Loomio
Thu 12 Jan 2017

Git hosting for co-operators

Currently the code for https://dev.coops.tech/ is hosted on the Outlandish GitLab server, which is great, but means it isn't as open it would ideally be (it would be nice if others could open tickets and contribute etc).

It occurred to me the other day (I mentioned it in Slack) that Webarchitects could provide a VM (4GB RAM and 2 CPUs is suggested) for a GitLab for Co-operative Technologists, eg gitlab.coops.tech and that could be used to host the code, however that might be overkill -- it is possible to setup too much infrastructure for projects and when this is done it can then create an unneeded burden on a project (I know this from bitter experience and could share some examples...).

So, I had another idea I'd like to float if that is OK...

How about Webarchitects register git.coop and host a GitLab CE server on this domain and give accounts to any member of our co-op who wants one -- to join Webarchitects you just need to buy one of more share (£1, this is on one-off payment) and agree to the rules, so everybody involved with Co-operative Technologists could join if they wish.

If we did this would other co-operators be willing to use this service and would it be an appropriate place to host the code for dev.coops.tech?

SG

Sam Gluck Thu 12 Jan 2017

I think this is a good idea, hosting GitLab somewhere like git.coop. But should it be necessary to join Web Architects in order to gain access? I feel like it should be public, a la GitHub.

I was thinking to propose we create a GitHub organisation for CoTech (and moving some of Outlandish's OSS projects over to it), but it would be nicer if we had a self-hosted solution atop an open-source alternative like GitLab.

CCC

@samgluck that's great, I was initially thinking of setting up a VM hosting GitLab CE at gitlab.coops.tech (rather than git.coop which would cost around £50 a year for the domain name on it's own) and that is still an option.

But, the concern I have with that idea is:

  • Would it be used enough to justify it's existence?
  • It would potentially create a long term burden on this group, it would need hosting and maintaining and these things cost time and money and while I expect Webarchitects would be happy to do this for free to start with I'm not sure we would long term, especially if this group doesn't establish a formal structure and is then able to fund things -- this amount of tech infrastructure might be overkill at this stage?

So the second idea was an attempt to address these issues -- Webarchitects would carry the cost and risk and joining Webarchitects as a client member isn't very onerous, it's like being a member of the Phone Co-op or having a Co-op supermarket card, you simply need to complete a form and pay £1 or more to buy one or more shares, would that be too much to ask?

There is also the issue of the use of a .coop and sub-domains for pages -- you are not allowed to use example.git.coop for non-coop things, so for example if a supporter of Co-operative Technologists wanted an account but wasn't a member of a co-op this would potentially be an issue if git.coop was used (but not if git.coops.tech was used).

Does this make any sense?

O

olizilla Thu 12 Jan 2017

I think it's a great idea. I really like the look of git.coop

There is the bigger question of would it be used enough to warrant your effort. We are heavily integrated with GitHub for our dev process at TABLEFLIP, which means it'd be a long while before we'd switch as an org, but as a resource for coops by coops for communal projects, I'd gladly sign up and support it however we could.

CCC

@olizilla said:

I really like the look of git.coop

There is the bigger question of would it be used enough to warrant your effort.

I totally agree, on both of these points.

I'm not yet convinced that it would be viable if it was done under the banner of Co-operative Technologists, but if people here can convince me that it would be viable then please do so! :D

If it was done under the banner of Webarchitects then it would be used by us at least and that would be motive enough to keep it up and running -- we have a old Gitosis server but would like to move to something newer.

Also we have been searching for things to offer our client members and free Mailman lists and Piwik accounts aren't as sexy as a yourname.git.coop site provisioned via GitLab CE (Gitlab CE is soon to have pages support) and if this was popular then it would result in enough users to make it potentially viable in terms of covering the hosting and maintenance costs.

We are heavily integrated with GitHub for our dev process at TABLEFLIP, which means it'd be a long while before we'd switch as an org, but as a resource for coops by coops for communal projects, I'd gladly sign up and support it however we could.

That is totally fair enough.

As an aside, about 13 years ago I was involved a project called codecoop.org which was set up to host content management systems for Indymedia and other free software, initially running Gforge and later another code base, you can browse the history of it on archive.org. This project ended up folding because it couldn't cover it's costs -- I wouldn't want git.coop to go the same way...

CCC

FWIW github.com was registered on 9th October 2007, three and a half years after the first snapshot of codecoop.org on the Internet Archive (look at the latest news ;-) ), back then people were mostly using CVS, Subversion was the new kid on the block -- git wasn't invented until the following year, 2005...

JD

Josef Davies-Coates Thu 12 Jan 2017

I like the git.coop ( http://git.coop ) idea too :)

CCC

I found the .coop third level domain policy, attached, and it makes it clear that to use username.git.coop, for example, you would have to be a member of the co-op that owns git.coop:

Third-and-higher-level domain names within a registered
second level domain may only be used internally by the
registrant of the second level domain absent a written license
from Sponsor.

Given the Policy part of the document it would probably also be worth checking with nic.coop if they would be happy with this.

I think this answers Sam's point -- to use sub-domains the users would have to be a member of the co-op that owns the domain:

I think this is a good idea, hosting GitLab somewhere like git.coop. But should it be necessary to join Web Architects in order to gain access? I feel like it should be public, a la GitHub.

CCC

Not sure when it'll be up and running but the Webarchitects Committee agreed to proceed with this plan today and git.coop has been registered :-)

CR

Chris Roos Thu 23 Feb 2017

Not sure when it'll be up and running but the Webarchitects Committee agreed to proceed with this plan today and git.coop has been registered :-)

That's great :-)

CCC

Last night git.coop was made live, it hasn't had a big announcement yet, I guess it is now in a beta stage, but we would be happy to give accounts to anyone who joins our co-op, especially if they would like to help with testing the settings and the (as yet unwritten) terms and conditions :smiley:

JMF

James Mead (Go Free Range) Thu 23 Mar 2017

Congratulations! Looks great :smiley:

CR

Chris Roos Thu 23 Mar 2017

This is great, @chriscroome. I'll chat to my colleagues at Go Free Range and see whether we can join your co-op and help out with testing.

CCC

That's great @chrisroos :smiley:

Since organisations as well as individuals can join our co-op and git.coop account registration is based on email domains, it might make sense to do things like this (this is just a suggestion):

  • When an individual joins we either give them a @ webarchitects.coop email alias or email account and people could sign up with that, or if they have a personal email domain we could whitelist that.
  • When an organisation joins we whitelist the domain the organisation uses for email (assuming the organisation has a email domain only used by members of the organisation, if they don't we can create aliases for a @ webarchitects.coop address and people could sign up with those) -- then people from the organisation could create accounts as they wish.

I can't think of a reason not to let users set up groups for projects and if needs be make them private etc, but nothing is set in stone -- perhaps we should create a git.coop project on the server for documenting the terms and conditions and also use that for issues relating to documenting how it'll work?

We haven't had a chance to give any thought to what a suggested number of shares an organisation should buy, and this should probably be a sliding scale, all we have at the moment is a suggestion that individuals buy £10 worth of share as a minimum (but you can just buy one). The plan is to give unlimited git.coop use to members, indefinitely.

To join all you need to do is agree to the rules, complete this pdf and email it to support @ webarch.net and say how many shares you would like and we would then send you an invoice, which you could pay by bank transfer, PayPal, cheque or cash, and then we would set everything up.