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 …

  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.

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: ROFL

      Weirdly, I'm back to trusting SourceForge. Yes, there are a ton of adverts, but the new management actually seem to be honest and upfront about what they're doing - no more malvertising inserted into binaries, for a start. And following them talking with devs on Twitter actually makes me feel they mean what they say.

      I know, I'm probably the last one left, right?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ROFL

        > I know, I'm probably the last one left, right?

        You are not alone. Sourceforge is good again, I am using it again as well. And it has features (e.g. binary downloads with mirrors near you) that Github never had or implemented in useless way.

        And Slashdot.org is smaller than it was but still good too, better than Reddit and HackerNews these days - were sponsored FUD, paid M$ shills and naive fanboys litter the forums of the later.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: ROFL

          "better than Reddit and HackerNews"

          If that's not damning with faint praise, I don't know what is!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Mirror sites

          GitHub (etc) has mirror sites as well: it stores content on CDNs, so it’s just not as immediately apparent upfront that you are still nevertheless downloading from somewhere internet-local to you, rather than from an actual named mirror site.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ROFL

        How's the new ownership of Sourceforge (and Slashdot) compared to Dice Holdings Inc?

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: ROFL

      "Lose the trust of a generation of developers?"

      It's been slowly happening ever since ".Not" C-pound Silverlight "The Metro" and UWP.

      Why should THIS be any different?

      I _am_ concerned about my GitHub login becoming a "microsoft logon" though, with their EULA...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: ROFL

        Earth to Bob ... It's been happening since the days of "DOS isn't done 'til Lotus won't run" and he various lists of so-called "undocumented" DOS system calls that circulated around BBSes and USENET in the mid 1980s. Some folks are just slower on the uptake than others.

  8. karlkarl

    This isn't about generations forgetting past sins. Developers know Microsoft is foul company and pass down that knowledge to future developers.

    Microsoft lost our passion and trust years ago, permanently with their DRM and developer licenses

    1. PhilipN Silver badge

      Foul company

      Agreed, but (or and) in principle MS cannot - simply CANNOT - adopt a benign, paternalistic attitude towards an acquisition such as GitHub, or any acquisition. Line managers may want to. Nardella may even want to but they are all answerable to the Board (who are answerable to shareholders) who will sooner or later ask “What did we pay all this frigging money for? Where is the Return on Investment?”

      Oh and by the way, a warm, cuddly feeling that a company is “doing the right thing” does not qualify as RoI.

      1. rob miller

        Re: Foul company

        "Where is the Return on Investment?”

        Given the number of commits and source they claim to have put into GitHub, it seems to me M$ didn't have an option?

        GitHub business model not working, so Microsoft would feel just like we do now if someone else bought it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Substitute the name of Nat Friedman to Stephen Elop and you get the idea of Github's future.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      There's no reason for playing coy : Microsoft is buying GitHub, so GitHub will die.

      At this point in time, the reality of it is statistically mandatory.

  10. AndrueC Silver badge
    Unhappy

    One consequence of the imminent acquisition appears to be difficulty connecting. It's been a bit sluggish off and on and was down (for me, not colleagues) earlier this week for an hour. Right now it appears to be down again. I'm not blaming MS though. More likely it's some silly disgruntled skiddie showing their disapproval.

    That's the down-side of cloud repositories. At least I'm only wanting to push at the moment, not pull. I'll be more worried at EOB today.

    Edit: It's back. For the moment.

  11. The Alphabet

    If they screw this up they will lose trust.

    After Skype, Nokia, Windows Phone, Danger, Windows Mobile, the many recent apps they have purchased and all the previous acquisitions in yesteryear only to sunset i'm surprised that they think this will be an issue only now.

    It's not like they've done it enough times for people to be wary almost instantly, is it?

    1. TVU Silver badge

      "After Skype, Nokia, Windows Phone, Danger, Windows Mobile, the many recent apps they have purchased and all the previous acquisitions in yesteryear only to sunset i'm surprised that they think this will be an issue only now"

      ^ That all helps to explain the huge level of distrust and apprehension among developers about Microsoft's acquisition of GitHub. New CEO Nat Friedman is saying the right things about retaining independence, respecting developers and maintaining Atom but he now needs to back up those promises with actual deeds and actions.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        "New CEO Nat Friedman is saying the right things about retaining independence, respecting developers and maintaining Atom"

        Generally speaking, talk is cheap. When that talk is coming from Microsoft or any Microsoft lackey, it's completely devoid of value.

        The only thing that matters is action, and when you've thoroughly burned and salted the fields of trust as Microsoft has done, it has to be consistent action over a period of years before you can even think about the possibility of regaining trust.

  12. jake Silver badge

    Lose the trust of developers for a generation?

    My dad doesn't trust Redmond. I don't trust Redmond. My daughter doesn't trust Redmond. So that's three generations already ... And my Granddaughter's machine will run Cupertino, Redmond or Slackware as she sees fit. She lives in Slackware unless the school forces her into Apple or Microsoft, and then she grumbles.

    Can't lose what you don't have.

    1. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Lose the trust of developers for a generation?

      Agreed,

      I think as parents and grand-parents we have a duty to educate the next generation.

  13. Joe Werner

    Decentralised

    The nice thing (well, one of them) about git is that it is based on a decentralised world view - compare this to subversion: if you cannot reach the repository you cannot do any commits, merges, rollbacks, branches, etc. True, for some of these(*) you would want to fetch the current state of some "master" repo in the git world as well, but in principle it works. And you have the full history in your checked out version, which you could use as the base to start from when you need to jump ship quickly.

    (*) depends on the project size, if you need to submit the changes as pull requests, how fast the code base changes, how much time troubleshooting the merges you want to spend on in the future etc.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Decentralised

      The point of github though is that it is central. Somewhere to post open source projects that people can immediately find and use them.

      If github shut down tomorrow the code would still exist on hundreds of users machines -but it would be a lot harder to find, use and improve.

      Back to a world of mailing lists, personal websites and tarball downloads

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Decentralised

        "Back to a world of mailing lists, personal websites and tarball downloads"

        All of which are quite useful, and so never went anywhere ... But the real point is that there are alternatives to GitHub. I suspect one, maybe two of them will begin to predominate as Redmond's purchase withers.

      2. Tim 11

        Re: Decentralised

        "Back to a world of mailing lists, personal websites and tarball downloads"

        Not really, just forward to one of a million github imitators that will spring up (assuming the current trend of cloud companies offering services for free with no sign of a business model continues unabated as it has for 20 years).

        Switching between git suppliers is trivial thanks to the basic nature of git, so I don't think many devs will lose sleep over that.

  14. DropBear Silver badge
    Coat

    Dear MS,

    FYI, not everyone who does intend to leave has actually made his move yet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Snap (Snapchat) is moving off Github

      Many companies are in the progress of moving off Github at the moment. e.g. Snapchat

      The worst thing is that many companies had their private repositories on Github cloud. And now the worst company ever, has full read access to their source code. Think of the horror - M$$ will clone the competitors software soon!!

      https://github.com/Snapchat/xctool says "Access to this repository has been disabled while it is being migrated." (same message for all ther repos on Github)

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        The Era of Bubble-Fuelled Colonialism Capitalism

        The worst thing is that many companies had their private repositories on Github cloud. And now the worst company ever, has full read access to their source code. Think of the horror - M$$ will clone the competitors software soon!!

        They better maintain a "firewall" on that because once words get out or suspicions are raise, they can say bu-bye to the entire Azure #MeToo Cloud.

  15. Ole Juul Silver badge

    EEE

    So that's the first E.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No worries about losing developers

    Just get Steve Ballmer back from his crappy NBA team, put him on the stage and let him scream "DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS!"

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: No worries about losing developers

      But that's only three DEVELOPERS!

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: No worries about losing developers

        "But that's only three DEVELOPERS!"

        they must've lost one already

  17. oiseau
    Facepalm

    Better indeed

    Hello:

    “We want to wait for the dust to settle and better understand what Microsoft’s plans are for GitHub."

    I see ...

    To better understand what Microsoft’s plans are.

    Really now ...

    Is it possible that at this stage of the IT game (2018) you actually need to wait for anything to better understand Microshaft's plans?

    I believe this phrase applies, improve by using "ignore" in lieu of "don't know" :

    "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."

    Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

    Have a good week-end.

    O.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft the Scorpion vs Developer the Frog

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scorpion_and_the_Frog

    ---

    "A scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, they would both drown. Considering this, the frog agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When the frog asks the scorpion why, the scorpion replies that it was in its nature to do so."

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft the Scorpion vs Developer the Frog

      Thus the origin of Sadfrog

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reddit censors and shadow bans and is related to Github

    > “It's working well,” he said.

    > And so did the AMA, which was received well by recipients.

    Reddit censors comments and shadow bans accounts and is related to Github. Both Github and Reddit were baked by the same YC acce, and they are famous that stuff.

    So "AMA was received well by recipient" just means heavily moderated.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reddit censors and shadow bans and is related to Github

      Reddit's censorship largely depends on the mods in charge of the particular subreddit.

      Don't be surprised if some of those mods had been paid off with Microsoft money. After all, it happened for politics not too long ago.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Minecraft and LinkedIn are examples where Microsoft acquired a successful platform, provided the companies with the resources they needed to accelerate, then let them continue to operate independently.”

    Except now LinkedIn keeps mailing people in your address book inviting them to join LinkedIn, and the emails are designed to look like they came personally from your friends rather than an automated mailer..

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Yes, that they cite LinkedIn as an example of "doing it right" is very, very concerning. LinkedIn became much worse after it was acquired, which is why I deleted my account there.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Microsoft will ‘lose developers for a generation’

    They already have.... As a long-time MS dev and promoter, I no longer use Microsoft software anymore.

    For starters... How can the Chairman of Microsoft tell the bold-faced lies below? Nadella does the same thing just a few months before, and nobody questions it either??? Everyone here gets it, and yet no one in government and only a few in the media ever challenge it. Yet its the very same evasive / double-speak that Zuckerberg puked over lawmakers on 2 continents in his 'test-of-mony'.

    Things started to go very bad with Win10 upgrade Malware, and continued with forced updates and privacy bait & switch. But ... If only there was Win10-LTSB availability for smaller firms and independent consultants for an extra fee without slurp. But no... Like Facebook / Google Privacy post GDPR, its take-it or leave it. Here's hoping Schrems / NOYB send off a sue-ball off to Redmond soon! Any chance Max?

    Microsoft have always been a cult. But they have completely escaped public scrutiny versus Facebook. Why is that? And where are the insiders and front-line staff? They don't hear any of this criticism, or have zero channels to report it up the ranks... Whoever is running the Church of Slurpology at Microsoft, need to wake the fuck up... You don't want scorned developers stabbing you in the back at every turn. Thousands of little cuts add up to one fatal one eventually!

    ----------------

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-30/if-microsoft-finds-another-linkedin-deal-chairman-is-all-in

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-28/microsoft-ceo-urges-tech-to-focus-on-self-policing-not-regulation-fears

    https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/3028147/updategate-microsoft-is-forcing-windows-10-build-1709-to-users-who-opted-out

    https://www.computerworld.com/article/2917799/microsoft-windows/microsoft-fleshes-out-windows-as-a-service-revenue-strategy.html

  22. JcRabbit

    we will lose the trust of developers for a generation

    What trust? lol

    Does anybody still trust Microsoft? I mean, users and developers alike?!

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: we will lose the trust of developers for a generation

      "...What trust? lol

      Does anybody still trust Microsoft? I mean, users and developers alike?!..."

      I've mentioned before but back around 2001/2 I was stood waiting to go into a meeting room at the place I worked.

      I noticed on the filing cabinet beside me there was a small gold sticker - only about 1/4" by 1" in size with quite tiny text.

      When I got close enough to read the text it said "Trust Microsoft? How can you possibly trust a company that if left alone in a room with the truth would cause a matter/anti-matter explosion"

  23. MatsSvensson

    Mobile frist

    Well clearly, first redesign the whole site so it look great on 3" phone-screens.

    I'm thinking big beautiful text, max 3 lines on each page,

    and all buttons should be tiles, and they should be big big BIG!

    And all pages should have candy crush on them, for when you want to have FUN!

    so in conclusion:

    * BIG!

    * TILES!

    * FUN!

    That what the kids want, and its modern.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Mobile frist

      You forgot demanding the installation of Adobe Flash.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Mobile frist

        Silverlight.

  24. Howard Hanek
    Childcatcher

    Future Conference Check-Ins

    "Please have ALL your licenses in order BEFORE you step up to the registration desk....."

    Anyone without a valid Windows 10 Product ID will NOT be permitted to attend.

  25. onefang Silver badge

    I see a trend...

    I was only on LinkedIn coz so called recruitment experts told me I should be on there to help get work. So I joined, and not long after that Microsoft bought it, so I left. Didn't help me get any work.

    Recently so called recruitment experts have been telling me I should list my GitHub account on my resume, to help get work. I was planning on doing that soon, until Microsoft bought GitHub.

    Considering that a so called recruitment expert, while writing a new resume for me, managed to a) spell my name wrong, and b) left a reminder of his lunch date in it, I'm beginning to think the only thing recruitment experts are good at is predicting Microsoft acquisitions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I see a trend...

      I believe those in the recruitment industry pay a pretty penny for Linkedin Premium, so they're hooked up to Microsoft's 'ecosystem', now including Github.

  26. JLV Silver badge
    Boffin

    if Github was running out of money

    Then MS's involvement is a bit less toxic. The Ars commentards for one seem fairly down with it. Part of it is the sheer lack of less toxic suitors - Oracle or IBM, for example? Google and Apple are not obviously much better. FB and Amazon even less so.

    There is even one potential upside, which is that, done well, this could really give open source credibility in stodgy ol' Enterprisey companies that have never looked at open source. I.e. it could open a lot of doors to suits that perceive open source as the domain of hippies and beardies, if they're aware of it at all.

    But, yes, if MS screws that up, and on past record it would not be an unreasonable expectation for them to do so, then they will have done that very publicly and alienated a core constituency.

    The less they do and the more they lay low for the next year or so, the better.

    Be lazy. Don't change things.

    Don't change them "the MS way". Don't monetize openly on the site. Don't telemetrize. Under promise, over deliver. Put necklace bombs around your rah-rah marketing and PR people and have them set to blow up if they go anywhere near the site. Shoot anyone who thinks of automating LinkedIn integration.

    You need to commit, very strongly, and with the appointment of an internal ombudsman and external auditors, that private repos will not be accessible by MS at large and will only be looked at when required to support customers. OK, sensible companies with any possible competition w you will flee anyway, but at least it will show you understand the issue and respect your users.

    Pick a few long hurting problem areas identified as needing improvement by the community and try fixing them.

    Given that "security and MS" often rhymes with "security and Adobe", and that Github repo poisoning has been a potential issue in the past, be doubly careful - you don't want to reinforce negative associations here. Time to invest in maybe some predictive analytics/machine learning to flag things like typo squatting.

    Surprise us.

    Sounds ungrateful to someone who just overpaid to the tune of $7.5B, but that's now your shareholders' problem, not ours. Remember that many people expect you to fail and it will be visible enough that you want to think 3 times before doing your business as usual.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: if Github was running out of money

      Your thinking, while good intended and all, is way to naive. Do you really believe MS will turn Github for the better?

      You couldn't be more wrong - as MS history shows again and again, and Nadella is worse in every regard (malware, adware, spying for NSA) than Balmer ever was.

  27. N2 Silver badge
    Trollface

    I don't trust Microsoft

    with anything & I never will

    Niether do my wife, our son & daughter

    and we will make sure our grandchilren don't trust them either.

  28. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

    Hotmail

    Remember them? It was solid, reliable. Then Microsoft forced the operators to move hundreds of servers from Linux to NT Server. It was no good for months.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hotmail

      Also, many dormant inboxes were wiped out during the transition from Hotmail (Windows Live Mail) to Outlook dot com ('modern' style UI).

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Hotmail

      some time ago I had problems with my intarweb connection, so I tried using a dial-up to access an old hotmail address, which I normally access via the POP server. To say "bandwidth strangled" is a gross understatement. Outlook Webmail is IMPOSSIBLE with anything running at dial-up or even cellular speeds.

      Icon for the BIG THUMBS DOWN to Micro-shaft's bandwidth-intensive scripty CDN circle-jerking web pages.

      Expect this to happen on github. Multi-click-throughs where one should have been sufficient.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only thing Microsoft should lose the trust of is investors, for thinking Github has any value.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Leaves a sour taste though..

    .. maybe its time to gitout.

  31. Dave 15 Silver badge

    windows 10

    Given the enormous fuck up that is windows 10 and the bollox they have made with the recent forced on you upgrade and the scewed up mess that was skype but now is shite... I would say they have lost already

  32. W. Anderson

    Microsoft Wins against multi-platform and FOSS development

    For every credible, world class developer whose target is "platform agnostics" that Microsoft dismisses to make Github more Windows/Microsoft centric and thus moves to another developer base, Microsoft will gain ten Windows/Microsoft software only developers to ultimately make Github its 100% Microsoft replacement developer community.

    Microsoft only developers do not give a rat's anus about cross-platform development or any other non-Microsoft based development (like FOSS), so they will flock to their heroine's feet in a flash.

    Just look at abysmal adoption of and move to (overwhelmingly popular) Eclipse multi-platform developer environment by Microsoft only developers, even as it offered significant developer advantages to those said developers.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As someone who has hated with a passion what Microsoft has done over the years.....

    .... reading all the whiny paranoid posts from Linux/GNU people on this forum is starting to make me like them!

  34. Wayland Bronze badge

    Skype was excellent for years

    Then Microsoft bought it and it slowly changed into crap.

    Microsoft can't even keep their own products excellent. MS Access 1.0 was ground breaking. Access 2.0 was very solid and mature. From then on it went down hill until it became unusable.

  35. sisk Silver badge

    A generation? Nah. The horror story would get passed down to baby developers as a lesson to never trust Microsoft for at least three generations. But he's right about Microsoft's recent acquisitions though. Minecraft in particular. I mean how may games can claim to have been the number one game in the world for several years in a row?

  36. phands

    M$ Lost me back in 2001..NEVER going back.

    I started using Linux way back in 2001, as I was already fed-up with m$'s software quality, lock in tactics, and bullying nature...not to mention what happens to m$ acquisitions...

    M$ kills everything it touches.

    Skype used to be the world leader, and worked well on Linux...now...it's unusable.

    Anyone even remember Danger?

    Navision is just gone.

    AQuantive got written off in 2012...$6.2B wasted.

    HotMail...a hot mess.

    LinkedIn is already a sea of irrelevant adverts.

    AND OF COURSE: NOKIA....need I say more?

    I've been a Unix and then Linux and Mac OS X user for decades...m$ is a negative force, and has held back computing progress by 10 - 15 years because it can't stop trying to put everything in a windows straitjacket, despite the fact that the windows architecture is prehistoric, doesn't network well, is bad at scaling, is woefully insecure, has poor file systems choice. I cite as support, the fact that the unstable Azure needs Linux to run reliably.

    My company, a small startup, uses GitHub at present...but not for much longer - I don't trust m$ even slightly, and will move ASAP.

  37. ecofeco Silver badge

    Sad

    Sad to see so many commentards who have forgotten the old ways and are held hostage by the new shiny.

    Fucking tossers. Roll yer own, remember sneakernet and stay free for the love of god.

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