NAT FRIEDMAN, the incoming CEO of code repository Github which was purchased by Microsoft earlier this week for a not inconsiderable $7.5bn, has made good on his promise to hold a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) in the hope of removing at least some of the fears held by developers.
Addressing claims that users were jumping ship to rival GitLab in protest of the acquisition, he said that "not that many" had left, adding that a considerable number of projects had been uploaded to GitHub since the acquisition.
"Developers are independent thinkers and will always have a healthy degree of scepticism, but I admit I was sad to see that some felt compelled to move their code," he said. "I take the responsibility of earning their trust seriously."
The theme of trust has been repeatedly on the lips of Friedman since his tenure was announced and users are often reminded that GitHub will be left to work independently of its new parent.
For example, he confirmed that Atom and VS Code will continue to be available independently, despite their overlapping purpose, with Friedman pointing out that developers are particular about their set-ups and nobody wants to mess with that.
Equally, there'll be more likely a GitHub login option for Microsoft accounts, not Microsoft account migration for GitHub and a promise of no ads on GitHub.
As for what parts of GitHub culture to bring to Microsoft, Nat points out that GitHub runs on GitHub. Could it be a hint of a future internal platform shift, but probably not.
Asked if Clippy would be joining GitHub, Nat (rightly) points out that he is actually "Mr Clippit" and should be addressed as such. So at least there's still a sense of humour there.
Some issues like terms of service and private repo policy are "too soon" to have been fully reviewed.
It's generally clear that Nat is bringing a fresh perspective to Microsoft's involvement in open source. Nowhere was that clearer than his response to why there was an anti-open-source culture at Microsoft prior to this.
"Fear" he replied. µ
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