2018-06-04

On Microsoft acquiring GitHub

In the news today is that Microsoft is acquiring GitHub (Pocket Link to Verge). That's a big deal for a lot of big (and small) open source projects. It's definitely going to rub a lot of open-source developers the wrong way, as many are motivated to contribute to open source projects as a direct response to decades of difficulties with Microsoft.

I am not a Microsoft user, nor a fan. But I do acknowledge that there's been some apparent improvements over the past few years under CEO Satya Nadella. They have some open projects that are notable, especial VS Code, which is becoming very popular. From what I hear, Windows is still a monstrosity that should not be used, but it is clear that Windows 10 is improved over the last few versions; note, last time I really used windows was still Windows 98, I think.

My suspicion is that Microsoft wants GitHub because they want to use it internally for very large projects. Recently Microsoft has been working to make git more useful for humungous projects, specifically with the virtual file system (techcrunch). By controlling GitHub, Microsoft becomes the biggest player in git as well, which I'm sure won't please some.

It's also worth noting that GitHub developed the text editor Atom, which is pretty similar to their aforementioned VS Code. Atom is an open source project, but it will be interesting to see what happens to Atom development going forward.

Finally, I'll also mention that GitHub has adopted Markdown as it's documentation markup language of choice. There's already a GitHub flavor of Markdown, which I think is probably the dominant version. Now that Microsoft owns GitHub, I wonder if it will impact the use of Markdown, and especially if GitHub-flavored Markdown will further evolve away from the original?

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