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In 2016, Apache decided to start integrating GitHub’s repository and tooling with their own services. After working on the integration over the years, they made a move towards simplifying how they work and move all Git projects to GitHub. By February, this year, Apache completed the migration to GitHub and enabled all the projects with a simple platform to host and review code, collaborate on projects, and build software alongside developers around the world.

Greg Stein, ASF Infrastructure Administrator, said, “In 2016, the Foundation started integrating GitHub’s repository and tooling, with our own services. This enabled selected projects to use GitHub’s excellent tools. Over time, we improved, debugged, and solidified this integration. In late 2018, we asked all projects to move away from our internal git service, to that provided by GitHub. This shift brought all of their tooling to our projects, while we maintain a backup mirror on our infrastructure.”

Yesterday, Apache Software Foundation (ASF) finally joined the GitHub open source community. Apache Software Foundation has about 200M+ lines of code that are managed by an all-volunteer community of 730 individuals.

Nat Friedman, Chief Executive Officer of GitHub, said on this announcement, “We’re proud to have such a long standing member of the Open Source community migrate to GitHub. Whether we’re working with individual Open Source maintainers and contributors or some of the world’s largest Open Source foundations like Apache, GitHub’s mission is to be the home for all developers by supporting Open Source communities, addressing their unique needs, and helping Open Source projects thrive.”


Initially, Apache projects had two version control services, Apache Subversion and Git. As the number of projects increased, ASF communities wanted to see their source code available on GitHub because the codes were read-only mirrors. Also, the ability to use the GitHub tools around those repositories was very limited. This made Apache take the decision to join GitHub.

Greg Stein further added, “We continue to experiment and expand the set of services that GitHub can provide to our communities, given our own needs and requirements. The Foundation has started working closely with GitHub management to explore ways to make this happen, and what will be possible in the future.”

Many users think that the reason for Apache to migrate to GitHub was the increasing cost of managing the code and infrastructure. A user commented on HackerNews, “Apparently, one of the big motivating reasons for this was “cost”. The foundation’s 2018 five-year strategic plan noted that infrastructure services account for more than 80 percent of the total ASF expense budget, adding: Increasingly, project communities have infrastructure requirements that strain the capabilities of the ASF. The report noted that, given burgeoning costs, encouraging the use of more externally provided services was its best option.”

Another comment reads, “Holy shit, they’re spending $800k a year on infrastructure! Honestly, it’s difficult to understand why they haven’t sooner moved to GitHub, or even GitLab or the like – it feels reckless. That money could be put to far greater use – as an Apache supporter who hasn’t ever felt the need to look at their costs, I have to say that I’m very disappointed.”

To know more about this news, check out Apache’s blog post.

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