[Python-Dev] PEP 481 - Migrate Some Supporting Repositories to Git and Github

Donald Stufft donald at stufft.io
Sun Nov 30 18:09:07 CET 2014

> On Nov 30, 2014, at 11:55 AM, Barry Warsaw <barry at python.org> wrote:
> On Nov 30, 2014, at 09:54 AM, Ian Cordasco wrote:
>> - Migrating "data" from GitHub is easy. There are free-as-in-freedom
>> tools to do it and the only cost is the time it would take to monitor
>> the process
> *Extracting* data may be easy, but migrating it is a different story.  As the
> Mailman project has seen in trying to migrate from Confluence to Moin, there
> is a ton of very difficult work involved after extracting the data.  Parsing
> the data, ensuring that you have all the bits you need, fitting it into the
> new system's schema, working out the edge cases, adapting to semantic
> differences and gaps, ensuring that all the old links are redirected, and so
> on, were all exceedingly difficult[*].
> Even converting between two FLOSS tools is an amazing amount of work.  Look at
> what Eric Raymond did with reposurgeon to convert from Bazaar to git.

I fail to see how this is a reasonable argument to make at all since, as you
mentioned, converting between two FLOSS tools can be an amazing amount of work.
Realistically the amount of work is going to be predicated on whether or not
there is a tool that already handles the conversion for you. Assuming of course
that the data is available to you at all.

As a particularly relevant example, switching from Mercurial to Git is as easy
as installing hg-git, creating a bookmark for master that tracks default, and
then pushing to a git repository.

> It's a good thing that your data isn't locked behind a proprietary door, for
> now.  That's only part of the story.  But also, because github is a closed
> system, there's no guarantee that today's data-freeing APIs will still exist,
> continue to be functional for practical purposes, remain complete, or stay at
> parity with new features.

This feels like Chicken Little-ing. If Github closed it’s APIs then you could
still get at that data by scraping the web interface. However why would Github
do that? That would piss off the vast majority of OSS projects who are currently
hosted there and is likely to cause a pretty big migration off of Github for
fear that Github is going to attempt to lock people onto Github. The popularity
of Github *is* Github’s killer feature and doing something that is going to
send the vast bulk of your users running for the hills sounds like something that
they would have to be particularly stupid to do.

> Cheers,
> -Barry
> [*] And our huge gratitude goes to Paul Boddie for his amazing amount of work
> on the project.
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Donald Stufft
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