back to article GitLab U-turns on deleting dormant projects after backlash

GitLab has reversed its decision to automatically delete projects that are inactive for more than a year and belong to its free-tier users. As revealed exclusively yesterday by The Register, GitLab planned to introduce the policy in late September. The biz hoped the move would save it up to $1 million a year and help make its …

  1. JBowler

    Neat, must remember to put bugs into code so it has to be continuously revised

    XYZZY (sorry, the post must contain letters, even if the title has all the content.)

    1. Must contain letters

      Re: Neat, must remember to put bugs into code so it has to be continuously revised

      so nothing's changed there then :)

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Neat, must remember to put bugs into code so it has to be continuously revised

      if the reason for "dormancy" is either 'legacy' or 'was written correctly and needs no fixing', then there needs to be a different metric other than "no commits for the last xxx days". In fact, a STABLE project that RARELY (if ever) changes COULD be the ideal library or utility to include with your product or services... until it gets wiped away because "it has not been 'maintained'".

      Even going into slow storage may be completely inappropriate. I hope they consider how often it is cloned or downloaded in that calculation...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Neat, must remember to put bugs into code so it has to be continuously revised

        The correct metric is surely the number of downloads over a given period. If people need to download it it remains important.

        1. that one in the corner Bronze badge

          Re: Neat, must remember to put bugs into code so it has to be continuously revised

          Unless it is being used by one of those "must get a new copy from the 'Net every build" setups, a stable library may still only see a very few downloads, when new projects grab their copy to go into the local repo.

          Though if you are including in "downloads" polling for updates, hopefully that would put the numbers up a bit.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Neat, must remember to put bugs into code so it has to be continuously revised

            If it's a commonly used library there are probably enough projects doing "let's download anyway because it's aa convenient a way as any to check" and if it's an application there are probably enough people who download because it's not in their OS's app store/repo.

            If you look on SourceForge there can be a surprising number of downloads listed for something you might have thought was niche or dead. And even if there aren't it's still there.

      2. K

        Re: Neat, must remember to put bugs into code so it has to be continuously revised

        Unfortunately code that doesn't get updated gets seen as abandon ware, even if it's feature complete and has no known bugs.. Its part of the throw away culture.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Neat, must remember to put bugs into code so it has to be continuously revised

          But it's far more likely to be a single 'hello world' uploaded by someone learning git

      3. tekHedd

        Automatically closed

        This is the repository parallel to "this ticket has been automatically closed because there has been no activity".

        We fixed the problem of too many open tickets by breaking the ticket system. We fixed the problem of too much source code by deleting the source code. See, this stuff was *easy* to automate, I don't know why we didn't think of this before! What do you mean "problem of too many employees?"

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Neat, must remember to put bugs into code so it has to be continuously revised

        I work for a company that says you can only use an open-source library if it's had some commits this year.

        So obviously I maintain a fork of the stable library I want to use, and I update its copyright date every year.

  2. An_Old_Dog Bronze badge
    Joke

    "Slower Storage"

    Operator: Please mount tape VSN=L84ZSW97 on /dev/mt7x.

  3. drankinatty

    A PR Disaster for Gitlab 1-Year After Push for Migration of Projects From Github

    This would have amounted to pouring salt in the wound, or a near complete betrayal by Gitlab after all of the effort and on-line buzz it generated a little more than a year ago encouraging Github users to migrate projects to Gitlab. Curious the proposed deletion of free projects comes just about one year after that big push. Almost like they were surprised they got what they asked for -- but forgot to factor in storage costs.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Windows

      Surprised ?

      You shouldn't be.

      Remember who bought them.

      1. Deebster

        GitLab is publicly traded as GTLB.

        Are you thinking of GitHub?

        1. iron Silver badge

          That would require thinking.

        2. The Indomitable Gall

          Maybe he's saying he got shares in them himself, and that he's not an investor to be trusted...?

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    before we automatically delete it and data therein.

    > dev/null... I suppose it's theoretically still available, but the response time is infinite?

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: before we automatically delete it and data therein.

      It is probably easier and faster to do reconstruction from /dev/urandom and wait until the universe' entropy results in your project.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Where to go?

    What with Microsoft messing with github, and the earlier troubles at sourceforge, is there anywhere that's reasonably safe?

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Where to go?

      Self hosting?

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: is there anywhere that's reasonably safe?

      Printer bugs in Windows??

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where to go?

      BitBucket?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, too late...

    ... these days I don't hesistate, I just take my toys and go. #GiveUpGitLab is also a thing now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ... these days I don't hesistate, I just take my toys and go

      That might indeed be a good strategy, ... but you do know the original phrase "throw your toys out of the pram" wasn't supposed to be either advice or a compliment, right? :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ... these days I don't hesistate, I just take my toys and go

        "Take my toys" is rather the opposite of "throw my toys" though.

        OP's phrasing seems more of a variation of "take my ball and go <elsewhere>".

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: ... these days I don't hesistate, I just take my toys and go

        In this case it's Gitlab who's doing the throwing.

        1. The Indomitable Gall

          Re: ... these days I don't hesistate, I just take my toys and go

          Indeed, like the parent who throws out your childhood memories during your first year of university...

          1. Jason Bloomberg

            Re: ... these days I don't hesistate, I just take my toys and go

            Worse the relatives who have cleared out your father's home before you arrive at the funeral. Valuable, rare, precious and sentimental things all unceremoniously dumped in the bin and lost forever to landfill, mine and his included.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Other internal documents seen by The Register mention the possible use of object storage to archive projects but express concerns that doing so would increase GitLab’s costs by creating a need for multiple redundant backups."

    Eh, if you want to be a successful project-hosting company on a massive scale, these contingencies should already be baked into your business plan. Your success should not be the cause of your failure.

  8. Graham Cobb Silver badge

    Is GitLab safe?

    The fact that this has come up at all - 1 year after their big push to replace GitHub - means that I am now worried whether GitLab have a viable business plan or whether they could just disappear suddenly. Any statements from the company on their financial position?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is GitLab safe?

      The great thing about Git is it's quite easy to set up your project to push to multiple hosts (in case one fails)

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Any statements from the company on their financial position?

      Arguably one possiblity with many of these "free" situations is that the company might contemplate a sale of itself, but has been given advice, or told by potential buyers that the "free" element is a drain on future profits, and therefore an unattractive proposition which must be got shot of before offers can be made.

      The flip-side is that any company wanting to stay independent could use this as a "poison pill" to discourage unwanted predators.

  9. ElRegioLPL

    “ Archived projects docs.gitlab.com/ee/user/projec… is a user activated state that signals intent. We're not sure yet but very likely the storage type used is orthogonal to that. Our current plan for object storage gitlab.com/groups/gitlab-… would keep the repos visible to everyone.”

    What the fuck is orthogonal?

    Speak english

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: What the f*** is orthogonal?

      I think they mean ought to go now.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: What the f*** is orthogonal?

        Relating to or composed of right angles.

        Of or relating to a matrix whose transpose equals its inverse.

        Of or relating to a linear transformation that preserves the length of vectors.

        Simple really - nothing to do with the subject at all.

    2. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      "What the fuck is orthogonal?"

      Maybe that's the new storage type after "shingled" that nobody's heard of yet...

  10. Ex IBMer

    Nothing that a bash script can't solve

    Simple - using cron, setup a bash script to go through the repo and insert a top comment saying - 'This text inserted because GITLAB are a bunch of clowns 0001'

    Set the script to increment 0001 accordingly, and delete the previously inserted lines - And There you go.

    You get the best of both worlds - 1 - You save your project from deletion, and 2 - You make GITLAB the most active repository on the planet! And nobody has to pay for it - it's all free - all of the storage and bandwidth!

    Go Open Source.

  11. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

    U-turn?

    Seems more like a swerve to avoid a squirrel in the road. From the beginning GitLab must have planned an undelete function, this sounds like they are modifying the "deleted" archive to make it visible.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: U-turn?

      U-turns teach you a lot about what people know about but are not talking about. A "U-turn" is always presented as a "solution" ( unless you are a Brexiter, LOL) even if you are announcing other U-turns all the time to get new votes.

      U-turns are not a solution or a problem, they simply give us clues about what's "going on" but not happening.

  12. DarkRookie

    Since I really don't know, could they, lets say, reduce the amount of free storage to something like 1GB and save a chuck of change? How many of these repos are even over that size?

    I don't seeing it saving the full 80%, but I can see it saving 50%. Unless someone cares to enlighten me why this won't save as much as I think.

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