Martin Aspeli wrote:
I mean, there's no tangible cost (financial or otherwise) of using
GitHub; and git's architecture pretty much ensures that there's no
lock-in (especially if mirroring is set up).
I don't see it as supporting GitHub. I see it as using a service that is
free to us and rather good. It saves resources (e.g. the time spent
managing svn.zope.org <http://svn.zope.org>; the cost of bandwidth) that
can be better spent elsewhere (e.g. working on Zope/CMF). It helps make
it easier for others to contribute, because so many people already know
how to use GitHub.

     > GitHub Inc. is too successful. It already has too much power. That's
     > not good for the open source community.


GitHub is on the best way to become a monopoly in the area of social coding platforms. Just like Facebook and Twitter already are in their markets. And all these platforms benefit from the network effect: Each additional user makes the monopoly more stable and powerful. As you say above, the fact other people use them as well makes them so valuable.

Monopolies are bad. (At least if they are in private hand.) There is no technical lock-in for the Git repositories. But there are economic lock-in mechanisms. If you use a platform, you invest in it: You have to wrap your head around it. Maybe you helped improving the platform by reporting bugs, making feature requests or writing tools for it. You spend time trying to convince other people to use that platform. All these investments get lost if you switch to an other platform. And even if an other platform would be technically better you wouldn't switch because of the network effect that let's you stay where all the other people are. So GitHub Inc. has to make really bad decisions before people have an incentive to go somewhere else.

What's the worst that could happen? GitHub goes belly-up and we starting
using a different remote in our repos? GitHub tries to violate the
license terms of our software somehow (that seems very unlikely)?

Companies like GitHub Inc. want to maximize their profit. As soon as they are big enough, they become arrogant. One day they will start making money by placing ads everywhere.

If I did get the discussion correctly, people didn't lobby for moving to GitHub just to use it as a cheap hosting service. They did it because of the proprietary features GitHub is building around the repositories. I don't want to give the responsibility for the way I collaborate with other contributers into the hands of a company.



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