What would you do if GitHub shut down tomorrow?

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What would you do if GitHub shut down tomorrow?
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What would you do if GitHub shut down tomorrow?

GitHub has become a major resource for many developers, but is it a good idea for them to be so dependent on one site? A Linux redditor recently asked the question "what would you do if GitHub shut down tomorrow?" and got some interesting answers from his fellow redditors.

RMSreturns started the thread:

Don't know about others, but I've realized lately that I'm depending a lot of github. First, it just used to be my own source code for side projects, but now even the work I do for my client is mostly on github. In fact, github has become a sort of communication tool which I use for uploading code and binaries and my client uses for raise issues and bugs, storing design documents, setting milestones and even documentation.

Few days ago, I heard about this three hours downtime on github (didn't experience it personally though, perhaps it was outside my timezone) and I seriously considered about alternatives like bitbucket and sourceforge. Those two were only names vaguely heard somewhere, github felt like a God or quite dependable! Granted the second one had had quite a fiasco for bundling adware a few months ago, but still, at least something is better than nothing!

Now, I think we are very very fortunate that we multiple choices and multiple distros. If a big one like ubuntu or fedora tanks, there are zillions of others to fork/own it. It doesn't seem likely, but who would have thought that God Github will ever suffer from a downtime? Actually, I still haven't understood their business model. What kind of financial wizardry can allow them to provide unlimited bandwidth on both repos as well as hosted websites? The subscription fees they charge for allowing private repos is a pittance compared to the infrastructure cost needed for allowing unlimited bandwidth. I very much like to believe that "FOSS friendly forces" like RHEL/Google/Canonical are giving them a helping hand, but who knows what's actually going on!

Personally, I haven't made a backup plan yet or any research into the latest state of other code hosting providers like BitBucket, etc. In fact, would love to hear from you if you know about any of them!

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His fellow Linux redditors responded with their thoughts:

Habarnam: "It's git after all, it's distributed source control. As long as you have a working copy, you're good. For bug tracking it could be a problem, but if you're satisfied with github issues then there are plenty of alternatives."

TechArtNerd: "I'll switch to Bitbucket. All of my private repos are on Bitbucket anyways. "

RootsTri: "Last year I moved an open source project that I had been hosting on sourceforge for over 10 years and chose to move its home to bitbucket instead of github. I'm completely satisfied with everything on BB so far and feel my team totally made the right decision. I had used github in the past, but I was never a fan of its interface. The only thing that I'm really missing on BB is the community collaboration and ability to find projects."

Xanza: "This is the major draw with Github. It's literally social coding. The interface is specifically designed to foster communication and contribution."

Girdus: "Just to ease your fears about what kind of "financial wizardry" that goes at GitHub: https://enterprise.github.com/home

Companies pay GitHub to run their software privately and it ain't cheap. Users also pay GitHub to keep their code private. Those two cash streams allow GitHub to offer code hosting for free.

Also, GitHub repos do have limits. You cannot use a repo like a file distribution service. GitHub will notice and shutdown the account especially if it affects other repositories."

Audigex: "...what do you feel the GH interface does that the BB one doesn't?"

AlexMeanberg: "It's simpler, and easier for me to understand, really. Everything is more streamlined, which is good for me, since I'm pretty dumb. I like that it drops me right in to seeing the master branch's files, by default, along with a README.md (if it exists), whereas BB splits those views into two separate pages.

The most important thing for me might be the high density of important/actionable stuff. The bar that has the number of commits, number of contribs, number of branches, and tags is just fabulous. it just gets more info across in less space. BitBucket's old boring vertical navigation bar just doesn't do it for me.

I've also noticed that BitBucket is just a lot slower, and less responsive, I guess.

Things apart from the interface, I like that I can easily turn a private repo public and it'll be seen by others (since GitHub is a much more popular site for OSS). Also, the flow for Issues/Pull Requests seems a lot more elegant than the ticketing system in BitBucket."

Spam4youfool: "I'll move to Gitlab. They've a Community Edition (open source), which you can either self-host or use an instance of it for free on their website. They've Entreprise Edition for specialized features. And, private repositories for free. The have issue tracker, wiki, etc. which imho is good enough (but still has scope for improvement)/"

Decker108: "I'd suggest dropping Sourceforge from your plan B list, they did some extremely shady stuff a few months back. Stuff like putting adware in the installers for the most popular projects."

Syshum: "They were also recently sold and the new owners have said they will stop this. SF is "wait and see" right now while I would not put anything on the site today, I want to give the new ownership a chance to clean it up before it written off completely"

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