ForgeFriends (aka FedeProxy) is a federated free open git for software development, using the Fediverse's ActivityPub protocol. You can follow the project at:

➡️ @forgefriends

The project website is at and there's more details about how it works at

#ForgeFriends #FedeProxy #Dev #Devs #Development #Software #SoftwareDevelopment #FOSS #FLOSS #Libre #FreeSoftware #OpenSource #Git #Gits #Forge #Forges #GitHub #Alternatives #Fediverse #ActivityPub


@FediFollows @forgefriends no, this is not "a git"

you're implicitly playing into github's game when you conflate git with their service

@FediFollows @forgefriends I'm pointing out either a glaring typo or a really bad position for this project to be taking and you're asking a rhetorical question?

@joeyh @forgefriends

Not rhetorical, genuine question. As e.g. Gitea uses the word "git" I'm not sure why it is inappropriate here?


I'm sure @joeyh knows they didn't and don't given his time writing software to work with git.

Consider, then, that he didn't say what you thought he said?


@deejoe @joeyh @forgefriends

I am genuinely not sure what they said, that's why I am asking questions.

Always happy to get feedback if there's something wrong.

@deejoe @joeyh

As I understood it from the forge friends article, this is like a free open federated alternative to github?

The most common term I've seen for instances of FOSS alternatives like Gitea etc is git?

I am not a developer though, so perhaps there is a problem with this?

What would be a better term?

@FediFollows git is a git. JGit is another git.

github is in the extend phase of embrace/extend/extinguish, where they are trying to make themselves synonymous with git, make people conflate the two, and gradually replace free software git tooling with proprietary github tooling.

This is why people get upset. Calling it "a git" helps with the conflation and helps them in their "extend" mission.

@forgefriends @joeyh @deejoe
gitea, gitlab, savannah, pagure, kallithea, sourcehut, launchpad, github, bitbucket, sourceforge etc are software project platforms, code forges, several of which support git, some of which support other tools as well.

@joeyh @FediFollows @deejoe @forgefriends
ForgeFriends is a tool for competitive compatibility, f.k.a. adversarial interoperability, which proxies existing forges and uses ForgeFed to connect them to each other, so that the person on one forge instance can participate in a project on another forge without leaving their home instance, even though one or both instances don't have their own support for ForgeFed.

@joeyh @FediFollows @deejoe @forgefriends

@clacke @joeyh @FediFollows @deejoe @forgefriends So like, "a git system" or "a git client" or something like that would be better in that description than "a git" then?

@hamefang @clacke @joeyh @FediFollows @deejoe @forgefriends git service platform is probably more accurate to say. They're hosting repos and providing project management services.

@sudoreboot Yes, calling it a git service platform or git hosting platform makes it clear that it isn't git, but complements git.

Calling it a code forge or development forge makes it a little bit clearer that it offers more services than simply publishing the repo.

But ForgeFriends is neither of these things. It is a communication service between forges.

@joeyh @FediFollows @deejoe @hamefang @forgefriends

@clacke @joeyh @deejoe @forgefriends

I'm confused.

Github don't own the term git, and I'm not recommending anyone use Github, so why does using the term git help Github?

Surely if I'm telling people about alternatives to Github, that is helping to stop Github?

@deejoe @forgefriends @clacke @FediFollows @joeyh

I’m not sure what the others are on about, git is a “free and open source distributed version control system” and is a completely separate software from GitHub.

I haven’t heard of Gitea, GitLab, GitHub, Sourcehut, and others be referred to as “a git” though, I personally call them git repository hosting services. I hope that helps with any confusion.

@FediFollows @deejoe @joeyh @forgefriends

The generic term you're looking for is "git forge".

Git is a version control system and Microsoft GitHub is a git forge.

As far as I know, the ForgeFed project is trying to create a common federation protocol between git forges (at least the FOSS ones). They aren't trying to add federation to git itself.

@njoseph_1 @FediFollows @joeyh @forgefriends

ah, right. I think I see the difficulty here and agree "git forge" would be better.

@deejoe @njoseph_1 @joeyh @forgefriends

Yup, it was a generic term I was trying to go for, and as a layperson "git" seemed to be the most common.

I will say "git forge" in future then 👍

@FediFollows @njoseph_1 @joeyh @forgefriends

just to provide some context in case it helps in the future, "forge" likely comes from "sourceforge" a code hosting site that predates the creation of git, that supported other version control systems like Subversion (svn).

(for what it's worth, I'm not a developer either. I think of this in terms roughly equivalent to the difference between how well one knows how to read & write versus being a "writer" or "author": Widely applicable skills vs profession.)

@deejoe @njoseph_1 @joeyh @forgefriends

I am still not clear why "git" is unacceptable.

Wikipedia has this definition:

It even says "not to be confused with github"?

@FediFollows Exactly. Don't confuse them.

git is a version control tool.

github is a project collaboration platform that supports and builds upon git. As the name accurately suggests, it's a hub, not a git.

@joeyh @njoseph_1 @deejoe @forgefriends

@clacke @joeyh @njoseph_1 @deejoe @forgefriends, where/when was I confusing them?

(genuine question, not being snarky)

Meta, discussion of terminology 

@clacke @joeyh @njoseph_1 @deejoe @forgefriends

...but what does that have to do with Github? I didn't even mention it?

@FediFollows github calling themselves github is perfectly fair and descriptive.

That is however not all they are doing. They are actively working for people to confuse github with git, to believe github made git, to believe that you need github to use git.

At that point, to call a code forge a git is to contribute to the confusion. Calling it a git forge is fair, if that's its specific focus.

Apart from all that, ForgeFriends isn't a forge (which is why it isn't FriendsForge), it's a connector between forges. But that's a fair mistake, the website isn't super clear.

@joeyh @njoseph_1 @deejoe @forgefriends

Meta, terminology discussion 

@clacke @joeyh @njoseph_1 @deejoe @forgefriends

(Again, genuine questions, please don't think these are snarky, I am trying to learn!)

I didn't mention Github in my original post, so I do not understand why we are talking about Github at all?

How can I be conflating Github with gits if I don't mention Github?

@FediFollows Imagine that it's the 90s and you call Linux a virus. Someone will counter "ugh, don't say that, that's just what Microsoft wants". Doesn't mean you mentioned Microsoft.

@joeyh @njoseph_1 @deejoe @forgefriends

Meta, terminology 

@clacke @joeyh @njoseph_1 @deejoe @forgefriends

...but I didn't criticise anything? Or call anything a virus?

ForgeFriends and ForgeFed are trying to change things, but for now a software forge is a centralized platform, and for ~80% of companies that's github, whereas git is a decentralized version control tool. They are two very different things.

All I'm saying, and all… was saying, is that calling a software forge (or in this case, a forge connection service) a git plays into github's disinformation strategy, even if you don't mention github. It obscures the fact that git is its own thing and works just fine for its core use cases without any kind of web service.

I love your posts, keep up the good work, don't call a web service a git. =)
Show newer

Meta, terminology discussion 

@FediFollows @clacke @joeyh @njoseph_1 @forgefriends

At this point, please untag me from future discussion in this thread.

I think enough has been said to provide a path out of confusion, for those who want it.

I'm afraid the discussion is well on its way to arguing over the original, confusing, usage though. Which is to say, centering on the perpetuation of the conflation of the confusion.


Meta, terminology discussion 

@FediFollows @clacke @joeyh @njoseph_1 @forgefriends

Anyone who wants help understanding what git is on its own, how it works, how to use it, *especially* on how to use it on its own, outside the context of these software-as-a-service web applications that build atop it, is of course welcome to pursue that with me, but in another thread please.


Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!