Possibility to migrate from Github to Gitorious

([deactivated account]) #1

Well, we all know that Diaspora* was born as a response against the massive surveillance in web services specially in the USA, so there’s no doubt we support the Free Software philosophy and we defend it.

I think it’s ironic that the Diaspora* source code is hosted on Github, a propietary and closed source service located in the USA.

There’s a lot of GIT services that are Free Software and offer a free hosted service, such as Gitorious and Gitlab.

Gitorious is located in Norway, so there’s less control from the USA government and it’s less vulnerable to the censorship. Github is a big focus for censorship due to its popularity. Recently the repositories from Popcorn Time (Github) were deleted because of the TPP, ACTA and MPAA. The same happened to the repositories related to third-party WhatsApp apps e.g. the Whatsapp Pidgin plugin.

The proposal is that the Diaspora* Foundation to change its official repo from Github to a Free alternative such as Gitorious or Gitlab.

I think that if we use and support a Free Software solution is better that continue feeding a non-free and non-ethical alternative, isn’t it?

Note: This discussion was imported from Loomio. Click here to view the original discussion.

([deactivated account]) #2

I personally prefer Gitlab.org, it has more features than Gitorious and is Free/Libre.

(Dennis Schubert) #3

This is not related to our project site diasproafoundation.org and should be posted to https://www.loomio.org/g/pPI9Fwo0/diaspora-community-github-organization-governance:slight_smile:

([deactivated account]) #4

@dennisschubert I’m not able to post there

(Dennis Schubert) #5

Now you are.

([deactivated account]) #6

Thanks, now posted here: https://www.loomio.org/d/rM2yBfOw/possibility-to-migrate-from-github-to-gitorious

([deactivated account]) #7

Please delete this proposal, it was reposted in another section.

(Juan Santiago) #8

Wow, I can not comment on that group but I agree proposal
I,m seems consistent to use only free software and services in countries neutral as possible.

(Jason Robinson) #9

@dennisschubert no, that group is for GitHub organization members only. So that discussion has to be somewhere else. Sorry @eduardo4 - we need to move it away, Dennis should not have given rights to that subgroup, it is read only for those who are not GitHub repo admins.

(Jason Robinson) #10

@eduardo4 @juansantiago please continue discussion here for example, not the github group.

(Jonne Haß) #11

Someone with coordinator rights here, please move this discussion to Governance or the root group.

(Jonne Haß) #12

To the topic:

Diaspora never made the effort to be free in the Stallman sense to be free, just for the point of being it. Github is the superior tool among the alternatives and we host nothing there that could be seized and then would be lost forever, after all git itself is distributed. If someone is really worried that something like us is thrown out of the platform (would cause massive negative press for Github btw.), run a backup bot for the issues (Yes, Github’s API is open enough to do that).

Some may say that it is a barrier to contributing. But it also lowers that barrier for some people and I yet have to find any private data Github wants from you when creating an account. Some, possibly fake, email, a username and maybe a public key is all you really need. So it stays at free for the sake of being free point.

This topic has come up in the past and the consent among the people actually contributing always was to keep GH. I don’t recall a vote for that so I’d be happy with starting the voting phase soon (as soon this discussion is moved into the proper subgroup maybe), as I see no point in discussing ideology.

(goob) #13

The freedoms Diaspora promised were:

  • The freedom to choose where your data are hosted, including the freedom to host them yourself;
  • The freedom to choose who gets to read the things you post, by using aspects.

There was never anything about being an entirely free (FOSS) project, although the software is now released under an AGPLv3 licence, so that anyone can use it in whatever way they want. And note that the promises only related to users of the software, not to contributors to the software.

The revelations about the NSA only came out last year, and were never a part of what Diaspora was created as an alternative to. It was about the control huge corporations have over the way people use web services, and over those people’s private data. You can see Eben Moglen’s talk which inspired the creation of Diaspora if you want to.

We can certainly have a vote about whether GitHub is the most appropriate tool for Diaspora to use, but let’s not start it by stating that Diaspora is ideologically committed to using only FOSS tools.

By the way, what is non-ethical about GitHub? I’ve not heard that claim before.

(Sean Tilley) #14

I’m not against switching tools, but I really like GitHub for what it provides. If we had a Gitlab instance, that might be cool since it has a similar interface and has feature parity, but then we’d need to find somebody to host and run the damn thing.

Trying to make your volunteer coders also run all DevOps just for the sake of an ideological statement gets in the way of our ability to contribute code. That’s part of why we use a service like Github in the first place; it saves time.

(Jason Robinson) #15

As others have said already, same here really. While using a more open solution would be nice - it’s not something that is a good idea to do when in the current system we really have everything we need and everything works.

Change for the sake of ideology is not something that will push this project forward. GitHub is also the place for hosting open source code - like it or not. I’m pretty sure we benefit more from being there than the developers we lose because we are there.

If we ever lose github for some reason, then we should really consider moving - until then it would slow the project down by a lot. And I’m not sure who would even want to do the migration of all the issues etc. I’m certain none of the more active contributors would be doing much… :wink:

([deactivated account]) #16

@seantilleycommunit You don’t need your own server to host Gitlab.
Gitlab offers a hosting service on their same webpage (as github does).
You can register here: https://gitlab.com/users/sign_up

I use Gitlab as my main GIT repository and it’s amazing, I think it’s better than Github (if we compare it technically) and offers more features.

If we think Github is better only just because is more popular, we’re wrong. It’s like saying that Windows is better than Linux just because is more popular.

([deactivated account]) #17

I always try to use Free alternatives to different web services. That’s why I use Gitlab and Gitorious. But when I want to collaborate to other projects or publish some issues, I’m always forced to use the closed-source Github only because it’s the most used platform, and many developers think it’s the only Git solution in the world. I think we should give a chance to Open Source alternatives if we want a better world and avoid the Closed-source follow growing.


I’m bringing the dead alive here. Any second thoughts taking into account the recent developments? :wink::nerd_face:

(Rob) #19

First off, I am not a coder. So don’t expect real insight knowledge on this topic.
On the other hand, let’s assume we would go look for an alternative. Where would we end?
There are a few competitors like Gitlab and Bitbucket.
Alternatively we could start a self hosted GIT instance.

IMO, we do need to ask ourselves some questions:

  • Is the MS acquisition of Github really that bad for (FOSS) projects that are hosted there? My personal opinion is that I do not trust MS, but MS that we know of when Steve Balmer was CEO was, to put it mildly, a LOT more hostile towards FOSS and Linux in particular then it is nowadays under Satya Nadella.
  • Are we sure Gitlab and/or Bitbucket can give the same functionality as Github?
  • If we decide to self host, who is going to maintain this? Do we want or even allow the risk of dataloss because we self host the code repository?

My proposal would be to stick with Github and make sure we have a cronjob running that replicates the code to another service, just in case MS decides to give a huge blow to all of FOSS. (which I highly doubt will happen anytime soon).