Orbifx's Logarion
Get real, you don't need Github
decentralised, git

We are becoming more vocal and more are joining the ranks.. of leaving Github that is. The two most popular apprehensions are:

"I need it for less.. technical users" (or some variation of thereof)

"I need it for CI" (continuous integration)

For participators

There was a time I shared this hopeful belief. "Build it and they will come".. sort of thing. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Build_it_and_they_will_come>

I was deluding my self and perhaps you are too. Unless your software is truly useful to many, or already popular through some other means, they will not come, Github or otherwise.

"But everyone has an account there so, it will be one step away"

For the most part a deceptive threshold. It's in your head. Think about it.. those with skills & time, who can wholesomely contribute, will highly likely to already have email and perhaps XMPP or IRC. It is not the facilities stopping them, it's either skill or will to dedicate time.

XMPP: <https://xmpp.org/> IRC: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Relay_Chat>

"Yeah, but Github's interface is just easier and has issue-tracking and .."

Again, mostly-deceptive threshold. If one wishes to participate in a project, really, truly, wishing to participate, the buttons will not be a barrier. In fact, from my brief time on Github and Gitlab, all I can attribute to the glossy interfaces was the drive-by comments, without any follow-through or interaction. So it's not a hinderance but a good filter.

For continuous-integration

This is not the answer you are looking for. I never bought into this and still stand by it. Is your build complicated beyond what you can cope with? Your tools taking longer than you can bare waiting for?

What does it say about our skills & tools when the solution we gravitate towards is a commercial behemoth providing more automation, wattage & time than we have at home?

How is it open when our dependency to this service seems to increase without any programmer being able to resist it?

And what about the energy consumption of continuously running these processes?

This is not a solution. It is a harmful distraction, digression & deferment both from writing good & efficient code and migrating to a more nimble solution by upping our game.

Addiction, pervasiveness and dominance

Github (Gitlab too) have become the Facebook-Twitter of coders. Merchants of "sweet approval", intermediaries we designated when we became desperate for the attention of others online.

Our insatiable desire for commentary, 'stars' & pull-requests has gifted that enterprise an immense gravity. While we are hooked on their mesmerising gimmicks, students are taught Github's interface instead of `git` commands and are expected to have an account with them if they are to register on the corporate map when searching for a job.

Worse still, we may have lost our soul. Would we write code if no one was watching? For the enjoyment of the practice itself? Those answering _yes_, fear not, you don't need them!

Move on, there is still a community out there, where you stand a better chance of (literally) unscripted interaction. Our open source code, has propped their dominance for too long. It's time to take it back!

Decentralised Git: <https://notes.orbitalfox.eu/decentralised-git.html> Discussion lists: <https://notes.orbitalfox.eu/discussion-mailing-lists.html>

If you need somewhere to start, ask <mailto:comp@lists.orbitalfox.eu?subject=Where can I host my code> or <xmpp:lobby@conference.orbitalfox.eu?join>.