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For a matter of completeness, this[1] is an article worth the six minutes it takes to read it.

[...]Bruce Sterling calls them “the Stacks”: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, [GitHub].


They don’t want much, those Stacks. Just your identity, your allegiance, and all of your data. Just to be your sole provider of messaging, media, merchandise, and metadata. Just to take part in as much of your online existence as they possibly can, and maybe to one day mediate your every interaction with the world around you, online or off.


It’s very convenient to live in a Stack. It’s easy, it’s seamless, it’s comfortable. And it means putting much, or very nearly all, of our increasingly important online existences into the hands of a few titanic megacorporations. It means relying on their benevolence, not just today, but for the foreseeable future.

[1] http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/18/the-internet-were-doing-it-...

Thanks for pointing this out and for the link. I'm sort of surprised to see that sort of opinion published in the tech media. I agree with everything the author says... including how nice Github is to use, and I too use it all the time.

At the same time the secret to Github's success in my opinion is all of you hackers who use it to collaborate, not their genius business model or anything like that.

When git was gaining traction they were quickest to pivot that way because, well, they had nothing to pivot away from. The real test IMO with only come when the git-killer scm tool starts to take off; if they can keep their market share at that point then I'll be really impressed.

Never say never, but I don't see the git killer anywhere on the horizon. Look at how hard it was for git to beat out svn, and that was with the advantage of svn being built on an irredeemably broken repository design that no objective engineer could ever put on the same playing field with git, hg, etc. Nevertheless there was a definite period of flame wars where large groups clung to svn religiously until they were dragged kicking and screaming.

Now git has its own weaknesses with large objects, steep learning curve and complex UI, and difficulty of central control. But the difference is that those things are all the result of tradeoffs which make git very very good for the most talented programmers, and open source in particular. You're not going to magically make something that solves all those problems but still is as good as git for versioning the average small to medium open source software project.

But even if you do, will it be good enough to convince the greybeards to switch? Did Sublime kill vim? I actually think that whatever kills GitHub will not be the same thing that kills git. It will probably be a convergence of trends that remains unforeseeable for the time being, much in the same way that GitHub rode a series of trends which would have been utterly unpredictable 10 years ago.

> I actually think that whatever kills GitHub will not be the same thing that kills git.

While GitHub has obviously spent enormous resources around hosting git repos there is nothing tying them to git as an SCM. If for some reason Mecurial or something brand new becomes the new hotness GitHub would be able to accommodate. Their business strength is around the community and users, who they seem to keep happy.

Let me also add explicitly that I think GitHub is more likely to be killed (or at least marginalized) than git.

You could be right... but I can remember when CVS was a huge improvement... and then when SVN was the bomb... sometimes it seems like the only thing that stays the same is the fact that everything changes.

Those were incremental improvements over a bad design. I recall that Linus specifically said that when he looked at CVS it was inferior to emailing tarballs and patches. Having worked with CVS for 3 years, and then SVN for 5 years before trying git, I am inclined to agree. Those systems were easy enough to start with, but I never felt that I grokked them even after years of use. Their quirks did not make logical sense, they were just implications of nonsensical internals.

It's possible that git also is fundamentally flawed in a way that some genius will reveal down the line, but I'm just sticking my neck out my neck like so many futurists before me and say that I don't see it as likely.

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