While at SCaLE 9x this last weekend I went to a talk on “Behind the Scenes of Google Code Project Hosting”. I had previously just discovered InDefero, a project that started out as using a similar user interface but is radically different.
What I’ve always found very untrustworthy about Google Code Project Hosting, is that it is a proprietary based web service hosting open source software. They have two feelings for the same thing. He who can destroy a thing, can control a thing. Their hosting may affect your on more on a subconscious level than many may realize. You think we’ll ever see Bigtable or GFS (Google Filesystem) on their own code hosting? Google Code is built on top of Google’s proprietary database and filesystem, so even if they decided to make the project free software, there wouldn’t be a point because nobody could run it since it depends on those technologies, they would have to free their whole base. Which would be nearly impossible to do considering there might not be a community there to support it, that takes time.
At the end of the talk, someone asked the question if they were planning on supporting other version control systems. Which brought us to the ticket list of their project hosting which features at the top of the list as most requested feature being support for Git. The speaker from Google said he wasn’t allowed to state if they intended to support it.
InDefero supports Git, is free software, has a hosted service, there is no vendor lock-in, and you pay for your service like any other web host, and it’s actively developed. I see no reason to use Google Project Hosting unless it is for Google specific projects like Chrome or Android. The world needs more companies like Google, but less ambivalent towards free software, less quantitative, more qualitative, and moving together via the cooperative superpower of free software.
Let’s put our feet down and start running? Yes!