Goodbye Mac OS Forge, hello GitHub

Joshua Root jmr at
Sat Aug 20 01:11:19 PDT 2016

On 2016-8-20 11:04 , Kevin Walzer wrote:
> On 8/19/16 8:18 PM, Ryan Schmidt wrote:
>> Since 2006, Apple has hosted MacPorts on its Mac OS Forge service. In the
>> decade since Mac OS Forge was created, collaborative software development
>> platforms like GitHub and BitBucket have become very popular and
>> successful,
>> and when I was hired as Mac OS Forge sysadmin last year, part of my
>> job was
>> to evaluate whether such services could be a suitable replacement for
>> those
>> offered by Mac OS Forge. We determined that the answer was yes, and that
>> GitHub was the best choice, due to its overwhelming popularity. Other
>> Mac OS
>> Forge projects including XQuartz, CUPS and CalendarServer are already
>> in the
>> process of moving to GitHub, and the time has now come for MacPorts to
>> likewise bid a fond farewell to Mac OS Forge and move on.
> This is certainly an interesting development. I hope this works out well
> for the MacPorts project. What will become of MacOS Forge if all its
> projects migrate off it? Is Apple ceasing support for MacOS Forge?

I can't speak for Apple, but I imagine if all the projects move 
somewhere else, Mac OS Forge will simply cease to exist. Is it still a 
hosting service if it isn't hosting anything? :)

Pretty much every project on Mac OS Forge apart from us was run by Apple 
employees, and I'm sure Apple projects will continue to get the server 
resources they need. I can't imagine WebKit would just disappear, for 
example. Whether it will still be under the Mac OS Forge banner I don't 

> I understand that a lot of thought has gone into this decision, but it's
> also not hard to view one of its primary motivators--"all the cool
> projects are on Github, and it's crucial for developer mindshare"--as
> something to view with concern. Competition in this space is healthy. A
> decade ago SourceForge occupied the place in the community that Github
> does now, and there was hardly any place else to go if their site was
> down. One reason Tcl/Tk moved off SF to their own Fossil repo was
> because of a serious outage at the site that prevented commits for weeks.
> This is more of a hope that Github does not become the kind of
> monoculture that SF was than any criticism of Github--as long as
> Bitbucket and other platforms are around and still have some volume,
> that will help.

I share these concerns and brought them up during the discussions. And 
TBH I think Mercurial is a better tool. But we did come to a consensus 
that GitHub is overall the best choice at this time.

And as Mark mentioned, one of the advantages of a DVCS is that the full 
repository history isn't locked away on a single server, so if GitHub 
goes down or turns evil, we can easily pack up and go elsewhere. (This 
of applies to source code but not to things like issues, which is 
another good reason to keep them on our own server.)

- Josh

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