Info/questions about Tools

I was reading today about Github being acquired by Microsoft and started thinking about potential consequences for the info we (and others) are sharing or working on here. And that made me think if it might be useful to have a category about the tools we are using, to share problems/solutions we might have to news like this one.
If you think this info can be shared better in the Social Chatter or other category, I’m completely in!


I’m following this acquisition as closely as I can and reactions to it by various communities. I appreciate Alison’s response today during the group chat in the presentation. I trust her judgment completely.


thanks @lucedeira for starting this thread and @james3neal for the vote of confidence. :smile:

I’m gonna share some resources about the new MS-Github acquisition so that everyone can get a sense of how it’s being discussed in the privacy/infosec/hacker world.

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oh and I also created the new category “technology” and added this thread to it.

Okay, a few perspectives:

Background on the acquisition and what Github is:

“this is mostly good or at least not mostly bad for Github”

A little bit about how developers are moving to Gitlab in light of the acquisition news, with further links to comment threads about why they’re upset:

Someone made a little game about what Github will look like under MS :joy:

I’m trying to find a piece that covers what I see as the larger issue: Github, by basically taking over Git, is already really centralized. Microsoft’s acquisition is making that only marginally worse, in my opinion.

We’ll talk more about centralization throughout the course, especially in the week where we talk about the world of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Here’s the best primer I could find on decentralization (everything else I see is about the blockchain or libertarianism): This piece is mostly about Mozilla’s strategy/brand, but it covers a lot of why decentralization is good for the internet.

Gitlab, Github’s main competitor, is still small and “independent” (that is to say entirely reliant on venture capital). Migrating there would be fairly easy, should we so desire:

Thanks for posting all this.
When you mentioned centralization of the internet, my first thought went back to the one-login change in Google/Alphabet in mid-2000s. That changed I think was a gold mind of data for Alphabet and at the same time showed the many different arms that they were bringing together. I remember being very troubled by it, It really revealed the clash between privacy/surveillance issues and the discourse of convenience: there’s one policy that rules us all and the company can know you better therefore support your daily life better. But at the time I could not see a discussion about how data policies for Google Maps, Gmail, or Youtube might need to be different or given an option to opt-out, it was all or nothing. And in the end that discourse of convenience I think is one that is important to disrupt, but it is also rather hard to do.

I was disappointed to learn MS had acquired Github. One way to frame it: MS will shortly control a large portion of all software development. From a corporate intelligence perspective, what is to stop MS from inspecting all the code private projects? If MS does implement changes users don’t like it could be an opportunity for decentralization with competitors / alternatives being created; e.g., Gitlab.