Supporting GitLab & al in addition to Gitea?


As @realaravinth pointed out a number of times, Hostea has the potential of being used for any Free Software service. And now that the MVP is complete, it is clear that the effort to add GitLab in addition to Gitea would be minimal, as far as the infrastructure as code is concerned.

Developing an expertise on each service is however a lot of work (see what went into the clinic so far) and transforming Hostea to be something similar to is out of reach. But adding just GitLab would make sense because:

  • I already have around five years experience maintaining GitLab instances, there is some expertise already
  • A number of current or potential Hostea members already offer GitLab services (Easter-eggs, Bearstech, Autonomic, Webarchitects, IndieHosters)
  • Federation will allow Gitea instances to be federated with GitLab instances

When and if other forges have a business potential, they could also be added. Hostea would be about “Hosting forges” and not just “Hosting gitea”. The only downside I can imagine is that it would make it more difficult for Hostea to establish tight relationships with the Gitea project itself or organizations focused on Gitea such as Codeberg. However efforts to reach out in the past six months were not well received and there is no indication this is going to change (1, 2, 3).

What do you think?

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Apologies for the delay, I was putting out fires in another project.

I like the idea but is there a demand for it?

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Yes, there is a market. All service companies I talked to provide GitLab based services for a fee. Most of them also provide Gitea but not as a paid service, it is a courtesy to existing clients, something on the side.

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Actually I think it would make sense to add GitLab (because there is a market) and also open the door to any other forge, not just Gitea. So Hostea would become a place where to host any kind of forge eventually. Of course in order to support a new forge, there would need to be a rationale and an associated income, otherwise it would be too much.

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