[OSGeo-Discuss] OSGeo guidelines for code hosting ?

Angelos Tzotsos gcpp.kalxas at gmail.com
Sun Oct 18 03:34:57 PDT 2015

Hi Andreas,

There is already an OSGeo account on GitHub, managed by SAC members:

This discussion started 6 months ago on IRC, during the OSGeoLive 
transition to Git.
Since there was no git.osgeo.org setup at the time, we decided to 
temporarily host OSGeoLive git repository there, waiting for an official 
OSGeo hosting option. We are still using OSGeo Trac as a ticketing system.

I see the benefits that Andrea mentioned, and I believe that even if the 
official OSGeoLive copy moves back to OSGeo infrastructure, we will 
probably keep a copy on GitHub for project visibility and for accepting 
pull requests... Lets keep in mind that Linux kernel project is doing 
exactly the same: they host the kernel code under kernel.org and have a 
copy on GitHub as a backup. Actually this kept the kernel work going, 
when kernel.org faced some serious downtime 4 years ago:


It is true that GitHub is not Free Software, so IMO we should not be 
depending on it. I see the ethical issues that arise from using a non 
Free provider and it is not the only case in our ecosystem eg. Transifex 
used to be Free Software and it is not anymore:



On 10/18/2015 10:07 AM, Andreas Hocevar wrote:
> Very well said Andrea, and I can back this up with very similar experiences from when the OpenLayers project moved to Github.
> That said, if OSGeo considers setting up a Git infrastructure, please keep an alternative in mind: pay for an OSGeo Github account for projects that want to use Git. Will burn some money, but won't burn out volunteers who have to keep OSGeo's own infrastructure up and running. See https://github.com/locationtech as an example.
> Andreas.
>> On 18 Oct 2015, at 08:41, Andrea Aime <andrea.aime at geo-solutions.it> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> just wanted to chime in saying that if OSGeo starts setting said guidelines,
>> it should also have some benefits comparison so that projects can
>> see what they might not get by avoiding Github.
>> In particular, looking at GeoServer experience from the switch, it's rather
>> evident we got more people contributing right the moment we did the
>> switch, here is the contributors per month diagram, the red line
>> is the date we switched from svn to GitHub:
>> <Selezione_095.png>
>> Most of this is due to two factors:
>> - availability of pull requests (which I believe you can get with other tools too)
>> - critical mass on the platform (which arguably you will not get an a OsGeo hosting)
>> There is however a downside of that, most of these contributions are "one time gigs",
>> people help addressing the particular pitfall concerning them and then they move on:
>> github did not change the number of core developers, it just increased a lot the
>> number of other contributors.
>> There is another benefit of moving to Github, which is build checks on pull requests,
>> we now have Travis (Linux, OSX) building all pull requests and running the test suite against
>> them, so we instantly know if the change breaks tests or not, and we planning on adding
>> test coverage checks (Coveralls, already used by OpenLayers for example) and Windows builds
>> (already used by MapServer for example).
>> This kind of automation is also rather beneficial to filter our bad contributions... which is
>> the dark side of lower contribution barrier, core devs have to spend quite some time evaluating
>> pull requests... but ending up with a long queue of them gives a bad impression about the project
>> openness. So yeah, another bit to consider I guess, is the project ready to take on them?
>> So.... I'm not saying "everybody move to github" but I believe the above should be
>> part of the many considerations made when evaluating a move to a different version control.
>> Cheers
>> Andrea
>> -- 
>> ==
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>> ==
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Angelos Tzotsos, PhD
OSGeo Charter Member

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