Should I stay or should I go?

GitLab is stepping up its game in the midst of “git wars”

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It has been a crazy couple of days for the programming community. GitHub’s acquisition by Microsoft has dropped like an atomic bomb creating panic and/or excitement for the new era that rises for not only GitHub, but all the git-based platforms. GitLab appears to be the first to make the most out of this interesting turn of events.

In light of the ground-shaking news of GitHub’s acquisition by Microsoft, GitLab is definitely stepping up its game. In the past two days, things have been moving crazy fast for GitLab with over 100.000 repos imported, a 7x increase in orders and over 2.000 people on Twitter going nuts about the #movingtogitlab trend. The numbers speak for themselves. Take a look at the GitLab import statistics:

But GitLab doesn’t rest; it’s taking advantage of this most favorable turn of events to make it even easier for projects to migrate to GitLab.

It’s the ultimate gold… and it’s for free

Just a few hours ago, GitLab announced that GitLab Ultimate and Gold are now free for educational institutions and open source projects. More precisely, according to the official announcement:

  • Educational institutions: any institution whose purposes directly relate to learning, teaching, and/or training by a qualified educational institution, faculty, or student can now use GitLab Ultimate and Gold for free. Educational purposes do not include commercial, professional, or any other for-profit purposes.
  • Open source projects: any project that uses a standard open source license and is non-commercial student can now use GitLab Ultimate and Gold for free. It should not have paid support or paid contributors.

GitLab Ultimate and Gold, in case you are not familiar with the products, are the most comprehensive offerings by GitLab.

SEE ALSO: What do you think of Microsoft buying GitHub?

In their official announcement, the GitLab team also talks about the motivation behind those changes. What really caught my eye was:

We make GitLab free for education because we want students to use our most advanced features. Many universities already run GitLab. If the students use the advanced features of GitLab Ultimate and Gold they will take their experiences with these advanced features to their workplaces.

And they are absolutely right!

In the midst of git wars

A whole year ago, Christopher Watson, wrote an article on all the reason why he chose to switch to GitLab. To briefly mention, Watson believes GitLab is the better choice because, among others, it offers:

  • Syntax themes
  • Registry
  • Pipelines/GitLab CI
  • 3rd party integration

A year has passed since Watson’s article and  Gitlab has made even more improvements to enhance the experience of its users and make their lives even easier. So after the shocking news about GitHub/Microsoft, the fact that more than 2.000 people on Twitter appear to be noticing all the merits of migrating to GitLab themselves starts to make sense.

And the question remains: Will GitLab end up winning the git wars?


Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

Rod Johnson wrote an interesting article on the reasons why GitHub’s acquisition should not be seen as a threat to what we came to know as “social coding” on the most influential and, according to many people, the best collaboration platform. In his article he writes:

Developers should celebrate the Microsoft/GitHub deal. This is a $7.5bn endorsement of the importance of what we do, and the business value created by code. The story isn’t Microsoft changing GitHub for the worse: it’s the open source and collaborative coding practices that drive GitHub changing Microsoft for the better. It’s not business corrupting what developers have created: it’s the power of what they’ve created transforming business.

Based on what was mentioned so far, the reasoning behind the choice to migrate to GitLab can be twofold; either Microsoft is perceived as a threat or GitLab is simply seen as the superior platform. So, what will it be?

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou was the editor for Coming from an academic background in East Asian Studies, she decided that it was time to go back to her high-school hobby that was computer science and she dived into the development world. Other hobbies include esports and League of Legends, although she never managed to escape elo hell (yet), and she is a guest writer/analyst for competitive LoL at TGH.

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