Sorry, I don't know if this question should be asked here or on TeX.SX.

My question is : Are there some good reasons to not move projects with large supporting community (like TikZ) to github.com?

Why I ask this question?

I know that it is not up to the community to decide where some project should be hosted, but maybe the community can influence the core team to do it.

And I believe that moving projects like TikZ to GitHub will benefit everyone.

What are the pros to move to GitHub?

1) Let's take one concrete example with this question and this answer.

If TikZ was on GitHub this bug could be fixed in minutes in the following way :

  • One person "forks" the TikZ repo, goes to file tikzlibrarycalc.code.tex (on github.com directly), adds % on line 339 and creates a "pull request" with a message describing this change. (2 minutes max)
  • The core team of TikZ receives this "pull request", checks it and accepts it. (2 minutes max)
  • And voilĂ , everybody can fix their personal copy of TikZ with a simple git pull from the TikZ folder on their computer. (less than a minute)

And this example is not an isolated case.

2) A lot of big opensource projects are moving from SVN (sourceforge) to Git (github), but I don't know a single one that is moving in the opposite direction. Probably there is a reason.

(The same way, nobody is moving from SVN to CVS.)

3) Big companies are moving their opensource projects from their own repos to GitHub (like Google and Microsoft) . Probably there is a reason.

4) GitHub has a solid business model that allows them to not have commercials on their site. This is not the case for SourceForge.

What are the cons to move to GitHub?

I can see only one : if the core team of TikZ is not used to using Git, it has to learn it. And Git has a not so short learning curve. But honestly, learning Git is far simpler than learning TikZ ;)

  • 1
    This doesn't seem to be a TeX question nor one about TeX-sx: it's policy question for the developers of one package. As such, you will be best asking them directly.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 7:46
  • On the question of fixing local code: that's what your local TeX tree is for :-) Fixing stuff in a development version doesn't affect most end users, remember (they need the developers to do a CTAN release, then for TL/MiKTeX to pick it up, then to update their TeX system.)
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 7:48
  • @JosephWright I know. But this is a question to the comunity and I don't know where else to ask it, may be TeX.SX is better place ?
    – Kpym
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 7:50
  • 1
    No, that's rather my point: development is not a question for the community, it's a question for the specific developers concerned.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 7:52
  • 1
    It's mainly a question to the maintainers of TikZ, not the community as a whole. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 7:53
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    @JosephWright I know how to fix a bug in my personal tree, but this is almost useless, because in this case my tex files can't be exchanged with colleges. And precisely because of this very long and complex "forkflow" that you describe, I suggest passing to something more "modern" ;)
    – Kpym
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 7:54
  • 1
    @TorbjørnT. As I write in my question, I hope that the community can influence the maintainers of the project ;) And the community can have an opinion on something that they do not control !
    – Kpym
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 7:55
  • @Kpym Yes it can: you send them a copy of the file. Moreover, what we really don't want is to go back to the pre-CTAN days where everyone had there own idea of what the correct version of a TeX file was.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 7:56
  • @JosephWright Did you think that on other opensource projects everyone had there own idea of what the correct version is ? For this, there is an official repo with master branch inside !
    – Kpym
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 7:58
  • Definitely wont disagree about a community having opinions. I'm still not sure about this being the right place though (and if at TeX.SX, the main site, not meta -- it's not a question about StackExchange). There is a mailing list at sourceforge.net/p/pgf/mailman/?source=navbar, I would assume the maintainers read that, so that could be a first avenue of approach. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 8:04
  • @TorbjørnT. thanks for the suggestion of the mailing list.
    – Kpym
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 8:08
  • I'll open a chat room for this: quite discursive! chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/29116/code-hosting-discussion
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 8:09
  • 1
    Did you read this ticket? Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 11:51
  • @PaulGaborit no ... very interesting ! thanks.
    – Kpym
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 12:00
  • 1
    @HenriMenke, the question seems to be open again, so go ahead and answer it, before it gets closed again ;) Commented May 5, 2020 at 10:50

1 Answer 1


PGF/TikZ is now available on GitHub.


This commit officially changed all the links:

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