I was driving on my way to work this morning thinking about repository hosts, and I thought I’d look up some articles on other people’s experience with the three. Sr.ht is so new that not a lot of people have posted about it, and of course there’s a ton of articles on Github vs Gitlab.
I decided I’d write my own article about my personal experience with all three.
I was introduced to Gitlab decently early in it’s development, but didn’t dive into it until I started working at Isolary. Gitlab is really quite a nice solution. It basically has everything you would need for a software project baked into it. And everything works with each other really well.
One of the biggest benefits is that Gitlab offers a hosted solution, but also offers a self-hosted solution. That’s extremely appealing to people like me. I definitely prefer self-hosted solutions. My personal issue with Gitlab though, is that the self-hosted “free” packages are limited. But, they still contain most every feature you’d need, honestly.
One of the biggest downfalls that a lot of people point out (and that I agree with) is the lack of community. For me personally, that’s not a big deal. I don’t really have very many projects with multiple contributors. That being said, it really does not support exploring other projects and finding other people (networking basically).
The situation that this created for me, which is why I didn’t pick Gitlab as my personal solution, was that it felt like I was in this huge room with a bunch of different tools, but no one else in it with me. It felt lonely, as weird as that may sound.
I think Gitlab is an excellent solution for teams, but I personally don’t like it for my own projects.
Github is more or less the reverse of Gitlab. Now, I will preface with Github has been introducing more and more features to compete with Gitlab. But, at the point of writing this, to get the same amount of features Gitlab has baked into your project, you’d have to integrate some third party solutions.
That being said, I really like Github as a personal solution, and I don’t have much experience with it as a team solution. While Gitlab feels more featureful without the need to integrate third party solutions, Github feels more network-capable.
By network-capable, I mean I really do feel a sense of community in Github. To add to that, a lot of other various third party platforms let you login with Github, which makes the account feel useful outside of Github itself.
I don’t want to boost the community feeling too much of Github. One thing I have noticed is that you do have to be very intentional about being involved in the community. That’s not necessarily a negative thing, but it is something I feel a lot of people don’t realize.
If you’re not intentional about going out of your way to network with people, your issues or repo will feel like you’re speaking at a normal voice in a 1000 person crowd.
I have noticed that a lot of people have been more negative towards Github since the Microsoft acquisition. Microsoft has a bad taste in my mouth, so if I’m being honest I did kind of jump on that bandwagon. What do you expect though? Microsoft has burned me so many times that I’m scared of them.
I also realized recently, that I don’t need the community features of Github. I don’t utilize them. I also don’t need the “bloat” of Gitlab (there’s just a lot of features of Gitlab I wouldn’t use personally).
This is why the next option was so appealing to a minimalist like myself.
Sr.ht is a new (still in alpha) platform. They offer hosted solution (which is what I use), but also offer self-hosted solutions. It’s an open source project.
It just feels intentional. Everything I do is just what I need to do. And, they have pretty much anything I would need. They have repo support in their git platform. They have CI/CD in their build platform. They have issue tracking in their todo platform.
The website also just feels minimal, which I truly appreciate it.
I can’t speak much more than that on Sr.ht, but I’m slowly maneuvering my repositories over to it.
#TODO: Write a blog post after one year of using Sr.ht