Why aren’t you on GitHub?

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Only one of my 20 or so public repositories is currently on GitHub. The remainder are mostly on Bitbucket. I am seriously considering moving my public Git repos to Gitorious.

Why, when everyone and their mother is shoving heaps of projects at GitHub, would you consider anything else? It’s precisely because GitHub has become the defacto standard that I am trying to avoid it. The Git/Github conflation is bad enough (GitHub invented Git, right?), but it’s also disconcerting that Github (a private Saas company) is creating a virtual (!) monopoly in the field. Given that, I think it’s a good idea to support credible alternatives.

I originally started using Bitbucket because they offered Mercurial hosting. This was back when Git support on anything but POSIXy systems was pretty poopy and Mercurial was the friendly, multi-platform alternative. Bitbucket offered features on a par with Github and were quite generous with their no-cost offerings (and still are). Eventually, Bitbucket saw the writing on the wall and introduced Git hosting alongside Mercurial. Later, I too conceded that Git had won the DVCS race and switched to Git as my default DVCS. However, I saw no reason to change where I hosted my public repos—especially in view of GitHub’s growing dominance.

Both Bitbucket and GitHub are private Saas companies that make money hosting private repositories and/or offering additional services. Gitorious is as well but with one difference: the platform that runs Gitorious is FOSS that you can install on your own servers. Which means you get all the Saas perks along with all the great things that go along with FOSS. The range of features that Gitorious has added over the years has grown to the point where I think it’s worth a serious look. I’ll report back when I have more info.

Update: Another worthy contender is GitLab Cloud. It runs on GitLab’s own software—which has an open source version (MIT license). I’ll be taking a close look at that as well in the upcoming days.

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