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Re: Updated review of GitLab

From: Tristan Miller
Subject: Re: Updated review of GitLab
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2019 19:33:59 +0100


On Tue, 29 Oct 2019 13:03:19 -0400, Ian Kelling <address@hidden>
> I should have linked it originally.
> key point: "We will not activate user level product usage tracking on
> or GitLab self-managed before we address the feedback and
> re-evaluate our plan. We will make sure to communicate our proposed
> changes prior to any changes to or self-managed instances,
> and give sufficient time for people to provide feedback for a new
> proposal."

Thanks.  Coincidentally, just a few hours after you posted this
message, I received the official retraction from GitLab.  I've
reproduced it below for future reference.


Begin forwarded message:

Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2019 01:49:41 +0000
From: GitLab Team <address@hidden>
To: <address@hidden>
Subject: We apologize and have rolled back the changes announced in our
October 23 email 

Dear GitLab users and customers,

On October 23, we sent an email entitled “Important Updates to our
Terms of Service and Telemetry Services” announcing upcoming changes.
Based on considerable feedback from our customers, users, and the
broader community, we reversed course the next day and removed those
changes before they went into effect. Further, GitLab will commit to
not implementing telemetry in our products that sends usage data to a
third-party product analytics service. This clearly struck a nerve with
our community and I apologize for this mistake.

So, what happened? In an effort to improve our user experience, we
decided to implement user behavior tracking with both first and
third-party technology. Clearly, our evaluation and communication
processes for rolling out a change like this were lacking and we need
to improve those processes. But that’s not the main thing we did wrong.

Our main mistake was that we did not live up to our own core value of
collaboration by including our users, contributors, and customers in
the strategy discussion and, for that, I am truly sorry. It shouldn’t
have surprised us that you have strong feelings about opt-in/opt-out
decisions, first versus third-party tracking, data protection,
security, deployment flexibility and many other topics, and we should
have listened first.

So, where do we go from here? The first step is a retrospective that is
happening on October 29 to document what went wrong. We are reaching
out to customers who expressed concerns and collecting feedback from
users and the wider community. We will put together a new proposal for
improving the user experience and share it for feedback. We made a
mistake by not collaborating, so now we will take as much time as
needed to make sure we get this right. You can be part of the
collaboration by posting comments in this issue: If you are a
customer, you may also reach out to your GitLab representative if you
have additional feedback.

I am glad you hold GitLab to a higher standard. If we are going to be
transparent and collaborative, we need to do it consistently and learn
from our mistakes.

Sid Sijbrandij
Co-Founder and CEO

                  Tristan Miller
Free Software developer, ferret herder, logologist

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