[License-discuss] code hosting (was Re: Evolving the License Review process for OSI)

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Jun 10 21:51:16 UTC 2019

Quoting Thorsten Glaser (tg at mirbsd.de):

> I will not use the Debian-provided Gitlab even for Debian packages
> if I can avoid it, both because I’m <insert four-letter word here/>
> by their badly coordinated move and because of its proprietaryness.

Anyone's GitLab is also (IMVAO) grossly overengineered.  From my own
Operations / sysadmin perspective, I regard anyone who relies on a
monstrosity like GitLab as naive about software history and/or drunk on
long feature lists - or, alternatively, inexplicably driven by unclear
motives to abandon the likes of FusionForge (as Debian did[1]) for
GitLab bloatware before the emergence of saner-scoped and
better-designed alternatives such as Gogs and Gitea.


As with Discourse, the bad news about GitLab (from the point of view of
software architecture) starts with Ruby on Rails.  Have you actually run
Ruby on Rails for anything significant?  You quickly find out that RoR
is (a) very brittle[2], (b) unbelievably slow and resource-hungry, and
(c) unscalable.

And, as if RoR weren't enough of an albatross, GitLab plonks on top of
that a second heavy layer of JavaScript using the Vue.js library,
exactly as Discourse does with Ember.js.

The result in both cases is _theoretically_ open source (well, open
core in GitLab CE's case), but you'd be a masochist to actually run
them, and even the portability of data they host is doubtful.

But hey, if you're, let's say, a lawyer and not a sysadmin or coder,
they look 'smart'.  And you can just outsource, making the
overengineering and consequent headaches Somebody Else's Problem.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alioth_(Debian).  FusionForge 
is the surviving open-source fork of the SourceForge architecture 
invented by the late Tim Perdue and colleagues at my then-firm VA Linux
Systems, back when it still supporte open source.  Like you, I'm
perplexed that Debian Project EOLed its perfectly adequate Alioth site
for, of all things, GitLab CE.  They must hate their Operations team.

[2] There's an entire consulting industry devoted to fixing RoR 
glitches and failures that shouldn't even exist in the first place.

More information about the License-discuss mailing list