Fedora Hosted Usability and Developer Experience

Miro Hrončok mhroncok at redhat.com
Fri May 31 21:19:50 UTC 2013

Hi all,
few days ago I was explaining to someone*, what the Developer Assistant 
[0] is.

When I said something like: "...and you project is exported directly to 
GitHub [1] if you want", the person I was talking to interrupted me and 
asked an interesting question:

Why our own tools prefer a proprietary service, such as GitHub, over our 
own infrastructure (Fedora Hosted.org)?

The answer is very easy: Because developers prefer GitHub over Fedora 
Hosted and we want to target on the majority.

That leads us to other question: Why do developers prefer GitHub over 
Fedora Hosted?

Of course not each developer uses Fedora etc., but even many of our own 
projects are usually hosted on GitHub or Bitbucket - see Developer 
Assistant itself or Yumex as an example. Try to search Fedora on GitHub [2].

But other reason is, Fedora Hosted user/developer experience is way 
worse than GitHub's. Even for a registration or a small change you need 
to create a ticket, there is no interface for pull requests or similar 
things (or not that I am aware of). Browsing the projects (user 
friendly), whatever.

I would like to change that and make Fedora Hosted infrastructure 
something, that can compete GitHub. Or at least provide a service that 
developers using Fedora would consider as a choice.

What about running something as GitLab [3] or Gitorious [4] on Fedora 
Hosted, add continuous integration for creating repos with nightly RPMs, 
integrate it with FAS, brand it with Fedora graphics, add more stuff and 
make it cool. Simply provide a truly open alternative for developers 
that not only develop free software, but also are interested in freedom 
and openness?

Than we can provide our own service, that our tools can integrate with 
as default. I don't except developers will leave GitHub and move to 
Fedora Hosted, so there is nothing wrong on supporting GitHub in our 
tools. But wouldn't it make more sense to promote our own services at 
the first place? Why support a company that makes profit and is not 
related to Fedora at all?

Of course you can argue that Fedora's main goal is not to provide free 
software hosting service, but then why we offer Fedora Hosted in the 
first place, right?

[0] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/DevelopersAssistant
[2] https://github.com/search?q=fedora
[3] http://gitlab.org/
[4] http://gitorious.org/

* I haven't got time to ask for permission to publicly quote this person 
about this on the list, but if you are the person and want the 
attribution, feel free to say it :)

Miro Hrončok
Phone: +420777974800

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