I-ntarsia GitLab Service

 
From: "I-ntarsia Directions" <comms@PROTECTED>
Subject: I-ntarsia GitLab Service
Date: June 19th 2018

The announcement that Microsoft is acquiring GitHub for $7.5Bn has prompted a flurry of questions about the future from customers who know that the I-ntarsia MDSP has a git based service integrated. I thought I’d post some clarification for all concerned.

What is git?

It is important to be clear on the differences between terms that get bandied about in these circumstances. Git is a version control system for tracking changes to computer files and coordinating those between multiple people updating and releasing them. Git was created by Linus Torvalds who created the Linux operating system. Git is an open source tool which happens to be the world's leading tool of it’s type.  Git will continue to exist and be developed entirely independently of Microsoft.

Is Git part of the I-ntarsia MDSP?

Yes! Git is the central code repository used by ALL I-ntarsia installations. We use it to control the thousands of files which make up an I-ntarsia installation and keep it up to date as core tools change. It is also used to control website themes which, in themselves, can be made up of hundreds of files. The I-ntarsia ‘Theme Pull’ function is a method for a developer to initiate a git pull of all theme updates from a git repository from within the Drupal 8 CMS.

What is GitHub?

Git is a very powerful tool. It is also a traditional ‘command line’ tool which means that you have to know the relatively complex commands and their variations to use it effectively.

In 2008 GitHub Inc. was founded to create an infrastructure to enable any team to use git via a user friendly, web based interface. The company allowed free accounts as well as corporate plans. This enabled large open source teams to have a common code repository. It also allowed corporations to have access to a world class tool and trained, open source developers.

GitHub grew rapidly, and became a de facto standard for modern, distributed, software development, reporting over 28 million users in 2018. Even companies such as Microsoft, Facebook and Google use GitHub extensively, which is rather ironic for Microsoft, as it is firmly rooted in the open source world!

On June 4th. 2018, Microsoft announced it was acquiring GitHub Inc. for $7.5Bn. This is a smart move for Microsoft but will worry a lot of GitHub users as Microsoft have a track record of taking excellent, open, technical services and making them clunky and proprietary.

Is GitHub used for I-ntarsia?

No. There is no technical reason why not, but we decided that our needs were not consistent with the service that GitHub offered. To make git more accessible we use the community edition of a web based repository manager called GitLab. This has enabled us to create our own user friendly git based repository system.

I-ntarsia GitLab service

By using the GitLab open source tool installed on our own infrastructure, we have been  able to integrate git into the core or the I-ntarsia MDSP. That means that we can use it to manage our platform deployment process as well as our module development and deployment processes. It keeps our development times to a minimum but allows huge flexibility in resourcing those developments.

In addition, however, we use the service to control service themes and expose control of those themes to our customers without exposing the complexity of the distributed system underneath. A UX specialist can update theme files directly in the web interface, if required, and then pull those changes to development machines, or production servers with the click of a button.

In Conclusion

So the Microsoft acquisition of GitHub does not affect the I-ntarsia MDSP in any way whatsoever. It does however, reinforce the fact that our systems are built around world class tools, and we are happy with that!
 

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