Nonetheless, he has provided us with the space to host repositories and bug trackers (redmine at first, then gitlab), done the required sysadmin work every time it was needed, and has also paid everything out of his own pocket, including both domain and server costs, which add up to quite a sum over the years.
Needless to say, the situation was neither practical for him (need to manage a self-hosted gitlab, a product quite prone to breaking and requiring frequent security updates), nor for us (need to ping him and wait a while, because he is not terminally online). It has stayed that way for some years, with the back-and-forth and waiting when a certificated is expired or whatever. He has publicly expressed lately his need to let things go, and stop doing volunteer work.
He gave me full access to the gitlab server (and application admin), as well as control over the poez.io domain, which needed a renewal anyway.
The website (poez.io)
During one certificate issue last month, I took the opportunity to move the website around, since it was already virtually down.
The Poezio website is quite simple, and we have a dedicated git repository for it. It could certainly use both a redesign and a refresh, but that will have to come later. Considering it has no real availability constraints - apart from trying to stay online the best it can -, or file size (a few kilobytes total), I decided to host it on one of my machines since it is no real additional cost or sysadmin work.
The website also holds online documentation at doc.poez.io, for the main branch and old versions, and I have not yet fully restored the very old versions (which require both an old python and old libraries to build), but otherwise, it should be available.
It is auto-built using a webhook with the same idea as my blog (see the previous entry on that).
Those projects have discussion rooms (on the muc.poez.io domain), hosted on louiz’s prosody server.
Being a server administrator at JabberFR, nothing made more sense than moving the chatroom domain over there. This was both very easy, very fast, and also painful.
As I write these words, since louiz’ has not yet disabled the previous chatroom host, users are staying inside the rooms on the previous server, and are not connecting to the new one T_T.
The Software Forge
I spent quite a lot of time gathering ideas for the kind of forge we wanted to have.
We had a few requirements, in no particular order: - Not self-hosted (no one wants to deal with registration and abuse) - Does not ban Tor - Has some form of continuous integration - Mostly reliable (and run seriously) - Ethically appropriate - Some guarantee that it will stay up for several years - Supports gitlab import
The Tor access & ethics guarantees meant that both gitlab.com and github.com are out from the start (gitlab.com blocks Tor and github is microsoft, and both are working on AI crap that disregards attribution).
We were then left with:
- Someone trustworthy hosting a forgejo/gitea (incl. external CI)
- Someone trustworthy hosting a gitlab instance
SourceHut is a really interesting modular forge, with an email-based workflow, which provides mailing lists (duh), tickets, source hosting, CI, and wikis.
The interface is no-nonsense, very light, and my main complaint would be the separation of services by subdomains, which means sometimes you click expecting to stay in your project, but no you get to the homepage of another subdomain.
It is a paid service, at €20/year for the cheapest plan (all plans offer the same features, what you pay is up to you), although you can earn free service by contributing to the project instead.
I have paid and I find it quite enjoyable to use.
It was not chosen for the following reasons: - There is no way to have a project belong to an organization (in fact, no organizations exist currently) - The interface is not great for normal users - Importing gitlab issues in there seem to not be fun - (minor) Only Markdown is supported for READMEs
FramaGit is a gitlab instance, hosted by french free software champion Framasoft, but it is both quite big, and a bit hard to get into (if you do not have an account already, as registration is often closed for spam prevention reasons).
Ironically, importing projects from another gitlab instance worked worse than importing it from ForgeJo.
It was not chosen because framasoft are trying to get people to stop using their services to avoid becoming "too big to fail".
Codeberg is an instance of ForgeJo (a fork of Gitea following dubious steering decisions, to oversimplify). It only accepts Free Software on the platform, provides an on-request CI using Woodpecker (no guarantees, though), and has a familiar interface.
After trying out Codeberg and finding that the import was perfect, I decided to roll with it.
I prefer the gitea/forgejo interface over gitlab’s, which I find complicated for no reason.
I asked for CI access (it is in alpha and not generally available) and was quickly added to the list, and the maintainers seem reactive.
The projects can now be found under the Poezio umbrella on codeberg!