Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

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Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by Wuzzy » Mon Sep 02, 2019 09:10

So. It should be common knowledge by now that:

1. GitHub is owned by Microsoft
2. Minecraft is owned by Microsoft
3. Minetest is (kinda) like Minecraft
4. Minetest is hosted on GitHub

So, Minetest is directly depending on Microsoft. And Minetest is competition to Minecraft. Are you Minetest devs not worried that Minetest will eventually be booted from GitHub?

Let's just think about the worst case: Minetest gets booted off off GitHub, without any warning. So first, we'll lose the repository. That's annoying, but not a big deal, there will be at least one dev who still has a.
HOWEVER, GitHub is not only the code hoster, but also the bugtracker. This part is worrying me much more. There are thausands of bug reports and more importantly, pull requests! And there doesn't seem to be any backup at all, right? This would be extremely damaging to Minetest is these get lost.
I believe, if Microsoft will boot Minetest, it will probably just wipe out everything. Sure, it would be a massive dick move, but nothing is preventing them from doing this. It's in their power. They get to decide. We don't. And just because something was a dick move does not mean Microsoft did not do it. Sure, so far they weren't hostile to us YET, and they might “play nice” for now, but any change in leadership and BAM! It all might suddenly change. I think it's incredibly naive to believe Microsoft just will Minetest “let live”. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. You simply cannot rely on that.

Do you have ANY emergency plan in your drawer when things go wrong?
- Where will you migrate when you lose the GitHub repo?
- How exactly to track down the latest copy of the repo?
- Do you have ANY backup of the bug reports and pull requests? (this one is important!)
- If yes, does the backup actually work?

(I probably don't need to explain to core devs why backups are important :P)
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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by migdyn » Mon Sep 02, 2019 09:30

I don't think Microsoft would do something like this. Why? Although they removed another Minecraft clone's repo, but that's because it was using copyrighted MC textures and sounds, it also allowed people to login to servers without having a MC/MOJANG account, so it also implemented MC's networking system. Minetest doesn't do any of that. If they removed the repo, then probably a lot of other users would quit GitHub too, they would lose a big amount of users.
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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by Gael de Sailly » Mon Sep 02, 2019 09:43

Removing repos for something else than legal reasons will be extremely unpopular and will make thousand of people lose confidence in Github, and they don't have any significant interest in doing so (boosting Minecraft sales by a 1/50k-ish or less, wow!), as Minetest is a tiny community in comparison of Minecraft and only a small part of established MT players would switch to MC.

If we decide to emigrate from Github, one should also consider the reliability of Github alternatives. If the website disappears or runs into trouble, it will produce the same effect than M$ deleting the repo. I don't really know which one is the most likely to happen.
The migration itself will already be a tedious procedure and may lose some data, except if there is a convenient transfer feature that I'm not aware of.
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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by TenPlus1 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 09:46

many git alternatives have a port feature to transfer from one to the other, that's how I easily moved from github to notabug.org,although I do hope none of this is necessary and Microsoft behaves itself.
 

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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by texmex » Mon Sep 02, 2019 13:07

Relevant discussion. It's not about what MS will do "today" that is the issue, it's seeing what might become a problem further down the road based on MS's appropriation of open source compared to how integrated one is to a proprietary platform (very).

Below is a how a Gitea import looks like. Repo, issues, labels, milestones, releases, PRs and wiki can be automatically imported. Not a problem.

+ Screenshot

The dependency on Travis CI (which is Github-only, no?) would have to be replaced by something else, Drone perhaps.

The real issue is solving how to keep the flow of contributions when (if) jumping off Github. Gitea can use Github as an OAuth login provider for individual user handling so technically not an issue. However, users can't as easily stumble upon the Minetest repo and make a quick contribution (and get hooked). Having a Minetest-only repo platform also raises the threshold for collaboration for users accustomed to a single user for all git stuff (Github user) will have to start juggling multiple sites for handling PRs, and possibly multiple identities as well. Additionally, all existing users don't magically transfer over to the new platform, at least not so that they are @mentionable (how could they?) so reengaging old contributors has to be done manually and outside this platform.

Sustaining discoverability and contributions are the two most pressing issues, imo. Some devs might point to Gitlab, but I don't think is as much of a drop-in replacement for Github as Gitea is, hence raising the threshold for contributions even further.
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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by Hamlet » Mon Sep 02, 2019 13:19

Wuzzy wrote:So. It should be common knowledge by now that:

1. GitHub is owned by Microsoft
2. Minecraft is owned by Microsoft
3. Minetest is (kinda) like Minecraft
4. Minetest is hosted on GitHub
[cut]


Briefly: the core developers of Minetest do not care about it.
If you think that they should care about it because of "Open Source coherence" then, again, the core developers of Minetest do not care about it.
Source: What Git (or other) repo are people migrating to?

[humour]
In my humble opinion they probably think that "Open Source coherence == weirdos fanatism" (weirdo == Richard Stallman).[/humour]

To be completely honest, the de-facto lead core developer (Paramat) does not even care if Minetest is available in languages other than his own:
"Personally i'm uninterested in working on translations for MTG, but don't mind if others do. I'm also neutral about whether MTG should have translations." (source)
Go figure if he cares about which git host Minetest should use!

So, good luck if you think that you can expect anything different - regarding these matters - than what you had in the past years. Nothing will ever change: everything is written in stone.
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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by rubenwardy » Mon Sep 02, 2019 13:27

I support moving to another git host, I don't know what the best alternative would be though

Hamlet wrote:To be completely honest, the de-facto lead core developer (Paramat) does not even care if Minetest is available in languages other than his own


Paramat is not the lead core developer, defacto or not. I consider him the defacto lead of minetest game, simple because everyone else is burnt out from contributing to it
 

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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by Hamlet » Mon Sep 02, 2019 13:42

rubenwardy wrote:I support moving to another git host, I don't know what the best alternative would be though


I think that you are the only one.
I look forward to be proven wrong by other core developers.
Post Scriptum: Minetest is already mirrored on GitLab, so it seems that there is already a "best alternative" chosen.

rubenwardy wrote:
Hamlet wrote:To be completely honest, the de-facto lead core developer (Paramat) does not even care if Minetest is available in languages other than his own

Paramat is not the lead core developer, defacto or not. I consider him the defacto lead of minetest game, simple because everyone else is burnt out from contributing to it


Paramat's own words:
"By commit number i am the top contributor in Game and 6th highest in the Engine.
By total number of commits i am second after celeron55." (source)

If this does not make him the de facto lead core developer, then I hope that celeron55 has a higher interest than Paramat toward these matters. Actually though, I don't have any hope.
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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by texmex » Mon Sep 02, 2019 13:50

Instead of blackpilling the community with defeatism we should discuss viable solutions to the requirements derived from the current infrastructure, possibly even improvements. The opinions on migrating probably depends on the viability of the alternative, not the other way around. What are some additional requirements?
 

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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by Hamlet » Mon Sep 02, 2019 13:58

texmex wrote:Instead of blackpilling the community with defeatism we should discuss viable solutions to the requirements derived from the current infrastructure, possibly even improvements. The opinions on migrating probably depends on the viability of the alternative, not the other way around. What are some additional requirements?


https://gitlab.com/groups/minetest/-/group_members

Owned by celeron55 himself.
It just takes to close/archive/whatever the GitHub repository and move the actual development there.

I would bet 50€ that it will never happen, unless as other core devs already clearly stated "Microsoft does not screw things up".
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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by texmex » Mon Sep 02, 2019 14:19

Hamlet wrote:[It just takes to close/archive/whatever the GitHub repository and move the actual development there.


I don't think Gitlab is a viable drop-in replacement for Github.

Before acquirement, Github was a VC funded startup, which isn't exactly dependable long-term. Yet, the whole OSS/FOSS community threw themselves at it and became completely dependant on it.

Contributing on Github now directly contributes value to Microsoft. Some are fine with that, some accept it and some can't stand it. Personally I think FOSS projects should do their part in contributing to diversity instead of monopoly.

Gitlab is… you guessed it… also VC funded! That implies broadly the same incentives in business as Github (strive for monopoly, get acquired etc). Moving to Gitlab may end up being as a bad move as using Github, or worse. Why becoming dependent on another landlord?
 

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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by benrob0329 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 15:05

Minetest is competition to Minecraft

How? Because they use a similar artstyle? MTG and MC2 might be that way, but IKEA sure isn't competition, it's a very different game.

Gitlab is… you guessed it… also VC funded! That implies broadly the same incentives in business as Github (strive for monopoly, get acquired etc). Moving to Gitlab may end up being as a bad move as using Github, or worse. Why becoming dependent on another landlord?

Gitlab makes their money by selling the commertial variant of their software, while the free variant is open source.
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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by texmex » Mon Sep 02, 2019 17:09

Yes, it’s a common business model in open source. Gitlab.com isn’t open source though and I wonder what can actually be done in the CE version in comparison, especially in regard to continuous integration and the like.
 

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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by Linuxdirk » Mon Sep 02, 2019 17:58

rubenwardy wrote:I support moving to another git host, I don't know what the best alternative would be though

Why not selfhost under git.minetest.net? Mods could be hosted there, too (Git-based Content DB, anyone?).
 

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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by v-rob » Mon Sep 02, 2019 19:48

I personally think that Minetest should be mirrored on another site including bug reports and pull requests for backup, but continue to use GitHub as the main site until there comes any reason to move.
 

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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by Red_King_Cyclops » Mon Sep 02, 2019 21:46

If Microsoft attacked Minetest, then thousands of people would protest against Microsoft and possibly discover Minetest through supporting it against Microsoft. In this scenario, Microsoft would be indirectly helping Minetest.
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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by ShadMOrdre » Tue Sep 03, 2019 00:20

All the hysteria over M$ notwithstanding.....

MT has every legitimate right to exist, as a project and as software, simply due to the fact that the code is not compatible, nor does MT use any infringing content.

However, modders and game makers should be running for the hills if they are trying to provide ANYTHING that even REMOTELY resembles minecrap.

Wuzzy, are you asking this question because MCL is an obvious clone, and thus subject to M$? Well then of course the core devs are not worried that you might be infringing. They are not. You...????

Don't take it personal. It's just what is obvious.


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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by Linuxdirk » Tue Sep 03, 2019 06:41

texmex wrote:Gitlab is… you guessed it… also VC funded! That implies broadly the same incentives in business as Github (strive for monopoly, get acquired etc).

One of the two things WILL happen in future: 1. GitLab gets acquired by Google in order to have an own Git hosting platform and not having their open source tools hosted by a direct competitor. 2. GitLab gets acquired by Microsoft in order to extend their commercial Git hosting de-facto monopoly.

On long term there is no other solution than selfhosting to stay independent.
 

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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by Yvanhoe » Tue Sep 03, 2019 06:52

I really considered moving from github when it was acquired but that's the strength of git: it does not care who your provider is. I have a very lightweight (gitolite) self-hosted server so when github decides to go down, I can easily continue providing access to all my code, history and branch.

Like texmex said, the problem is for the content that lies in github's database. Things that lie in the repositories are trivial to mirror: code and wiki. The rest, especially PRs and issues, are the crucial things. I would not worry too much about the company behind the host rather than the direct access they give to the data. Rather than judging a non-profit vs VC-funded company, if there is an option that offers to store everything in a repo and uses open source code to serve the UI, I'd go for it, that's sustainable even if the host goes down for whatever reason.

I am one of these people who remembers MS from 15 years ago and I am never going to trust them for anything ever. While I agree right now that MS would be shooting themselves in the feet by shutting down MT, I would like to point out something: Like ShadMOrdre said, "MT has every legitimate right to exist, as a project and as software" but also Microsoft has every right to decide which projects it refuses to host. There are tons of scenarios I could see that would give MS a reason to shut down MT and where it would "unexpectedly" take a few months to restore, like frivolous claims by a commercial MT fork that they are the original and we are infringing. Or they could go the Apple road and decide to "protect" their users by preventing some .exe distributions for undisclosed reasons.

The most likely to me is that Github will slowly be integrated more and more into the MS ecosystem and will be harder and harder to use independently. The earlier you migrate, the less sense it makes but the less cost it has. I really fear they'll break the migration APIs as they add more features.
 

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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by Linuxdirk » Tue Sep 03, 2019 07:22

Yvanhoe wrote:I really considered moving from github when it was acquired but that's the strength of git: it does not care who your provider is. I have a very lightweight (gitolite) self-hosted server so when github decides to go down, I can easily continue providing access to all my code, history and branch.

Yes, it is literally one single command to change the repository (git remote set-url origin URL_GOES_HERE). It all depends on what you want. Selfhosting Git is quite easy, even so simple things like cgit are good. But having a modern bugtracker and CI and collaborative tools (wiki, knowledge database, forums, code discussions/comments, translations, etc.) makes it more complex.

Yvanhoe wrote:I am one of these people who remember MS from 15 years ago and I am never going to trust them for anything ever.

They're still the same company, even if Mr. Nadella is better in hiding this. They still want 100% market share and they still try to achieve this by destroying competitors. "Microsoft <3 Linux" my ass. They bought into the Linux foundation (MS is platinum member and thus has a seat on the board basically allowing them to change the direction the foundation takes), they took over the number one open source software hosting platform worldwide, and they want to push their file systems to the Linux kernel. They also flood the community with their shitty code and try to push their software.

Not to mention their sub system for Linux wich is basically a try to stop people from switching to Linux by offering a method to run Linux applications on Windows. The only reason this exists is that they do not want people to install Linux on a desktop computer.

Yvanhoe wrote:While I agree right now that MS would be shooting themselves in the foot by shutting down MT

No, nothing would happen. MT has a couple of dozens "core gamers", a few hundreds of "casual gamers" and a broadly defined community of maybe 2-3 thousands of recurring gamers. At any given time there are less players on registered Minetest servers than the top 10 largest Minecraft servers has free slots available for joining.

Let's face it: to Microsoft we're irrelevant. I bet most MS community managers don't even know about Minetest.

Yvanhoe wrote:but also Microsoft has every right to decide which projects it refuses to host.

They wouldn't deny competitors to host, they would even convince them to do so and they will offer them unlimited free private repositories and private issue trackers. Microsoft can peek into those whenever they want. So they will always know what private stuff is developed and they will always have direct access to all the critical security issues.

Yvanhoe wrote:The most likely to me is that Github will slowly be integrated more and more into the MS ecosystem and will be harder and harder to use independently.

This already happens.
 

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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by Hamlet » Tue Sep 03, 2019 08:43

Simple ideas, simple proposal:

Before starting to discuss about this or that alternative solution, it would make sense to know if the core developers are willing to leave GitHub.

This can be done either by:
1 - creating a public "Core Developers' Poll Thread", private messaging them and politely asking them to simply answer "Yes" or "No" to that thread.
2 - opening an Issue on GitHub to achieve the same goal.

If one of the Core Developers, or an half of them, or none of them answers the question - say, in a month - then it would be safe to assume that the answer is "No".

Else, if their answer is "Yes" they will decide themselves whether if the git repository should be moved to an existing Host, or to host a Git platform dedicated to Minetest. They are the ones who know what is needed.

We can spend hours, weeks and months debating: but the choice is theirs, so far the least that the community can achieve is to know what they think about it.
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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by Linuxdirk » Tue Sep 03, 2019 09:10

Hamlet wrote:Before starting to discuss about this or that alternative solution, it would make sense to know if the core developers are willing to leave GitHub.

Paramat is against accepting PRs or issues from non-GitHub users
sofar won't change anything right now
sfan5 doesn't want an issue tracker at all and wants IRC discussion only (nah, it's just worded like that)
nerzhul says: "No we will not move"
c55 doesn't want to move until MS "breaks" GitHub

https://github.com/minetest/minetest/issues/7901
https://github.com/minetest/minetest/issues/7412
http://irc.minetest.net/minetest-dev/20 ... #i_5320791
viewtopic.php?t=20223

Hamlet wrote:We can spend hours, weeks and months debating: [...]

It's always like this.

Edited my interpretation of sfan5's statement.
Last edited by Linuxdirk on Tue Sep 03, 2019 13:32, edited 1 time in total.
 

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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by texmex » Tue Sep 03, 2019 09:44

Yes, we know the current standpoint. But if the viability of the alternative informs dev opinion and not the other way around, then it's our role to demonstrate what some possible feature-parity alternatives are and perhaps even better than Github.

First talk, then stop talking and start experimenting with infrastructure, then talk again.
 

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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by texmex » Tue Sep 03, 2019 09:50

Wuzzy wrote:- If yes, does the backup actually work?


No Github backup tool can restore the data back into Github other then the code repo itself of course.

It's funny, even before the acquisition Github was deep into the embrace, extend, extinguish strategy. Microsoft is merely carrying on the practice.
 

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Re: Are we not worried that Minetest is depending on MS now?

by Wuzzy » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:26

sfan5 doesn't want an issue tracker at all and wants IRC discussion only

I believe you are misrepresenting what sfan5 actually said. You make sfan5 sound like a lunatic. The truth is a bit more complicated than that …
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