So Microsoft did it. They bought GitHub.

The following expresses my personal view on it. It does not represent the opinion of any organisation or community I am active in.

It’s one company buying another. So what?

My problem is not directly that GitHub is now owned by a for-profit company. It’s not even because the new owner is Microsoft.

My problem is, that Microsoft is so big. I don’t want to contribute to a company which could be „too big to fail”. I consider large companies harmful for the Open Web.

Just look at how Alphabet, the mother of Google, dictates the Android ecosystem. I don’t want to have anything like that for the web.

So you are taking off your repositories, too?

Yepp, I will. Some repositories weren’t touched in years (and have known vulns). So they will be taken offline. I have not made up my mind, whether I will flock to GitLab as many do or leave them offline entirely.

Statistics of GitHub imports in GitLab

This is a zoomed in view of GitLab’s statistics from yesterday. Before (not in the picture), the imports were < 1000 for weeks.

I am curious, how the ecosystem around GitHub will behave.

I mean, from what I observed, many packages (be they in Python, Ruby, JavaScript or what else) are hosted on GitHub.

Will they move, too? What are with the sites which hosts the packages? Do they adapt to new places where the code gets hosted?

What about organising a hackathon to add the missing features? Wait, I’ll drop GitLab a mail…

But Microsoft changed their mind!

Yeah, well, they did. The thing is, will the developers trust them or do they still believe in the former „embrace, extend, and extinguish” strategy?

Friends told me, that from an engineering point of view, they can only applaud the move of Microsoft. I can see, that they have excellent engineers.

Will you delete your GitHub account as well?

No.

Mainly because of Mozilla using „Login with GitHub” for MDN Web docs.

Plus, several organisations I am engaged in which plan to stay on GitHub (for now). They would consider moving away, if the terms of service change.

Nothing speaks against having your code on several repositories ;-) A distributed one would be nice. I am sure, there are solutions out there. But what to do with the other services?

Well, let’s drink some tea and see.

Edit: Got a response from GitHub! If you miss features, fill an issue and inform the VP of Product:

Also read what the Linux Foundation thinks about it! It’s a good read. </ins>