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Entry  13 Feb 2013, Konstantin Olchanski, Info, Review of github and bitbucket 
    Reply  14 Feb 2013, Stefan Ritt, Info, Review of github and bitbucket 
       Reply  01 Apr 2013, Randolf Pohl, Info, Review of github and bitbucket 
          Reply  02 Apr 2013, Konstantin Olchanski, Info, Review of github and bitbucket 
             Reply  02 Apr 2013, Randolf Pohl, Info, Review of github and bitbucket 
          Reply  03 Apr 2013, Stefan Ritt, Info, Review of github and bitbucket 
             Reply  03 Apr 2013, Randolf Pohl, Info, Review of github and bitbucket 
Message ID: 863     Entry time: 13 Feb 2013     Reply to this: 864
Author: Konstantin Olchanski 
Topic: Info 
Subject: Review of github and bitbucket 
I have done a review of github and bitbucket as candidates for hosting GIT repositories for collaborative 
DAQ-type projects. Here is my impressions.

1. GIT as a software management tool seems to be a reasonable choice for DAQ-type projects. "master" 
repositories can be hosted at places like github or self-hosted (in the simplest case, only 
http://host/~user web access is required to host a git repository), for each "daq project" aka "experiment" 
one would "clone" the master repository, perform any local modifications as required, with full local 
version control, and when desired feed the changes back to the master repository as direct commits (git 
push), as patches posted to github ("pull requests") or patches emailed to the maintainers (git format-

2. Modern requirements for hosting a DAQ-type project include:
a) code repository (GIT, etc) with reasonably easy user access control (i.e. commit privileges should be 
assigned by the project administrators directly, regardless of who is on the payroll at which lab or who is 
a registered user of CERN or who is in some LDAP database managed by some IT departement 
b) a wiki for documentation, with similar user access control requirements.
c) a mailing list, forum or bug tracking system for communication and "community building"
d) an ability to web host large static files (schematics, datasheets, firmware files, etc)
e) reasonable web-based tools for browsing the files, looking at diffs, "cvs annotate/git blame", etc.

3. Both github and bitbucket satisfy most of these requirements in similar ways:

a) GIT repositories:
aa) access using git, ssh and https with password protection. ssh keys can be uploaded to the server, 
permitting automatic commits from scripts and cron jobs.
bb) anonymous checkout possible (cannot be disabled)
cc) user management is simple: participants have to self-register, confirm their email address, the project 
administrator to gives them commit access to specific git repositories (and wikis).
dd) for the case of multiple project administrators, one creates "teams" of participants. In this 
configuration the repositories are owned by the "team" and all designated "team administrators" have 
equal administrative access to the project.

b) Wiki:
aa) both github and bitbucket provide rudimentary wikis, with wiki pages stored in secondary git 
repositories (*NOT* as a branch or subdirectory of the main repo).
bb) github supports "markdown" and "mediawiki" syntax
cc) bitbucket supports "markdown" and "creole" syntax (all documentation and examples use the "creole" 
dd) there does not seem to be any way to set the "project standard" syntax - both wikis have the "new 
page" editor default to the "markdown" syntax.
ee) compared to mediawiki (wikipedia, triumf daq wiki) and even plone, both github and bitbucket wikis 
lack important features:
1) cannot edit individual sections of a page, only the whole page at once, bad if you have long pages.
2) cannot upload images (and other documents) directly through the web editor/interface. Both wikis 
require that you clone the wiki git repository, commit image and other files locally and push the wiki git 
repo into the server (hopefully without any collisions), only then you can use the images and documents 
in the wiki.
3) there is no "preview" function for images - in mediawiki I can have small size automatically generated 
"preview" images on the wiki page, when I click on them I get the full size image. (Even "elog" can do this!)
ff) to be extra helpful, the wiki git repository is invisible to the normal git repository graphical tools for 
looking at revisions, branches, diffs, etc. While github has a special web page listing all existing wiki 
pages, bitbucket does not have such a page, so you better write down the filenames on a piece of paper.

c) mailing list/forum/bug tracking:
aa) both github and bitbucket implement reasonable bug tracking systems (but in both systems I do not 
see any button to export the bug database - all data is stuck inside the hosting provider. Perhaps there is 
a "hidden button" somewhere).
bb) bitbucket sends quite reasonable email notifications
cc) github is silent, I do not see any email notifications at all about anything. Maybe github thinks I do not 
want to see notices about my own activities, good of it to make such decisions for me.

d) hosting of large files: both git and wiki functions can host arbitrary files (compared to mediawiki only 
accepting some file types, i.e. Quartus pof files are rejected).

e) web based tools: thumbs up to both! web interfaces are slick and responsive, easy to use.


Both github and bitbucket provide similar full-featured git repository hosting, user management and bug 

Both provide very rudimentary wiki systems. Compared to full featured wikis (i.e. mediawiki), this is like 
going back to SCCS for code management (from before RCS, before CVS, before SVN). Disappointing. A 
deal breaker if my vote counts.

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