GitHub keeps evolving, offering more and more services and it is not only a static repository system. However, is it still an Open Source model?
When we talk about it, the first idea which comes to our minds is that it is a free system of project management and version control for code. It is nevertheless true that the latest years the platform has increased the type and quality of the offered services.
In 2018, many people and tech communities got scared by the acquisition of GitHub by Microsoft. Since this company was formerly the representation of all the opposite, and this movement could represent that the platform may change to a site with less freedom.
But the truth is that during the last years, we have seen how has not lost its spirit and has extended some services (some of them payment services) and enriching the existing ones.
New GitHub functionalities
Some functionalities of this platform, that you may or not know, would be:
- Codespaces: it provides a development environment with cloud technology, for any activity.
- Scan: maybe you have seen it advertised recently and it validates the security of our source code. We have the free version and several payment options.
- API: Integration of an API for searches in Github. It is very useful when using Github Enterprise and you want to create a marketplace or design a complex system with continuous integration.
- Marketplace: currently it has 100K and more than 50 tools (free and payment services) to improve your workflows and make the integration with such functionalities easier. You could also sell your application on this platform.
Free software does not refer to price
It doesn’t mean that you get it for free. The acquisition of NPM by Microsoft, improving the Github integration, has worried us more. What would happen if Microsoft decides to privatize or put a price to all the services in these two platforms.
Although in this case it seems that it will not happen in the short- and long-term, it does not guarantee us that this situation changes in the future, and we must migrate all the content to other repository systems, both the projects and the libraries.
Sometimes, it seems that the final goal of creating or sharing a tool by an open source license, is to sell it to a large enterprise in the future. As Stallman once said: “Free (with little or no restriction) doesn’t mean for free (gratis)”.