git merge microsoft github
June 3, 2018 10:35 PM   Subscribe

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day in tech. Now it just got busier. Microsoft to acquire GitHub in a deal to be announced Monday. Microsoft has long been a fan of open source, now they are acquiring one of the main repositories of open source projects. posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit (96 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
> Microsoft has long been a fan of open source

uhh...
posted by scose at 10:50 PM on June 3, 2018 [70 favorites]


📎It looks like you have some merge conflicts...
posted by adept256 at 10:53 PM on June 3, 2018 [90 favorites]


rebase
posted by sammyo at 10:57 PM on June 3, 2018 [2 favorites]


Are they a fan of Ruby, though? Github produce some nice, useful open source Ruby software. I'm worried that will all be forced out and everything replaced with C#.
posted by BinaryApe at 10:57 PM on June 3, 2018


acquiring one of the main repositories of open source projects.

Closed-source projects, too. (private repos)

Awaiting the inevitable LinkedIn-GitHub integration...
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:03 PM on June 3, 2018 [3 favorites]


Microsoft has long been a fan of open source
ah ha ha ha ha

not that your statement is in any way invalid, but the opposite is also true
posted by mwhybark at 11:05 PM on June 3, 2018 [10 favorites]


Are they a fan of Ruby, though? Github produce some nice, useful open source Ruby software. I'm worried that will all be forced out and everything replaced with C#.

I don't think that'd do GitHub or Microsoft any good, so I really doubt that'll happen (in the near future anyway).

But then I don't think this acquisition does anyone a lot of good. Microsoft might have warmed up to open source a bit but every time one of the Big Five acquires a company that's pretty big in their own right it just consolidates them even more and makes me drop my already small optimism in tech a bit further. (see also Instagram and Facebook, Skype and Microsoft, Whole Foods and Amazon)
posted by maskd at 11:09 PM on June 3, 2018 [4 favorites]


I don't think this acquisition does anyone a lot of good

Does Azure and/or Azure Stack offer integrated source control? Some quick googling suggests maybe not, but AWS and Google Cloud both seem to have options. Another very wild guess: if some meaningful portion of GitHub's costs lie in hosting, maybe there's some economy to be had in migrating them to Azure as well. N.b.: not a fan of the idea.
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:16 PM on June 3, 2018 [3 favorites]


makes me drop my already small optimism in tech a bit further.

Why? I mean, I really do not feel like I have the tools to evaluate this sale’s goodness or badness. If Microsoft were going to kill off Github I’d be mad, but that just doesn’t seem likely.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:19 PM on June 3, 2018 [1 favorite]


I really wish the open source community had found a way to make github a community-funded, nonprofit entity.
posted by scose at 11:23 PM on June 3, 2018 [18 favorites]


Well, I guess this is the end of github enterprise at work.

some meaningful portion of GitHub's costs lie in hosting

I hear they're a Rackspace customer. I imagine losing their business to Azure would be a problem, and if Github management has a clue they took Microsoft's offer to Rackspace to see if they could match or improve it. Between this and the constant Rackspace ads for AWS/GCP consultants, one imagines their cloud business is not going well.
posted by pwnguin at 11:38 PM on June 3, 2018


Why? I mean, I really do not feel like I have the tools to evaluate this sale’s goodness or badness. If Microsoft were going to kill off Github I’d be mad, but that just doesn’t seem likely.

This acquisition in particular might not have any seriously bad consequences on its own, but each acquisition moves the balance of power towards the Big Five and makes it harder for new players to enter the game. Ben Thompson has been writing about this for years; see also this recent article by The Economist:

Venture capitalists, such as Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures, who was an early investor in Twitter, now talk of a “kill-zone” around the giants. Once a young firm enters, it can be extremely difficult to survive. Tech giants try to squash startups by copying them, or they pay to scoop them up early to eliminate a threat. (...)

Anything having to do with the consumer internet is perceived as dangerous, because of the dominance of Amazon, Facebook and Google (owned by Alphabet). Venture capitalists are wary of backing startups in online search, social media, mobile and e-commerce. It has become harder for startups to secure a first financing round. According to Pitchbook, a research company, in 2017 the number of these rounds were down by around 22% from 2012.

posted by maskd at 11:55 PM on June 3, 2018 [22 favorites]


What I'm hoping is that this eventually paves the way for people to adopt a source control tool that wasn't designed by people who hate humanity. git's interface is legendarily arcane, and you have to have familiarity with it to use it. None of the GUIs help with this: they assume familiarity with the data model instead of allowing you to gradually learn the concepts by doing, so when you get into a pickle and have to work out what combination of reverting, rebasing and resetting you need to do to undo it, you're screwed.

If you use the command line, it's even worse - the command line interface is literally cobbled together, so it's completely inconsistent. Conceptually similar functions use two completely different command lines, while conceptually different operations use the same command line except one has a switch.
posted by Merus at 12:39 AM on June 4, 2018 [25 favorites]


Gits.
posted by Quackles at 12:40 AM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


Microsoft has been making some moves in the open-source space recently. Some Linux watchers are worried this phase represents the latest iteration of their famous "embrace-extend-extinguish" strategy.
posted by Svejk at 1:04 AM on June 4, 2018 [7 favorites]


Closed-source projects, too. (private repos)

This is the dangerous bit. Plenty of companies out there keep everything in private GitHub repos. Does this come with any kind of assurance that Microsoft corp dev can't go mining through private repos for acquisition targets (or to scuttle potential deals if they don't like what they see)?

It doesn't strike me as an accident that the biggest tech companies all have too good-to-pass-up free services that happen to give them access to the internal metrics of pretty much every startup.
posted by zachlipton at 1:39 AM on June 4, 2018 [12 favorites]


The Problem With Putting All the World's Code in GitHub

Also, a lot of people have always had a problem with GitHub themselves being closed-source.
posted by farlukar at 2:51 AM on June 4, 2018 [10 favorites]


Also,
>> Microsoft has long been a fan of open source
> ah ha ha ha ha
QFT
posted by farlukar at 3:00 AM on June 4, 2018 [4 favorites]


I hope they don't try to microsoftify the UI like they did with Skype - that was a shit show.
posted by piyushnz at 3:09 AM on June 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


The money is in git enterprise.
posted by nikaspark at 3:11 AM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


It's worth noting that (a) Microsoft already has enterprise source code hosting (plus issue tracking, CI/CD and the rest of that stuff ) in the shape of Visual Studio Team Services, and plenty of people are already using that without fear that their source code is going to be stolen, and (b) there exists a credible F/LOSS competitor to GitHub already in the shape of GitLab.

[disclosure: I work for MS, but don't know anything about what's going on here beyond the media speculation; it's been the topic of a few corridor conversations this morning, at least]
posted by parm at 3:36 AM on June 4, 2018 [5 favorites]


Do you remember when they bought Skype and ruined it? Microsoft is second only to Yahoo in its ability to purchase and ruin products. I use Github almost all day every day. I see a successful tool spiralling into hell. Maybe I'm being too harsh?
posted by greenhornet at 3:41 AM on June 4, 2018 [6 favorites]


Let's hope it's not this kind of deal.
posted by Laotic at 3:48 AM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


Microsoft is certainly acting strangely here.

Git is notoriously difficult to use (in part because you pretty much have to use the highly idiosyncratic CLI to do anything more than the most basic tasks, though I've been known to add/edit branches and tags directly through the repo folder), and any extended behavior such as bug tracking and sprint planning/burndown need to be bolted on through third-party add-ons that sometimes clash severely. Microsoft has its own quality source control product, Team Foundation Server (which, in a welcome break from its predecessor of SourceSafe, is actually really good) that natively supports all of those team/project/bug tracking features, and allows automated unit-testing and deployment packaging as well.

Yet despite having their own capable product, MS also moved their own internal repos over to Git last year (though that process was largely because Git's decentralized model scales better than TFS's exceptionally-centralized server model, and MS's repos are friggin' huge). And now they're expected to acquire GitHub?

I'm inclined to agree that their decision to do this is likely motivated by a desire to be more closely in control of the tech startup infrastructure. To what end, we will see.
posted by mystyk at 3:54 AM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


Venture capitalists, such as Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures, who was an early investor in Twitter, now talk of a “kill-zone” around the giants. Once a young firm enters, it can be extremely difficult to survive. Tech giants try to squash startups by copying them, or they pay to scoop them up early to eliminate a threat.

New shoots don't have a chance under a mature rainforest canopy. Not until one of the big trees falls down or a hurricane comes through, anyway.
posted by clawsoon at 3:58 AM on June 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


New shoots don't have a chance under a mature rainforest canopy. Not until one of the big trees falls down or a hurricane comes through, anyway.

I just finished reading the Three Body Problem trilogy. "Dark Forest" is the phrase that came to my mind.
posted by gimonca at 4:05 AM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


Git is notoriously difficult to use

Huh? I mean it's got some quirks but it's by far the easiest source control system that I've ever used.
posted by octothorpe at 4:27 AM on June 4, 2018 [22 favorites]


Octothorpe,
Perhaps I should have said that it's notoriously difficult to *learn*, specifically to learn to use properly, due to overreliance on its CLI, which is both quirky/idiosyncratic and takes one out of the mental flow of their IDE when you have to resort to it to do something that the IDE doesn't support. Or, at least, it is so for something so popular and with near-zealotry levels of commitment. I will grant that, once you get the hang of the CLI (or learn to mess directly in the backend files), it isn't quite so bad, but it's still troublesome compared to a more integrated and streamlined experience. That every source control used to be just as bad (or worse -- hello again, SourceSafe!) doesn't excuse the problems Git has now, when we damn well can do better.
posted by mystyk at 4:37 AM on June 4, 2018 [7 favorites]


A discussion of git user friendliness like a good place to link the git man page generator.
posted by parudox at 4:42 AM on June 4, 2018 [33 favorites]


I’ve never found the hard to use argument that persuasive – usually it’s founded on ignoring the last decade of improvements to the UI, help text, and documentation; or assuming that really complex personal habits are more common. The basic pull/commit/push cycle usually doesn’t take very long for non-developers to learn and while merging can be non-trivial the Git merge algorithm is so much better than predecessors that people can usually get through it pretty quickly. Things like managing long-running feature branches can be more complicated but that’s due to the nature of the task rather than the tool used.

In my experience the hardest part is getting people who aren’t used to using version control or doing so collaboratively to do so. Git is orthogonal to that issue except in that it tries really hard to prevent you from losing data and there are some pretty decent tools now.
posted by adamsc at 4:44 AM on June 4, 2018 [5 favorites]


A large migration from Github over to Gitlab started yesterday when the rumors started going around.
posted by JoeZydeco at 4:46 AM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


I've been using source control for decades and have never used a gui for one. Have I been missing something? It's not like Perforce is any less quirky than Git.
posted by octothorpe at 4:48 AM on June 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


I've been using source control for decades and have never used a gui for one. Have I been missing something? It's not like Perforce is any less quirky than Git.

I'm primarily a command line git user (as are most people I know). There are two places a gui is nice: resolving conflicts (though there are vim plugins for this) and whatever the name for git add -p is (staging/committing only some of the changes from a file). It's really only the former case where you're missing something.
posted by hoyland at 4:58 AM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


None of the GUIs help with this: they assume familiarity with the data model instead of allowing you to gradually learn the concepts by doing, so when you get into a pickle and have to work out what combination of reverting, rebasing and resetting you need to do to undo it, you're screwed.

I have nightmares about winding up with a detached head. It’s one of those states that is every bit as scary as it sounds.
posted by panama joe at 5:12 AM on June 4, 2018 [6 favorites]


(I'd like to suggest not getting off topic discussing git itself, except I guess insofar as it relates to whatever MSFT might do with GitHub?)
posted by thefool at 5:16 AM on June 4, 2018


rebase

I would suggest 'git rebase --interactive', but I am known to be insane.

FWIW, I've always self-hosted my repos, and never got into this online stuff.
posted by mikelieman at 5:17 AM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


Venture capitalists, such as Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures, who was an early investor in Twitter, now talk of a “kill-zone” around the giants.

Oh come on, this was Microsoft's playbook in the 90s and 2000s. Remember "embrace-extend-extinguish" in the browser wars?

How about the dirty tricks billg would pull on companies like Go when they introduced some new technology that threatened MSFT? Microsoft would announce a similar project, kill the interest in the startup, then slowplay their own version of it, if it was introduced at all.
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:25 AM on June 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


panama joe: when head is detached, all you need is 'git checkout -b well-how-did-i-get-here' and you're fine.

Yes that's a Taking Heads joke but it's still the truth. Make a new branch from the current commit, and stop making sense, that's all it takes, when it's right.
posted by idiopath at 5:28 AM on June 4, 2018 [7 favorites]


@kellabyte
Our industry is really wack. We trust some rando startup with all our source code that could disappear any time and a company known to have a track record of supporting things for decades buys them out and now you all worry?

Who else would you have liked to buy them?
posted by Space Coyote at 5:36 AM on June 4, 2018 [14 favorites]


Microsoft has long been a fan of open source...

MS-OPEN?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:44 AM on June 4, 2018


Hmm. I thought charging users $however_many_it_is every month for private repositories was a business model, coupled with corporate paying clients. This is an interesting business pivot, as they say.
posted by davemee at 5:57 AM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


a company known to have a track record of supporting things for decades
PlaysForSure.
posted by farlukar at 6:08 AM on June 4, 2018 [7 favorites]


Git is awful, but every one of its predecessors was worse in some regard. Struggling through some arcane CLI expression to complete a balky remerge in git is all kinds of preferable to the hell scenario of doing even a simple branch merge in Subversion, which is something I've seen repo administrators require full project backups before attempting.
posted by ardgedee at 6:11 AM on June 4, 2018 [15 favorites]


Microsoft supports things when it has a clear business interest to do so. Win 7/8 won't get another version of Office, and OS X versions of Office notably get less development and feature love. Skype went for over two years without an update for Linux. So I wouldn't pooh-pooh concerns that Microsoft might use github to pull git in Windows-centric directions.

We're finally adopting git in our organization, and Adobe integration was a key factor in making that happen.

Personally, I use gitea because the idea of putting my puny and personal scripting experiments onto a mega shared hosting site just didn't make sense to me. On the one hand, github is good for FOSS stuff that benefits from central issue tracking and discovery. On the other hand, as the "default" it gets pushed for a lot of things where just using an ssh repo would be better.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 6:24 AM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


I honestly can't picture Microsoft using the acquisition as a means of access to exploitable IP in private repos. First, it's an obvious contractual violation, there's going to be all kinds of lawyering up within minutes of it happening.

Second, unless there is existing evidence that Microsoft has already been using their hosting services and Visual Studio products to screw corporate customers out of their intellectual property, you'll need a better argument than "yeah but Microsoft" to convince me that the sudden arrival of GitHub is going to change their behavior.

Microsoft's corporate sales isn't inclined to risk high-value contracts for cheap wins. There are plenty of ways they can use this acquisition to compromise their competition and open-source projects generally, but by being shady rather than blatantly illegal. I mean, assuming the acquisition is hostile.
posted by ardgedee at 6:25 AM on June 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


As with many other software problems, I think the worst aspects of git are where being intuitive would conflict with doing the right thing. Tracking a series of edits rather than a series of states solves a lot of problems, but it's not intuitive to think of documents that way. Experience tells me that having the patience to learn to think in those terms simplifies managing a collaborative project, but it's one of those things that's never going to be easy for a newcomer, it's a domain that must be learned.
posted by idiopath at 6:27 AM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


It appears to be impossible to directly link to individual slides in the powerpoint deck announcing the deal. Most of it is the usual blah blah corporate action verb stuff -- slides 17 and 18 seem to be the most informative about Microsoft's actual plans here.

Slide 18 describes integrating github into Visual Studio; no-brainer, that one.

Slide 17 is the nut: The Developer's Marketplace Today, developers need to find and assemble services from many locations and pay for them separately. In the future, developers will be able discover, adopt, consume, and pay for everything they need in one place. This includes developer and cloud services from Microsoft and any party that chooses to participate in this open marketplace.

So I guess they're envisioning some sort of app store for developers, with github as the anchor tenant?
posted by ook at 6:33 AM on June 4, 2018 [4 favorites]


So it's now Microsoft GitHub Microsoft ♥︎ DEVELOPERS DEVELOPER DEVELOPERS

(Taeyoon links more on Twitter)
posted by davemee at 6:45 AM on June 4, 2018


This has been the main topic here at work today, since my team supports our developer tools which include GitHub Enterprise and TFS. We've been slowly moving away from the "all-in-one" nature of TFS towards a solution where we couple tools that shine in each particular area (GitHub for source, Artifactory, Jira for teamwork and agile stuff, etc.). TFS is really only hanging on because we have elaborate deployment pipelines there and haven't found a good replacement tool.

This acquisition could go all sorts of ways. Maybe GitHub becomes the preferred source provider for TFS/VSTS (it's already supported). But I have no clue about the various other overlaps. For example, TFS, GitHub, and Jira all support issue tracking and various integrations into each other. In a year, where will be the best place to track issues? Who knows? Similar questions abound for other features of each system.

The good news is that if we're in for a future of migrations and re-configurations, it's job security since this stuff is very complicated when you have dozens or hundreds of teams. But ideally I want our devs to be able to breathe a bit - they are just getting comfortable with the current toolset.
posted by freecellwizard at 7:22 AM on June 4, 2018


I know this isn’t Fog Creek’s goal, but they’ve been doing some interesting work on version control in Glitch.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:31 AM on June 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


As with many other software problems, I think the worst aspects of git are where being intuitive would conflict with doing the right thing. Tracking a series of edits rather than a series of states solves a lot of problems, but it's not intuitive to think of documents that way.

Some version control systems (e.g. subversion) do store a series of changes, but counterintuitively git does not. Git commits are not diffs; they refer to trees (states). It's a little tricky because the way we interact with git gives the impression that they're diffs, in that we build commits up by staging changed hunks. But when you tell git to create a commit, the staged changes are applied to the checked-out branch to create a tree, and that tree is what the commit object refers to.
posted by Jpfed at 7:34 AM on June 4, 2018 [5 favorites]


Microsoft's official announcement: blog, news release. Two interesting tidbits there. One, Nat Friedman is the new CEO of GitHub, a promotion from being a VP at Microsoft. Nat is good people and it's an encouraging appointment for Microsoft to make. The other is the price is $7.5B. That seems like a pretty good number over the $2B in 2015.
posted by Nelson at 7:37 AM on June 4, 2018 [4 favorites]


All these hot takes about "Microsoft is evil" are living about 10 years in the past. Post-Ballmer Microsoft is a different company. Satya Nadella is a different kind of leader. Bloomberg's rumor reporting yesterday explicitly says the GitHub folks were happy about Nadella.

Microsoft's new support for Linux and open source is very good and seems sincere. I use Windows Services for Linux every single day; it basically lets you run a full Ubuntu system on your Windows machine, without virtualization. It's great. Across the whole company Microsoft has moved to more open source software, for instance switching the Windows code to git last year. It's a very different culture than 10 years ago.

Predatory monopolies are still a problem and Microsoft certainly was one in the late 90s. But that was 20 years ago. Now it's Apple and Google that worry me the most and Oracle in enterprise. Microsoft is just too mediocre to make me scared. But they're still a big force and now that they have the open source religion they seem to be much more of a force for good.

Someone was gonna buy GitHub. They couldn't find the right CEO and were not on a path to going public. That $100M they took in 2012 started a clock ticking, they had to have some sort of exit to satisfy their venture capitalist overlords. There's only so many companies that even could have bought them; I'd rather it were Microsoft than Google or Amazon or Oracle.
posted by Nelson at 7:43 AM on June 4, 2018 [26 favorites]


Jpfed: thanks for the information, I didn't corrected.

I'll consider myself lucky that I've never needed to know the difference.
posted by idiopath at 7:54 AM on June 4, 2018


Microsoft's new support for Linux and open source is very good and seems sincere. I use Windows Services for Linux every single day; it basically lets you run a full Ubuntu system on your Windows machine, without virtualization. It's great. Across the whole company Microsoft has moved to more open source software, for instance switching the Windows code to git last year. It's a very different culture than 10 years ago.

I appreciate what you're saying, but please refer it by its proper name, GNU/Windows. Windows provides the kernel, a very important part of the system, but it would be useless in isolation. So, it's more like GNU with Windows added, hence GNU/Windows.
posted by The Gaffer at 7:55 AM on June 4, 2018 [22 favorites]


Somebody at Google is going to desperately be trying to get the Google Code codebase compiling again this morning...
posted by GuyZero at 7:58 AM on June 4, 2018


Microsoft has combative style where they’ll often spare no resources to dominate a market niche but then virtually abandon it once they’re unopposed, i.e. IE.
posted by rodlymight at 8:23 AM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


Microsoft's fuckup with IE was literally 15 years ago. They've long since learned what a mistake that was and explicitly act like it. Too late in this case, Edge is definitely second fiddle to Chrome and even Firefox. Nadella understands this, and the IE fiasco is part of the shift in corporate strategy that leads to them buying GitHub.
posted by Nelson at 8:30 AM on June 4, 2018 [5 favorites]


octothorpe I've been using source control for decades and have never used a gui for one. Have I been missing something? It's not like Perforce is any less quirky than Git.

Decades here, too, and I use a gui most days. I like the visualizations of the branching graphs. I suspect it's mostly down to personal preference.

As far as github's UI, it has some longstanding quirks: wide formatted code is a pain to read (and I don't need my tools making suggestions about it), individual file download really should be easier via the web. It looks like they turned the web development over to the command line folks at the beginning, and tried to patch in UX solutions later.
posted by cowcowgrasstree at 8:31 AM on June 4, 2018


Huh? I mean it's got some quirks but it's by far the easiest source control system that I've ever used.

It is by far the easiest rocket for brain surgeons to fly.
posted by srboisvert at 8:53 AM on June 4, 2018 [11 favorites]


OS X versions of Office notably get less development and feature love

Office is totally serious about cross-platform-ness. There's a long history of forking and merging between the Windows and Mac codebases for Office, and recently they were working on merging them again. They won't generally take new features unless the path to cross-platform is fairly clear -- though there's obviously a long tail of existing stuff like PowerPivot which isn't heavily used and will take a long time (if ever) to make cross-platform.

Source: some of the code I write ships inside Excel and is currently available only on Windows.
posted by Slothrup at 9:17 AM on June 4, 2018 [4 favorites]


Things like managing long-running feature branches can be more complicated but that’s due to the nature of the task rather than the tool used.

People who say git is easy to use are usually assuming that everybody wants to adapt their perfectly normal workflow to their source control system.

That said, for a gui I've recently started using Source Tree and it's amazing for branch management.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 9:36 AM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


My main concern with the purchase is that it is being sold as okay for the developer community because Microsoft is a changed company with a new CEO and a new direction.

Which is true.

What is also true is that it will also someday, possibly relatively soon, have another new CEO and another new direction.
posted by srboisvert at 10:00 AM on June 4, 2018 [7 favorites]


Here's some fun speculation
Microsoft will win back the entire developer ecosystem that switched to MacBooks over the past decade by adding a button to GitHub that opens the current project in a new tab running VS Code backed by Azure.
posted by Nelson at 10:03 AM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm a little curious to see how the Go community reacts. Go is unique AFAIK in that the full name of a package used in import statements is the path to the source repository (usually on GitHub). The idea is that the standard build tool can automatically fetch and build dependencies without relying on a single central repository like npm or PyPI. It also means that if a project gets antsy about being hosted by Microsoft and moves off GitHub, that breaks everyone's builds.
posted by skymt at 10:21 AM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


They will almost certainly make it easy to integrate/include code into an Azure project, probably a primary reason for the acquisition. "Cloud" is the future of computing seems to be the corporate obsession of this generation, and look at the size and pervasiveness of Google and AWS, not at all unreasonable as obsessions go.

There's probably be even more, click here to create a "free" Azure virtual server to run an instance. The first hit is always free.
posted by sammyo at 10:23 AM on June 4, 2018


That was snarkish but Azure has some amazingly handy/clever/powerful tools that are very competitive to the other cloud providers.
posted by sammyo at 10:25 AM on June 4, 2018


GitHub leverages AWS heavily, as any dev who works in an office with a very thick firewall has learned. It will be interesting if Microsoft starts transferring that to Azure.
posted by ardgedee at 10:33 AM on June 4, 2018


Microsoft will win back the entire developer ecosystem that switched to MacBooks over the past decade by adding a button to GitHub that opens the current project in a new tab running VS Code backed by Azure.

As an aside, I've been using VS Code for my various scripting and other needs lately. I'm not a developer any more but I use it for PowerShell, Python scripts, node.js stuff, doing the Advent of Code thing, etc. as well as for general view/format/edit of source files that come my way. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Visual Studio if you are doing a big project, but it's been nice. Clean, fast, lots of add-ons. VS proper takes a while to spin up on my Windows laptop. In contrast, opening a VS Code project with

code .

at a prompt takes maybe 3-4 seconds (and this is a crap machine).
posted by freecellwizard at 10:34 AM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


> So I guess they're envisioning some sort of app store for developers, with github as the anchor tenant?

“Like npm, but with microtransactions.”
posted by ardgedee at 10:40 AM on June 4, 2018 [8 favorites]


GitHub leverages AWS

That'll be an interesting zone transfer. Amazon has a service called Snowball that is a shippable suitcase of harddrives for petabyte data transfers. Turns out now that the highest bandwidth is still "a station wagon rolling down the highway filled with tapes SSD's.
posted by sammyo at 10:45 AM on June 4, 2018 [9 favorites]


It's no longer a station wagon. Now, it's a semi-truck. Snowmobile
posted by toxic at 10:53 AM on June 4, 2018 [9 favorites]



Microsoft's official announcement: blog, news release. Two interesting tidbits there. One, Nat Friedman is the new CEO of GitHub, a promotion from being a VP at Microsoft. Nat is good people and it's an encouraging appointment for Microsoft to make.


Echo that. I'm two degrees of separation from him, and this detail makes all the difference here.
posted by ocschwar at 11:31 AM on June 4, 2018 [4 favorites]


hoyland: There are two places a gui is nice: resolving conflicts (though there are vim plugins for this) and whatever the name for git add -p is (staging/committing only some of the changes from a file). It's really only the former case where you're missing something.

Magit under Emacs is /amazing/ at this particular git sub-task. So amazing that it's probably worth spinning up Emacs for this one mode alone even if you never use it for anything else.
posted by pharm at 11:42 AM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


Nat Friedman's statement
At the same time, I understand that there is some healthy skepticism in the community, so I wanted to be absolutely clear about two things:

GitHub will operate independently as a community, platform, and business. This means that GitHub will retain its developer-first values, distinctive spirit, and open extensibility. We will always support developers in their choice of any language, license, tool, platform, or cloud.

GitHub will retain its product philosophy. We love GitHub because of the deep care and thoughtfulness that goes into every facet of the developer’s experience. I understand and respect this, and know that we will continue to build tasteful, snappy, polished tools that developers love.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 12:17 PM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


GitHub will operate independently as a community, platform, and business.

This is literally what every large corporation says upon acquiring a smaller, more agile company.

I strongly believe that Microsoft will make good on this promise. Until they don't. The thing to ruminate over is when that ends up happening.

On a much brighter note, Git itself is open-source and can't be acquired.
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:26 PM on June 4, 2018 [4 favorites]


Some version control systems (e.g. subversion) do store a series of changes, but counterintuitively git does not. Git commits are not diffs; they refer to trees (states).
This is entirely correct, though it's kind of amusing to note that deep under the covers, git mostly actually does store diffs: https://git-scm.com/docs/pack-format

The very earliest versions of git stored each object in its own file, but storing a ton of similar objects this way is inefficient, hence "pack files" which store a bunch of objects in a single file and use some kind of delta compression.

But, yes, the right way to think about it is as storing states, not diffs, the actual backend storage is an implementation detail.

As someone that had previously wasted more than a few hours trying to do linux kernel development in CVS, oh boy do I love git, despite any UI warts.

But I have no opinion whatsoever about github. Apologies for the digression.
posted by bfields at 12:41 PM on June 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


My advice is to use GitHub if it's useful to you but don't rely on it. This was also my pre-acquisition advice as well as my advice for using GitLab, BitBucket or any of the other code hosting services.
posted by suetanvil at 1:27 PM on June 4, 2018


Microsoft's new support for Linux and open source is very good and seems sincere.

This old fart will continue to distrust them for a long time. I may very well be wrong about that. It took the Catholic Church four centuries to say "oops we were wrong about Galileo" and everybody was fine with how long it took them to admit it, so I've got plenty of time left before it's time to say "oops I was wrong about Microsoft"
posted by DreamerFi at 1:47 PM on June 4, 2018 [4 favorites]


Microsoft has always been crap at version control. Every system they wrote, internal or external was awful. What saved the company around the turn of the millennium was buying WebTV. The WebTV product never amounted to much, but the company came with the only source code license to Perforce, aka P4. Soon Microsoft was running on SD which was their custom version of P4. Meanwhile Google was using straight P4, never could get the source, had to do all kinds of crazy things to make it work at scale.

Of course now we have Git, a product you swear at for a year, then swear by ever after. Why MSFT think a hosting service for an open source product is worth billions is anybody’s guess.
posted by w0mbat at 3:03 PM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


Why MSFT think a hosting service for an open source product is worth billions is anybody’s guess.

If Github switched to a different version control system my suspicion is that people would follow, that their loyalty is to Github and not to Git.
posted by Pyry at 3:27 PM on June 4, 2018


Git itself is open-source and can't be acquired.

Being pedantic; Git and its copyright still belong to someone. I'm not really clear who that is and can't figure it out easily looking at the source code. Most of git is written by Junio Hamano, who works for Google. He may retain copyright of his work, or maybe Google owns it, or maybe he assigns copyright to an organization. The code is still licensed under GPL though which makes it relatively easy to use freely.

The reason this matters is that open source projects can be acquired and screwed up. Oracle's purchase of MySQL is the most famous example of this, with future versions of MySQL being so bad that folks had to fork to MariaDB instead. Oracle's stewardship of Java has not exactly been awesome either.

Back on topic, GitHub has never been the major developer of git. The real value and lock-in of their system is all the non-open-source stuff around it; the issues database, the permissions system, etc. Migrating a big project is difficult but not impossible.

(Which reminds me; what happens to the Atom editor now?)
posted by Nelson at 3:28 PM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


RCS 4 lyfe … or at least I would be if recent changes in gcc hadn't stopped it compiling.
posted by scruss at 4:00 PM on June 4, 2018


Turns out now that the highest bandwidth is still "a station wagon rolling down the highway filled with tapes SSD's.

Latency hasn't improved, though.
posted by HillbillyInBC at 5:40 PM on June 4, 2018


I usually avoid this conversational tactic for obvious reasons, but there really is just no other more appropriate way to do it in this case:

Go is unique uniquely idiotic AFAIK in that the full name of a package used in import statements is the path to the source repository (usually on GitHub).

Fixed that for you.
posted by invitapriore at 5:51 PM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


Didn't elm break that day Github or AWS went down last year? There was some fashionable language that turned out to be rather dependent on the internet working.
posted by hoyland at 6:00 PM on June 4, 2018


Merus: "What I'm hoping is that this eventually paves the way for people to adopt a source control tool that wasn't designed by people who hate humanity... the command line interface is literally cobbled together, so it's completely inconsistent."

My biggest grudge against GitHub is how much it entrenched git as "this is what source control should be like" among trendy developers.

Mercurial was initially released in 2005 the same month as git, has the same core principles (distributed VCS, open source, branch/merge workflow), and some pretty huge organizational users (Facebook, Mozilla, OpenJDK).

Meanwhile, it has (IMO) a humane command line API, a more maintainable source, a better attitude towards history integrity, and a pretty kickass query language so you can write tools that understand your codebase.

It's not without hiccups but Mercurial is the type of toolset I enjoy using, in contrast to git where I constantly fear that I'm about to smash my thumb with a hammer, and then find out it was actually a soldering iron.
posted by Riki tiki at 6:00 PM on June 4, 2018 [6 favorites]


but... Mercurial doesn't have octocat stickers
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:20 PM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


It's not without hiccups but Mercurial is the type of toolset I enjoy using, in contrast to git where I constantly fear that I'm about to smash my thumb with a hammer, and then find out it was actually a soldering iron.

One thing that mercurial really, truly lacks is a good, online interactive tutorial that comes up when you google “mercurial tutorial”. If someone wants to make one, I would shake their hand.

but... Mercurial doesn't have octocat stickers

You joke, but Bitbucket is a million times uglier and more painful to use than GitHub. Like I find the notion that “Mercurial is Denzel Washington, Git is Wesley Snipes” to be compelling on the face, but if my primary means of interacting with the former is Bitbucket and the latter is GitHub, the comparison starts feeling ridiculous on the face.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:17 PM on June 4, 2018


Microsoft is second only to Yahoo in its ability to purchase and ruin products.

They lack the whimsy! that gives Yahoo its edge in that space.
posted by flabdablet at 8:37 AM on June 5, 2018 [1 favorite]



Turns out now that the highest bandwidth is still "a station wagon rolling down the highway filled with tapes SSD's.

Latency hasn't improved, though.


That's why Uber is opening an ISP
posted by ocschwar at 10:56 AM on June 5, 2018


A friend of mine wrote about what GitHub is, nicely explained for non-coders. And he points out some of the backlash of the move:
Everybody knows the old adage, "if you're getting a service for free you're not the customer, you're the product." That's especially true for companies like Google and Facebook, which sell their users' eyeballs to advertisers. It's a lot less true for a company whose users can leave any time they want, painlessly, taking all their data and their readers with them. I'm sure most of my readers here on Dreamwidth remember what happened to Livejournal when they got bought by the Russians. [Previously.] Well, GitHub is being bought by Microsoft. It's not entirely clear which is worse.

GitHub has an even worse problem than Livejournal did, because "cross-posting" is basically the way git works. There's a company called GitLab that looks a lot like GitHub, except that their core software -- the stuff that wraps a slick web interface around a git repository -- is open source. (They do sell extensions, but most projects aren't going to need them.) If you want to set up your own private GitLab site, it's free, and you can do it in ten minutes with a one-line command. If you find bugs, you can fix them yourself. You'll find a couple of great quotes from their blog at the end of the notes, but the bottom line is that 100,000 repositories have moved from GitHub to GitLab in the last 24 hours.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:46 AM on June 5, 2018 [1 favorite]


Well, GitHub is being bought by Microsoft. It's not entirely clear which is worse.

LiveJournal was an important tool for Russians organizing against Putin, so I'm pretty sure that its being put under the thumb of the Russian state had some significantly worse outcomes.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:22 PM on June 5, 2018


You'll find a couple of great quotes from their blog at the end of the notes, but the bottom line is that 100,000 repositories have moved from GitHub to GitLab in the last 24 hours.
This is a somewhat misleading way to characterize what happened: 100K repositories were copied to GitLab. That doesn't mean that anyone is using those copies, that those projects have changed the official source or switched to using the GitLab issue/merge request interface instead. It'll be interesting to see how that unfolds over the next few months — will this be the start of an open-source diaspora or only the equivalent of people opening a Mastodon account to protest Twitter's latest management failure but failing to come back after a day.

I use GitLab daily and while I like it and appreciate that it's more open, I think a lot of people are also about to pay more attention how it's trying to balance similar concerns to keep their venture capitalists happy. Most of the interesting features are increasingly only available for paid customers and the open-source side is clearly trying to thread the needle between being relevant but not destroying the market they need to pay the bills.
posted by adamsc at 12:53 PM on June 5, 2018 [2 favorites]


Microsoft will move the back end of Github to Azure. And GIthub will continue to operate as part of the Github Gitlab Bitbucket oligopoly , with all three offering similarly designed and priced services for open source and closed source projects. And the earth will continue to move.

More importantly, Microsoft just eliminated the risk of Github being bought by Oracle, which puts them firmly in the side of the angels now. It's 2018.
posted by ocschwar at 6:23 PM on June 5, 2018 [1 favorite]


Came across this today: gitless, a better front-end for git.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 3:43 PM on June 7, 2018


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