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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] support me


From: Sytse Sijbrandij
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] support me
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2015 23:20:13 -0700

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your email!

We need the open core business model to be a sustainable business and
we don't plan to change it.

We understand the hesitance of the FSF towards this model and respect
their wish to only use free software.

It should be obvious how to get the community edition from the
homepage. We're prepared to make changes if needed.

Right now the homepage has an obvious download button, that links to
https://about.gitlab.com/downloads/ this is the recommended way to
install and it contains the source code (ruby is an interpreted
language) although as plain files, not as a git repo.

A bit lower on the page the term 'open source' is a link that links to
https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce/tree/master

For production instances the downloaded version is a better user
experience than the source installation. For development we recommend
our GitLab Development Kit
https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-development-kit

A separate website creates more confusion than it solves, we tried
gitlab.org and gitlab.com before but people were confused.

I'm afraid that adding a link to the source code next to the download
link would lead to more people installing from source and complaining
that is too hard. We just ended two years of hearing about that by
making the download more prominent. We do have a contributing page
https://about.gitlab.com/contributing/ and a list of installation
options https://about.gitlab.com/installation/

Naming the CE version GitLab makes it hard to figure out what people
are talking about, GitLab CE, EE, CI and .com helps prevent
misunderstandings.

Best regards,
Sytse Sijbrandij
CEO GitLab B.V.


On Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 8:23 PM, Mike Gerwitz <address@hidden> wrote:
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> On Fri, Mar 06, 2015 at 09:09:01 -0800, Sytse Sijbrandij wrote:
>> We may disagree on tactics such as what license is best for GitLab and
>> our use of an open core business model. But I think that we both want
>> to  see more freedom and collaboration in software development. We admire
>> greatly what Mr. Stallman and the FSF have done and continue to do for
>> the world.
>
> Admiration is not a substitute for action.
>
> GitLab's "Community Edition" is indeed an excellent contribution to the
> free software community, and fills a niche that is otherwise dominated
> by GitHub.  That is important.  I have encouraged use of GitLab CE (most
> recently to Devuan) in the past, and will continue to offer it as an
> alternative to GitHub.  But I must do so very clearly, and very
> cautiously.
>
> Unfortunately, the "open core" business model that you describe cannot
> and will not be embraced by the free software community.  Freedom and
> collaboration are necessary consequences of software freedom---it's not
> that we want to "see more" of it.  We want to see more software
> freedom.
>
> Proprietary extensions to GitLab are antithetical to that level of
> collaboration.  In fact, on the surface, we have a situation similar to
> that of GitHub: collaboration is encouraged, but not when it comes to
> their software!  GitLab has the benefit of encouraging collaboration on
> its own free software (which I will not discount), but it veils that
> with proprietary software, and in fact downplays the Free version:
>
>   https://about.gitlab.com/features/#enterprise
>
> GitLab is encouraging both the use of proprietary software and
> SaaSS[0].  As such, this places free software activists in a very
> difficult situation to even suggest GitLab, because the mere suggestion
> will take them to a website that attempts to up^H^Hdownsell them to a
> proprietary version.  In fact, the GNU project cannot, per its
> guidelines, even recommend or link to GitLab.[1]  That's no good!  It's
> not even obvious how to get to the CE edition source code from the
> homepage.
>
> I would encourage GitLab to put more emphasis on their "community
> edition"---by providing more clear, dedicated pages (preferably its own
> website, that free software users can link to, that does not try to
> promote proprietary versions of GitLab) for it, and a very clear link
> directly to the source code directly on the homepage, as prominent as
> all other major links.  I would also encourage renaming the project from
> "community edition" to simply "GitLab", and leave the other as "GitLab
> Enterprise"; all software should be "community edition" by default; why
> does that need to be stated?  If GitLab is focused on developing
> communities, then that should be implicit.
>
> GitLab is a powerful contribution to the free software community, but if
> it is to thrive as "the" Free alternative---and it could!---then it
> needs to hold its head high and be an example of those freedoms.  Many
> of us will never agree with the business model you call "open core", but
> that does not mean a community cannot continue to be built around it
> that encourages users' freedoms.
>
>
> [0]: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/who-does-that-server-really-serve.html
> [1]: https://www.gnu.org/server/standards/README.webmastering.html
>
> - --
> Mike Gerwitz
> Free Software Hacker | GNU Maintainer
> http://mikegerwitz.com
> FSF Member #5804 | GPG Key ID: 0x8EE30EAB
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