back to article Microsoft will ‘lose developers for a generation’ if it stuffs up GitHub, says future CEO

GitHub’s future CEO Nat Friedman has conducted a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session and outlined a little of what Microsoft plans to do with the collaborative code locker once the acquisition is formalised and admitted that “if Microsoft screws this up, we will lose the trust of developers for a generation.” Friedman, who …

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  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    "Plans integration"

    Plans integration,

    Exactly as I said from when I heard this for the first time. All new features will work only Microsoft Visual Studio. And as some other people have said it - welcome to GitHub365.

    We have seen the Microsoft "Integration" story for 3 decades now. It is the "Embrace" in the Embrace, Extend, Extinguish triad.

    Right... Run for the hills time.

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory
      Meh

      Re: "Plans integration"

      Totally agree...

      if Microsoft screws this up, we will lose the trust of developers for a generation

      They lost my trust years ago. They always treat the new shiny latest fad as being the most important thing, sidelining everyone else. This is why I've known developers who have six or seven versions of Visual Studio on their PC, simply because the moment you open a 2008 project in 2010, you can't then open it in 2008 and it no longer works with the runtime you need. Plus, each version needs a new version of TFS otherwise you can't check anything in. (Chances they'll go the same way with git? I'm pretty sure they'll try it...)

      And Visual Studio steals stupid ideas from elsewhere. Like that lightbulb? Please, if I wanted to torture myself with ReSharper, I know where to buy it. But now because of that lightbulb, Telerik gave up JustCode. Thanks, Microsoft.

      I could go on for hours, but I expect I'm going to be downvoted a bazillion times already. *sigh*

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft will ‘lose developers for a generation’ says future CEO

      Microsoft will ‘lose developers for a generation’ says future CEO Nat Friedman

      and

      Microsoft ’has lost developers for generations’ says future CEO Nat Friedman

      both so true.

    3. LeeE Silver badge

      Re: "Plans integration"

      "We are buying GitHub because we like think we've found a way we can make money out of GitHub".

      Isn't GitHub really just a PHP front-end to Git?

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: "Plans integration"

      "It is the "Embrace" in the Embrace, Extend, Extinguish triad."

      That it is. That it is...

      This is how freedom dies. With resounding applause.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The Microsoft cyber attack" - recent documentary

      This recent documentary, The Microsoft cyber attack, is enlightening regarding their current and ongoing practices in lobbying.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wGLS2rSQPQ

      It's a documentary from Germany's international public broadcaster DW.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Plans integration"

      "Friedman added that Microsoft’s acquisition plans seem to have gone down well"

      Lol.... Delusional?

  2. Jemma Silver badge

    Trust of developers?

    I bet he even managed to say that with a straight face...

    Still the change to the url will be cheap & easy...

    https://gitshub.com

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trust of developers?

      Javascript 5 (embrace) -> Typescript and Class syntax to Javascript 6 (extend) -> JS (extinguish) with WebASM.

      Atom/Electron (embrace) -> Atom fork named "VSCode" (extend) -> Atom (extinguish) as it was developbed by Github company.

      NodeJS (embrace) -> incompatible Node Windows fork with IE/Edge JS engine "Chakra" (extend) -> NodeJS (extinguish soon) with chaos of Typescript, Javascript 6 and Github.

      "R" lang (embrace) -> incompatible SQL Server 2016 R lang extension (extend) -> R lang (extinguish soon).

      Android -> CyanogenMod (embrace) -> CyanogenMod (extinguish) as M$ "sponsored" Cyanogen Inc to destroy CyanogenMod

      Linux (prejudge) -> sponsors RedHat, Debian, SuSE, Alpine and Canonical/Ubuntu (embrace), forces unstable backdoored "systemd" -> Linux (extinguish soon)

      M$ is cancer, everything it touches dies, worst company on planet.

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Trust of developers?

        For all its faults, systemd did not originate with microsoft.

        Not sure about R, the small number of users I know haven't touched any of the MS stuff.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trust of developers?

          > "For all its faults, systemd did not originate with microsoft."

          M$ pays big $$$ bucks and embrace "systemd".

          RedHat, Debian, SuSE, Alpine and Canonical/Ubuntu

          Suddenly those Linux distros adopt systemd.

          Why does M$ pay the systemd devs, why does it pay RedHat, SuSE, Debian, Alpine and Canonical devs?? Those distros are bought by M$. SuSE and some other distros wouldn't even exist anymore for years, but M$ keeps paying. They are kept around so that M$ can hide their activities. Why is Gnome 3 such a shit, why is KDE 4/5 such a crap? The older Gnome 2 and KDE 3 were so great and promising, and could fully replace Windows. Why has Canonical stopped Ubuntu Phone and Unity desktop on the same day as M$ started to pay for "Linux-subsys for Windows10"? The answer is, M$ dictates, and M$ controls these corpse of companies - either they play along what M$ wants or they get crushed by them - mafia style.

          That's why it's important to use a systemd-free Linux distro like Slackware, Devuan, Gentoo, Android, ...

          Arguments against systemd: http://without-systemd.org/wiki/index.php/Arguments_against_systemd

          Linux distributions without systemd: http://without-systemd.org/wiki/index.php/Linux_distributions_without_systemd

        2. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Trust of developers?

          "systemd did not originate with microsoft."

          True, it originated with Red Hat -- which is basically the Microsoft of the Linux world.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: Trust of developers?

            True, it originated with Red Hat -- which is basically the Microsoft of the Linux world.

            If you want Devuan you know where you can get it.

            Say want you want about RedHat, but it's the only ones who actually managed to sell to the corporates. Except for SuSE maybe. Linux would be unknown w/o them.

            Other distros are like hippy-powered wheelchair soapbox racers. Nice for home, corporately ridiculous. "I want my Debian/Ubuntu LTS". NO. FUCK OFF!!

            And really, one can live with "systemd". As for "backdoored". Link and code or shut the fuck up.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Trust of developers?

              Anonymous, is that you, Eaden?

            2. phuzz Silver badge

              Re: Trust of developers?

              "As for "backdoored [systemd]". Link and code or shut the fuck up."

              ^^^ This.

          2. ibmalone Silver badge

            Re: Trust of developers?

            True, it originated with Red Hat -- which is basically the Microsoft of the Linux world.

            Well, you can draw that analogy, and I remain unconvinced by systemd (I actually think pulseaudio proved to be a good thing in the end), but it doesn't support the AC's frothing assertion that "M$" were responsible for systemd's creation and adoption. (Which has now drifted into full-on tinfoil rant about every distro under the sun apparently being owned by microsoft and doing their bidding as part of a nefarious scheme.)

        3. Agamemnon

          Re: Trust of developers?

          The fool that gives us SystemD is the same fool that gave us PulseAudio: Lennart Poettering

          You can see it in his hyper-modular design, which, while Technically Correct, has crossed the road into Micro Management.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Trust of developers?

        Javascript 5 (embrace) -> Typescript and Class syntax to Javascript 6 (extend) -> JS (extinguish) with WebASM.

        NodeJS (embrace) -> incompatible Node Windows fork with IE/Edge JS engine "Chakra" (extend) -> NodeJS (extinguish soon) with chaos of Typescript, Javascript 6 and Github.

        Microsoft does something good?

        God works in mysterious ways and even powerful greed & evil is just a tool in his hackpack.

      3. FIA

        Re: Trust of developers?

        Android -> CyanogenMod (embrace) -> CyanogenMod (extinguish) as M$ "sponsored" Cyanogen Inc to destroy CyanogenMod

        Blame Google and the 'migrate everything into play services' for that one. If you've not got the Google infrastructure keeping a decent working fork of AOSP these days is pretty much impossible. (Or at least one that has enough traction to make itself financially viable; rather than be a curio for a handful of developers).

      4. FIA

        Re: Trust of developers?

        M$ is cancer, everything it touches dies,

        In the 90s I'd've agreed with you, nowadays I'm not so sure.

        worst company on planet.

        I would suggest you're perspective is slightly warped here. I'm not even sure they're the worse company in IT any more. (*cough*Oracle*cough*)

        But worse company on the planet... come on. not even close.

        I have no real view on any of the companies I linked to but was rather trying to illustrate that I don't think anything MS have ever done carries a significant environmental impact, death toll or similar...

        1. Claptrap314 Bronze badge

          Re: Trust of developers?

          If your definition of pollution is externalizing costs, then I would argue that M$ is the worst industrial polluter the planet has ever seen.

          Certainly, they treat their employees much, much better than most. But thats a very, very, very small segment of the population.

    2. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Trust of developers?

      Bit of an oxymoron when talking about Microsoft, surely?

      As an embedded developer I find that Microsoft provides nothing of relevance except a desktop platform that tends to be chronically unsuitable for serious development work but we get forced to use because corporate types deem it necessary. Their Office suite is ubiquitous but hardly essential. Their applications and their development environment work, more or less, but their low level (driver level) interfaces are poorly designed and tend to be erratic in operation (just running something simple like a serial port can be a bit of a challenge, USB is just off the chart ridiculous).

      Still, I daresay it will go like SourceSafe. This started out life as an independent product and was bought by MSFT and integrated into their developer tools, bugs/flaws and all. Corporate liked it because it was ostensibly free; you as the user just needed to keep backups of the backup. Nothing ever got fixed or updated and eventually it just became irrelevant and they moved to their team whatever. I daresay Github will go the same route. Its not important because to many of us Microsoft is no longer relevant.

  3. cbars

    puts a dampener on rival GitLab’s claim?

    You can move code to GitLab without burning the GitHub bridge. Time will tell how much quality code remains if MS put walls up around the garden

    Edit: err.... I'm not saying all the code on GitHub is of high quality.... all gardens need weeding....

    1. thames

      Re: puts a dampener on rival GitLab’s claim?

      This is what I'm doing. Within the next couple of weeks I will be setting up an account at GitLab, but will still keep the GitHub repo. The project will simply be hosted in two places. If that works out well, then I may look for a third location as well. I will want to automate this with proper scripting first however so I don't have to do it manually.

      My plan isn't to simply switch hosting providers. I did that once before when I moved from SourceForge to GitHub. What I intend to do is to have multiple mirrors where the project is hosted so that the loss of any one of them is not a major setback. There is no point in trying to do that after you have been presented with the choice of either accepting new terms of service or being locked out of your one and only account.

      So I will be moving to GitLab, but I will still be at GitHub for now as well. This is what I would expect other people who are concerned about this to do as well.

      The only question really is which one becomes the primary repo and which one becomes the secondary mirror. A lot of GitHub's value is in the "community" aspect of having the largest number of developers already active there. If the community becomes more dispersed then a lot of that value will fade away.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Be smart

        GitLab is just a silbing VC baked company, bleeding money and searching an exit. Both Github and Gitlab are founded by YC accelerator who is nowadays a M$ sponsored shop. Fools move from Github to Gitlab.

        Be smart, host the repository yourself and use one of these

        * Phabricator (used by FB, Wikipedia, Mozilla, ...) https://www.phacility.com/phabricator/

        * Gitea/Gogs (a Golang)

        * BitBucket

        * plain Git

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Be smart

          Gitlab is hosted on M$ Azure cloud. ROLF

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Be smart

            Ah, good to know. I can rule out GitLab for where I'm putting my projects. In the meantime, I'm keeping them on my own servers. Perhaps that's where they'll stay.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Be smart

            > Gitlab is hosted on M$ Azure cloud. ROLF

            .... and don't call me Rolf!

        2. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Be smart

          Be smart, host the repository yourself

          It's far easier to use managed services than to manage them yourselves. We used to manage everything ourselves, it was a nightmare as the infrastructure team could not keep up with the number of systems they have to maintain and update.

          I know what you will say - well why didn't you hire 3 more sysadmins? Suddenly all those free things cost you $250k a year in staff costs and $50k every 3 years in capex. When you balance it up, getting a better quality system that also replaces JIRA, Fisheye and Jenkins for 200 users for $48k a year is compelling.

          1. Smartypantz

            Re: Be smart

            Hi shill

            Managed services like azure means that your administration budget goes through the roof (on top of the linearly scaling subscription costs), and that you no longer have any control over your infrastructure!. To host repositories (or anything else for that matter) is Cheaper, more secure, faster, and more scalable then any cloud offering if you buy a building and run everything in your own server-room (even more so if you eliminate any proprietary licenses, service agreements and so on, and run everything on "of the shelf" hardware and Open source software).... *SHOCKIIIIING*

            1. Claptrap314 Bronze badge

              Re: Be smart

              That works fine until the local council decides to do a little infrastructure work on the electrical lines over the weekend without telling you.

              Cloud can (if you know how to ask for it) give you resiliency quite cheaply that is very hard to match on prem for smaller organizations. Once you have significant teams in multiple time zones, and are running on a few hundred servers, it's time to start looking at going on-prem.

              But for startups & small orgs...resiliency (or lack thereof) can be a real killer.

            2. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: Be smart

              @smartypantz, that's all well and good if you own/work for a LARGE company that can spend that much on hosting and managing it's services. Most companies are between 10 and 15 people, perhaps with an office dog for good measure. At that scale it doesn't really pay to host your own services, as it detracts from the work that actually lets you make money. Need 1 person full time just to manage your server farm? thats 10% of your people not "creating value" (Gahhh, I hate that term) when you have 10 people in the office. For a large company of 1000 people, having ten of them running the farm is only 1% of employees.

        3. JLV Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Be smart

          >Be smart, host the repository yourself

          Github, Gitlab, pypy, npm and all the repos are basically a gamble when one installs stuff. They're educated gambles, but they remain gambles.

          In the context of open source, and making your repo freely available, why do you think I would have _any_ trust whatsoever in your ability to keep your repo safe from malicious actors who would put malware in it?

          I may not have any reason to distrust your intentions when you set up a repo. But nor do I have any reason to trust you and tens of individual repo hosters will all be 100% proof against malware injections.

          https://www.techradar.com/news/popular-video-encoding-mac-app-handbrake-compromised-with-malware

          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-security-avast/hackers-compromised-free-ccleaner-software-avasts-piriform-says-idUSKCN1BT0R9

          https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/hacker-compromised-official-phpbb-download-links/

      2. onefang Silver badge

        Re: puts a dampener on rival GitLab’s claim?

        Yeah, I was gonna make a similar comment. I'm copying all of my GitHub stuff to my own server, but left it all on GitHub, for now.

      3. Agamemnon
        Pint

        Re: puts a dampener on rival GitLab’s claim?

        Damnit, Sir. You are using good practice, logic and reason, in The Register Forums.

        You should be banned, flogged, and quartered: Except that post was so good that I'm compelled to offer you a tasty beverage on this Fine Friday, instead of the aforementioned public shunning.

        Because that's some damned fine thinking right there.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: puts a dampener on rival GitLab’s claim?

      I didn't move to GitLab, but I sure did remove all my code from Github.

  4. dbgi

    Coming soon to github

    Office 365 integration. Now you can post code snippets straight from github into an email with a click of a button.

    Skype for business - Allow code reviews collaboratively with other developers

    LinkedIn - post your stats straight to your profile so other people can see how productive you are

    Office assistant to help with those pesky merges

    1. Stumpy

      Re: Coming soon to github

      ... aaaannd .... CLIPPY!

      "Hi there, it looks like you're writing a program. Would you like some help with that?"

      (bugger, we really need a clippy icon)

      1. dbgi

        Re: Coming soon to github

        Clippy - "I see you have been using stack overflow for every line of code. Would you like me to start looking for other jobs?"

        1. Ben Bonsall

          Re: Coming soon to github

          "I see you are using git merge, would you like me to smash it all together and hope for the best?"

        2. hplasm Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Coming soon to github

          Clippy - "I see you have been using stack overflow for every line of code. Would you like to come and work in Redmond?"

          FTFY

    2. John Crisp

      Re: Coming soon to github

      4 good reasons to leave for starters....

  5. DougS Silver badge

    Gitlab's 10x claims

    Without knowing what their normal traffic is, its possible they could easily see 10x more without making a noticeable dent in Github.

    Anyway, some people might be doing it as a 'backup' so they can more easily transition later if they decide to jump ship. Only a truly dedicated Microsoft hater would leave just based on word of the acquisition. The rest will wait until Microsoft actually does something they don't like.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Gitlab's 10x claims

      "The rest will wait until Microsoft actually does something they don't like."

      Waiting until the horse bolts before closing the stable door?

    2. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Gitlab's 10x claims

      "The rest will wait until Microsoft actually does something they don't like."

      Given Microsoft's previous record that won't take long.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Gitlab's 10x claims

      But DougS, Microsoft has been doing things we don't like to everything they touch for decades. Only an idiot would think that somehow GitHub will be different.

    4. MatthewSt

      Re: Gitlab's 10x claims

      The linked graphs show the normal traffic. It was about 10-100 repos per hour (very roughly averaged). Granted 10x was an understatement (they peaked at nearly 8000 repos in one hour) and they're still seeing higher traffic now, but it's likely to be a rounding error as far as GitHub's count is concerned

      Still makes me chuckle that (currently) GitLab is hosted on Azure, so all these people that are "worried" that Microsoft are, at some point in the future, going to obtain their code are happy to hand it over to them now instead!

    5. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Gitlab's 10x claims

      "The rest will wait until Microsoft actually does something they don't like."

      I didn't have to wait for that -- Microsoft has never really stopped.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft attempt to apply "thought Policing" to code?

    Microsoft has to be mindful that code created on Github is "Creative Content" and at times there could/will be code that might not fit Microsoft's terms of service, especially regards other Microsoft products. So what happens in these circumstances?

    Developers need to wary of the terms of service because Microsoft has precedence, it has been very heavy-handed of late, with users of Outlook.com

    Microsoft has been blocking/locking out accounts*, for "minor issues" (while being very vague on the reason for the block).

    *where a user knows all login information.

    Examples include: email addresses containing the certain phrases when registering for Police NIP Speed awareness courses, which is freedom of expression, irritating to those running such courses, but not an offence in itself, especially if the phrase itself isn't a swear word or derogatory to Police.

    An email address here does give you that ability to express your feelings regarding Speed Awareness Courses, so you can understand why people might use this method.

    Have Police scanned such registration emails for "keywords", then flag the account for "abuse"- i.e. further investigation - causing Microsoft to block the account, to force Microsoft's process of blocking + registration of a phone number to access the account. The metadata from phone numbers has a much lower threshold in terms of Police data access.

    Examples like this are done to test "the right to expression", it's an indicator (though cannot prove) the UK Police and Microsoft are linked at the hip, which is worrying going forward regards the boundaries of creative content in terms of Software Development.

    From Microsoft previous statements of their role "to police technology", you get the feeling Microsoft could be looking at this purchase as means of setting up a very profitable "thought Police" department regards code developers on behalf of Government, i.e. who codes with who, as a sort of quid-pro-quo for Government to use Microsoft Azure services.

    Marcus Hutchins types certainly wouldn't be using Github with hindsight, going forward, given he's been thrown under a bus, and subsequently thrown under a train by the UK Government, by knowingly allowing him to travel to the US.

    Keeping a healthy scepticism of where to put your code as a developer is no bad thing, Intellectual Property aside, there is a lot of data to extract from the underlying cloud platforms to link Developers and their thoughts/ideas.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ROFL

    Lose the trust of a generation of developers?

    Er... I guess in the Rosy world of MS they think that they had some trust to begin with.

    I fear that it won't be long before some critical features are only available to MS ID's and/or those who have forked out for some MicrosoftUberDeveloperworld subscription, cheap at $999/year per computer.

    I've deleted all my stuff and moved it back to my own server. It might get put back into some other public 'hub' later in the year once all the dust has settled. I won't go back into the MS prison. I was 'released' almost two years ago after serving a twenty stretch.

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