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Mar 16 2014

GitHub sounds rather…dysfunctional

Read Julie Ann Horvath’s story about what it’s like to be a woman and an engineer at a tech company.

Horvath has given TechCrunch her version of the events, a story that contains serious allegations towards GitHub, its internal policies, and its culture. The situation has greater import than a single person’s struggle: Horvath’s story is a tale of what many underrepresented groups feel and experience in the tech sector.

I don’t understand any of this. You’ve built a company that does something you’re excited about, that makes lots of money, and because you’re a nerd-boy you completely ignore the social and psychological glue that keeps your team functional? This is not rational.

33 comments

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  1. 1
    marcus

    Amanda Marcotte “whether or not those anti-abortion kooks should be indulged and given the privilege of having everyone treat their shit arguments like they have value in free-wheeling discourse, or if they should be shunned on the grounds of being shit arguments the same way anti-gay or overtly racist arguments are shunned.”
    This.
    Obvious answer is obvious.

  2. 2
    marcus

    Sorry wrong thread.

  3. 3
    SallyStrange

    When communication and understanding other people are painted as skills that are typically feminine, then cultures where masculinity is prized will disdain communication and understanding between people, because disdaining it allows them to assert their masculinity. This is exactly what happens in my workplace, although I would say that the racism, both overt and subtle, is probably more of a problem for them than sexism. Even among the white men who dominate the company, alienation and miscommunication abounds.

  4. 4
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Ah, well, you see it’s Vulcan rational (or libertarian-rational, there’s a whole lot of overlap). That’s where you pretend that emotions don’t drive your decisions at all, and deride any decisions/actions you don’t like as being emotional and irrational.

  5. 5
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    Wait, you mean a company which exists to serve a “community” (the FOSS “movement”) which has an explicit attitude that “you don’t own anything but the hardware”, “problems are your own fault”, and “stealing ideas and taking the credit for them isn’t stealing”, which encourages a “cowboy” attitude in users, and where men are — at least publicly — overwhelmingly represented, has a problem with women? Golly, I would never, ever have suspected that. I can’t see how their philosophy would possibly lead to that, particularly when money and corporate culture also become involved. Why, one might actually suspect that a culture of disrespect led people to be disrespectful, but of course that’s nonsense.

  6. 6
    Dunc

    “GitHub”? Really? How apt.

    (Is “git” a UK-specific insult?)

  7. 7
    Sunday Afternoon

    @Dunc – the answer to both of your questions is “yes”.

    The origin of the git software package is Linus Torvalds – from the git wiki page, footnote 10: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Git_%28software%29

    When asked why he called the new software, “git”, British slang meaning “a rotten person”, he said. “I’m an egotistical bastard, so I name all my projects after myself. First Linux, now git”

  8. 8
    Jackson

    #6:
    Yeah, it’s a UK-specific insult. The creator of git (which is the version control software GitHub is named after), Linus Torvalds, knew what it meant and joked that he always named his software after himself, so he called his operating system Linux and his version control software git.

  9. 9
    Chris Hall

    Now this I can relate to (in not a nice way): “Two women, one of whom I work with and adore, and a friend of hers were hula hooping to some music. I didn’t have a problem with this. What I did have a problem with is the line of men sitting on one bench facing the hoopers and gawking at them.”

    About 10 years back I worked for an IT department in a tier one investment bank, and a bit before the “money problems” hit money wasn’t a problem and the department held an unexpected party for everyone. To entertain us they hired Girls Aloud, a truly dreadful manufactured girl group. The behaviour of my fellow IT workers was, I thought at the time, totally bizarre, they mobbed the stage. These were grown men in their 30s and it just seemed pathetic.

    At the time I thought the whole situation was hilarious, now, not at all.

  10. 10
    biogeo

    This is really sad. I love GitHub and how easy they make it to apply distributed version control. As a scientist who writes a lot of code, GitHub has become a great way for me to share my code with colleagues, and seeing GitHub user accounts appearing on CVs is becoming increasingly common. In the past, I’ve heard that GitHub actually does better than a lot of similar companies at supporting women in tech, so it’s very disappointing to hear a story like this. It sounds like they’ve got a very toxic work environment staffed by a lot of very unprofessional people (sadly seems to be par for the course for a lot of small tech companies from everything I’ve read). Seriously, the spouse of a founder is not an employee but is permitted to play at making personnel decisions? This kind of dysfunction isn’t just an issue of sexism, but certainly creates an environment where sexism can (and apparently does) flourish unrestrained. I hope Julie Ann Horvath lands on her feet, and GitHub gets its act together before it loses more talent to petty sexist nonsense.

  11. 11
    gmcard

    Vicar @ 5

    What in the actual fuck? Microsoft shilling on Pharyngula? The FOSS movement is explicitly about empowering software users and asserting that they do own everything that runs on their machine, and that ownership includes the right to modify and redistribute that software. Harassment and discrimination within the community needs to be acknowledged and stopped, but to pin those ills on the FOSS specifically as opposed to the IT/national/world culture as a whole is utterly disingenuous, and smacks of paid astroturfing.

  12. 12
    barbaz

    gmcard 11, I don’t think the commend has something to do with MS, they aren’t that stupid.

    Aside from that, I feel I have to move my projects to sourceforge now.

  13. 13
    nutella

    GitHub services are standard in my industry so I’m fairly familiar with the company and its products. I can’t say that I’m completely surprised to hear that their management of people is amateurish and dysfunctional. While reading the article about Horvath’s experiences, I was trying to decide if the GitHub management were raging sexist assholes or just raging assholes. Both, I think.

    They have been requested to add a block capability so users can avoid harassing contacts but have not done so. One publicized incident that led to that request was men harassing a man they didn’t like through GitHub, so in that respect they’re equal-opportunity assholes.

    Further evidence of amateurish cluelessness (as someone phrased it on Twitter): that fucking rug.

    link

  14. 14
    brucegee1962

    I’ve known for a while now that colleges are having a harder and harder time keeping a 50/50 gender ratio — women are in the majority in most programs. What I did not know until recently is that, in our local high school system, the magnet ubergeek math/technology program is 60/40 in favor of women.

    It seems as if previous generations of women in tech have kind of expected an uphill battle at every step, because they’ve been fighting that battle since middle school. But when my daughter’s generation gets out into the workplace and starts being on the receiving end of this kind of garbage, it’s going to be outside their realm of experience. If the old companies give them a hard time, they will start their own companies and plough the old companies under. I predict a decade of fireworks, and then the problem is going to go away. And a decade or so after that, it will be BOYS who will be told, “I don’t know whether you should take that course, math is really more of a girl thing.”

  15. 15
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    And a decade or so after that, it will be BOYS who will be told, “I don’t know whether you should take that course, math is really more of a girl thing.”

    And if they are told that, it will be to the detriment of all.

    Math – like cooking, like caring for babies, like nuclear physics, like medicine – is not a “boy thing” or a “girl thing.” It is a human thing.

    We throw up false barricades to the interested at our peril.

  16. 16
    DrMcCoy

    Ah, shit, that’s a total disgrace.

    As someone who counts himself as a member of the FLOSS community, loves git and uses GitHub (though critical about its proprietary nature), this hits pretty close to home. In addition to the usual problems with -isms FLOSS has.

    I’m gonna ditto biogeo @#10: I hope GitHub gets its damn act together; and all the best to Julie Ann Horvath.

  17. 17
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    @11, gmcard:

    What in the actual fuck? Microsoft shilling on Pharyngula?

    I was going to say “I don’t own a single thing from Microsoft”, but then I remembered that I do, in fact, have a perfectly legal copy of XP in a virtual machine, so that’s not really true.

    It’s hilarious that you are being such a stereotypical Linux-user (which is, to most people, a pejorative) that you assume “either you love Linux or you love Microsoft”. Yeah, sure, right. Because there are no choices other than those two.

    The FOSS movement is explicitly about empowering software users and asserting that they do own everything that runs on their machine, and that ownership includes the right to modify and redistribute that software.

    Except that you don’t actually own the code. The authors technically own the code, only they don’t in any meaningful sense, because both you and they absolutely have to do it on the terms of the people who wrote the GNU license, and those people — Lee Harvey Stallman in particular — are insane and evil. Go look up “Busybox Lawsuit” on whatever search engine you like (I assume that you won’t use Google, because they have modified Linux for their servers but haven’t let anyone see the modifications), or check out some of Stallman’s speeches and interviews (hint: he has said that coding ought not to pay any better than flipping burgers — and he means that as in “programmer wages should fall” not “burger-flipping wages should rise” — but he has no problem whatsoever with companies making vast sums of money with computer programs and paying the management vast salaries; he has also admitted that the terms of the license are deliberately vague about what constitutes legitimate reuse without republication in order to permit future lawsuits to force more people reusing their code to publish their own code, even when not related) to see what kind of idiocy FOSS will happily encompass.

    And as for “empowering users”? Deliberately changing the kernel ABI in an attempt — this was freely admitted by GregKH of the kernel team — to force device manufacturers not to create reliable binary blob drivers actually harms users, and in the name of a bird-brained ideology, at that. Refusing to package free-but-not-open software harms the user. It makes them unable to do things without a lot of spadework first, and not everyone wants to have to learn how to administrate the computer just to (for example) play back a video file. Decoupling every single level of the OS from every single other level, as FOSS people are so eager to do at all times, so that there are a million use cases instead of a few, thus making it impossible to do quality assurance and performance is significantly harmed, actively harms the user. (On a Mac or a Windows box, you can test your code once, and unless you’re tinkering with something pretty low-level, you can be reasonably certain that it will work on the majority of other Macs and Windows boxes. On any FOSS platform, you might as well not bother testing at all, because the whole combination of decoupled interfaces guarantees that, for example, the user may not have a compatible audio stack, or a compatible video stack, or the right version of an API, or the right settings in their shell, or a hardware driver which can keep up with the necessary level of performance, or whatever.)

    Nearly every single FOSS program is a ripoff of some proprietary product, and 99.9% of them are vastly inferior to the thing they’re based on. Linux? Unix without driver support. XFree86? Vastly inferior to the video stacks of every single proprietary OS it competed with. GNOME and KDE? Want to be Mac OS X, but can’t even manage to be Windows. Firefox? Was briefly ahead of Internet Explorer — but only because Microsoft let IE stagnate for a decade, and now engaged in cratering itself. Chrome? Google’s attempt to get everyone to let them spy on you even more wouldn’t even be possible without Apple doing all that work on Webkit first. And don’t even get me started on the Open Document Format, which even the FOSS world can’t handle well enough to produce two compatible implementations. (OpenOffice — or “LibreOffice” if you’re a true caricature of a FOSS advocate — document formatting breaks if you open its documents in ABIWord, and vice versa. And using the existence of macro viruses to leave out any sort of serious cross-platform macro support is just plain idiocy.) And as for the command line? Don’t go there. Just don’t. I don’t want to bust a gut laughing; those things are terrible. Uniformly and universally. The POSIX standard is a bad joke foisted on us by people who think that technology should have stopped progressing in 1970.

    Harassment and discrimination within the community needs to be acknowledged and stopped, but to pin those ills on the FOSS specifically as opposed to the IT/national/world culture as a whole is utterly disingenuous, and smacks of paid astroturfing.

    Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it before. Anyone who disagrees with you about your poorly-written code must be paid to do it, because nobody could possibly disagree with you about the value of cheap knockoffs of much better code written by people who actually had at least one original idea first. And, of course, the quality is so much higher than proprietary systems, and anyone who knows about the recent critical flaw found in GNUTLS networking, used in vast quantities of FOSS-advocate-chosen networking hardware, or the old critical flaw found in Debian’s SSL code, used by a massive number of Linux distros, or the fact that Red Hat was shipping a broken version of Perl for years, etc. ad infinitum, should just shut up to further the cause! If a proprietary company produced code of the quality of the average Linux distribution, it would fail almost immediately. The only thing which keeps Linux going is that it is free-as-in-beer, and even then it hasn’t made any headway on the desktop, where people actually have to interact with computers instead of shutting them up in a closet to run unattended.

    No, FOSS culture is broken, and it’s broken largely because the sort of person who becomes a FOSS advocate is usually a sort of proto-Libertarian, with all that that entails in terms of “I’m okay, you can drop dead”. It’s just that in FOSS terms, that translates into “Works for me, bug closed WONTFIX” and “Okay maybe the code doesn’t do what it should, but it’s your job to code a patch, not ours”. Heck, the justification for telling people that they should have to learn to code in order to use a computer at all shares the Randian “Intellectual Bonus” ideal.

    90% of FOSS is just plain bad, and the other 10% is bad but arguably necessary.

  18. 18
    cim

    barbaz: you might want to do a search for “sourceforge adware” before making that particular decision. They have gone downhill themselves a lot in the last couple of years. Annoyingly, we moved our stuff off there … onto Github.

    I suspect the answer to “how do I get a VCS/bug tracker host whose ethics aren’t terrible” will probably end up being “pay for your own server”, unfortunately.

    gmcard: “but to pin those ills on the FOSS specifically as opposed to the IT/national/world culture as a whole”

    Of course, Github is not itself a FOSS project, so this particular case is a counterexample, but FOSS in general does have a documented larger problem with sexism and inclusiveness than closed-source IT companies, and it certainly has a lot of roots in techno-libertarianism, even if there are plenty of individual projects (e.g. the ones I’m involved in) which do not follow that sort of ideology.

  19. 19
    cim

    The Vicar:

    “and anyone who knows about the recent critical flaw found in GNUTLS networking”

    Which was discovered only after the discovery of a basically equivalent flaw in the Mac OS networking code made people look for similar flaws elsewhere. So, I guess Apple should have “failed almost immediately” (but also, so much for “many eyes make all bugs shallow”… let’s call that one a draw). No-one – for large scale apps, operating systems, etc. – is capable of writing consistently good code, not on the FOSS development models and not on the corporate ones (which, for the large apps with big corporate backers, are basically identical anyway)

    “because both you and they absolutely have to do it on the terms of the people who wrote the GNU license”

    Entirely fair points about GNU/Stallman aside, there are other licenses available: open source software predates Stallmans involvement entirely with the various “BSD-style” academic licenses, and nowadays the Creative Commons licenses are getting popular too and are usable for software. In practice the GPL is actually interpreted by the courts in a sensible fashion, so regardless of Stallman’s intent it’s safe enough to use too.

    For me the main use case is for community projects, where setting up some sort of international legal entity to own the code for the community would be horribly messy, expensive and error-prone, and an open source license is an easy way to say “this project is owned by its community”.

  20. 20
    gmcard

    Vicar @ disingenuous, incoherent rant 17

    Love Microsoft, love Apple, love Google, love whatever scheming, abusive, profit-obsessed corporate entity you want. Sorry someone somewhere told you to RTFM, but if that was enough to prompt these nasty, rambling screeds against the idea of people contributing code to the common good, well, maybe the FOSS community didn’t want to help someone being a tremendous jackass.

    If the idea of software users having full control over what runs on their machines, of having the right to fix bugs (or hire others to fix bugs) in that software, or to modify it to meet their needs, or to keep it up to date after the original author has moved on, well, don’t GPL your software. And don’t steal code from those who contributed it with the only condition being that you can’t then turnaround and put shackles on your users.

    Or instead you could post deranged manifestos comparing FOSS advocates to Lee Harvey Oswald. Clearly it’s the FOSS advocates who are “insane and evil”.

  21. 21
    gmcard

    PS: [citation needed] on Stallman calling for burger flipping wages. Dah evah googlz turns up zilch. Must be a FOSS conspiracy!

  22. 22
    jste

    A very good github alternative for companies able and willing to run their own server is Gitlab.

    gmcard:
    Read the GNU Manifesto. The GNU Project (And Stallman, who wrote the manifesto) are definitely in favor of programmers being paid lower wages. A brief perusal of his website seems to indicate that he is in support of a minimum wage at least existing, though:

    14 March 2014 (McDonald’s Accused of Stealing Wages)
    McDonald’s Accused of Stealing Wages From Already Underpaid Workers.

    I don’t think the workers would make these things up.

    You shouldn’t eat fast food anyway — it’s made for fasting, not for eating.

    http://stallman.org/archives/2014-jan-apr.html#14_March_2014_(McDonald's_Accused_of_Stealing_Wages)

    28 August 2013 ( Urgent: Action against Walmart’s low wages )
    In the US: support an action on Sep 5 against Walmart’s low wages.

    http://stallman.org/cgi-bin/showpage.cgi?path=/archives/2013-may-aug.html&term=wages&type=norm&case=0

    The Vicar’s rantings don’t seem to have anything to do with Github and its internal harassment issues, if there’s anything relevant in the ranting at all. He’s also describing a very different FOSS community to the one I know and love, despite the sexism issues that seem to bring a never ending tide of idiocy whenever the issue is raised.

  23. 23
    Isaac

    Sad to hear about what happened at GitHub. Any suggestions for a new version control to use? I like git, and since GitHub isn’t required to use git, I’m sure that there are other git hosting services that has better ethics.

    ———————————————————————————–

    As someone who prefers FOSS software and has FOSS for the majority of software on their laptop, I thought I should say a couple of things.

    Go look up “Busybox Lawsuit” on whatever search engine you like (I assume that you won’t use Google, because they have modified Linux for their servers but haven’t let anyone see the modifications),

    IMO, unless you are against copyright and think that it is OK to violate copyright, the lawsuit was perfectly justified. The GPL is a specific copyright license and busybox violated its terms and conditions. I don’t see a problem here.

    or check out some of Stallman’s speeches and interviews (hint: he has said that coding ought not to pay any better than flipping burgers — and he means that as in “programmer wages should fall” not “burger-flipping wages should rise” — but he has no problem whatsoever with companies making vast sums of money with computer programs and paying the management vast salaries;

    Could you do me a favor and link me to this? Also, Stallman does not represent mainstream FOSS opinion. Stallman is an extremist, and if his opinion of programmer wages is what you say it is, then I will openly disagree with what Stallman says. The principles of FOSS state nothing about how programmers should be paid, and this is just Stallman’s personal opinion of programmer salaries. There are some things on which I agree with Stallman, and assuming your representation of his opinion is accurate, this is not one of them. I’m not going to defend Stallman on this particular point.

    he has also admitted that the terms of the license are deliberately vague about what constitutes legitimate reuse without republication in order to permit future lawsuits to force more people reusing their code to publish their own code, even when not related) to see what kind of idiocy FOSS will happily encompass.

    The point of the GPL is that if you use GPL code in your project, you must release the code under the GPL. If you have a problem with this, then don’t use GPL code and don’t release your projects under the GPL. However, as someone who would like to see more source code available, I think that this ambiguity is a strength.

    And as for “empowering users”? Deliberately changing the kernel ABI in an attempt — this was freely admitted by GregKH of the kernel team — to force device manufacturers not to create reliable binary blob drivers actually harms users, and in the name of a bird-brained ideology, at that. Refusing to package free-but-not-open software harms the user. It makes them unable to do things without a lot of spadework first, and not everyone wants to have to learn how to administrate the computer just to (for example) play back a video file.

    Really only a tiny minority of users use the linux-libre kernel. Also, is there any operating system in existence where one doesn’t have to learn basic administration to play back videos? Last time I checked, there is no OS that natively ships with Adobe Flash. In my experience, installing software on Linux and OpenBSD has just as easy, if not easier, than on OS X and Windows. You just search for a package name and install it. This is really no different than searching online for a piece of software, downloading an installer, and using it.

    On any FOSS platform, you might as well not bother testing at all, because the whole combination of decoupled interfaces guarantees that, for example, the user may not have a compatible audio stack, or a compatible video stack, or the right version of an API, or the right settings in their shell, or a hardware driver which can keep up with the necessary level of performance, or whatever.)

    Last time I checked, the majority of distributions use systemd or are switching to it. Everyone uses alsa for audio and the majority of people use pulseaudio with that. FOSS platforms are actually pretty well standardized and the software works incredibly well together.

    Nearly every single FOSS program is a ripoff of some proprietary product, and 99.9% of them are vastly inferior to the thing they’re based on.

    Actually, in my experience, it is the opposite in the majority of cases.

    And as for the command line? Don’t go there. Just don’t. I don’t want to bust a gut laughing; those things are terrible. Uniformly and universally. The POSIX standard is a bad joke foisted on us by people who think that technology should have stopped progressing in 1970.

    I am finding it incredibly hard to not laugh at this. The command line has dramatically increased my productivity, and this happened back when I still used Apple computers to get work done. I understand why some people don’t like it, as one of my better friends in the astronomy department at my school loudly disagrees with me on the command line, but unix-like command line interfaces are incredibly powerful tools. In fact, if I couldn’t use Linux anymore, I would switch to OS X with no hesitation despite its garbage GUI, because of the POSIX command line.

    And, of course, the quality is so much higher than proprietary systems, and anyone who knows about the recent critical flaw found in GNUTLS networking, used in vast quantities of FOSS-advocate-chosen networking hardware, or the old critical flaw found in Debian’s SSL code, used by a massive number of Linux distros, or the fact that Red Hat was shipping a broken version of Perl for years, etc. ad infinitum, should just shut up to further the cause!

    Given that proprietary companies typically don’t release their mailing lists, we, as in the general public, simply do not and cannot know if the same things are happening within proprietary software. Personally, I’ll take FOSS over proprietary in these cases because I prefer this type of transparency. There are no justifications for buggy software, but it is preferable IMO to announce publicly when you have fucked up in a major way than to keep that information secret.

    If a proprietary company produced code of the quality of the average Linux distribution, it would fail almost immediately. The only thing which keeps Linux going is that it is free-as-in-beer, and even then it hasn’t made any headway on the desktop, where people actually have to interact with computers instead of shutting them up in a closet to run unattended.

    Actually, Linux keeps going because it receives a shitload of funding from a variety of companies. It has a noticable share in the server and mobile markets, and it dominates the supercomputer market. The main reason why it isn’t making headway on the desktop is because it doesn’t come preinstalled on most consumer machines. Most people don’t know how or don’t want to manually install an operating system on the computers they use, no matter how simplified the installers get.

    No, FOSS culture is broken, and it’s broken largely because the sort of person who becomes a FOSS advocate is usually a sort of proto-Libertarian, with all that that entails in terms of “I’m okay, you can drop dead”. It’s just that in FOSS terms, that translates into “Works for me, bug closed WONTFIX” and “Okay maybe the code doesn’t do what it should, but it’s your job to code a patch, not ours”. Heck, the justification for telling people that they should have to learn to code in order to use a computer at all shares the Randian “Intellectual Bonus” ideal.

    There are legitimate criticisms of FOSS culture, such as the fact that it is mainly white males, and I find the complete lack of underrepresentation of minorities in FOSS to be be a bad thing. I don’t think that the criticism of FOSS culture as being “proto-libertarian” is valid criticism. I wouldn’t expect someome who holds libertarian ideals to be FOSS advocates, since they would think that software companies shouldn’t have heavy regulations and enforcements on how source code is released. Instances like the “busybox lawsuit” doesn’t seem very libertarian to me, and that’s a good thing, because libertarianism is a shit ideology. Also, the “Works for me, bug closed WONTFIX” climate that you attribute to FOSS is simply false:
    http://isapapers.pitt.edu/49/
    http://www.slideshare.net/dvanliere/how-shallow-is-a-bug-how-open-source-communities-help-fix-bugs
    http://sail.cs.queensu.ca/publications/pubs/promise2011_marks.pdf

    Personally, if someone told me that code I wrote had a bug, in theory, I would want to figure out where and why the code is wrong and fix it as soon as I can, provided I actually have time to do it. With a few notable exceptions, the FOSS software that I use is incredibly stable and well-put-together.

    Heck, the justification for telling people that they should have to learn to code in order to use a computer at all shares the Randian “Intellectual Bonus” ideal.

    I am personally against that viewpoint, and I am happy to see distributions like Ubuntu or Mint in existence that are usable and functional for non-programmers. We need more of that.

  24. 24
    Isaac

    I’m sure that there are other git hosting services that has better ethics.

    Should be “have,” not “has.” I am kind of tired today.

  25. 25
    Isaac

    He’s also describing a very different FOSS community to the one I know and love, despite the sexism issues that seem to bring a never ending tide of idiocy whenever the issue is raised.

    This is a very succinct way of describing vicar’s apparent views on FOSS. :)

  26. 26
    jste

    I already mentioned gitlab, but I should also throw in bitbucket as a viable alternative, as it is a hosted service similar to github. I can’t comment on the internal politics or policies of either, but they’re the best alternatives I’m aware of.

  27. 27
    Isaac

    Gitlab seems nice, but my access to the main servers I use for school/research is finite, so I guess it is out. I’ll have to look into bitbucket and try to move code I have written over their during spring break. Thanks!

  28. 28
    billforsternz

    Yes the Hertz/Avis like for like alternative to github is bitbucket, which is an Australian company. In fact bitbucket has a couple of big advantages over github, they allow a choice of distributed version control systems (git or mercurial) and very significantly you can have private repositories even in free accounts.

  29. 29
    billforsternz

    For a thorough and very civilized (by internet standards) discussion on this issue see;

    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7408055

    As a long term user of Hacker News I don’t recall ever seeing a story with more comments.

  30. 30
    nutella

    GitHub responded here about half an hour ago.

    Sounds good. I hope Chris is serious about investigating and dealing with the issues.

  31. 31
    Isaac

    I was going to give github a week or two to sort things out before I made a decision about leaving and going to Bitbucket. Then, I read this. Well, my choice to move to Bitbucket seems pretty final.

  32. 32
    DrMcCoy

    cim, #19:

    nowadays the Creative Commons licenses are getting popular too and are usable for software

    I am not a lawyer, but by my understanding, only CC0 is useable for software, since it’s a kind of “I relinquish every ownership and copyright I’m able to” license. The other licenses that add restrictions can’t properly enforce them for software, because they don’t mention the binaries produced from the source code.

    Of course, there’s still a myriad of other licenses to choose from.

  33. 33
    barbaz

    So, I understand that as a fast growing company, its sometimes hard to keep the wrong people out. Not all of them have “sexist bigot” tattooed to their forehead.
    The blogpost by Chris looks good and I don’t have the nerve right now to move my projects, so I’ll wait how this develops.

    But now back to topic: that Vicar guy, what’s his deal? He probably wasted more time writing these comments than I ever wasted on not-working FOS software. Dude, get a life! If you hate FOSS so much, don’t use it.

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