Less Open Code With GitHub’s Free Private Repos-Perspective

The internet is all high with GitHub’s announcement that users can now have have Unlimited Private repositories for Free which otherwise would cost about USD $84 per annum. But there is a catch!


GitHub users/developers can now make any of their repository(s) Private. Until now they had no choice but to make it either public or not host on GitHub. But not anymore, for sure some of them will make their repositories Private, hidden or not accessible to the general public. Obviously this means less open source code to the developer community.

Developers love free & private

Having private repositories. Or at least they can have the repository as private while working on it, make it public when done. Until now users/developers on GitHub can have unlimited public repositories but have to pay to have private repositories. A niche that BitBucket was able to attract developers with their unlimited private repos with the free plan.

BitBucket’s unlimited private repos with free account

Why less open code

Because users/developers (with free accounts) can make their repositories as Private — meaning hidden from and not accessible to general public. Obviously this means less code access, less open code.

For developers, even before Google, GitHub is their first place to search for code examples. My concern is that as more repos are tuned to private, search will return less results :-)

For beginners

Yes, GitHub is better than Google search for software developers!!!

GitHub.com is a website where you can host, manage, share your software code. Lots of major open source software projects are hosted on GitHub. Each project is like a repository (or you can have multiple projects under one) .So you can go into that site, search for any features/code/api/class/function/programming language, if you can find it, you can use that code (most code is license and copyright free) in your projects.

There are tons of articles on what is and how to use GitHub.

Maybe i’m being pessimistic

While part of my mind says, more developers will make their repos private hidden, so less code will be available to general public;

The part is Happy! Being a developer myself and having been using GitHub for a long time, it’s a great gift (unlimited free private repos) that every GitHub user will appreciate.

Let’s hope nothing changes much with the developer community and this change may actually encourage more developers to add more code to GitHub and also make more code available to general public.

If you enjoyed reading this, i’m always looking for curious people to discuss/talk/write/consult about technology. Ping me up on twitter any time @surenkonathala