A few of my more astute followers have probably noticed that I've migrated a lot of my personal projects like FaceBrick off of Gitorious onto Github, and a few people have asked me why I don't really like Gitorious, so I thought I'd sit down and put some words out on exactly why I've decided to migrate - in the (admittedly probably unlikely) hope that someone at Gitorious might actually hear this, sit up, and start taking notice.

First up, for those of you who don't know what these two services are, they're quite similar. They both serve to provide infrastructure for projects (such as an interface for Git repositories, Git being a version control system).

Firstly, some reasons why I consider Gitorious good:
.. the problem is, that's about all it has over Github.

Github has:
  • A (cool) issue tracker, being able to create arbitrary pretty labels is nice
  • A better, more obvious UI exposing features like the wiki in a clear way
  • A downloads section
  • Graphs
  • A much better UI for integrating third party changes (Merge Requests are positively clunky by comparison)

And then, the real reasons I started looking for alternatives to Gitorious in the first place:
  • The fact that support@gitorious.org (email and otherwise) seems to be an alias to /dev/null
    • An associate of mine sent a mail to support@ regarding a problem. No response.
    • I myself have sent two mails to support@gitorious.org, one CCing someone who worked at Gitorious. No response.
    • #gitorious on freenode seems full of people asking questions about Gitorious (both the code and the service) and totally devoid of people getting answers
    This lack of feedback also exacerbates other issues mentioned below.
  • The fact that bugs or strange lack of features exist and don't seem to really be addressed
    • Spam in comments on commits is possible, yet deleting those spam comments or at least reporting them is not
    • Deleting repositories (such as facebrick's which has now moved to Github) causes an error page without actually deleting the repository, happened multiple times on multiple repositories
    • Useless mails from Gitorious when a merge request is updated:

      One of your favorites has a new activity:
      dboddie updated merge request for aep-qt-upstream with qt


      Don't get me wrong - this mail is great. But which favourite, which merge request? I have over 50 on follow. Linking me to the repository is not helpful when it has over 100 merge requests open, a large number of which I am following.

Hopefully someone can take this as a starting point to help Gitorious shine. And if the Gitorious people themselves should actually stumble across this, I hope you take the criticism to heart as a way to improve.

And yes, I know it's open source so I can do this myself. But frankly, I have enough projects sucking at my free time. I don't need more. So I'll use the best tool for the job and let other people go about developing it.