[FRIAM] Subject: Re: Friam Digest, Vol 180, Issue 3

Jon Zingale jonzingale at gmail.com
Tue Jun 5 13:41:13 EDT 2018

I was being a little bit cheeky in my response to Microsoft's
acquisition of Github, though I am disappointed. Two salient
and moderate responses seem to be that:

1) One could always migrate to another cloud service, gitlab perhaps?
Another option could be to take the 30 seconds it takes to setup one's
own git origin.

2) There ought not be a difference whether those at Microsoft
(an undeniable champion of proprietary rights) and those at GitHub
(the developers of a service developed within the context of an
open-source community) manages what may be the world's
largest open-source collection of code.

For me, GitHub has been the only social media I have ever known.
I have often enjoyed browsing the stacks and seeing how fellow
programmers have come to express their ideas in code. To `pick
one's own code and go home` strikes me as reactionary (leftpad
anyone?), in that doing so dismisses the value of these commons.
The roles GitHub has come to play in the development world are manifold.
Many software houses consider participation in open-source
GitHub projects as-valuable-if-not-more than having a CS degree.
Collaborations outside of software, in the narrow, have found their
home in this community. For instance, the highly publicized (at least
for mathematics) development of `Homotopy Type Theory
<https://www.ias.edu/ideas/2013/bauer-hott-book>` had been
collaboratively written using this technology. In short, version control
is not just for programmers anymore.

While it is often an individually inexpensive position to give the
benefit of the doubt to Microsoft, I find it difficult to summon a
sense of good-faith. By analogy, Scott Pruitt may do wonders
for the environment. We will have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I anticipate the day I have to wait for software updates
when I go to git pull from origin. ;)

Jonathan Zingale
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