recently, github got acquired by microsoft. when i heard this news, it was a complete curveball thrown out of nowhere.
the first thought that came to my mind was, “wtf???!!”
at first, i was disappointed. heh. another corporate sellout.
but as I read more news, i became less and less disappointed. i was frustrated that Microsoft was going to screw over github, just like the way they did with Skype. for common folks like us, it has all sorts of problems now.
for example, when i tried to talk to a good friend from japan, skype had a lot of issues.
and then, there was so many complaints online about how people’s private repositories were not safe anymore. i became concerned too…
then i looked the computer that i was using.
needless to say, this was an unwarranted worry. microsoft owns so much software.
they have windows. they have office. they have azure. and now github.
it’s crazy. and a bit scary. i mean, how can one corporate entity own so much?
if they wanted, they could snoop on almost every single person’s computer, and collude with the government to give all sorts of people data.
if they wanted. maybe they already do. who knows.
and push comes to shove, if there is crazy proprietary code on github’s private repositories, they would take a look. and try to incorporate new, novel ideas, if it threatens their business.
to give an example, it’s like having a cookies on the table after a huge thanksgiving meail.
there is no way in hell you’re going to take another bite. you’re already full.
but soon or later, when all that food comes out the other end, you’re going to eat that cookie. maybe steal a chococlate chip or two.
so the question is: will i push my code to github?
so far, yes. i really don’t have anything novel or extremely valuable.
but on the off chance i work on a product that is a competing product against microsoft, no way jose. not on github, or any other web service for that matter. they’d be easy to compromise…
now, do i blame github for selling out? not really. they’re not really a public good. the fact of the matter is, venture capitalists and enough investors poured so much money into it, that this buyout was probably idael.
and now the founders have enough money to not work for the rest of their lives. can you blame them?
furthermore, there’s no way for us to know what their balance sheet looked like. maybe their burn rate was aggressively high, and they needed an exit plan real quick.
regardless, the selloff was pretty depressing. it got me to think: is there a way for anyone to build a distributed version on a new technology like ipfs?
but there’s just so many barriers to get this done. and it’s really hard to build something useful to humanity, when you know that you’re not going to get paid a huge ton of money.
the logistics is extremely hard as well. there are so many technological challenges in building such a system?
how would users discover cool open source projects? how would you assign star equivalents? how would private repositories work?
and most importantly, how can you guarantee that if you use a distributed system, that your repository will always be available to anyone?
maybe a small, smart group of people will come up with something clever and extremely functional. maybe not.
but overall, i’m still putting my stuff on Github. And trust in Microsoft. For now.