LOL Github

So MICROS~1 bought Github and everybody's freaking out right now trying to re-host their projects on someone else's service.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU STORE YOUR DATA IN THE CLOWN.

The Clown is just someone else's computer and they can and will fuck you. If it's not on your computer, it's not under your control. Why do you all keep doing this to yourselves??

Stop hitting yourself. Seriously, stop it.

Anyway, this is your periodic reminder that Microsoft is a vile garbage fire of a company.

"We love developers, and we love open source developers," he said.

Nadella stressed that Microsoft should be judged by the "recent past" for good reason: because just beyond the recent past is the less-recent past. A past when CEO Steve Ballmer called Linux a "cancer" and the company went to great lengths to force people into the Microsoft eco-system.

This unpleasant past was summarized by Nadella as a "journey" that Microsoft had gone through with the open source community. Well that's one way of describing it. We'd note that Steve Spielberg's 1971 movie Duel was also a journey, with one man on a lovely cross-country journey... while another in a truck tries to run him off the road.

Nadella is very keen for people to imagine a new Microsoft that doesn't use its power to screw over everyone it meets.

Here's just one example of how MICROS~1 loves open source:

Microsoft threatened to move its research facilities out of the UK if the government went ahead with plans to promote open source standards.

Cabinet Officer Francis Maude outlined plans at the time to shift the UK to the .odf Open Document Format and away from Microsoft's proprietary .doc and .docx formats. [...]

"Microsoft phoned Conservative MPs with Microsoft R&D facilities in their constituencies and said we will close them down in your constituencies if this goes through," Hilton said. "We just resisted. You have to be brave."

I don't use any Microsoft products, and neither should you.

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65 Responses:

  1. jwz says:

    Also, remember when I ported XScreenSaver to the iPhone and the comments section immediately devolved into a referendum on how I should be using Github?

    Good times, good times.

  2. Nameless says:

    From one corporate clown to another! #movingtogitlab

    But honestly, it's nice that Gitlab provides their source code to the public. They even put an "install" link right at the top of the homepage.

    • jwz says:

      That's nice and all, but it's still the same model: putting all your data in someone else's silo, voluntarily putting a single point of failure inside your development process. Not to mention the security and privacy exposure.

      • MattyJ says:

        What's a good alternative for an independent developer without his own data center? Self-hosted in a trustworthy (Sonic) data center?

        Asking for a friend ...

          • MattyJ says:

            That's all fine and good, but I still would have the problem that my life's work and personal history is mostly stored on a laptop or the tiny NAS sitting under my desk lamp.

            • Web Guy says:

              Fossil is distributed just like git or mercurial. Get a few SBCs, put one at your friend's house. Put one at your mom's house. Boom, private cloud!

        • @ndy says:

          "Datacenter"?

          In my day we called it "colo" and you just rent by the rack unit.

          These days you can get a virtual server and it's cheaper than Amazon (by an order of magnitude based just on the Amazon entry prices).

          If you need more than that you can shell out a bit more and get an entire dedicated machine from 34.00 Euros per month somewhere like Hetzner (https://www.hetzner.com/?country=us )
          It's still cheaper than Amazon.

          • multi_io says:

            Unless you're Hetzner, Hetzner's machines are somebody else's computers as well.

        • git-ssb:
          https://github.com/clehner/git-ssb

          Note, the github repo is just a mirror to help people bootstrap. Active git-ssb development takes place on git-ssb.

          • For those not familiar with SSB (Secure Scuttlebutt), there are no servers. Identity is a public key. There is a signed append only log for each identity. Participants store data for all identities they follow. Applications work just as well offline. (The original developers live on a boat.) Applications built on SSB include git-ssb, patchwork (facebook killer), dns-ssb, meetups, etc.

            The protocol is reminiscent of usenet, but authenticated with modern cryptography.

      • millettjon says:

        You can install gitlab on your own server.
        Gitolite is a good self hosted option for teams if you don't need the fancy web ui.

        • MattyJ says:

          Yep. Honest to God, I'm an SCM professional and have been two two decades. I know all about gitolite, gerrit, gitea, gitblit, you name it.

          The question is that professionally, I enjoy working in an environment where we have our own data centers scattered all around the world. When I'm at home on my couch doing personal stuff, I don't have that. If I have something I want to store outside the physical confines of my house, then ... ?

      • tobias says:

        please stop using silo to mean a negative thing. silos are a boon to humanity and always have been. imagine using 'water-tower' in the same sense? i know that missile silos are bad, but they are not bad because good stuff goes into or comes out of them.

        'someone else's computer' is a much more apt expression.

        honestly, the debasement of the silo is something that should be investigated thoroughly? Cui bono?

        • jwz says:

          The analogy works: storing my tasty grain in your silo is not a great idea.

          "Son, what's your dirt doing in Boss's hole?"

          • Thomas Lord says:

            That line from the movie never sounded quite so suggestive to me until you quoted it. Weird.

      • emacsomancer says:

        Given that it's git, I also have local copies on all of my machines, so I'm not too bothered, and generally it's all open-source stuff, so there's not really an issue security/privacy exposure.

        I'm not keen on Microsoft though (they didn't kill off my company, but they've generally made the world a worse place which is more than reason enough), so I am moving stuff off of Github.

  3. Chris Randall says:

    Gitwho? SVN on our own server 4eva.

  4. Jeremy Wilson says:

    The idea of putting the one thing of any value a startup has - its full code - on a third party site boggles my mind. At least get the self-hosted version.

    But hey, good on those guys for turning a web front end on a version control system into billions of dollars.

    • tobias says:

      NIH law, paragraph 2 subsection g

      that which wasn't invented here will be bought by our direct competitors eventually.

  5. Thomas Lord says:

    Remember when distributed, decentralized version control was the Next Big Thing in the FLOSS world as several projects battled it out to make sure nothing like Sourceforge or Bitkeeper could happen again? Yeah, that was fun and totally worth it. Yup.

    • James says:

      CMUSPHINX just migrated from SourceForge to GitHub a little more than a year ago. Can't I just use cp -pr to and from IPFS these days? What kind of a future is this?!?

  6. pagrus says:

    Oh hey I was just referring to this blog post elsewhere and it occurred to me that I don't know if you prefer JWZ, or jwz, or what in attributions. Maybe you ought to write a style guide, that could be fun.

    • dzm says:

      jwz refers to his own account, on this page, as:

      jwz says:

      Question answered.

      • pagrus says:

        Yeah I probably could have guessed that. I think that in the 60 seconds between having the thought and typing the comment it had morphed into a full blown jwz/dna standards manual which I thought would be on opportunity for some institutional tomfoolery

  7. cxed says:

    I'm sure if you had a gazillion dollars, 8 billion of them would be a small price to pay to troll https://github.com/google .

  8. M.E. says:

    I don't see how anyone is actually getting "fucked" here. What is it you think Microsoft will do?

    • MattyJ says:

      Monetize. Just counting the weeks before great new 'free' features of GitLab start getting added. Or when the first little 'ad' blocks start showing up.

    • dano says:

      GitHub Starter
      GitHub For Students
      GitHub Home Basic
      GitHub Home Premium
      GitHub Professional
      GitHub Enterprise
      GitHub Business
      GitHub Ultimate
      Github 2018 R2

    • MetRZA says:

      Let's use our imagination a bit:
      - MS deletes any projects that compete with them;
      - MS can now control information about users and writers of open source;
      - MS can gain access to plain text passwords of those users and writers. Could be used to attack those users/writers elsewhere;
      - MS is notoriously bad at security; a third party could gain access;
      - MS can add tariffs to using github advanced features;
      - MS could for git, modify it enough to force people to use ms-git to access github repos;
      - MS could inject bugs into code without people noticing (though I'm guessing git itself might make this difficult?);
      - Open source project is now directly benefiting MS. If you don't understand why we dislike MS then either you are young or you aren't paying attention;
      - MS was on the wrong side during the Nym Wars. Github is now on their side.

      Now obviously many of these are far fetched. And like all large corporations, MS is schizophrenic. A part of MS really likes open source and wishes to participate in the FLOSS community and wishes they could pull all the benefits of open source into Windows and MS products. But another part of MS very much wants to snuff out open source alternatives.

  9. Nick Lamb says:

    So, this is the same JWZ blog that used to be on LiveJournal right? And then you decided LiveJournal sucked and so you typed a single command and migrated off LJ to your own blogging software which had no serious bugs and worked really well?

    Oh no wait, this blog was on LJ, but getting off there was a monumental pain in the backside that took lots of your time and still left some damaged old posts in the history, and afterwards it's a laugh riot of silly MySQL / PHP bugs plus some of its own. Hooray. But why isn't there a "previously" link about this enormous waste of your time?

    Many of my trivial projects are "on" github, but because git is actually a distributed version control system even if Microsoft unaccountably deletes everything tomorrow it's barely a momentary inconvenience. At work the usual corporate tribalism means we've migrated the software I work on across so far four different Git based services, including GitHub itself twice, but again because it's a distributed version control system I sigh, add the new remotes and get on with my life, and continue to actually commit work from wherever, whenever because I am not a caveman.

    There are a bunch of value-added services on GitHub (a bug tracker for example), if a project is up to its neck in those then I guess Microsoft has some leverage - but most of the projects on GitHub are just a git repo and maybe a wiki, which anybody can copy anywhere in like two clicks, if there was a JWZ screensaver repo on GitHub not only could you move it somewhere else, anybody could copy the entire repo to their PC, or to a different cloud service, or whatever. It would be far less vulnerable than whatever combination of RCS and Perl scripts you'd prefer (yeah, I know, you finally got with the program and have some code in git).

    Most of the "Oh no, Microsoft" GitHub posts, including this one, remind me of preppers, insistent on being "prepared" in the most ludicrous way possible. So long as they can still get their preferred type of deer scent via airmail deliveries from Ukraine after the collapse of civilisation they are going be just fine...

    • jwz says:

      So, this is the same JWZ blog that used to be on LiveJournal right?

      Yes. Some of us learn from our mistakes.

    • MattyJ says:

      Yikes! Libertarians. Git out of my code!

    • MattyJ says:

      And BTW, 'being distributed' isn't a good backup philosophy. You ever notice that the granddaddy of git projects, the Linux kernel source, has exactly one official repo? I'm sure Linus, who is way smarter than anyone commenting here so for save for perhaps jwz himself, isn't relying on any yahoo with a fork of his code to feel any measure of safety. That's just dumb.

      • tb says:

        "Only wimps use tape backup: real men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it." (Linus Torvalds, 1996)

        • MattyJ says:

          Discounting the irrelevance of any (alleged/apocryphal) quote about technology that's two decades old, and not desiring to outline the difference between an ftp mirror and a git clone, I'll just reiterate, but more concisely, that relying on unlimited clones by unlimited randos with unlimited read and write access to your git repo for a backup strategy is an affront to common sense.

          • jwz says:

            You've just described mitosis tho

          • k3ninho says:

            First, Linus doesn't allow unlimited read and write access. Some of the device drivers tree is a cesspool, but not because of unlimited access. Second, Linus has a local secured machine and local offline backups within his workflow, which functionally carry peers of his tree at kernel.org -- he's quite good at this systems engineering thing. I would make a guess that trusted lieutenants in the subtree-maintainer space would be most likely to provide a clone to Linus in the event that he needed one; those trees you've pulled from and pushed to over time, with their nice agreement on the SHA-1 of each shard of code difference, are a secondary consideration when you're asking the question 'who are my friends I can trust to help me recover from this disaster?'

            You can do better than this; common sense isn't so common. I load your straw man into my wicker man and set it to 'flaming'.

            K3n.

            • MattyJ says:

              I didn't mean that Linus' repo was openly writable, but that all the 'friends' repos were. And since you can change the history of your git repo all you want, I think we agree that relying on 'who your friends are' as a backup strategy is D-U-M dumb. Clearly, Linus isn't doing this.

    • MattyJ says:

      Anyone who is not suspicious that Microsoft paid a few billion for a 10 year old company that has never been close to profitable has some serious blinders on. Or works for Microsoft.

      Microsoft has enough resources to run their own self-hosted GitHub. This line about them being GitHub's biggest customer so it's cheaper to just buy them is BS. They don't want GitHub the company, they want GitHub's users and whatever information they can scrape off of them, schmooze, then target advertising to.

      Whatever lip service Microsoft gives to open source, they've been nothing but adversarial against it. We're only four years clear of Steve Ballmer, doubtful a company that size is suddenly the friendly entity all the Microsofties think it is. We old guys have been in the trenches for decades.

  10. seife says:

    But the thing with git is, that it is distributed by design, and it does not matter where it is hosted.
    Once I am no longer satisfied with github's (or gitlab's, it's the same problem) service, then I can still just push my repos anywhere else, nothing is lost.

    For the average open source developer, especially "hobbyists", github/gitlab is just convenient as you do not have to worry about hosting your own infrastructure.

    And with git (other than old CVS or SVN), you always have all your important things in your own copy: full revision history.

    Ok, other metadata like pullrequests, wiki pages, comments... will be problematic but I personally do not use them much anyway, and in the end only what's merged in the repository is really valuable to me.

    So I do not really understand the WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!1!!!1 rhetorics wrt github.

    • Nick Lamb says:

      Not wiki pages, those are just another git repo you can take with you trivially. Of course turning the back into a public wiki means you'd need Wiki software, but turning your git repo back into a public web site needs software too.

      PRs and any code review or other commentary on the PR are proprietary to GitHub I think, but obviously if you accept the PR the actual commit is now in your git repo, and regardless it's in the git repo of whoever raised the PR (which might also be your repo depending on workflow).

  11. Not Frank says:

    I'll admit I was also wondering your thoughts about something announced the same day: Apple deprecating OpenGL in MacOS 10.14.

    • jwz says:

      I assume it means that in two years, I'll have to implement the OpenGL 3.1 API in terms of whatever this new piece of shit is.

      Again.

      I am shocked, shocked I say.

      • Ulfi says:

        Very easy. Do you know Vulkan? The OpenGL successor designed to make life easier for everyone(TM) that Apple helped design? Yeah, they are not using that. They use Metal, their own propritary shithole of a library that is mirroring Vulkan exactly, except that no function call is the same. Luckily, you only have to port to Vulkan, because someone else already implemented Vulkan via Metal on MacOs

        Unfortunately, that is on github, so pull it while its there?

        I am really looking forward to our future overlord of an OpenGL 1.3 stacked on a Vulkan stacked on a Mantle. We live in interesting times.

      • Martin says:

        Ironically, but not unexpectedly, the comments thread on the Xscreensaver OpenGL wrapper is filled with people telling jwz to use github...

  12. guery64 says:

    [Warning: This comment contains a potentially harmful link to a source that may induce incredible sadness, rage or other strong emotion.]

    Another example for open source hate at MS: the successful migration of Munich's administration to a custom linux (called "LiMux") is being undone because somebody wants MS to have the German HQ there.

  13. tfb says:

    I don't see a problem with using something like github for replication or publishing, with the caveat that if you put commercially or personally sensitive information there, even in a private repo, you're taking a risk I would not be happy with. People who have built significant chunks of their business around platforms like github which they don't control are just fools though. There just isn't anything to stop MS (or whoever owns github, or anything like it) from just saying 'OK, it's going away next week': you can move your git repos but you can't move all the bug tracking &c, unless they decide to let you.

    The most amusing thing isn't that people have forgotten sourceforge, it's that they've forgotten google code: that's only a little over two years ago.

  14. di3lite says:

    They need the developer DATA from Github

    There are Informations on Githup about disable Telemetr.

    They want to track all of us - with no windows

  15. SebastianDotNet says:

    Just look back and see what happen to codeplex.
    Thats my problem.

  16. mlatu says:

    Thank you jwz for opening my eyes in regards of VCS.

    I had not know about fossil, and frankly I wonder why git got all the love. Sure, there is no money to be made out of "hosting" a fossil repo system for other people, so I guess that's why. (I imagine fossil doesn't work that way at all)

    I am going to check out fossil some more and I think I will migrate all my work to it.

    Wiki and especially Bugtrackers were the only reason I ever tried github and later bitbucket and now gitlab. So, why should I keep going this way, when I could have it ALL on my own disks?

    Again, thank you very much.

  17. Kyzer says:

    I love how so many people can only understand the mistake of doing software development using a proprietary website owned and run by a money-hungry company who threw out their "meritocracy" rug... when the nameplate on the office changes to "Microsoft".

    • MattyJ says:

      Historically speaking, it's probably unfair to compare Microsoft to GitHub, as far as philosophy is concerned. Microsoft has proven to be harmful to developers, companies, governments, etc. throughout its history. There's a pretty well-documented paper trail there.

      Besides, Github wasn't exactly money-hungry, more like money-starved.

  18. jwz says:

    Webshit Weekly:

    Microsoft Is Said to Have Agreed to Acquire GitHub
    A near-monopoly closed-source software company, fed up with trying to seem like a good corporate citizen by releasing source code of their worst programs, is acquired by Microsoft. Hackernews is either terrified or cautiously optimistic, based exclusively on whether they've received money from Microsoft in the past. Some time is spent pretending they have opinions about the business implications of the acquisition, but almost all of the discussion has a different focus: warnings from people who have been fucked ruthlessly by large software companies, and complaints about the unfairness of those opinions, mostly by people who haven't yet had their turn in the barrel. A brief sidebar is held on the topic of decentralized internet services, wherein Hackernews explains that services are mostly centralized because of the ineffable will of society, and not because programmers aren't smart enough to build interoperable software.

    Hello, GitHub
    Microsoft, responding to the tremendous outpouring of user feedback about their acquisition of Github, finds the perfect person to ensure that none of it is acted upon or even heard: a GNOME developer. The announcement is illustrated, for some reason, only with a 3-megapixel photograph nearly a megabyte in size. Hackernews decides that the future of Github is safe in the hands of this person, because some of them have seen that name somewhere on the internet once. The rest of the comments are copied and pasted from the previous day's thread.

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