GitLab vs Tower: What are the differences?
Developers describe GitLab as "Open source self-hosted Git management software". GitLab offers git repository management, code reviews, issue tracking, activity feeds and wikis. Enterprises install GitLab on-premise and connect it with LDAP and Active Directory servers for secure authentication and authorization. A single GitLab server can handle more than 25,000 users but it is also possible to create a high availability setup with multiple active servers. On the other hand, Tower is detailed as "The most powerful Git client for Mac & Windows". Use all of Git's powerful feature set - in a GUI that makes you more productive.
GitLab and Tower are primarily classified as "Code Collaboration & Version Control" and "Source Code Management Desktop Apps" tools respectively.
Some of the features offered by GitLab are:
- Manage git repositories with fine grained access controls that keep your code secure
- Perform code reviews and enhance collaboration with merge requests
- Each project can also have an issue tracker and a wiki
On the other hand, Tower provides the following key features:
- Clone & create repos with a click - Manage your GitHub, Bitbucket & Beanstalk accounts from within Tower
- Open repos quickly - Tower's "Quick Open" dialog finds and opens repositories in no time
- Automate the boring stuff - Fetching and stashing are automatically done for you, if you wish
"Self hosted" is the top reason why over 451 developers like GitLab, while over 16 developers mention "Git" as the leading cause for choosing Tower.
GitLab is an open source tool with 20.1K GitHub stars and 5.33K GitHub forks. Here's a link to GitLab's open source repository on GitHub.
Alibaba.com, trivago, and Avocode are some of the popular companies that use GitLab, whereas Tower is used by Swat.io, Coderus, and Startae. GitLab has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1234 company stacks & 1477 developers stacks; compared to Tower, which is listed in 31 company stacks and 16 developer stacks.
Do you review your Pull/Merge Request before assigning Reviewers?
If you work in a team opening a Pull Request (or Merge Request) looks appropriate. However, have you ever thought about opening a Pull/Merge Request when working by yourself? Here's a checklist of things you can review in your own:
- Pick the correct target branch
- Make Drafts explicit
- Name things properly
- Ask help for tools
- Remove the noise
- Fetch necessary data
- Understand Mergeability
- Pass the message
- Add screenshots
- Be found in the future
- Comment inline in your changes
Read the blog post for more detailed explanation for each item :D
What else do you review before asking for code review?
Using an inclusive language is crucial for fostering a diverse culture. Git has changed the naming conventions to be more language-inclusive, and so you should change. Our development tools, like GitHub and GitLab, already supports the change.
SourceLevel deals very nicely with repositories that changed the master branch to a more appropriate word. Besides, you can use the grep linter the look for exclusive terms contained in the source code.
As the inclusive language gap may happen in other aspects of our lives, have you already thought about them?
One of the magic tricks git performs is the ability to rewrite log history. You can do it in many ways, but
git rebase -i is the one I most use. With this command, It’s possible to switch commits order, remove a commit, squash two or more commits, or edit, for instance.
It’s particularly useful to run it before opening a pull request. It allows developers to “clean up” the mess and organize commits before submitting to review. If you follow the practice 3 and 4, then the list of commits should look very similar to a task list. It should reveal the rationale you had, telling the story of how you end up with that final code.
Out of most of the VCS solutions out there, we found Gitlab was the most feature complete with a free community edition. Their DevSecops offering is also a very robust solution. Gitlab CI/CD was quite easy to setup and the direct integration with your VCS + CI/CD is also a bonus. Out of the box integration with major cloud providers, alerting through instant messages etc. are all extremely convenient. We push our CI/CD updates to MS Teams.
Gitlab as A LOT of features that GitHub and Azure DevOps are missing. Even if both GH and Azure are backed by Microsoft, GitLab being open source has a faster upgrade rate and the hosted by gitlab.com solution seems more appealing than anything else! Quick win: the UI is way better and the Pipeline is way easier to setup on GitLab!
At DeployPlace we use self-hosted GitLab, we have chosen GitLab as most of us are familiar with it. We are happy with all features GitLab provides, I can’t imagine our life without integrated GitLab CI. Another important feature for us is integrated code review tool, we use it every day, we use merge requests, code reviews, branching. To be honest, most of us have GitHub accounts as well, we like to contribute in open source, and we want to be a part of the tech community, but lack of solutions from GitHub in the area of CI doesn’t let us chose it for our projects.
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