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Open source the SourceTree source code Edited

New SourceTree versions are frequently released with serious new bugs and issues which negatively affect large groups of users.

Atlassian are frequently very slow to address and fix these bugs, with some of them hanging around, unresolved, in JIRA for months if not years.

Open sourcing the SourceTree code would allow the community to contribute to both fixing bugs and issues within the SourceTree product as well as introduce long requested new functionality.

7 comments

Dear Craig,

This would effectively make them move to open source though.. and might bring even greater security risks. So I doubt that they will be doing that.

Friendly Regards

Yes, "moving to open source" is exactly what I'm asking for.

I don't believe that there would be greater security risks, and in fact if anything, there would be fewer security risks as there would be many more eyes viewing and reviewing the source code and able to spot any potential problems.

Many other tool and utilities operate on an open source basis, for example, Microsoft's entire .NET Core stack, the Visual Studio Code editor, Github's Atom Editor, and even Mercurial's TortoiseHg GUI client, along with many, many others.  

Atlassian would maintain control of the repository and would be the ones to approve or deny any pull requests, but others in the community would have the option to submit code for potential inclusion that can ultimately only help and improve the SourceTree product.

 

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It would also let us tailor versions of SourceTree for our own use. Case in point, a lot of Git users are trying to bridge between other more traditional VCSes and Git and fill in the gaps by enforcing practices like 'you must include the branch name in the commits since Git doesn't track that'. We could add a feature to automatically prefix the branch name.

Mind you a scripting system with triggers wouldn't hurt. Most other VCS clients have this concept. Again, something that could be done if it's open sourced.

These points are very valid. I would love an answer to these from an Atlassian representative. I want to be able to make SourceTree a more customisable tool to fix some of its usability issues - especially no error message when trying to create a BitBucket pull request from a branch that has not yet been pushed!

Totally agreed. Some frustrating bugs are unresolved for years. Also, I catch myself thinking that I want to add some useful features or research performance issues on big repositories.

Totally agreed. There are small usability issues that bug me and I've often whished I could just open a PR fixing the issue. The number of open tickets discourages any new ones.

Totally agreed, and one thing i don't get is GPL states that if you include GPL software into your project and you should make the end product GPL too (as far i know). Sourcetree uses ton on Opensource products and a lot of them are GPL. And Matt from Automattic(wordpress) was arguing about Wix using wordpress content editer in their android app and not making the app opensource. 

Actually the GPL only says you can use GPL'ed code on your for-profit closed source software. BUT you need to say that on your software and include a copy of (or a link to) the GPL with it. And, of course, if you modify any GPL program, you need to make the modified sources repositories public.

SourceTree already includes open source software into it and already does list all of them and their licenses in the about dialog. They are not obliged to make the entire program open source.

But I really wish they did!

And GPL is not the only Open Source license out there... Google Chrome, for example, uses the BSD License on its Chromium counterpart.image.png

Actually GPL (if not the LGPL) is viral, so it imposes the same requirements on Sourcetree if they were to bundle the GPL code to make their code under the GPL terms as well. For the above-mentioned libraries that are just "downloaded by" Sourcetree, I don't think there is any issue, but I can't tell from the above if any of those GPL items are actually bundled.

YES! This needs to be done.

Like brettz9 likes this

Would be awesome if sourcetree became open source!

As already mentioned there are many feature requests open for years (e.g. supporting git's --color-words) which could be done by the community.

And talking about security: security by obscurity is not the right way. Bugs can be spotted & fixed much faster if everyone has the chance to review the code.

I very much support this. I'm not concerned about the Atlassian developer's work on SourceTree, which has been very good. I'm concerned about the autocratic power a private, for-profit company has to eventually defund or corrupt SourceTree, such that the developers' work goes to waste and the worldwide git userbase loses the only good gratis git GUI.

I would be happy to contribute towards a one-time bounty or continuous funding in order to open-source SourceTree and provide for its current maintainers to continue their work.

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