On 17 September 2012 23:10, Ben Finney <ben+freesoftw...@benfinney.id.au> wrote:
> The worrying part is that most people who *say* they're using Git are
> using Github. I have heard rumblings that Github is problematic: it's
> non-free compared to Git being free,

Unfortunately, where github is concerned, I think there is some FUD
also, which may not always be true.

They give you full access to your all your data, using open protocols.
So it is not as bad as some other closed source cloud solutions that
don't give you access to any of your data.

Unless you pay to host private projects, most information is public
information, so privacy issues don't apply (unless say cloud based
mail solutions).

Unlike other cloud solutions, they appear to be actively developing
the code and constantly improving it. I get the impression that their
support will be good too (not that I have ever needed it).

It is true that github is closed source, and you cannot make changes
yourself (probably the biggest limitation), host it on your own
servers (not without paying lots of money for the enterprise version
anyway, and even that doesn't allow you to make your own changes), or
host private code (without paying). There is also the issue that we
have to trust their closed source code to be secure and prevent
unauthorised changes (using gpg signed git tags can help here for git
repositories but not the issue tracker).

> it's centralised where Git is federated,

Nothing stopping you pushing your git repositories to other servers.
You could even synchronous the issue list and wiki if you wanted to.

There is always going to be the issue that us, as software consumers,
expect to see an "official" upstream version of the code, and git
doesn't do anything to change this. Not a github issue.

For synchronising the issue list, in Debian there is the following
package, never used it myself:

Package: sd
Priority: optional
Section: universe/perl
Installed-Size: 856
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <ubuntu-devel-disc...@lists.ubuntu.com>
Original-Maintainer: Christine Spang <christ...@debian.org>
Architecture: all
Version: 0.75-0ubuntu1
Depends: perl, libdatetime-perl, libdatetime-format-natural-perl,
liburi-perl, libprophet-perl (>= 0.72), libhtml-tree-perl,
libtime-progress-perl
Suggests: librt-client-rest-perl, libhiveminder-perl,
libnet-jifty-perl, libemail-address-perl, libwww-perl,
libnet-trac-perl, libnet-google-code-perl, libnet-github-perl,
libnet-redmine-perl
Filename: pool/universe/s/sd/sd_0.75-0ubuntu1_all.deb
Size: 134676
MD5sum: 46413f1cc2578f63adcc3c8fa2dcc505
SHA1: c8cc7db0f2a7710e772b52c48e3667012f44fc35
SHA256: fcbf7d0170375bdfb6802ec330c6ad9ffffb47a6dcd479d67603f52cc3264103
Description-en: peer-to-peer bug tracker
 SD is a peer-to-peer bug tracker that's built for sharing and use both
 online and offline. With SD, you can sync your bugs back and forth
 between other instances of SD, and even between SD and other bug
 trackers that SD supports. Since SD does not require a network
 connection for use and stores bug information locally, you can always
 access your bugs, no matter where you are.
 .
 Currently, SD supports syncing between SD and RT, Hiveminder,
 Trac, GitHub, Google Code, and Redmine (read-only).
 .
 SD is built on top of Prophet, a distributed database system.
Homepage: http://search.cpan.org/dist/App-SD/
Description-md5: 3eb9ca839e78f1c2c50fbdf4da09e4e2
Bugs: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+filebug
Origin: Ubuntu

I think there might be others, possibly based on git, this is the only
one I can find right now.

> it requires users to use protocols that are incompatible with
> Git.

What protocols are incompatible with git? The issue tracking isn't
done using git, most issue trackers don't support git however, even
open source ones. Everything else (including wiki) uses standard git
protocols.

> In short, it undermines and defeats most of the benefits of a
> federated free-software tool.

Really?

>     The problem is that github is most emphatically not git. If a person
>     using git (and therefore send-email) wants to collaborate with
>     someone using github, one of the two of them has to give in and use
>     an interface they deliberately decided not to use. There’s no way
>     around it: github does not supplement git, github replaces git.
>     Deciding whether to use github versus just git is an either/or
>     proposition.

There is nothing that says you can't use github alongside some other
hosting website. Just push your git changes to both.

github happens to be the best available right now.  gitorious is
perhaps the best I know of that is open source, but is rather
complicated to install and maintain, and doesn't have a number of
features github does, e.g. integrated issue tracking.

There is also an open source github clone, which is, ironically,
hosted on github. Not used it, so I don't know how good it is:

http://gitlabhq.com/
https://github.com/gitlabhq

Anybody who is seriously concerned with github being closed source,
perhaps should look at this.
-- 
Brian May <br...@microcomaustralia.com.au>
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