February 20th, 2009

Even Canonical developers use git..when they have to

Kudos to the kernel team at Canonical for getting a a git repository setup awhile ago.  http://kernel.ubuntu.com/git

Apparently the kernel developers at Canonical get a lot of leeway to diverge from the corporate party line and get to use git setup on corporate hardware to better sync with the git using upstream project.   Clearly Canonical is willing to let developers use git over bzr when its the better tool for the job, as in the case of kernel development.  Not-Invented-Here syndrome can be a tough thing to pushback on for any organization which prides itself on the work being done by its own in-house development teams. Canonical isn't the only organization that suffers from that. There is more than enough NIH going around.  Kudos to the kernel team for being able to get the tools in place on Canonical infrastructure regardless of the politics and the lack of direct integration with the normal Launchpad-based development workflow for Ubuntu.  When GNOME moves to git as well, hopefully Canonical will extend the same luxury to their desktop experience team so they can work more closely with GNOME upstream. There's no reason to think Canonical won't allow it, they already allow it for the kernel.

The real question is, will Canonical extend the same sort of git repository services to the rest of the Ubuntu community who need to collaborate better with upstream projects as the upstream migration to git accelerates.  Debian packaging is starting to see noticable migration to git, and unless Canonical integrates git services into its Ubuntu workflow for all contributors, that move is going to make it more difficult for Ubuntu maintainers who want to collaborate more closely with Debian and vice versa.  Too bad Launchpad's Soyuz isn't going to be opened so that Debian and Ubuntu contributors could worth together to equip the Ubuntu build infrastructure by extending it with git services as a side-by-side option to bzr.

-jef

Does the FSF know about Fedorahosted?

This is a good read:  http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/savannah

I might ping them and see if they are willing to add a section about fedorahosted.  I'm not taking anything away from savannah as an option, but I think its important to balance out the page with some other instances of open dwevelopment services to show that the savannah service isn't alone in that fight. Other people do get it. Fedora gets it.

The article at the end of that page is worth a good read concerning the now somewhat ancient history of the SF transition from an open project to a closed one.

http://www.spain.fsfeurope.org/news/article2001-10-20-01.en.html

Hopefully Canonical can avoid some of the pitfalls described there in trying open up only portions of the Launchpad service while keeping others closed.  We'll all need to read over the Contributor License Agreement that Canonical releases in March to make sure its copyright assignment clauses don't run into the problems expressed in that article.   The mixing of closed and open components into the same service offering is going to make copyright assignment a thornier issue for sure.

-jef