitLab recently sent out GDPR related notices to users, including Americans. I did not get one from GitHub. It appears that GitLab has decided to take the path of applying GDPR protections to everyone because it's simpler than treating Europeans differently from others. GitHub has, of course, also announced GDPR compliance but it is much less clear, from what I have heard so far, whether they plan to treat everyone the same or differently. I think that's important for all the developer profiling and social networking concerns mentioned here.


Neil Van Dyke

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Jun 6, 2018, 3:57:53 PM6/6/18
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FWIW, I'm guessing that GH will likely be handled a bit differently than
most of the new owner's relationships of the past few decades. I don't
see a good immediate sabotage angle here, so I'm guessing the plan
includes winning-over developers, to some degree, in the near term. 
Also, were I MS, and trying not to lose all the open source projects,
the incoming GH CEO would be exactly my top pick for that: understands
open source communities, has street cred., charismatic, and smart in
multiple ways like few people are.  (I met him when he was an
undergrad.)  Going to all this trouble, and playing that rare card, only
to immediately backstab and lose *all* the open source projects that
seem to drive GH popularity, would seem silly.  Which is why I think, in
a practical regard, that anyone on GH has some time to consider their
options -- whether it's staying/wait&see, moving to another service
(current, or soon to emerge due to this news), or self-hosting.

That's enough business-talk for me; I'm trying to move back to academia! :)

HiPhish

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Jun 6, 2018, 4:37:36 PM6/6/18
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Git itself is decentralised, so moving a repository from one service to another
should be simple enough. The problem is all the non-code parts of the projects:
issues, pull requestions, discussions, wikis. A commit message like "closes
#42" works great on the web interface where "#42" is turned into a hyperlink,
but it's meaningless in any other context.

I don't expect anything to change for the time being, but Microsoft being in
charge leaves a foul taste in my mouth. Big corporations used these smaller
businesses as a means of control and influence. Take for example YouTube: it
does not earn Google any profits, but they want to control the video hosting
market so that no competitor can form (see how Vid.me went out of business
because they just could keep up with how Google is pumping money into YouTube).
Google can afford to lose money because they can leverage it in other ways. For
example, a while ago if you wanted to comment on a video you were forced to
make a Google+ account, Google were using what was meant to be just a video
sharing platform without also tying yourself into Google's other products.
Microsoft has been doing the same thing, if you want to use Skype you
practically have to get hooked to Microsoft's ecosystem.

On another note, there is the reaction from the GitLab staff to the news:
https://about.gitlab.com/2018/06/03/microsoft-acquires-github/

TL;DR: they think being purchased by Microsoft it a great thing.

> The growing influence of software developers and that cannot be overstated.
> Developers are the new kingmakers and their influence within organizations is
> growing along with their value.

This is simply wrong. Open Source (note how Microsoft never talks about Free
Software) is simply a way for Microsoft to get people to work for free for
them. I'm definitely wary of GitLab now as well, but at least with GitLab I can
host my own instance if it really comes down to it. Self-hosting is always
good, but not everyone has a VPS contract.

James Platt

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Jun 6, 2018, 5:43:04 PM6/6/18
to HiPhish, Racket Users

> > The growing influence of software developers and that cannot be overstated.
> > Developers are the new kingmakers and their influence within organizations is
> > growing along with their value.
>
> This is simply wrong. Open Source (note how Microsoft never talks about Free
> Software) is simply a way for Microsoft to get people to work for free for
> them. I'm definitely wary of GitLab now as well, but at least with GitLab I can
> host my own instance if it really comes down to it. Self-hosting is always
> good, but not everyone has a VPS contract.

It's hard to know what they are actually trying to say here. From the context of GitLab's post, It sounds like what they mean is that this acquisition shows that Microsoft intends Azure to be developer centric. You could also interpret the post as being a bit snide and GitLab expects to benefit the same way as LibreOffice and PostgreSQL benefited from Oracle's acquisition of OpenOffice and MySQL.

Eli Barzilay

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Jun 6, 2018, 11:59:14 PM6/6/18
to hip...@openmailbox.org, Racket Users
On Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 4:37 PM HiPhish <hip...@openmailbox.org> wrote:
>
> This is simply wrong. Open Source (note how Microsoft never talks
> about Free Software) is simply a way for Microsoft to get people to
> work for free for them. [...]

Apologies for replying to this, I should have known that just reading it
will get me sucked into it... But:

1. "Open Source" is the popular term used by most companies. This has
roots in the 90s, where the "Open Source" movement gained momentum as
something that embraces commercial companies -- very different from
what "Free Software" was and/or became. This leads to "Open Source"
being more company friendly on a technical level too since it is a
better defined term. (See also
https://opensource.com/article/17/11/open-source-or-free-software .)

2. Of course open source is a way for anyone to get people to work for
them for free. And if you're a big company with a goal of getting
more of that free work via public GH repos, then my guess is that
you'd avoid buying GH.

--
((x=>x(x))(x=>x(x))) Eli Barzilay:
http://barzilay.org/ Maze is Life!

Joel Dueck

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Jun 7, 2018, 11:18:00 AM6/7/18
to Racket Users
On Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 1:18:12 PM UTC-5, Matthew Butterick wrote:
I would like to move my public repos too, subject to some further consideration about the best alternative.


I know it's not the best for every project, but I've been trying out Fossil lately and I really like it. https://www.fossil-scm.org

It was trivially easy to get a fossil repo online on my web server, set up user accounts/permissions, customize CSS, etc. Since everything is contained in the repo file and fossil's single fat binary, there are no databases and almost no configuration beyond a couple of directory/file permissions. Self-hosting GitLab is like a SpaceX launch by comparison.

You can do full import/export to or from git repos as well.

Someday it would be cool to see support for fossil in the Racket package system.

Gour

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Jun 7, 2018, 11:54:11 AM6/7/18
to racket...@googlegroups.com
On Thu, 7 Jun 2018 08:18:00 -0700 (PDT)

> It was trivially easy to get a fossil repo online on my web server,
> set up user accounts/permissions, customize CSS, etc. Since
> everything is contained in the repo file and fossil's single fat
> binary, there are no databases and almost no configuration beyond a
> couple of directory/file permissions. Self-hosting GitLab is like a
> SpaceX launch by comparison.

The whole repo is single file - sqlite3 database which provides, for some
cases, excellent compression:

repository-size: 6,942,720 bytes
artifact-count: 2,598 (stored as 1,404 full text and 1,194 deltas)
artifact-sizes: 3,986,255 average, 14,142,679 max, 10,356,292,698 total
compression-ratio: 1491:1
check-ins: 1,517


However, what I likes the most is that using Fossil takes much less of my brain
cycles to operate safely, so I can save them for the tasks I do instead of the
tool itself.

> Someday it would be cool to see support for fossil in the Racket
> package system.

+1


Sincerely,
Gour

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The intricacies of action are very hard to understand.
Therefore one should know properly what action is,
what forbidden action is, and what inaction is.


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