Reviewers: the post was edited, now it asks for the most important selection parameters and not for a list.

Now that Microsoft bought Github, I think programmers and coders favorizing software freedom and a better world © ® ™ have a reason to switch their code sharing provider.

The question is, where.

Actually, having a git server is not a very big service, what the important was in the GitHub, the many possibilities to publish and share the code with others.

On which parameters should I watch, if I looking for a code hosting & sharing provider, and the software freedom is an important thing for me?

  • 2
    "Actually, having a git server is not a very big service" - I think to many open source projects, Github (and a few similar sites like it) are more than merely the Git server. It is usually the management of code in one or more (Git or otherwise) VCS repositories plus an issue tracker and possibly other organisational and presentation-related tools (think documentation wiki, file releases, etc.) plus a management system for associating user accounts with projects in such a way that the associated users can use some or all of the aforementioned facilities in the given project that counts. Jun 9 '18 at 20:44
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    At first glance, this looks like a recommendation question (and indeed, maybe it is) which aren't well-suited to the Stack Exchange format. However, I think there might be an opportunity for an answer to point to the FSF's criteria for repositories, and talk about network effect in general, which would be on-topic and helpful. This would require a few edits to the question, though.
    – apsillers
    Jun 10 '18 at 0:57
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    You know what would be a better world? One where amazing free services such as GitHub continue to be provided because their companies don't go bankrupt because they're well managed and integrated into development services which for-profit companies are willing to pay for. The FUD around all of this is ridiculous. Jun 10 '18 at 11:38
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    @Peterh There's a difference between being unprofitable and being bankrupt, but one leads to the other. Jun 10 '18 at 13:20
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    Sorry dude, but you sound severely delusional. Jun 18 '18 at 14:24

This answer was motivated by @apsillers 's hint about the GNU's ethical repository criteria. They have also a list of criteria what seem not important for a simply cloud user (for example, the freedom of their javascript sources), but they are important for the second spot.

The criteria has a little bit of obvious influence from the side of the GNU (for example, saying "GNU/Linux" instead "Linux" is a positive thing by them - my opinion is, doing this is fair to the GNU, but has not too much to do with the freedom of a source hosting service).

The important thing to know, there no such thing as "The Free1 Source Hosting/Sharing Provider".

There is a set of possible candidates, and your choice should depend also on the actual project.

https://savannah.gnu.org seems very useful for "orthodox" software freedom projects. They check all their projects before inclusion and only really free projects can go there.

Semi-business projects could go for https://bitbucket.org . This is in the F, ("unacceptable") category at the FSF, however there is a strong argument for it, that it is the second largest free source hosting next to github. I found a significant disadvantage that it is painfully slow.

A smaller, but much faster free source hosting alternative is the https://gitlab.com/. It gives exactly the same quick and perfect github feeling, except that even its frontend is opensource (a RoR app). People coming from the github will find it probably the best one.

Typically, most Linux distros have some source hosting for their packaging, packages could go into there. (Like https://alioth.debian.org )

For Ubuntu packages, there is also the https://launchpad.net , although it is more like a package builder and ppa site than a git source hosting.

1 Both as beer and freedom.

  • 1
    "Little bit of FSF leanings" in the GNU guidelines is quite the understatement...
    – vonbrand
    Jul 9 '18 at 17:47

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