to git or not to git

Bjoern Schiessle schiessle at
Fri Sep 14 10:38:04 UTC 2018

Hi Andreas,

On Thu, 13 Sep 2018 17:05:41 +0200 Andreas Nilsson wrote:
> If this is the case then I would suggest to seperate out the parts
> that makes Github and others to have an upper hand and then see how
> the parts can be countered using free software and free innovation.

I wrote a blog post back in 2016 where I tried to find out what makes
Github special and what we would need to challenge it.

> Github seem to take the inter-connectedness that would be lacking in
> many of the other alternatives. You can click a button to fork a
> project, you can start "watching" certain projects and get email
> notifications, you can download the sources without needing Git, you
> have an interface of markdown that every project adapts and the README
> is presented as if it were a web page.

I think this part is already available as Free Software. You can have
the same easy and intuitive workflow with Gitlab, Gitea and others.

What peoples stop moving to this Free Software solutions, in my
experience, is the social lock-in effect which is stronger than many
people think. As I tried to explain in both the blog and a mail I wrote
in this thread earlier.

That's why I think the challenge is to convert this existing free
solutions which creates many small islands at the moment in a
decentralised and federated solution so that you can share pull
requests, issues, mentions,... across instances seamlessly.

Gitlab already discuss this[1] and there are other initiatives[2],
although all of them seems to be in a really early stage of discussion.



Björn Schießle
Coordinator Germany
Free Software Foundation Europe (
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