On 05/06/18 19:45, Graeme Geldenhuys wrote:
News just in....  M$ has bought GitHub.
What a sad day it is. It seems that one day the whole Internet will beowned and 
run my four companies: Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook.I guess I'll be 
doing what the Free Pascal project has done all along...Host my own 
repositories and bug tracker. Less sh*t and in full controlor my work.
I've had plans to move many of my projects off SourceForge to GitHubbecause of 
SourceForge's performance problems and frequent outages. Nowthat plan will NOT 
happen and I'll most likely start hosting my ownpublic repositories instead.

Another problem with Sourceforge is the fact that they enthusiastically block access to any country that's currently on the US government's *hitlist. I don't know what Github's policy was on that but it's pretty sure what MS's will be... which is absolutely correct in the context of an American corporation, but not in the context of non-American users or paying customers.

One further thing that occurs to me is that MS might be viewing Github as a competitor, not an "opportunity". I don't believe this is common practice, but the Kicad PCB etc. design suite uses Github to store parts descriptions which ordinary users access (i.e. rather than it just being used solely by developers). Any of the "cloud" operators would obviously throw their hands up in horror and say "that stuff ought to be in one of our distributed databases"... well, perhaps MS recognised a potential competitor here and acted to curtail it.

So we're now in the situation where Kicad, managed by CERN, has all its users rely on Github. But what will happen if Trump's trade war brands CERN an enemy and orders Github to cut off access? And that's just the one I've come across: I'm sure that there are other user (rather than developer) communities in the same exposed position.

So while we should be grateful that it's not Oracle, not the IBM of 30 years ago, and not one of the neo-Stasi organisations such as Facebook, Google or Amazon, I think the World needs a robust alternative repository where deposited data can be signed (to guarantee integrity) but not necessarily encrypted (to prevent any government saying "what's in 'ere then?).

Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]
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