I Am Using GitHub Under Protest

Also posted to dev.to.

Github’s decision to sponsor me is so recent that I haven’t been able to cash out the $550 payment yet.

In spite of that, I can’t leave the platform fast enough. I certainly do not have the spare-time to move hundreds of projects to a new home… but I’m getting started.

GitHub is a proprietary, trade-secret system that is not Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). I am deeply concerned about using a proprietary system like GitHub to develop FOSS projects.

Micro Issues

  1. A recent proposal to extend Github-flavored Markdown (ref)
  2. More than 2 years of ignoring requests to add an important feature (allow-failure) to Github Actions (ref, ref). When not ignoring, Github is completely misunderstanding the feature. How are those building Github Actions so deeply unfamiliar with core features of competing CI platforms.
  3. Latest iteration of Achievements was bad.
  4. Microsoft (parent of Github) has decided to ban commercial open source apps from their app store.

Macro Issues

For a broad perspective on the practical issues, I can’t make the argument any better than it was in 2010, and recently by Software Freedom Conservancy, here and here. Github has crossed the Rubicon.

Logo of the GiveUpGitHub campaign
For those who've never heard of the Software Freedom Conservancy, member projects include: Backdrop CMS, Coreboot, Darcs, git (yes, the git in Github), Inkscape, MicroBlocks, Mercurial, OpenWRT, phpMyAdmin, QEMU, Samba, Selenium, Squeak and Wine, among others.

What about community?

I am interested in people’s thoughts on where to go next. Community involvement matters for open source projects, and I have dozens of them that could be affected, the biggest being oauth and oauth2 Ruby gems.

Regarding fragmentation, hopefully it will be resolved by federation, which is to source forges (like Github) what git was to version control (i.e. makes it distributed, at least in theory).

It looks like Gitea, Codeberg and Hostea will join the fediverse soon, within a year, and there are projects that will integrate Github with the fediverse as well (i.e. federate Github commits, PRs, issues, etc).


  • Have any major Ruby projects already left?
  • Anyone have experience with mirroring to multiple git hosts, as that might be a temp bridge solution?
  • Self-hosting a git service?
  • Thoughts on the centralized git hosting providers recommended by SF Conservancy?


Where to take projects (e.g oauth2)?