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GitHub's new features show it’s finally listening to developers (char.gd)
75 points by owenwil 34 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 30 comments



The main thread seems better:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19989684

This lacks additional content or context. It is simply the author promoting some 2016 letter/article criticising GitHub, and then very loosely tying it to recent changes. It is self-promoting blogspam.


>the world's largest open source community

Is github even considered an open source community? Open source projects work on github, sure, (so do closed source projects) but github is not the community. It is a tool.


> github is not the community. It is a tool.

Not really, no. HackerNews, Slashdot, subreddits, are all communities. Same goes for GitHub. The positive network effects are a considerable hurdle to its competitors.


A closed source tool


One click pull/update for forked repos? Not holding my breath on it...

This is something that more than a few people want, and at one time, it did exist; a simple button you'd click on your fork of a repo, that would go and pull down/merge the latest from the original.

I'm probably not alone in this - but I have a ton of repo "forks" that I just keep around but don't make mods to, but try (and fail) to keep up to date with the original. Why?

Well - because some of these interest me, but aren't often changed if at all - and I worry that some day, the repo will just up and disappear (ie - be deleted), and the code will be gone. So I keep a copy.

This does have the assumption that if they delete their repo, that my branch won't disappear (I assume this is true - wouldn't make sense if that happened). The same kind of thing could even happen to a well used and updated codebase, just because the developer decides this is the thing to do.

So a hedge against this kind of thing.

But keeping the forks up-to-date - for the ones that are popular - is a pain. A single button should be all that is needed, but doesn't exist. So instead, you have to do this weird process (can't remember the exact steps - I recall there's a point you issue a PR and validate it yourself, as part of the process - it makes no sense). Note that this is all thru the web interface for github.

One could keep the repos locally, then issue fetch/pull/merges to grab the latest, but I'd like to avoid the storage req's of that.

In the meantime, I've tried to create a process - that mostly works - that fetches the latest version of the repo, if it exists, as the compressed archive, then stores it in a local "directory" that's a VFS to google drive (IIRC), but it's still in a beta/dev phase and on a back burner.

It's too bad there isn't a way you could specify a fork as a non-updated thing, that just automagically received the updates as they occurred (and then stayed around or was compressed if the op deleted their original branch).


There are few github bots [1][2] that keep your fork up to date. They probably don't offer the exact workflow that you want, but you can always customise.

I'd assume that if GitHub notices that bots like these are popular, they'd think about incorporating it as a feature. In a way, this is what has happened with Dependabot [3] - IMO it's been so widely used that it made sense for GitHub to include it as a feature.

[1] https://github.com/backstrokeapp/server [2] https://github.com/wei/pull

[3] https://dependabot.com/blog/hello-github/


This seems like a really interesting business model but also one that will benefit a lot of smaller developer who use github. I'm excited to see how this all pans out.


GitHub doesn't really need a business model right now since MS probably has no issues treating it as a loss-leader (and makes plenty of money elsewhere). Eventually it'll need to make a profit probably but it's got time.


GitHub free is a loss leader for GitHub enterprise. We have our own servers where I work that we pay a fair amount to GitHub. It is pretty much like Github.com, but our own company domain in the middle. We don't always have the latest version, but we are not far off.

If there weren't people using the free version and wanting those features to our propitiatory workflow we wouldn't have known about GitHub much less bought it.


I also use github enterprise (on-premise).

This is still a really interesting business model, and one I applaud, as it helps a lot of open source developers.


Very excited about this. As someone who contributes to open source software, I'm excited for these changes.


I applaud Microsoft for the Sponsor program. We need new ways of monetizing open source, and this is a step in the right direction.

However, the article itself mentions this program, a smaller contributor and dependencies feature and a planned feature list as being signs of a major turning point for GitHub. It's a bit too congratulatory of Microsoft and reads more like an advert than a genuine piece, though I'm sure the author meant well.

> As someone who contributes to open source software, I'm excited for these changes.

I'm curious, if you're passionate about open source, why would you feel excited for changes on one of the most popular closed source websites on the Internet? I like the direction Microsoft has been taking in the past few years regarding F/LOSS, but I think we should be cautiously optimistic about GitHub, while continuing to migrate away towards alternative open platforms.

Personally I've been using a self-hosted instance of Gitea[0] for many months now (and Gogs before that), and it's been working great as a private GitHub alternative.

I'll be excited when most of the world's developers share code and knowledge (looking at you, SO) on open source platforms.

[0]: https://gitea.io/


I am wondering how long this will last and at what point they will prohibit repo owners from using alternative funding methods like bounty source or bitcoin.


Since Microsoft's goal with everything they've been doing in the past few months has been to gain developer trust and mindshare (WSL, a better windows terminal, all the new Github features, etc.), I don't see this as a realistic outcome. They also don't seem to plan on monetizing this, as they're currently giving away free money and said they'll only start charging transaction fees next year. This whole endeavor is to get developers on Github so companies will pay to use Github enterprise


WSL is terrible and gives me a bad impression of MS (and gives Linux a bad name). Their new terminal isn't out yet as far as I know.


In what way is WSL "terrible"?

I use it quite frequently, and I quite like it.


It is incredibly slow (20X), distro installs can't keep up, Docker doesn't work, systemd doesn't work, drive mounting has issues, and lack of a descent terminal.


I found the contrary, different perspective perhaps :) - I do almost everything on Windows and WSL


How would they even enforce that? I can't see that ever working, or even making any sense.


Censor/block/hellban all links that point to the biggest competitors? It's not exactly a huge list.


If that was the goal, they wouldn’t have added funding.yml to begin with.


Remember sourceforge ?

That’s what I think when I think github now

It really loses in features compared to gitlab. Such as large files


And GitLab has an open source version you can self-host. Until GitHub offers that I can't take their dedication to open source seriously.


Do you selfhost gitlab? How much effort is it ?


I do. Self host at my work. Less than 4 his effort for initial setup and an hour or two when I want to upgrade. Super clean and helpful docs makes it a breeze to self host


Yes, it is very easy. Checkout the official Helm charts to get started quickly or the Docker image.


I've never used GitLab - what other features does it have that you feel GitHub is lacking?


Many recent GitHub features have been ports from GitLab: WIP pull requests, suggested issues. I'd reverse the question and ask what GitHub is offering that GitLab isn't (except the community usage). (And yeah, I guess I'm a GitLab fanboy...)


All the CI/CD stuff I would say.


I believe that Git-LFS developed by Github so they are the first one to support LFS.




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