Github community championed as way forward

Has the Apache open source vision become blurred?

Chris Mayer

Arguments ensue between pro-Apache and Github enthusiasts but what is the future for open source?

It may be a cliché but the software world is rapidly changing and always in a state flux by welcoming a vast array of new languages and new thinking, through the advent of open source for example, the industry has been rife with breakthroughs over the last decade.

Analysts have been lauding Github for instigating the distributed version control model to nearly all open source technologies, through their dynamic social coding structure offering person to person communication system for contributions without a system of governance of the other competitors.

You’d have to be completely blind to not see the impact that they’ve had with recruiting users to the forge. Statistics from RedMonk’s Stephen O’Grady chart Github’s stratospheric growth over such a short period of time. Back in 2010, O’Grady prophesied that Git would be at the focal point of the open source community, impelling vendors and foundations to switch towards a decentralised model.

Source – Stephen O’Grady

Further analysis in this post by Chris Aniszczyk shows how Git has become the people’s SCM choice, as you can ascertain from the astronomical growth since 2010. Git and Mercurial are the two on the rise, but Subversion is still hanging on to a sizable chunk of interest. The big loser appears to be the now outdated CVS, without any form of distributed revision control.

Apache has faced a lot of criticism in the past few days for their perceived unwillingness to embrace the now open source standard – with some even suggesting that Apache has lost its way. Others suggested that Apache was focusing on the sense of community and not the code itself. Elsewhere Mikael Rogers created a stir with his blogpost saying

While Apache’s aversion to git has been known for some time among insiders, it only recently boiled to the surface and became somewhat common public knowledge when the CouchDB project initiated a migration to git from subversion. A lot of the discussion happened on closed email lists, of which I personally had limited access, but I do know that the move was met with fierce opposition from much of the ASF leadership (many of whom are subversion committers).

Bold claims. Rogers did acknowledge that some at Apache were trying to push the case for Git being used, but their voices were ‘drowned in the politics of an aging organization resistant to change’

The Eclipse Foundation’s Mike Milinkovich waded into the debate, suggesting that implications that Apache and other foundations (like his own) had outgrown open source were either premature or outright wrong. The Eclipse overseer admitted he was resistant to change but had his head turned by others within the community. After all, a community  Eclipse has already announced that they will shut down CVS and SVN at the end of 2012 for Git showing that more or less everyone now has embraced Git and Github.

As for Apache, it seems fairly clear-cut. Adopt Git/Github quick like the flock or face further criticism!

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