Suggestion: official Gitlab server

Apart from Github’s acquisition by Microsoft which some people are skeptical about, hosting third-party add-ons or other blender-related projects on Github seems to raise a searchability problem.
I’ve come accross many people who didn’t know of the existence of an add-on that could’ve helped them, even though they looked for it. Part of the reason why could be that there’s no official “hub” for Blender-related projects and even though Github hosts most of them, it also hosts all kinds of projects, making searching from within it hopeless.
An official Gitlab server would make things clean and easier to find and may help build a stronger community of blender coders. At least that’s my assumption.
What do you think of the idea ?

I’ve been hosting my gitlab server for years now for my company projects, and works great.
(got to love the pipelines for testing and release) I can just support and suggest going down that line.

What significant advantage does this have over individuals using gitlab’s own hosting?

If we wanted to have a way to collect useful projects - that can be done via a package repository for eg, melpa - which doesn’t need to be tied to a single place to host projects
(and is it’s self a git repository).

Thinking about it I have the feeling though gitlab for you would be sort of a duplication for you., as would be doing pretty much the same as (which I honestly do not like :P), as you wouldn’t be using any of the scrum, ticket, subproject, pipeline and other features it does provide.

For collecting third party code though this melpa solution seems nice !

@ideasman42 A platform that joins multiple development platforms seems good but it seems the Gitlab idea would require less work. No need for the admins to collect the projects, people could just add them themselves and they would be familiar with it since most are used to Github.

Gitlab doesn’t really solve the issue of making it easy for users to discover, install and update add-ons. Browsing a dedicated Gitlab server may be better than what we have now, but it’s hardly user friendly.

In the long term it would be more work to maintain both a package repository and a Gitlab server.

controversial opinion: I have no idea what 90% of the plugins do that we ship with blender, having a better way to showcase those adds more value to me personally than discovering 3rd party plugins hosted github/lab/whatever.

better than what, the wiki?
I find it pretty good and I don’t know what it could bring more.

I rarely went to the wiki cause most of the information on there seemed outdated, on top of that none of that content got migrated to the new wiki so soon(ish) will be lost when the old backup copy goes away.

well yeah, the porting has to be done and updated but that’s a given.

Migrating to another platform doesn’t mean that developers all of a sudden remember (or have time) to update their documentation.

I think a good package manager, as we’ve tried to get built by students in the 2016 and 2017 GSoC, is a better approach than yet-another-website where people can go to find add-ons.

1 Like

Gitlab is definitely an excellent solution but I think the existing infrastructure has developers pretty covered. Gitlab for me definitely has the edge when it comes to GUI. Submitting my patch was a very confusing experience but I figured it out in the end.

The important thing is not to tie yourself to any technology, so when the time comes to move on, like Blender moved from svn to git, is as painless as possible. Of course it never truly painless.

In any case I will have to agree, there is no substantial reason to move to Gitlab. I am actually hosting my own Blender fork on Gitlab as we speak, I have been using Gitlab for quite some time now and I am very happy with it. Still is very powerful and flexible .

So Gitlab is definitely a good option for Blender forks and side projects , obviously because they offer the hosting too and like Github allow you to also host your own static home page.

Just to be sure we’re on the same page, I didn’t suggest we move the core development to Gitlab. That should obviously stay where it is. I only suggested that there could be an official server for side projects.
Since Github was acquired by Microsoft I wanted to take the opportunity that some people are moving to Gitlab to make it so they do it all in the same server and that more people would be considering leaving Github so the Blender coders community would not be tied to it.

That said, if a package manager is a better solution I’m all in.