Moving the open-source stuff from phab.mmmk2410 to GitLab
516 words, ~ 3 min reading time
The journey started in early 2016 when I decided to move my open-source projects and their management away from GitHub. First I launched a cgit instance for viewing the code and set up a gitolite for repository hosting. After a short time I moved the repositories to a self-hosted Phabricator instance at phab.mmk2410.org, because with that platform I had the possibilities for project management like issues or workboards.
But this concept also didn’t last for long. A few month later I decided to move the repos again. This time to GitHub profile. Since I couldn’t import the GitLab public key into GitHub (“This key is already used by someone else”) and a password authentication did not succeed (don’t ask why, I don’t know) I decided to use Phabricator for that. Phabricator has the ability to observe another repository and pull the changes from the remote repo but it also has the ability to mirror a repository to another remote repository. And luckily it can do both with the same repository. This mirroring system is also further in use to display all my repositories not only on my GitLab but also on my GitHub profile.
Now, after one and a half year, I decided to also move the tasks and wiki articles from Phabricator to GitLab. This should reduce the need for two accounts on two platforms and also the problem, that some people are creating issues on the “wrong” platform. Now contributors can also make use of the referencing abilities of GitLab.
I declined moving everything back when I moved the repositories because I liked (and still like) the way Phabricator works. Instead of GitLab or GitHub it is not repository-centered but project-centered (but not strictly). While in GitLab or GitHub you create a repository and in this repository you have your complete project management stuff, the wiki, the bug tracker, the CI, etc., in Phabricator, each is its own application and can be used without the need of a repository. For access control or grouping things you can use project, but you don’t have to. Everything also works perfectly on its own. But what is the advantage of it? Well, for some of my projects, like the writtenMorse project, I have several repositories for the different applications. Where would you report, say, a missing code? In Phabricator I had a writtenMorse project and you could create an issue and add the writtenMorse project tag to it. To realize the same thing in GitLab or GitHub you would need a meta-repository for general issues or for wiki articles. This is also the reason why I keep my Phabricator instance running for private purposes.
If you once created an account on phab.mmk2410 and don’t work on any private projects with me, your account was either disabled if you interacted with the platform in some way, or removed in case you didn’t.
The migration is already completed and everything can be accessed on GitLab. The former tasks and wiki pages are still accessible at phab.mmk2410 and are more or less directly linked to the new corresponding GitLab object.
If you would like to comment on this post, feel free to write me a mail at comment(at)mmk2410(dot)org!