Re: gitorious limitations [was: Re: Passive resistance [was: Re: Announcing GNOME's official GitHub mirror]]

On Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 3:52 PM, Matteo Settenvini <matteo member fsf org> wrote:
Il giorno ven, 16/08/2013 alle 11.27 -0400, Jasper St. Pierre ha
> On Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 10:50 AM, Matteo Settenvini
> <matteo-ml member fsf org> wrote:
>         Besides, while github is not free, gitorious and others are.
>         Diaspora is
>         still experimental and not on-par with things such as Google+
>         or
>         Facebook, but gitorious is a good alternative. So even on a
>         technical
>         level, this choice reeks. Also because by working with e.g.
>         the
>         gitorious team, one could have also found more bugs / asked
>         for some
>         features which would then be fixed in an open-source product,
>         benefiting
>         the community at large. So there's an indirect contribution
>         too to the
>         well-being of everyone.
> gitorious is not an good alternative.
> It's slow, buggy, and does not support the common operations that
> GitHub does. I can't view images from the gitorious viewer. I can't
> view raw files.
> I've never managed to get in contact with the gitorious team. As far
> as I can tell, they've fallen off the face of the earth.
> Ask Richard Hughsie why he moved colord from gitorious to GitHub.
> There's good reasons we're trying to get away from it.

I know I am going slightly (but only slightly) off-topic, but would you
and Richard (whom I Cc'ed) care to give me a short list of items you
find annoying in gitorious?

I'm just going to say to actually try to use it for a day. Here's two links:

Try these tasks:

 * Gauge how much activity the project has seen over the last few months.
 * Look at what kinds of things have happened to the repo recently.
 * In PackageKit, try to find the source code to the NPAPI browser plugin. In colord, try to find the "iccdump" utility.

As you explore around, notice how you feel about each site. What's the color scheme like on your eyes? Is one easier to read and pick information out of? What's the page speed? Does everything give you the information you want, when you want?

Here's a specific example:

On the gitorious page, for recent activity, it tells me that hughsie pushed 4 commits. It doesn't tell me which ones, instead opting to waste a lot of whitespace explaining "master changed from ded2939 to b4244e4".

GitHub is architected a bit differently (it doesn't have a project / repo split), so the closest analog I can find is hughsie's "Public Activity" tab ( ) Look at how commit activity is represented there. It gives a commit message, the author's gravatar for each commit, and a link to the full commit view with a commit message and diff.

GitHub has six or seven full-time UX designers actively working to make the website more comfortable to use every day, and they deploy new features rapidly. I don't know if the same can be said for any open-source clone.

I should have some free time starting November, and some good Rails
experience, so maybe I can submit some patches a few months from now. I
am involved in some other projects too, so I don't know about my
priorities, but I'll keep this under my radar.

If I have to say anything, it's that working on gitorious is a dead end. You can try to fix GitLab, which is a GitHub ripoff, or you can try to improve cgit by adding features and new designs, which might be worth exploring, but I don't think any of that is worth your time.

If there's anything I want people to do, it's to stop the countless "open source versions of proprietary services" things there are. The "X but open source" (Twitter/, Facebook/Diaspora, GitLab/Gitorious/GitHub, Askbot/StackOverflow) are some of the most hurtful things to the brand of both free software and open source that I can think of, and they're probably the biggest thing right now that give open source software a bad name. I'll elaborate if you would like me to, but this is another tangential discussion.

Matteo Settenvini
FSF Associated Member
Email : matteo member fsf org

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