Microsoft Mass Migration To GitHub
Written by Ian Elliot   
Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Visual F# has moved from CodePlex to GitHub. Roslyn is also making the move this week and the .NET Core, open sourced last November, has already made its home there, along with TypeScript. So where does this leave CodePlex? 

CodePlex is Microsoft's own open source project hosting website. But it no longer seems to be the repository of choice for Microsoft-originated projects - which is a bit odd to say the least.

The post announcing Visual F#'s transfer to GitHub points out that GitHub was already the home of the F# Open Edition, making the move an obvious strategy to attract more contributors to the project. It also states that the move addresses one of its top issues, namely a request headed "Move source code to Github" request which was opened on the Visual F# Tools page on CodePlex last July.

The reason provided was:

More people -> more eyes -> more contributions -> less work for Microsoft 

 Roslynmoving

 

A similar "Switch to GitHub" discussion was opened with regard to Roslyn in August and while there was at least one comment supporting staying with CodePlex, the majority of the them made clear arguments in favor of moving. They included superior usability and code search on Github and the fact that: 

Open source community is there, not here. I'm 99.9% sure that the contribution and feedback rate for this project would significantly increase there with the right development flow (ASP.NET team's flow is a really great example). 

The decision on the part of the Roslyn team to accede to the request was made back in October and the seems to have been achieved more quickly than originally anticipated and a blog post on January 10, 2015 gives the date for the switchover as January 14 or 15, although at time of writing it hasn't yet arrived.

As well as moving the code to GitHub the Roslyn team is switching to use git internally saying:

This means we will have fewer moving parts and will get us much closer to the same environment you’d be using on Roslyn code. It will be so worth it.

It is this aspect of the move that has required some effort. In a reply to a comment Jared Par states:  

Internally we still were, and are, using TFS(Team Foundation Studio) to manage code.  We had a manual script to convert every TFS change to a git commit.  Roughly once a day we would run that script and push the changes out to CodePlex. Once this process completes though we will be operating in git directly.  

 

 Roslynmovingsq

 

Among several comments on the blog post approving the move, one expresses some reservations:

 I am concerned about the health of CodePlex if MS isn't even going to use it internally.  I always liked CodePlex because I knew I was getting .Net code without having to dig through a bunch of unrelated stuff and I could use Team Explorer to fetch projects. 

But even this poster seems to accept the changes as the comment concludes:

I guess I'll have to finally learn how to use git.

If you have decided that you need to learn Git take a look at Nikos Vaggalis' review of the video Git and GitHub LiveLessons.

So it's all over for CodePlex? Seems so.

It makes you wonder why a company like Microsoft goes to the trouble of building its own when there is a better or more accepted open source alternative. After all, Git and GitHub have long been the most popular source control and hosting options. Branding and identity is certainly part of it and there presumably has to be a careful weighing up of what is lost in moving to a third party solution against the cost of providing it in house.  

It may be clear why Microsoft needs to keep Windows rather than adopt Linux, but why struggle with IE, IIS, media player and other minor pieces of software that make no profit?

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 January 2015 )