Nextcloud and Github - time to go?

What do you think about this? Is it really time to say goodbye to Github? I mean, isn’t Nextcloud about self hosting in the first place? So it might be worth thinking about having an own Gitlab instance for example.

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Has already been discussed in 2018. They say nope and their reasoning makes total sense.

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They also said that they would monitor the situation which has changed now… So one could discuss it again.

Also, I didn’t see this post as proposal to really do that big step but just as a discussion within the community :slight_smile:

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I do not personally disagree, but I’m also simply a volunteer. afaik Nextcloud currently has nothing to do with the new Copilot software on Github. Here is the last reply from the previous Github discussion for more context:

"We’re a pragmatic project - you don’t get stuff done without that. Most contributors are on Github - that’s why we moved here in the first place. As long as that is the case, we stay here, just like we’re active on Twitter (even though we think everyone SHOULD be on Mastodon) and so on. Ownership isn’t really relevant tbh.

Perhaps it is possible to set up a copy on Gitlab - if anyone is up for the work doing that, join one of our Contributor Weeks or the conference and talk to us about it. Otherwise, we’re going to end this conversation and lock this discussion as it is simply a waste of time."


I’m only a sparse github user. I had not heard about “copilot” … But it sounds a lot like a massive violation of the GPL -especially GPLv3- and many other open source licenses.

From this Register article

For the SFC, the break with GitHub was precipitated by the general availability of GitHub Copilot, an AI coding assistant tool. GitHub’s decision to release a for-profit product derived from FOSS code, the SFC said, is “too much to bear.”

Copilot, based on OpenAI’s Codex, suggests code and functions to developers as they’re working. It’s able to do so because it was trained “on natural language text and source code from publicly available sources, including code in public repositories on GitHub,” according to GitHub.

Of course I didn’t read the OP linked article before posting. That would make too much sense.

However, now that I did read it. I agree with OP. But…

  1. I just joined the forum a few days ago.
  2. I have no real input into Nextcloud’s choices anyway.

I have been a long time Nextcloud user … since before there was a Nextcloud. The improvements over time have been enormous. I’ll continue to run Nextcloud whether or not it jumps to gitlab.

Um… What has changed?

It looked like a bunch of people irrationally freaked out because MS was buying Github, spouting clichés and lazy tropes like “embrace expand extinguish”. However, Github is still there, doing what it’s always done.

What changed? Why do you think there’s a need to revisit this?

That article is pretty bad. It implies OpenAI uses open source licences, which it does not. OpenAI was founded by the likes of Elon Musk, so you know it’s all marketing and no substance.

OpenAI, which exclusively uses proprietary licences, licensed their intentionally deceptively named “GPT” tech to MS. You don’t have to use any of these proprietary tools, and you sure as hell don’t have to pay for any of it. This is a big nothing burger. A storm in a teacup.

There is no violation of any open source licences in any of this. Just read your own links, then take a look at OpenAI’s wikipedia page. You’re pearl clutching.

I’d facepalm at that, but apparently you’re not the only one who didn’t bother understanding what they were talking about before posting.

the thing is that ms has used gpl licenced code on github to train the ai of copilot (most likely also nextcloud code), according to gpl this would require all projects that use copilot to be gpl licenced as well. This indeed is a massive breach of gpl, as ms provides copilot mainly to commercial projects for a fee. They just “thanked” the community by providing free for students licences.

That’s not true at all. You’re only required to licence code as GPL if your code is derived from or dependent on GPL code (e.g. code forks, drivers dependent on GPL’d kernel code).

Also, there is no GPL code involved in any of this. Perhaps if you’d actually read what’s already been posted in this thread, you wouldn’t have blindly believed this has anything to do with the GPL.

The deceptively named “OpenAI” uses no open source licences, much less the GPL.

EDIT: To be clear, you’re talking about MS’s “CoPilot” software, which contains “GPT” code (not GPL) that it licensed from OpenAI. OpenAI is an intentionally deceptively named organisation, co-founded by Elon Musk, and NONE of it’s code are under any open source licence, much less the GPL.

CoPilot is commercial software which users can chose to either pay for or not use. CoPilot is designed to support devs on any IDE or editor that they use. This is completely unrelated to Github.

Now, please, explain to us how the GPL is being violated, and then explain why you couldn’t be bothered reading the thread you chose to post in.

Following this logic, any human developers who have ever looked at any GPL code, and then learned from it and / or were inspired by it, would also have to release all their work under the terms of the GPL.

As far as I understand it, this whole discussion is mainly about the burden of proof. And copyleft only applies if you can prove that original code was used or edited. And you can’t tell me that human developers always do everything “from scratch”. They look at code examples and at least get inspired by them, and that’s exactley the same what the A.I. claims to do.


And one more general opinion on the subject:

I’m not a big fan of the big IT infrastructure providers like MS, Google, Amazon etc too and I think the internet should be as decentralized as possible. So I definitly understand why people would rather use other services than GitHub.

But I also believe that this specific chain of arguments will ultimately not be enough to talk people out of GitHub. Most developers are pragmatic people and if you try to take tools away from them with vague arguments, they’ll see right through it. I mean you can certainly debate whether an A.I. should be treated the same as a human developer, but ultimately the key point in this discussion is whether “Copilot” is violating any copyleft licences or not. The fact that MS does not disclose whether they also use their own proprietary code to train the A.I. can at best be taken as a weak indication that this could be the case. In the end, as always, some court will have to decide.

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Imagine, Nextcloud would use for internal stuff and for submission of certain file google drive. You could argue the same way, that it is convenient and many are using it.

And they argue to raise against big tech when sharing data and to care about your data. Instead of paying lock-in solutions, you should go for open source solutions (with or without paid support). With github, they don’t practise what they preach.

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In my opinion, this is the real and honest reason why you should stay away from GithHub. Not a long post that implies any copyleft violations based on circumstantial evidence.


Regardless of actual copyleft violations… The intent of “copilot” is clear.

As a human, I will not be posting my merger creations to their platform in the future. I imagine there will be a shift in some large projects as well… if for no other reason than the mildly dishonest or creepy nature copilot.

…awaiting long involved diatribe from darksteve…

Why bother? You didn’t acknowledge or address any of the points I brought up earlier. Instead, you’re ignoring all the evidence you’re wrong, while spouting petty challenges.

So, regardless that everything you said was wrong, and you can’t support anything you claim, you’re right anyway. Uh, huh :roll_eyes:


Of course, arguing with anyone on most polarized topics will yield nothing good…

However… on the “intent of tooling”