The Laws Have Changed

This week I got an invite for trying out Github beta. Github is a nice service providing some space and tools to set up git repositories for open source projects.

Obviously, setting up HTTP (dumb) read-only git repos is doable on any box connected to the intertron by merely copying the repository; the nice bits of working with git, though, like pushing branches and tags, or fast cloning through the git: protocol are somewhat harder to set up, so anything that relieves you from actually doing this kind of work should always be welcome.

Github not only provides you with that: it also gives you an incredibly nice web interface; a wiki; the ability to easily track other projects through RSS feeds; the ability to easily set up a “fork” of another repository, thus easing the pain of setting up personal development repositories for contributors.

I decided to try Github by moving there JSON-GLib‘s development git repository, plus some branches and the release tags. The operation took me approximately ten minutes, including the account creation, and it was all very easy and very well explained.

At the moment, Github is in beta1 and there are lots of projects starting out; if anything happens, cloning out with full repository history is also a nice feature of git, so I guess that side is covered as well. Bugs and feature requests are now handled using wiki pages, so if I’d have to make a request to the guys at Logical Awesome then it would be: dudes, move to a serious bug tracking system – wikis don’t scale for that (believe me: been there, done that).

All in all, it’s a great service – the way SourceForge should have been, if technology allowed it at the time and if they didn’t choose to reimplement the damned BTS and mailing list archives with something that can only be described as “made of fail”; and if they plan to make me pay a reasonable fee, it’s fine for me: Github’s UI alone is worth it.

  1. If anyone is interested to try it, I have two invites an invite left to give out invites are now all gone []
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6 Responses to The Laws Have Changed

  1. Phil says:

    They’ve now announced that the service will remain free for Free Software post-beta.

  2. ebassi says:

    @phil: very good to know, thanks.

  3. markoa says:

    Thanks Emmanuele for spreading this good news. Hopefully we will be using git for GNOME projects sooner rather than later…

  4. *Sgrunt*. Like sf, googlecode and sharesource.org, github is yet another closed platform for free software…

  5. ebassi says:

    @emanuele:

    but, as opposed to sharesource, googlecode and sf, I can extract the entire project history from it thanks to the choice of revision control system – and that is by design.

    if somebody comes up with a locally installable UI for git that matches github, I’d gladly give it a spin; at the moment, both gitweb and cgit fall short.

  6. Evaine says:

    Good post. You make some great points that most people do not fully understand.

    “Github not only provides you with that: it also gives you an incredibly nice web interface; a wiki; the ability to easily track other projects through RSS feeds; the ability to easily set up a “fork” of another repository, thus easing the pain of setting up personal development repositories for contributors.”

    I like how you explained that. Very helpful. Thanks.

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