Johan Sørensen

A Late Note About Recent Gitorious Developments

Just under a week I deployed a new version of and announced some big changes, not only in functionality but also some things that’ll make Gitorious live long and prosper.

The non-technical stuff

On the non-technical side, one of the bigger changes is that Gitorious is now officially a Shortcut production. Shortcut is a company I started together with three other gentlemen at the beginning of last year and we’re now a six person company who has been making money since day one, financial crisis or not. With Shortcut maintaining and developing, as well as keeping Gitorious open source, we now have additional resources to bring the project forwards beyond what was feasible for me as a single developer doing Gitorious in my spare time.

A few months ago I was invited to the Qt offices and as it turned out they where running their own internal installation of Gitorious. Qt Software has been keeping busy since they got acquired by Nokia last year and one of the reasons I was invited was that they wanted to use as the platform for the contribution model for the (then to be announced) LGPL licensed Qt products.

For the past few months Qt has funded development of new Gitorious features and continues to do so. Qt has been absolutely wonderful to work with. I’ve done my fair share of consulting over the years and it’s not often you get so much freedom to work on stuff that’s both important to your client and to yourself as we’ve gotten working while with Qt. Something I think is really a testament to the engineering culture at Qt.

However, our collaboration with Qt doesn’t end with Shortcut developing Gitorious. Since Qt wanted to use Gitorious for their contribution model it was only natural that we took care of hosting it as well so they could reap the benefits of a growing community. So they launched their contribution model on

Qt is now the first “premier hosting” customer of Gitorious, meaning they get to be a an intregrated part of Gitorious with custom branding for their projects and their own portal at as well as other infrastructure needed for a big open source vendor, such as digitally signing off contribution agreements. The wonderful thing about this is that it goes full circle back to, with everybody benefitting along the way.

It’s worth pointing out that in no way is this premier hosting reserved for Qt alone. We don’t make a big fuzz about it on, but we’re open for business from other companies who’d like to be a part of the growing community and in return pay for things like SLAs, support, reporting and customizations. Stay tuned for more announcements here.

The technical details

The Gitorious code has received some major overhauls in the past few months. Early on we decided to aim for Ruby 1.9 as the deployment target. That means for the past few months we have been developing 100% on Ruby 1.9. Why? Because it’s the only way we can move forward. Waiting for someone else is not going to cut it, especially not when the gains are this big, making the gems that break on 1.9 work isn’t a lot of work, really. The bad news is that if no-one else has done it you have to do it yourself, just don’t take it as a road-blocker (you do know how to code ruby after all, right?) but as an excuse to actually fix those gems. We did, and as a result now runs on Ruby 1.9. I can’t see what everyone is waiting for, but we seem to be one of the few actually willing to take this step.

If you’re curious about what other changes we’ve made to Gitorious then head over to the Gitorious blog for the details on faster queuing, multiple repositories per project and namespaced user and team clones.

I’m really excited about the future of Gitorious and I hope you are as well. If not, then maybe consider submitting us a merge request with your patches if you find a feature lacking or missing. After all, Gitorious is open source for a reason.