Developers petition for an independent Github
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[DISCONTINUED] Too late; the deal is closed. Please feel free to cancel your Github payment and to move to GitLab if you wish so. The show is over and it was fun while it lasted, I won't be accepting any more PR here 😢.

Dear Github,

This is your userbase, the thousands of developers creating open source daily in the platform that we all love, Github. First of all, a sincere thank you. There are few projects or platforms that have been so influential to the spread of open source as Github. We have spent a combination of thousands of years creating the best software in the world, and it only thanks to you that this has been possible.

There is no software platform that can ever be compared to what you have been done for open source. But that was not enough, you went beyond that and now inspire developers to get even better as a community to what we were used to by integrating Contributing, Code of Conduct, Vulnerability detection, etc.

But let's get to the point: we would love for you to remain independent. There is too much incentive for major companies to change Github to benefit themselves. This could apply to Google, Apple, Amazon, etc, but this time it happens to be Microsoft.

First, let's be clear: Microsoft is doing many cool things recently, especially for developers. But there are few major issues with the company that makes us think that Microsoft owning the biggest place that has ever existed for open source is not such a good idea:

Click here to show Microsoft history
  • Memory trip: 90s. This has been repeated ad nauseam so I won't be explaining it here. If anyone reading this started programming within the last 10 years, please do a bit of research. Even after all the damage that Microsoft did to Linux and Open Source, let's for a moment assume that the company is different now.

  • Past: Hotmail. Hotmail was a pretty good email service, but we've seen it becoming worse and worse to the point of being unusable as it became more and more integrated with Microsoft platforms. Everyone liked Hotmail, now everyone hates it.

  • Recent past: Skype. There was a slice of time where Skype was the main calling method of the internet. Since Microsoft acquired it, they have come to the point that the only time you hear it named is from people trying to escape from them or having a major issue. Everyone liked Skype, now everyone hates it.

  • Recent past: Windows 10. Forced updates, dark patterns to trick you into updating, etc. The company showed a huge contempt for its paying users at this stage.

  • Present: VS Code. This seems to be a universally liked product by everyone who has tried it. Kudos on that.

  • Future: we don't know. While Satya Nadella seems to be doing things right, the past 2 years have only been a tiny slice of the history of Microsoft. Culture doesn't change in a couple of years, and the next CEO might be another Steve Ballmer. This is the main problem of benevolent dictatorships, that the successor might turn them around.

Microsoft acquisitions tend to go down the toilet in quality to the point that the userbase ends up hating it. We love the work you are doing on it, so we'd like for things to stay this way as long as possible.

The open source developer community that loves Github would like to ask Github:

Github please remain an independent party


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