Help
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Pilot Lvl 2
Message 1 of 14

Why is the GitHub Community using Lithium, not an open-source platform?

Since GitHub is litterally the home of several hundred open-source forum projects, it seams counter-intuitive and counter-ethical to use a paid, closed-source platform, Lithium.

 

I have to ask: Why is GitHub using a paid, private, Lithium Community instance instead of an open-source instance?

13 Replies
Ground Controller Lvl 1
Message 2 of 14

Re: Why is the GitHub Community using Lithium, not an open-source platform?

Well, GitHub itself isn't even open source. So why should their forums be?

Pilot Lvl 2
Message 3 of 14

Re: Why is the GitHub Community using Lithium, not an open-source platform?

The thing is that GitHub isn't open-source for a number of reasons: they're a for-profit business, it would ruin the community aspect (people would just run their own GitHub instance) and it would expose any existing security vulnerabilities, whereas using an open-source forum doesn't present such problems since the major open-source forums are (I assume) confirmed to not have any security vulnerabilities :)
Ground Controller Lvl 1
Message 4 of 14

Re: Why is the GitHub Community using Lithium, not an open-source platform?

 


ItsPugle wrote:
The thing is that GitHub isn't open-source for a number of reasons: they're a for-profit business, it would ruin the community aspect (people would just run their own GitHub instance) and it would expose any existing security vulnerabilities, whereas using an open-source forum doesn't present such problems since the major open-source forums are (I assume) confirmed to not have any security vulnerabilities :)

 

that is a non-issue. linux is open source...

Pilot Lvl 2
Message 5 of 14

Re: Why is the GitHub Community using Lithium, not an open-source platform?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Copilot Lvl 2
Message 6 of 14

Re: Why is the GitHub Community using Lithium, not an open-source platform?

If anything, it is more secure. More eyeballs on your code mean more chances to catch the vulnerablilities. 

Pilot Lvl 2
Message 7 of 14

Re: Why is the GitHub Community using Lithium, not an open-source platform?

@nadiajoyce - Would we be able to get a reply from you (or any other Hubber) on behalf of GitHub regarding this? 

Community Manager
Message 8 of 14

Re: Why is the GitHub Community using Lithium, not an open-source platform?

@ItsPugle In creating the Community Forum, we needed a platform that gave us tools for posting articles, creating contests and polls, and other ways to interact with the community that extends beyond just a forum. We are absolutely committed to open source and did investigate open source tools, but they didn’t provide the feature set that we needed for this forum.

Mark helpful posts with Accept as Solution to help other users locate important info. Don't forget to give Kudos for great content!

Pilot Lvl 2
Message 9 of 14

Re: Why is the GitHub Community using Lithium, not an open-source platform?

Thanks for the reply, @nadiajoyce! It's good to know that you & your team looked into some of the Open Source options :) 

Ground Controller Lvl 2
Message 10 of 14

Re: Why is the GitHub Community using Lithium, not an open-source platform?


nadiajoyce wrote:

@ItsPugle In creating the Community Forum, we needed a platform that gave us tools for posting articles, creating contests and polls, and other ways to interact with the community that extends beyond just a forum. We are absolutely committed to open source and did investigate open source tools, but they didn’t provide the feature set that we needed for this forum.


 

 

I think it is absolutely fair to pick a competing product over Discourse, it is Githubs choice. But... I do not really buy the "polls", "articles", "contests" thing, Discourse is extremely extensible, polls exist out of the box and plugins for pretty much anything you want either exist or can be built. We already support Markdown and even Math which can be relevant for technical discussions.

 

Pasting code here is difficult and not syntax highlighted, you can not embed Github Issues or repos or Gists which is a huge need on a site like this: 

 

For example, this snippet:

 

https://github.com/discourse/discourse

https://github.com/discourse/discourse/commit/d07ebf9d4c5d8935abf2f4ded60b2a35f154ccb3

https://gist.github.com/SamSaffron/88512ff1ede0e438da395800c79cbb08#file-method_profiler-rb-L7-L21

```ruby
def hello
   put "world"
end
```

 

Will generate this post on Discourse.

 

github.PNG

 

I personally migrated a giant Lithium community (Western Digital) to Discourse a couple of years ago and we had complete feature parity at the time, with a few gaps filled using plugins. 

 

We already host 3 existing Github communities at Discourse (Atom, platform, education) all seemed to be doing fine and are linked at the footer of this very site. 

 

I think the truth here is that Lithium are just SUPER kick-ass in sales, they are just way better than us. They know how to influance and win with the people who are in charge of the wallet. They keep calling, they offer deals, they have a very strong pre-sales team. This win of Lithium here is a huge testament to how successful thier sales team is, so huge hats off to them. They are so good we were not even in consideration once the "picking of the product" started happening. 

 

I am disappointed, cause I wish we would have been consulted and I strongly think we have a product that would work better in many ways to what was deployed.  I have personally contributed fixes to Ruby and Gems that are used in Github production code, so I feel kind of cheated. 

 

But, hey, you can't win them all.  

 

Sam Saffron

Co-Founder, Discourse