I have mixed feelings on GitHub as a product and our use of it for the Zulip open source project. On the one hand, I do feel that being on GitHub helps people discover Zulip, because we have enough stars (etc.) that we rank highly among projects on the platform. and there is a definite benefit for lowering barriers to contribution (which is important to us) that GitHub has such a dominant position in terms of what everyone has accounts with.
But even ignoring how one might feel about their new corporate owner (MicroSoft), in a lot of ways GitHub is a bad product for open source projects. Years after the "Dear GitHub" letter, there are still basic gaps in its issue tracker:
- You can't give someone permission to label/categorize issues without full write access to a project (including ability to merge things to master, post releases, etc.).
- You can't let anyone with a GitHub account self-assign issues to themselves.
- Many more similar issues.
It's embarrassing, because I've talked to GitHub product managers at various open source events about these things for 3 years, and they always agree the thing is important, but then nothing ever improves in the Issues product. Maybe the new management at MicroSoft will fix their product management situation, but if not, I imagine we'll eventually do the migration to GitLab.
We have a custom bot project, http://github.com/zulip/zulipbot, to deal with some of these issues where possible, and every other large project we talk to does the same thing, more or less.
In Github’s defense, they have been shipping a lot of features lately, especially in the past 6 months or so (https://blog.github.com/2018-12-20-a-few-favorite-ships-2018/). Two or three years ago the product felt almost abandoned, but I feel that their velocity is back now.
I prefer to use Gitlab because of the more complete flow of CI / CD with our cloud. In our case we use only the free version, since it is enough for us, but would pay for sure if we needed the other tools it offers.