Klezlab changed hosting provider - or why it's not on Github anymore


So last week I took the plunge and I subscribed to a managed hosting plan (with which provider is not important, and you can easily figure it out by yourself). I decided to go with managed hosting and not a full-blown VPS because I have a VPS already, their bandwidth guarantees are very low (in the almost impossible case my blog gets slashdotted) and because I don't want to go through the headache of securing a machine I'll just use to post my ramblings.

If you didn't know, this blog was previously hosted at Github, using their cool Github Pages feature. You simply treat your website as a git repository and push that to Github. Then point your DNS record to their IP, put a file inside your repo telling Github which domain name you come from. Done, you can publish a website as a git repo. That's quite cool.

On the other hand, there's a growing monoculture on project hosting. Many free software project are migrating to Github, and that's not quite cool.

Let me explain the pros and the cons, in case they're not clear already.

The good

Github projects provide developers with a lot of great features:

  • A central hub where users and other developers can interact with the team, open bugs, send patches via pull requests, track how the project is going, etc.

  • A wiki where you can put documentation

  • Everybody is there

This last point is what I'm taking issue with.

The bad

Git is architectured in a way that makes it decentralized. Github is taking this idea and turning it upside-down, becoming a central point (of failure) where your projects' code is hosted.

Also, as I said, everybody is there. By network effect, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, mostly like Facebook. Everybody is there, so everything happens there, so anyone who wants to be 'in' goes there. This promotes a monoculture, and I don't want to foster that by being part of it.

Finally, Github's back-end is proprietary.

Plans for the future

In practice, this means that not only my website isn't hosted on Github anymore, but that also the 2-3 little scripts I have there, are going to be migrated somewhere else (self-hosted).

I also plan to 'campaign' at my hacklab to move stuff away from Github, but I'm afraid this will be an uphill battle, because it's full of pragmatists in there :P .

In conclusion, I'll have you know when those useless little projects are going to be migrated. Stay tuned.