with the acquisition of Github by Microsoft I am getting more and more wary to use Github, and would like to probe opinions of other developers.

I am currently maintaining the TeX-Live group on Github which provides mirrors of the TeX Live source, luatex sources, texdoc, tlcockpit, as well as some others. Other groups that are relevant is Japanese TeX Developer Community page and probably quite some more.

I am contemplating the following options, and would like to hear opinions. Generally, there are two options:

  1. move to a hosted environment
  2. host your own git collaboration suite

ad 1.) here are several options, mostly based on Gitlab, a open source clone of Github:

ad 2.) we could host either Gitlab or one of the small-footprint variants (gitea, gogs) on either the tug.org or the texlive.info server, or set up a new dedicated server for TeX related git stuff.

Advantages of using Gitlab is that carry-out is easy, and everyone can set up one's own Gitlab server.

Looking forward to any comments.

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    I'm afraid that meta-tex-sx is for discussion about TeX-sx itself, not more general 'meta TeX topics': there is a discussion to be had on this subject, but not here (I'll open a chat room, perhaps).
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Jun 4, 2018 at 7:46
  • 1
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    I agree with @JosephWright that this is off-topic here. However, I tend to agree with your sentiments and disagree with (the first part of) the existing answer. I think it is perfectly reasonable to have a policy of avoiding all things MS when possible and practical. Sadly, it isn't always possible to avoid MS products, but when it is, I'm all in favour. I see this as simply a sensible precaution: I don't trust MS, so why entrust code/projects/content to them if I don't have to? So, I guess questions are: what are the downsides, if any, of these options versus GitHub?
    – cfr
    Jun 5, 2018 at 0:43
  • Given that TL includes material which Debian strips out (or did), I don't see Debian's Gitlab instance as being a good option: TL is more permissive licence-wise than Debian and I assume this means that TL can only be mirrored somewhere with at least as permissive licensing. (But you're well aware of these issues, so maybe I've misunderstood or things have changed somewhere.) It would be good if this stuff moved somewhere that non-TL TeX-related stuff can also move to, if people want to move. (E.g. some things which eventually get into TL start out on GH. Good to avoid too much scattering.)
    – cfr
    Jun 5, 2018 at 0:47
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    It would be great to see TUG (the organization) more directly involved in current LaTeX development and discussion, rather than Github, TeX-SE, etc. (which seem to be where TUG's members actually hang out). Perhaps the hosting proposal would be a win-win?
    – John
    Jun 5, 2018 at 2:16
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    Hold yer horses! Microsoft has merely announced that it is planning to acquire GitHub. So far nothing has happened at all, apart from scary press releases and funny memes. I for my part, will not move away from GitHub unless they decide to modify their terms of usage to my disadvantage. I couldn't care less about who “owns” GitHub. Jun 5, 2018 at 4:37
  • As I've noted, this question isn't about TeX-sx and so is off-topic. I've set up a chat room chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/78439/github-take-over so that people can discuss the implications (or otherwise) of the takeover.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Jun 5, 2018 at 6:08
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    As someone who has hosted a (non-public) GitLab instance in the past I'd strongly recommend to only go for self-hosting if you really have the resources to handle that (especially looking at GitLab's resource hungry front-end, GitLab CI runners etc.). And although I understand your sentiments I'd agree with Henri Menke that currently there is no urgent need for moving. On the other hand it's maybe a good idea and a good opportunity to look for alternatives in the long run and maybe even approach tug about this.
    – TeXnician
    Jun 5, 2018 at 10:23
  • @TeXnician what about the light weight alternatives, gitea or gogs? I had good experiences with gitea till now. Any comments?
    – norbert
    Jun 5, 2018 at 10:40
  • @norbert Unfortunately I haven't used them up to now, because we have been very satisfied with GitLab after we upgraded our servers.
    – TeXnician
    Jun 5, 2018 at 10:43
  • @norbert I think we should have this discussion again. GitHub has been very aggressive in offering services “for free” recently. Together with the introduction of GitHub Action and the acquisition of npm, this looks like that they are trying to lock people in as tightly as possible, before changing their terms of service. We should maybe think about self-hosting an instance of Gitea or GitLab at TUG. Apr 15, 2020 at 5:44

1 Answer 1


While I completely share the sentiment (I really really do), this is simply a knee-jerk reaction. You don't hunt down every service that uses Azure backend and also you don't even know what GitHub was doing with their services using Electron etc.

Notice that our code means nothing compared to GitHub's enterprise services in that business model. So in that sense this would only make a gesture. Guilt by association doesn't work well here.

We all know what kind of evil MS can and did pull off in the past but that doesn't necessarily call for action immediately.

Snatch this man back instead!!!111!!!!!Exclamation Mark!!!!

enter image description here

  • 1
    Uaaaht, Leslie Lamport is working for MS? I will stop using LaTeX at once!
    – thymaro
    Jun 5, 2018 at 13:34
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    @thymaro Since 2001. So probably you are a bit too late.
    – percusse
    Jun 5, 2018 at 14:21
  • in 2001, I had no knowledge of TeX. In 2001, we got our first family computer, 512MB HD, 8MB memory, 56k modem and whatnot. The world has changed a lot in the last 17 years. MS paint and Comic Sans are still the same, though.
    – thymaro
    Jun 5, 2018 at 18:16
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    ooh a distinguished scientist. For a moment, I read extinguished scientist! :) Jun 5, 2018 at 20:08
  • @thymaro MS paint actually becomes rather different on Windows 10 than 17 years ago... And perhaps M$ will turn it to a stupid Paint 3D in the future.
    – stone-zeng
    Jun 8, 2018 at 3:32
  • @Stone-Zeng A lot has changed since Windows Vista in the world. That narrative doesn't apply when you look at VS or other MS owned open source projects. I don't know what they will do but again guilt by association is not applicable here.
    – percusse
    Jun 8, 2018 at 12:16

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