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Thread: GitHub and US trade controls

  1. #1
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    Last edited by Sportman; 29th July 2019 at 22:30.

  2. #2
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    Interestingly...
    1) I've never seen not even a single dev from Iran or North Korea. As far as I know people of North Korea are mostly denied access to global Internet. At which point I fail to imagine how they could contribute to modern sofrware development, to begin with. If there is nothing to lose, there is nothing to worry about, right? Uhm, well, totalitarian governments put self in a trap here, virtually sabotaging modern approaches in high-tech areas. But it's not Github to blame.
    2) More or less advanced China devs can eventually access github. Their life is hard: Great China Firewall being on the way, censoring communications. Eventually denying access to Github. Also, China police seems to be rather active on github, I've seen few projects removed by their request. But it only works if someone specified they're from china and so github have to enforce chinese laws on them, so ton of devs all around globe quickly forked removed projects, and china police does not haves authority over many of them. So censorship efforts tend to be jeopardized by swarms of angered devs all around the globe. Interestingly, hardships bring interesting fruits. Chinese VPN/proxy/other advanced networking software are masterpiece, beating easy-to-detect-and-block "western" software to dust. Sometimes it even can communicate quite reliably over rather shitty connections and so on, using unorthodox tricks to improve overall experience.
    3) Nobody forces people to use Github. They only use it because it convenient, free of charge and there're ton of devs & related ppl around, it improves chance project would get some attention from "outsiders". Git on its own is really neutral to how you do development. You can even exchange commits using floppy disks, if you prefer it this way. However you're supposed to have team that is willing to do it this way, otherwise cooperation wouldn't happen.
    4) Feel free to compete with guthub if you think you can do it better than that. But, realistically, I'll have a problem naming competitor. Maybe Gitlab, but its user interface is awkward and it more like some corporate groupware crapware rather than tool to work with source.

    ...and if someone wants real reasons to worry about Github, here is one. It's bought by MS!!! So...
    1) NSA could and would spy on it sure, getting access to stockpiles of data. Though if they really curious they can obtain comparable data by other means, just takes more efforts than (ab)using some "hub" to do that.
    2) Privacy policy would deteriorate over time for mentioned reason. Say, you already can't register on GH using Tor. Sure, there're countless ways around - but it raises bar a bit.
    3) M$ historically considered opensource as kind of "free lunch". So they can try to police e.g. software licensing - they are known to dislike GPL/LGPL, where license demands to share improvements rather than just get away with free lunch. So after being bought by MS, GH faced quite an exodus by opensource projects who do care about this aspect. But they mostly gone gitlab and it feelis like downgrade. I'd say it kinda "emergency" measure to get rid of such and unpleasant neighborhood as MS, but it got its price.

    But so far its hard to imagine decent competitor to Github. They have nice and clean UI, all about source, everything else is secondary. Great idea, reasonable implementation. No other services came close.

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