People freaking out that gitlab.com is considering to delete inactive free-tier repositories [1]... I mean what did you expect? Someone to host all your stuff for free forever?

Github will do exactly the same if that's at any point convenient to them. You are responsible for keeping your projects online/available/backed-up, if you don't have a contract with someone to do it for you.

[1] theregister.com/2022/08/04/git (so far that seems to be a still just a rumor/leak? No official confirmation afaik.)

@Bubu Wow, I just realized that some of the code for my scientific articles are living on #Gitlab and (of course) have not seen an update for ~3 years! Deletion of repos can hurt science as well! I have no way to update the URL of these repos in those published articles!

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@Mehrad @Bubu What can we realistically do about this? Pipe all URLs through an easily and cheaply self-hostable URL shortener to make repository migrations possible afterwards? Aggressively archive all links, maybe through archive.org?

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@piegames as it's only said about repos not updated for a long time, it might be a "rescue task" to place a canary into some subdirectory (e.g. .gitlab/) which just contains a last-updated-date and is pushed weekly (with a fresh date). Keeps the repo alive – though it might cause confusion concerning when the *real* content was updated last… So maybe a wiki page, or an issue (which is weekly opened and closed)? @Mehrad @Bubu

@IzzyOnDroid @Mehrad @Bubu Yeah that's maybe not the best solution. If we could get GitLab to auto-archive repositories somewhere instead (under the assumption that a static HTML file host is a lot cheaper than a full Git forge), that would already be something.

@IzzyOnDroid @piegames @Bubu

Gitlab has an API system with which one can do many things to keep a repo "active", but I personally can no longer trust Gitlab as the API can also change at any time.

@piegames @Bubu there are quite a few things we can do, one of which is some sort or publicly accessible archiving with DOI binding to specific commits. I perhaps should add some more modification to the RFC and implementation of #FLOSSAM initiative I'm working on.

Ultimately we should have a permanent, reliable, citable storage for #academic software (and even perhaps preprints.

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