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Show HN: OneDev – A Lightweight GitLab Alternative (github.com/theonedev)
459 points by robinshen on Jan 18, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 94 comments

I am dogfooding OneDev at: https://code.onedev.io/projects/onedev-server

The repository is mirrored to GitHub

It even has code intelligence, for example in https://code.onedev.io/projects/onedev-server/blob/master/se...


Some questions:

* How long did it take you to build OneDev (e.g. in hours time invested)?

* Do you expect it to scale, e.g. to large repos, large histories, many issues?

* I see you have a "code comments" feature with which people can make comments in the actual code tree, as opposed to the commits (https://code.onedev.io/projects/onedev-server/codecomments). I implemented this for Google Code Search, nice to see it in more tools! Do your comments survive changes to the file?

And one feature I noticed missing: Pressing "Y" to get a commit-pinned permalink, like Github, Gitlab, and the other tools do.

Keep it up!

I do this part time since 2012, see code line trends here: https://code.onedev.io/projects/onedev-server/stats/lines

I take a lot of time optimizing the performance, and it can easily handle large amount of issues, projects and large repositories at company scale. For large repository, please check the linux demo here: https://code.onedev.io/projects/linux/blob

The code comments can live through file changes, even file renames.

As to commit-pinned permalink, I tried to press Y on GitHub and it does not have any effect. Can you please shed more light on this?

You have to press Y while viewing a file, it will convert the URL to use the current SHA.

I see. Filed an issue for further improvement: https://github.com/theonedev/onedev/issues/22

the performance of the 'blame' view is so much better than Gitlab. Great job!

I’m impressed by how well OneDev works on my phone. The mobile UI has clearly received attention and thoughtful design.

For starters, the README is actually displayed on mobile unlike certain other Git UIs (ahem GitHub).

I'm just playing with it on desktop (including the breakpoints) and agree that the UI feels thoughtful.

I noticed a handful of small things to pick on (and if I'm good I'll go file issues...), but I like the broad strokes--particularly its use of space (at all sizes). I also see a lot of small+thoughtful UI/X features and decisions.

Your readme is absolutely delightful. I love the animated screenshots. Hopefully more projects will take notice of how helpful that is!

Its so rare that I didn't even realize you could put gifs in your readmes on github. Slick

You can even embed or link SVGs with CSS animations in them!

What, that's not true, is it? I think GitHub turns those into images, if I'm wrong. Could you link a example where someone embeds SVG with CSS animations?

GitHub sanitizes SVG animations by removing e.g. embedded JS code but SVG animated with CSS is supported in Markdown files. See for example [1] which contains [2].

[1] https://github.com/nbedos/termtosvg/blob/develop/README.md

[2] https://github.com/nbedos/termtosvg/blob/develop/docs/exampl...

This is an excellent example.

I'll try to remember to answer when I'm home. I have this working in a private repo so I'll make it public. Just checked it on my iPhone where it doesn't seem to work in Safari though so it's possible the support is not stellar. For sure worked in Firefox on my desktop though.

Maybe the CSS properties require the vendor prefix (i.e. -webkit-) to work in Safari. The same could be true for other browsers.

Glad to see this clearly expresses my ideas, :D

What's your goto tool for doing those ani gifs?

It is TechSmith's Camtasia. Really a joy to use.

I use gitbucket, for my own private repositories. Using this would be awesome because the one thing I'm really missing is the ability to run CI-jobs in an integrated fashion.

Installation of onedev, on a scratch host, was painless. But I think there are a few things missing before I could use it for real. At the very least I have to use username/password for repository access. I see nowhere in the user-settings, or system-settings, for adding an SSH key.

That's a basic thing which is an immediate dealbreaker, although the other things look amazing. (Role based access control, integrated CI, code-comments, etc.)

Actually, GitBucket has a plugin for CI https://github.com/takezoe/gitbucket-ci-plugin

Thanks for the pointer, I had no idea!

Keep up your great work :)

Did you try gitea?

I had a brief look at gogs, gitea, and gitbucket all at the same time. Gitbucket struck me as the simplest to use, and "good-enough".

I'd switch to whichever was first to support a built-in CI system in a heartbeat though.

It’s not built in, but Drone has support for Gitea. I just host my own drone instance with runners in addition to Gitea.

I do not have that plan yet, as product definition for cloud-based and on-premises is very different. To my opinion it is hard to create easy-to-use product for both use cases

Well I'll give you points for persistence, I see commits going back 2012. I hope that helps you in building a business.

I really like the "Saved Queries" list. Nice and easy to click.

Thanks for trying out. For every saved queries, you may even subscribe it to get notifications.

As an old school java dev, love seeing it used here! If you’d like to talk about cloud vs on-prem design, hit me up at the email in my profile. I’ve thought about it a lot.

I give it a bonus point too for being written in Java on my personal, biased, scoring.

Gitlab is a nice product and the open governance is interesting, but I prefer to minimize the time invested in ruby/ror based applications.

Regarding me, it's either Python or Java, because of the support and R&D put into these. Plus it's easier to reuse parts of Java/Python projects in other projects (as they are often written in Java or Python too).

Just wanted to say thanks for your hard work & making it FLOSS, it looks awesome.

Great work, congratulations! Will definitely give it a try. Having said that, this project needs data import/export functionality (certainly for GitLab and GitHub; perhaps, also for less popular options, e.g., Bitbucket, Gitea and Gogs). Re: "I take a lot of time optimizing the performance, and it can easily handle large amount of issues, projects and large repositories at company scale" -- I'm not sure whether it makes sense to spend time on this, unless you plan on adding enterprise features and building a business around it (technical support, etc.).

Well, as the main competitor is notoriously slow but otherwise pretty great, I'd say some focus on performance makes sense!

I agree - some focus definitely makes sense, but I was talking about the author mentioning spending "a lot of time" on this.

I hope this is useful not only for personal users, but also for company users. So performance is very important.

I see. This certainly could be used by SMB companies, which do not require (some or many) enterprise features, but still have sizeable codebases, teams and levels of activity. My point was that it is probably a good idea to spend time on performance (beyond some foundational metrics) as a linear function of gradual addition of enterprise features. I hope that it makes sense.

What it does need is either support for LDAP sync or SSO support though...

I created an issue for the project importing/exporting feature: https://github.com/theonedev/onedev/issues/20

That's great, thank you!

Wow, this is seriously impressive, and rammed with features!

Do you have any plans to monetise, perhaps by providing a hosted version? (altho I guess that would be hard, given the free build time offered by the incumbents)

Another JVM based similar project is https://gitbucket.github.io/ (Scala).

It would be interesting to see this project auto-converted to kotlin and reduction in code size (Intellij can do this automatically)

Looks interesting. Shame about the name, though. Sounds far too much like BitBucket.

Wow! That is interesting, :D Will try to see what happens.

FYI - your code does not build for me because of dependency resolution issues.

Not sure why.

I'm using latest Idea.

Please run below from command line first to see if it works:

mvn clean package

yes. it does. basically the standard ide was croaking on your use of a private artifactory.

Any particular reason why you have structured this way ? could you not pull all your source code in a single build process ?

gradle will make the builds very effective - extremely performant on modular builds

I put some common libraries into a private artifactory as I want to reduce the whole build time. The reason I am using Maven build instead of Gradle is that I can use M2E in Eclipse which can compile the project incrementally very fast while I am editing files.

It's not advisable to split code like this. The better way is to use gradle and make it a multi-module build. First time will take time , but each time it will only compile incrementally. Blazing fast and good management.

All of android now uses this, so this is not new

My main concern is that gradle might not work as well as M2E in Eclipse which makes incremental compiling blazing fast (less than 1 sec for editing and compiling)

Gradle (as Buildship) is a top level supported project in Eclipse.


you will be pleasantly surprised.


But more importantly, i do request you would create a single source repo. your private dependency system is bit hard to work with. Even if you use mvn

Thanks! As long as maven works for you, just stick to it.

I'm also happy that it is plain Java as it means I can contribute without learning IntelliJ or anything special.

Thanks for willing to contribute. I will write some guideline for that later. Also it is possible to develop in IntelliJ, just that you need to run "mvn compile" from command line every time you changes the dependencies. While in Eclipse, it is fully automated with help of M2E.

No worries. For some reason I personally prefer NetBeans and Eclipse to IntelliJ, that's why I appreciate that you stick with plain Java and Maven instead of Kotlin and Gradle :-)

gradle works on commandline. Gradle has nothing to do with intellij.

Gradle supports modular building and other cool things that improves productivity. And a gradle build file is like 1/10th of a POM.XML file. Try it sometime.

I didn't say that Gradle demanded IntelliJ.

What I meant was that if author had switched to Kotlin it would have been hard to contribute without IntelliJ.

Eventually I will move those libraries to maven central for better public access.

It looks very nice. The UI is very intuitive. It's very intelligent to search commits or symbols with the help of dropdown wizard everywhere, cool!

I'm very interested in the built-in CI system, especially you mentioned that no yaml files to write. Actually, it's very painful for me to write yaml files for GitLab. Just want to know is there any plan to build a cloud based service like GitHub or GitLab? We just don't want to manage the instance ourselves.

Would be nice to have a strong competitor not written in Ruby.

What difference does the implementation language make?

Makes a big difference in ability to contribute, extend, hire, not to mention the performance angle.

Thanks for open sourcing your work.

Question: is it possible to describe the build environment inside a project with your approach? Bonus question: Is it possible to generate the build environment within a project? Because this is a totally missing feature for me, to the point I might add it one day to gitlab or Jenkins. As a developer, you should not be forced to repeat yourself in any way. And you should be able to replicate your build everywhere, including your local machine. Hence I consider it important to put the dockerfiles, etc. Inside the repo. I would be fine with having a script that generates the Jenkins pipeline, gitlab ci, or whatever on demand, but I do not want to keep the same information in sync everywhere.

GitLab engineer here, I'm curious what you're thinking of exactly. Right now you could commit your Dockerfile, use it in CI to generate an image, and push it to the registry where you can pull it from. Do you mean some convenience features to automate these steps without requiring an explicit CI setup?

How and when would that push/pull work?

Here is the typical use case. Dev A wants to upgrade a dependency, say the boost library for a C++ project. This requires some adaption. So they create a changeset/pull request. Inside that pull request they adapt the Dockerfile to use the latest boost library version.

The same day, developer B finishes a story and uses some legacy boost features. They also submit a pull request. That change does not build with the newer library but works fine with the older one.

The CI system now should be able to run the tests with both changesets independently, using the Dockerfile from each branch.

When B's work is merged first, A needs to rebase and vice-versa.

Right now we implement this by running CI outside docker and creating and entering a container with a script provided by the project, but that is a home-grown solution. I would love to see gitlab allow each branch to create its container automatically, when needed.

I'm not sure I follow, typical gitlab ci runs in the branch? So there's eg a .gitlab-ci.yml and a ./Dockerfile in branch "new-feature", and one in "old-story".

They would both run OK in your scenario. If "new-feature" is merged first, "old-branch" would have to merge with (new) master and fix ci before being able to pass ci and be allowedtto merge?

Usually you annotate the CI file with a container ID, not a Dockerfile, AFAIK.

You can use the Gitlab CI variables so that both the "docker build" job and the "test docker image" job use a unique image ID for your pull request.

Personally I use branch + git tag name as the image tag, but you can use a commit hash or whatever.

Hm, ok. We build containers using ci, but I see how you might want to have a container for running tests. Depends a bit on the language/framework i suppose.

Congrats on what looks like an amazing amount of work and a great project - I am always in awe of people who do this kind of thing!

This looks really great, what do you use to generate all the feature gifs on the front page? I love when I see features visualized out like this, so easy to comprehend

I am using TechSmith's Camtasia. It is powerful and easy to use.

Licecap and ShareX are both free (windows) options to make screencap gifs.

ScreenToGif is my personal favorite on Windows.


On Linux systems you might want to have a look at Peek [1]. It can even make (optional) use of gifski [2], a library that is great at reaching top optimization of the limited GIF color palette.

[1]: https://github.com/phw/peek

[2]: https://gif.ski/

I am very excited about OneDev; thank you for making it.

I browsed the documentation on Builds an found this:

> echo "##onedev[SetBuildVersion '@params:buildVersion@']"

this resembles Azure's way of setting build variables. I admit I think it is crappy for Microsoft as a producer of operating systems to handle it this way, instead of e.g. creating a special device.

What were your considerations for using the same style in OneDev?

Build variables in TeamCity is handled by the same way

Now it just needs a built in docker repository and it covers everything I use Gitlab for.

It is on my radar. With a built-in binary repository, I can analyze dependencies more easily to test downstream projects using artifacts of a certain project

Please take into consideration that there is a need for nested docker repos (one additional level is enough like GitLab has per project). The overall ECR/Azure/GitHub registry stuff is so crazily limited it’s borderline unusable: you have to pop up projects/registries just to have a different image name, and tags are limited to 128 chars, within [A-Za-z0-9-_] (so, no slash), so you need to spawn repos like crazy (which means different creds or setup or project settings) and/or suffer unreadable mangled tag names.

Filed an issue covering your concern: https://github.com/theonedev/onedev/issues/24

Please comment if you have any other requirements.

FWIW Google Container Registry (GCR) allows arbitrarily nested paths.

Part of the difficulty though is that the Docker Registry V2 API more or less assumes the two-level namespacing. Technically GCR might be considered to be in violation of the spec. I just wish everyone was.

Anyone remember https://code.rhodecode.com/ ?

I used it in hg times.

I'm actually using it now! However, I'm now working on my own git viewer. RC is nice but the way it renders Markdown is hideous.

Going from Gitlab > Gitea > trying and failing to get cgit and auth working > RhodeCode made me realize I'm always going to have issues with how the SCM looks. So, why not make my own?

Can you give an example of that markdown rendering?

I think it's almost in pair on how Github renders markdown.

Almost?! Most definitely not. Unless of course, I'm using an old version. Here's an example: https://code.webb.page/ChronVer/chronver

EDIT: I will say that RC is my favorite of the git viewers I've used thus far. I'd love a way to completely style the UI with CSS.

We'll work on improving this! Thanks for the feedback, this needs more of our attention then :)

This looks amazing!

I will definitely use this! Is there any plan on kanban boards and/or an container/npm/nuget registry?

Keep up the good work!

A container registry feature request is in place. Please submit feature request for npm/nuget registry. As to kanban boards, I am not very familiar with it yet. Can you please try OneDev board and let me know what points you feel missing compared to Kanban? You may also file feature request so that discussion can happen there easier.

The OneDev board is great, definitely replaces trello. However, I was thinking something more in line with azure devops. I would love to be able to create sprints epics and what not. Or maybe is that out of scope for this project?

Will milestone work for your case? You may create milestones directly from board, and switch board view to specific milestone

Is there a Helm chart available for quick K8s installation?

It looks awesome feature wise. UI can be improved

Any suggestions will be very welcomed.

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