Why I moved to sourcehut.

This week I have moved all my public code repositories to sourcehut. Sourcehut is a great software forge that matches my ideal boyfriend forge almost spot on.

People online seem to like lists, so here’s a list of reasons why sourcehut is awesome:

  • It’s 100% free and open source software.
  • Sourcehut has a kind business model. Besides pledging to stay 100% FLOSS they offer to accommodate your needs if you require financial aid.
  • Sourcehut’s website is super sweet. It’s exactly the kind of website I like, fast, no-nonsense, easy to navigate, works great in text browsers and has only a minimal amount of JavaScript.
  • Sourcehut offers the git and mercurial version control systems and also has a todo/tickets system, mailing lists, continuous integration service, and a wiki system. And on the side they’ve also built an IRC bouncer and a static website server.
  • The sourcehut folks support a lot of open source projects beside their own.
  • Their patch workflow is based on “git send-mail” which I love and for people who prefer a different cup of tea: I’ve read that they’re also working to make this available in the web UI.
  • Sourcehut does not lock you in. You can still send patches to projects if you’re not a user. Thanks to the mail workflow.
  • Sourcehut is blazing fast. They have benchmarked it and I can tell from experience that this feels correct.
  • Sourcehut has no social media features. In my book that’s a huge plus. I really don’t like social media and I don’t appreciate how sad they can make me feel about myself. A lot of social media seems to be shaped around exploiting psychological traits to keep you on board and that’s something I really dislike. So no social media features, yay!
  • The company behind sourcehut is very transparent about their business side of things. They often blog about their financial status and even stated that they will never take VC money.

I’ve been a paying sourcehut user since March 2019 and summing all this up makes it seem odd why I didn’t move all my public code from GitHub earlier. I think the Software Freedom Conservancy stated it perfectly: “For software developers, giving up GitHub will be even harder than giving up Facebook”. Having also left Facebook a couple of years ago I couldn’t agree more. I thought it was necessary for my “online presence” as a serious programmer to have a well-filled GitHub account. However as the years passed the friction between GitHub’s social media infused proprietary stance and my personal ideals became too much. Thanks to the SFC’s campaign I reconsidered my position and decided to leave.

I haven’t closed down my GitHub account completely, since there’s still some projects there that people use. I have instead archived them and edited the README files to point to the new sourcehut location. Hopefully this will let a few others get to know sourcehut as well and maybe even consider switching.

P.S I have also briefly looked at Codeberg and while it seems like a nice FLOSS-friendly place run by great people I don’t like that it has followers, stars and activity views.