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April 29, 2019

The ASF Decommissions Its Own Git Service, Lands Fully on GitHub

"We improved, debugged, and solidified this integration"

By CBR Staff Writer

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), open source’s elder statesman, has moved 200+ million lines of code for its 350 projects off its own git (distributed version control system) architecture and onto Microsoft’s GitHub, wrapping up a project that first began in 2016 and finally decommissioning its own git service.

The ASF had previously made two version control services available for contributors and hosted them on its own infrastructure: Apache Subversion and Git. It is the latter that has now been shut down; in part in a bid to trim the ASF’s costs.

“Through the years, an increasing number of projects and their communities wanted to see their source code available on GitHub. As these [existing GitHub repos] were read-only mirrors, the ability to use GitHub’s tools around those repositories was limited”, the ASF said today, explaining the migration in a blog.

Move Helps Shift Costs 

The foundation’s 2018 five-year strategic plan noted that infrastructure services account for more than 80 percent of the total ASF expense budget, adding: “Increasingly, project communities have infrastructure requirements that strain the capabilities of the ASF.”

The report noted that, given burgeoning costs, encouraging the use of more externally provided services was its best option. (“Using a simple growth forecast to project expenses and effective governance and mentoring to ensure that using externally provided services does not in any way present barriers to entry to projects or reduce transparency, inclusiveness and diversity.”)

It was not immediately clear how the shift changes cost allocation and financial burden for projects. Computer Business Review has asked the ASF for further details.

Apache Software Foundation GitHub Migration: Projects Asked to Move off ASF Git Late Last Year

apache software foundation github“In 2016, the Foundation started integrating GitHub’s repository and tooling, with our own services. This enabled selected projects to use GitHub’s excellent tools,” said Greg Stein, ASF Infrastructure Administrator.

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“Over time, we improved, debugged, and solidified this integration. In late 2018, we asked all projects to move away from our internal git service, to that provided by GitHub. This shift brought all of their tooling to our projects, while we maintain a backup mirror on our infrastructure.”

Read this: Introducing Three New “Top Level” Apache Projects

GitHub said: “We’ve been working with Apache to meet their needs and better support open source projects doing important work. We’re grateful to have such an impactful foundation migrate and grow directly on GitHub. With this transition completed, Apache can focus on building software and their community.”

“Whether we’re working with individual open source maintainers and contributors on some of the world’s largest open source foundations like Apache, GitHub’s mission is to be the home for all developers by supporting open source communities, addressing their unique needs, and helping open source projects thrive.”

The ASF does not have offices or buildings, and exists only on the internet. Its only physical existence is the technical infrastructure that enables it to operate, including its web serving environment, code repositories, mail management environment and issue / bug tracking, along with its distribution mirroring system

The ASF deploys in production a number of Apache softwares, including HTTP Server (httpd), Subversion, SpamAssassin, Tomcat, Traffic Server, mod_perl, RAT (incubating), Gump and Continuum, Steve, mod_mbox, Pulse and Orthrus (see labs), Solr, Directory Studio, a selection of in-house projects (including the committers index and the committers URL Shortener), and the Apache CMS.

See also: Meet the Apache Software Foundation’s Top 5 Code Committers


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