Don't Forget to Plant It!

Github: Sourceforge 2.0?

While I sitting through Jesse’s git presentation during the atlrug meetup last week, I migrated my Beast Plugins from my own Subversion repository to github.

One thing in Jesse’s presentation that I didn’t necessarily agree with is that github is characterized as the MySpace for hackers. That’s not exactly accurate - it understates the tangible value of github. At the end of the day, MySpace only really provides an emotional value, whereas github provides very real and measurable benefits. In that sense, it is more like the delicious for hackers.

What I like about github is how it has taken the open source model to a social source model. While current open source made the source public accessible, contributing to the source was still a pretty closed model. Submitting patches to projects required using an obscure patching utility and was managed by some centralized authority that could reject your patches. With github that changes - submitting patches is as easy as clicking a link, and if original maintainer doesn’t want to incorporate your changes, you can fork their code while still keeping your fork up to date with the original. This allows everyone to have their voice, and not force users to have to be accepted in order to be heard. While this might seem a little chaotic - you could possibly have hundreds forks of a project - it does create a model that is more organic and Darwin-esque, which will only make the final product stronger.

While I still have some concerns about git itself (the different vocabulary, how applicable it is to the enterprise), I definitely see it as being a catalyst for the next generation open source.