GitHub Buy Out?

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jxself
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se unió: 09/13/2010

I'm not sure if this [0] is still part of the Embrace [1] phase? Or, since GitHub already went through the Extend phase themselves by getting people to move their workflows from free software into a combination of free and proprietary, are we moving into the Extend phase of Microsoft's plan?

[0] http://www.businessinsider.com/2-billion-startup-github-could-be-for-sale-microsoft-2018-5
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend,_and_extinguish

jxself
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se unió: 09/13/2010

I suppose one thing that Microsoft could do, if this happens, would be to make GitHub accounts full on Microsoft accounts with access the Windows Development Center. And then start saying "Hey look how easy it is to develop your apps for Windows" (especially with the GNU/Linux compatibility layer in Windows 10.)

loldier
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se unió: 02/17/2016

They are consistent, trying to get developers back on their platform even if it takes a lot of lip service to go through hoops around FLOSS and the community.

Is it a big deal if GitHub goes? Git and Mercurial are free software, so the service can be forked easily, I presume. I'm not a developer of course, so if I'm wrong , please say so.

I'm always a bit suspicious of their intentions. Many people will happily say that MS is not what they once were -- predatory. But I'm not sure.

From MS point of view, I'm surprised they haven't rolled out their own desktop distro (they kind of have Azure Sphere OS). If I were MS, I would go whole-hog and dual boot on MS hardware by default. I would buy Canonical and the Ubuntu brand.

jxself
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se unió: 09/13/2010

"Git and Mercurial are free software, so the service can be forked easily"

GitHub has never shared the software that makes their service run. That remains proprietary.

loldier
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se unió: 02/17/2016

I see, then GNU Savannah?

https://savannah.gnu.org/

jxself
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se unió: 09/13/2010

Maybe but my intention in starting this thread wasn't to talk of what people could use instead but about the ongoing EEE activities.

xdknight
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se unió: 05/31/2017

Are alternatives already existent for GIT bases projects, instead of Github?
100% percent sure that Microsoft will desecrate and pervert GitHub, If this happens I will delete my GitHub account.

jxself
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se unió: 09/13/2010

Self hosting will always be the best option. Sadly it seems people keep pushing back on this but it's true.

But my intention in starting this thread wasn't to talk of what people could use instead but about the ongoing EEE activities.

gd_scania
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se unió: 09/13/2017

Take a look for GNU+Savannah, SourceForge, BitBucket, GitLab.
I always think GitHub to be nonfree (always software freedom clueless), so I don’t trust GitHub to host my projects, as acquired under m$ just makes GitHub to be more violated against software freedom.
That’s best to begin hosting your Git repo using SourceForge and GitLab, where Uruk and Dragora are hosted at SourceForge, and Devuan is hosted at GitLab. Another GNU projects like Parabola, Trisquel, GuixSD, Parabola’s Git repo are self-hosted and GuixSD’s ones are hosted at GNU+Savannah. :)

loldier
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se unió: 02/17/2016

Well, there you are.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/06/microsoft-snaps-up-github-for-7-5-billion/

Microsoft says that it will retain GitHub's status as an "open platform," being free to use for open source projects and agnostic towards programming languages as well as development tools. The company also says that it will beef up GitHub's paid enterprise side by using its own sales and partner channels to sell GitHub's services.

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chaosmonk

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se unió: 07/07/2017

Ugh.

Adrian Malacoda

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se unió: 12/26/2010

I'd argue that "open source" already EEE'd free software. Especially since the proprietary software industry has adapted to make use of the open source development model. Now we have things such as Android which while built on "open source" are in practice "extended" with proprietary software and delivered to locked-down devices which the user cannot modify.

It was the founder of GitHub who in 2011 suggested to "Open Source Almost Everything[0]" - "almost everything" being things that "don't represent core business value."

Also brings to mind the "close" comment on Ubuntu bug #1[1]... something something Android... something something cloud... oh and we're BFF's with Microsoft now!

[0] http://tom.preston-werner.com/2011/11/22/open-source-everything.html

[1] https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/1/comments/1834

chaosmonk

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se unió: 07/07/2017

From the first link:

"Lastly, [open sourcing is] the right thing to do."

and then one paragraph later

"Don’t open source anything that represents core business value."

Together this translates to "Only do the right thing when doing the wrong thing won't make you richer."

GrevenGull
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se unió: 12/18/2017

lol

ADFENO
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se unió: 12/31/2012

This "Open source almost everything" was ironically said by someone who runs a successful business that depends mainly on a GPL'd program. :D

I'm of course talking about the people who own GitHub organization, which depends on clients using Git and GitHub repositories to be known. At the same time, Git is GPL'd.

gd_scania
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se unió: 09/13/2017

When I was new come to this forum at last fall I’ve also asked for what are missing against the term ‘open source’.
‘Open source’ is definitely a pathetic word for me, where they never emphasize freedom aspects, but just emphasize how to develop. Ubuntu is here a negative example but is even more voilated against software freedom than m$, where Ubuntu uses free software core to do things against free software, but m$ just depends on nothing free.

chaosmonk

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se unió: 07/07/2017

https://blog.github.com/2018-06-04-github-microsoft/

"What hasn't changed, however, is our focus on the developer. From the beginning, we have been obsessed with building a product for the people using it. We want to make developers more productive and we want more people to become developers. From 'Code to Cloud and Code to Edge', GitHub’s mission is to help every developer—regardless of experience level—learn, code, and ship software effectively."

This is a good example of what's wrong with the "open source" mentality. The only concern is whether or not an open source development model increases efficiency for developers, not whether these developers' actions will help or harm users.

J.B. Nicholson-Owens
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se unió: 06/09/2014

It's not clear to me what additional harm a change in GitHub ownership
means for its users. I'm not sure these changes will be known for some
time; Microsoft took ownership of GitHub very recently.

Well prior to acquisition by Microsoft, GitHub earned a failing grade by
the GNU Project's Ethical Repository Criteria (see
https://www.gnu.org/software/repo-criteria-evaluation.html#GitHub for
details). GitHub services used in the way a typical web browsing user would
use them meant running nonfree software and GitHub discriminated against
users from certain countries.

jxself
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se unió: 09/13/2010

Precisely: GitHub was bad and will continue to be going forward, which is why this thread wasn't intended to be a commentary on that particular topic (nor on the other topic of alternatives that's been brought up) but a discussion of Microsoft's ongoing EEE activities of which I believe this to be a part.

Although their EEE activities will surely harm us in the long term so there is some overlap there but I believe it will be more complicated. But with various factors in play their EEE activities will surely play a role (but as I say it's complicated so it'll be by no means the primary causal factor) in the impending software freedom dark ages that bkuhn has talked about in his talks. Just like the Titanic, there will be a number of things that play a role in the eventual disaster.

onpon4
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se unió: 05/30/2012

Honestly, I'm not so sure Microsoft has done any EEE since 2001. They've done bad stuff for sure (like the whole OOXML debacle), but not all bad stuff Microsoft does is EEE. It's a machine for producing profit, not one particular kind of scheme.

In the case of GitHub, I'm sure the buy-out is for the same reason that they bought Minecraft: because they think they can make a profit from it. And they're probably right.

In any case, what's the worst Microsoft could really do? Git is copylefted, so they can't start requiring a proprietary version of Git. I suppose they could extend the Web interface to do things Git should be doing, but GitHub was already doing that anyway, so no change here.

jxself
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se unió: 09/13/2010

Please don't think this. Nothing has changed. What's going on is only their Embrace-Extend-Extinguish strategy. We seem to currently be in the embrace phase.

Others include:
GNU/Windows
https://mariadb.org/microsoft-joins-mariadb-foundation/
https://opensource.org/node/901
And more.

It's important to recognize it for what it is and not think that they've had a change of heart. Otherwise you may get caught up in their EEE process. Shields up!

onpon4
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se unió: 05/30/2012

I think you have a false dichotomy in mind. Just because Microsoft has an ulterior motive doesn't mean that ulterior motive has anything to do with EEE. EEE is a very specific strategy for eliminating open standards and propping up proprietary standards.

Microsoft is a profit-driven company, so of course it's still the same at its core. But that doesn't at all imply that its strategy is unchanged in the course of two decades. From then until now, we've had all sorts of changes to the market: the dot-com bubble burst, the rise of user data mining as a business, pretty much everything Google does now, the rise of PC gaming... so much has changed between the late 1990s and now, why would you presume Microsoft is doing the exact same thing and not going the way Toys R Us went recently?

So this is how I think of it: what is Microsoft's motivation for acquiring GitHub?

Surely not "extinguishing" GitHub. Why would Microsoft buy something they're just going to destroy? Especially considering Microsoft doesn't run a competitor to GitHub, this would make no sense.

Surely not "extinguishing" Git. Microsoft doesn't sell some kind of proprietary version control system, so what benefit could there be to Microsoft in doing that?

I think the likely explanation is simply that Microsoft sees GitHub's business model as lucrative or potentially lucrative. Just like Minecraft.

jxself
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se unió: 09/13/2010

"EEE is a very specific strategy for eliminating open standards and propping up proprietary standards."

That is not the only context in which it can be used. The target isn't a particular being of software but free software (they'll call it open source of course) itself.

Don't forget that this is the company being talked about:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YExl9ojclo

"...imagine a party which wants to eliminate free software's freedom or, at least, hobble its developers in serious ways..."

This is something they've been working on for years via various methods/tactics/whatever you want to call them. The patent tactic he talks of is just one.

In this case the effort is trying to win over developers and convert them to the Microsoft Way rather than profit.

Prediction: GitHub will become part of Azure, heavily integrated into Visual Studio, and will fade away as a name.
Reference: "We will accelerate enterprise developers' use of GitHub, with our direct sales and partner channels and access to Microsoft's global cloud infrastructure and services" and we will "bring Microsoft’s developer tools and services to new audiences."
Further evidence: Once the acquisition closes later this year, GitHub will be led by CEO Nat Friedman, an "open source" veteran and founder of Xamarin, who will continue to report to Microsoft Cloud...

loldier
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se unió: 02/17/2016

This subject, EEE, has been taken up several times in the Ars comments of the article I linked to. All EEE comments are downvoted. The public doesn't believe EEE is a real strategy anymore. They think that MS has to co-operate and contribute to be successful or even relevant.

ADFENO
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se unió: 12/31/2012

I would also like to add the possibility that MS is actually trying to do EEE against Git, not GitHub.

Besides, for those trying to understand what Moglen says, look for the term "tragedy of the anticommons". We try to fight this tragedy here in the movement, precisely because this mess affects non-rival non-excludable goods (public goods, in the economics sense, not public administration/management) generated from knowledge and information (two common goods).

J.B. Nicholson-Owens
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se unió: 06/09/2014

name at domain wrote:
> I would also like to add the possibility that MS is actually trying to do
> EEE against Git, not GitHub.

If that's so (and I wouldn't put it past them) they'll only succeed to the
extent they get cooperation. They can't monopolize Git alone.

That's what so different between the divergent philosophies of the free
software movement and the open source development methodology. Open source
was designed to be disposable in the face of powerful, reliable,
proprietary software. Free software argues why one should prefer to improve
free software rather than trade away one's software freedom for convenience
even in the face of powerful, reliable, proprietary software. I think
that's one of the points in
https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html in the
section called "Different Values Can Lead to Similar Conclusions…but Not
Always".

onpon4
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se unió: 05/30/2012

Based on your clarification below (that you're talking about GitHub supplementing Git in ways that other Git hosts can't), GitHub was already doing that, so it's unrelated to Microsoft buying GitHub.

But this isn't EEE. EEE would be developing a proprietary program that uses Git's API, then adding crap to the proprietary program and GitHub so that Git fails to work properly with it.

freemedia
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se unió: 09/14/2018

eee is a three stage strategy. i will try to show why jxself has good cause to call this eee, even though it seems different (the strategy is the same)

e1: take something that belongs to everyone (code repos, python, the web)
e2: make it "yours too" (github aquisition, ironpython, activex)
e3: make it yours only/on your terms only (azure?)

eee doesnt always work, and the individual stages (or which stage we are on) arent as important as the fact that the goal is to make free things into monopolistic things, and the pattern is to make free things into monopolistic things, and its much harder to do this with free software...

but the pattern is always there in what monopolies do. monopolies arent about money, theyre about control. they will throw away money to get control, because once the have control they can make people give them money because (up to a ridiculous point) its harder to get out once youre in.

the real idea of eee is to create lock-in where none exists yet. as for why self-hosting is better, self-hosting is 100% immune to this. all other hosting is (at best) highly immune. savannah exists as long as the fsf (and the board of the fsf) considers it of value, so thats highly immune as long as the fsf has money and savannah works.

Magic Banana

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se unió: 07/24/2010

eee doesnt always work, and the individual stages (or which stage we are on) arent as important as the fact that the goal is to make free things into monopolistic things, and the pattern is to make free things into monopolistic things, and its much harder to do this with free software...

Especially with copylefted software.

freemedia
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se unió: 09/14/2018

while i wouldnt dispute the value of copyleft, when i said "its much harder to do this with free software" i was thinking of gnu/linux and the present threats to it-- not threats outside the gnu/linux ecosystem, only the ones within. the ones we cant solve by simply using gnu/linux. i got rid of my last windows installation in 2007 and ive used some variety of gnu/linux (including trisquel) ever since.

the kernel is copylefted software, and we know that tivoisation (addressed by gpl3) can happen to that. we know android and chromebooks can happen to that. and those of us who consider init freedom important know what can happen to that, but the truth is that eee (at least the first two of those) can happen to copylefted software as well.

the halloween documents are not historical, they are the plan, they were never abandoned. they describe the present just as well as the past. sure, weve seen a huge change in rhetoric (marketing) from redmond, but all i think that signifies is the enemy finally putting serious boots on our soil. i dont mean to make anything sound bleak, but its at least serious. if the users freedom is priority 1, then the #1 threat hasnt changed except to increase, and their favourite weapons are patents and open source. the latter has produced an army of neutered free software advocates-- people who like the software and remain completely apathetic, even cheerful about monopoly takeovers.

eee doesnt just happen to software. open source is what happens when eee is applied to the philosophy and politics themselves. its not eee again, its eee every day since the 1990s. when torvalds does step down, i believe the eee threats to the kernel will increase. probably not the first day. those could be addressed by something like libertybsd or (more likely) a kernel fork, but what better example is there of how much compromise eee and open source have created than this-- if you fork the linux kernel, who is going to work on the fork?

can free software do for the linux kernel what the document foundation did for openoffice? do we have enough kernel hackers for such a rescue? (again, i dont think this is bleak, but serious.) either way-- the threats that exist today are to the entire free software ecosystem. copyleft is more resistant, but strategically if you have enough people that dont care about freedom working on things that are central to our ecosystem, you have a threat that the fsf has not quite managed to articulate yet. i call the threat "redix." the name isnt very important, but free software needs more than copyleft to survive it.

patents remain a threat too, but when those fail the patent trolls just lean on propaganda and sword-brandishing when theyve got nothing else. microsoft hasnt abandoned their practice of going around getting people like suse to say "yes, we agree this is yours." obviously zero support should be given to any organisation that participates in a swindle like that. but one of the first traitors in that regard remains torvalds favourite distro.

Goop
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se unió: 09/21/2018

>either way-- the threats that exist today are to the entire free software ecosystem. copyleft is more resistant, but strategically if you have enough people that dont care about freedom working on things that are central to our ecosystem, you have a threat that the fsf has not quite managed to articulate yet.

It should be called the Poettering dilemma. LOL.

Magic Banana

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se unió: 07/24/2010

Another explanation is that controlling GitHub certainly helps a lot in detecting brilliant developers (and offering them contracts).

calher

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se unió: 06/19/2015

Correct. We shouldn't have been using GitHub to begin with, because
isn't even accessible without proprietary software.

I never used GitHub, so this change doesn't matter to me. :P Although I
did experience the time GitLab bought out Gitorious... Maybe I should
self-host.

strypey
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se unió: 05/14/2015

Calher:
> "Although I did experience the time GitLab bought out Gitorious"

I'm not certain, but my understanding is that Gitorious was going out of the business anyway, and GitLab temporarily took over maintenance of their software and service, and offered their abandoned users somewhere to go. I'm not aware of any reason to think GitHub was about to go bust, so their acquisition by MS is a very different kettle of fish.

> Maybe I should self-host.

I advocate for community-hosting. Having every individual host their own stuff in isolation is ... well ... isolated. Having clusters of organizations sharing the costs and work of maintaining a shared instance of GitLab (or Gogs / Gitea or Phabricator or Redmine with Git plug-in). Some examples:
https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/List_of_Community-Hosted_GitLab_Instances

strypey
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se unió: 05/14/2015

Me:
> I'm not aware of any reason to think GitHub was about to go bust, so their acquisition by MS is a very different kettle of fish.

OK, so maybe there are some reasons to think GH was in financial trouble:

"If money problems were indeed looming, GitHub had only a few solid options. Its backers could, of course, have decided to cut their losses and let the company fold. The effect of this on the open-source world would be devastating, and it's hard to imagine that any prospective buyer could ever do more harm than this would cause."
https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/06/everyone-complaining-about-microsoft-buying-github-needs-to-offer-a-better-solution/

It's hard to explain the problem with Peter Bright's apologetics in this article, because it goes so deep. Essentially, he is the modern equivalent of a well-meaning apologist in the pre-Civil-War US South, who says "well I know lynching negras has its problems, by how else are we going to stop them raping vulnerable white girls?". With the benefit of a couple of hundred years of hindsight, we can see how horrific this sort of statement is, because it justifies systemic oppression on the basis of a whole series of false assumptions.

Most people, however, don't have the benefit of such a critical perspective about corporate control of software development, and the mistreatment of users as unpaid generators of value on the data plantations of the digital South. So when Bright says:
"If the desire was to keep the company as a going concern, that meant raising more money. That presents three options: another round of VC funding, an IPO, and a sale."

Most people nod and accept this. These are the only legitimate options, where a handful of plutocrats from an obscenely wealthy 1% get to own everything in one or other of these three forms.

Nowhere on this list, for example, is "hand over ownership to a cooperative governed by the sites users, or its employees, or a multi-stakeholder coop governed by representatives of both". Nowhere on this list is "inform users the hosted version of the site will be closing in 6 months, and publish all GH source code so clusters of users can set up their own GH instance". Nowhere on this list is "form of consortium of all the largest organizations using GH who release *all* their source code there, and crowdfund to buy out the VC investors".

This is not even a "open source" vs. free software" problem. For most of the last 20 years, the open source movement has tried to solve the problem of funding free code by pimping itself out to the corporate world, and the free software movement has mostly tried to solve it by ignoring it, hoping it would go away. Neither of these solutions were sustainable, and nothing is more emblematic of that than the GH acquisition by MS, except maybe the acquisition of Java, OpenOffice, and SQL by Oracle.

If we don't want MS and the rest of The Stacks to eventually own all our base, we all need creative solutions to the funding problem, and the ownership and secure employment problems that go with it. I've started gathering some data on this here:
https://www.coactivate.org/projects/disintermedia/for-profit-freedom-forges

... and I think this is also well worth reading:
https://medium.com/open-collective/sustainoss-the-report-881e4b12d180

gd_scania
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se unió: 09/13/2017

Like you, I’m always a GitHub hater that I never trust them to host my own projects. Now SourceForge has a newcoming tool against GitHub, there are also GNU projects like Uruk and Draogra, do credit SF, and me too. :)
https://dragora.sf.net https://urukos.sf.net

loldier
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se unió: 02/17/2016

Peter Bright's article on developer community's fears.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/06/everyone-complaining-about-microsoft-buying-github-needs-to-offer-a-better-solution/

Microsoft welcomes outside contributions, uses GitHub's issue tracking to publicly record bugs and feature requests, and the projects engage with their user and developer communities to prioritize new development. This is a corporation doing open source the right way.

That's not to say that Microsoft has always been like this, and the company has expressed hostility to open source—in 2001, then-CEO Steve Ballmer said that "Linux is a cancer" because of the viral nature of its GPL license—and is often accused of trying to "Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish" platforms and standards that it doesn't control, after the term was used in a 1995 company memo to describe its HTML strategy.

nadebula.1984
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se unió: 05/01/2018

Even though Microsoft is an enemy, it is an honorable enemy. So Microsoft's acquisition of GitHub may be more beneficial than harmful. Let's see what happens next...

Goop
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se unió: 09/21/2018

Hah.

ADFENO
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se unió: 12/31/2012

I would say that most things at fault here is exactly the recommendation made by many people outside our circles for other people to use GitHub.

And since that player saw the flow increasing, that organization went on to embrace Git, extend it with proprietary crap (not the software itself, but the services GitHub offers in their website and correlated infrastructure), and now I wonder when the Extinguish phase will begin.

strypey
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se unió: 05/14/2015

This sounds like Embrace ...
"Microsoft, in contrast, is migrating much of its development to Git."
https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/06/everyone-complaining-about-microsoft-buying-github-needs-to-offer-a-better-solution/2/

... and this sounds like Extend ...
"The company has had to modify Git to handle the scale it needs, but it is working with the Git developers to get these modifications accepted into the main Git codebase, with the intent being that, eventually, stock-standard Git will do everything the company requires. Microsoft and GitHub have also collaborated to bring support for these extensions to GitHub and non-Windows platforms."

... so if they get control of a platform like GH that gets to set norms around Git use that tend to become de facto standards, perhaps they're preparing to Extinguish?