This Week in Programming: GitLab Goes Premium, Ditches Starter Tier
GitLab has long maintained that it is much more than merely a source code repository and versioning system. Rather, the company has made strides to become, and be known as, a full-featured “DevOps platform” that takes its users from source code management all the way through the software lifecycle, offering continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) and more. This week, the company moved to further cement that perception, and use case, by moving to a three-tier product subscription model and phasing out its Bronze/Starter tier.
“Over the last few years, GitLab has evolved into a complete DevOps platform. Many Bronze/Starter customers adopted GitLab just for source code management (SCM) or continuous integration (CI), but GitLab is now a robust DevOps platform that can replace entire toolchains,” the company offered in explanation, noting that the tier “does not meet the hurdle rate,” which is a fancy way of saying they’re not making enough money on the deal.
For their part, GitLab also notes that it has added more than 450 features to its free offering over the past year, and the company not only offers current Bronze/Starter customers a year to transition but also discounts for those who make the move to Premium immediately.
As with any change in pricing, there is a faction of users who are wholeheartedly dismayed with the move, decrying the percentage increase and often vowing to move their business over to another system, or a mishmash of various DevOps tools, entirely.
Too steep. We’ve got 16 users on the starter tier and have been paying you $768 a year in licenses. Our next three renewals are $1,152, $1,728, $2,880 respectively.
A 375% increase in three years.
— Craig Gilchrist (@craiggilchrist) January 28, 2021
The discussion over at HackerNews conveys similar hand-wringing, with one user summarizing the thread as “GitLab: your product is great; your pricing is madness.” Another noted that, even with discounts, the services at GitLab ended up being “a full order of magnitude more expensive,” with a level of lock-in that was unacceptable.
Amidst all the hubbub, there are a few users who see the reason for the move. One user in the GitLab forums comments that “the new tiers make some sense. Before there was no clear distinction between 4€ and 19€ feature wise — at least it seemed rather arbitrary.” Another user on Twitter notes that part of the issue may come in the fact that they are not using the services “to its fullest,” and that perhaps the new price simply reflects the value of a team who buys in fully.
It’s hard to justify an eventual $15 per user price increase, but that’s because we’re not using GitLab to it’s fullest. We _could_ use it to manage operations, issues, roadmaps etc, but the features weren’t as rich on the bronze plan – so using Jira made sense.
— dilski 🦆 (@dilski) January 27, 2021
This Week in Programming
- Red Hat Adds 100+ Free, Downloadable Datasets: Late last year, Red Hat and IBM launched Red Hat Marketplace and now the companies are offering 100+ public datasets, such as “datasets related to COVID-19, the U.S. Census, employment figures, demographics, weather, city data, and more.” Their goal, they write, “is to enable you to find and use raw data, as well as Kubeflow Pipelines,” and to provide developers with “a single location where they can access enterprise applications and public datasets to build their applications.” The current datasets are just the beginning, with more to be added in the year ahead, as well as new models and APIs. For more info beyond the blog post, check out the docs.
- OpenSSF Offers An Update: The Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF), which launched late last year to address security issues in the open source software ecosystem, has offered an update, including a new “technical vision,” alongside some specific updates from some of its individual working groups. The group says that it envisions “a future where participants in the open source ecosystem use and share high-quality software, with security handled proactively, by default, and as a matter of course.” To that end, the group further sees developers more easily able to identify security issues, learn secure development practices, and create and distribute security policies through their tooling. Among the concrete updates offered by the individual working groups are the CVE Benchmark for tooling and data sets, a Criticality Score to help understand which open source software projects are the most critical so that security work can be prioritized accordingly, a Security Metrics dashboard for open source projects, and Security Scorecards, which auto-generates a “security score” through a number of checks on OSS projects. For the interested, the project is looking for others to get involved and is hosting a town hall meeting on Monday, Feb. 22, 1-2 p.m. ET.
no one ever opens github issues that say “your software is awesome and i love it and you rock”
— oliver (@olix0r) January 28, 2021
- Docker Open Sources Linux CLI Tool, Partners With JFrog: Docker released its Docker Hub command-line interface (CLI) tool last month, during its All Hands meeting, and now the company has decided to open source the Linux version of the tool. The hub-tool, as it’s known, is available on Github and, while still in the experimental stage, v0.3.0 introduces a couple of new features, such as the ability to check the status of an organization or to inspect a specific platform if the image is a multi-arch image. While we’re here, Docker and JFrog also announced a partnership this week that will exempt JFrog users from Docker’s recently enforced rate limit on Docker Hub image pulls.
- The Top Developer Tools of 2020: With just days left of the first month of 2021, there’s still a little time left to look back at the year we’d rather not remember, and StackShare has done just that with its annual list of the top 100+ developer tools. It has done this by analyzing “over eight million data points shared by you- the StackShare community” and organized the results into numerous categories, such as new tool of the year, analytics, application hosting, web server, application utility and so on. Since part of being a developer is always keeping up with the latest, lists like this are surely invaluable, and for the curious, StackShare offers some notes on its methodology for further review.
brb switching all of my open source projects to the wonderful “license” used by SQLite pic.twitter.com/oostu3qlCM
— Daniel Mangum (@hasheddan) January 28, 2021
- Linkerd Gets a Steering Committee: Last up this week, Buoyant, the primary company behind the open source service mesh Linkerd, has launched the Linkerd Steering Committee. The project is forming a steering committee now, it says, because it has seen rapid growth and wants to “broaden the set of ways that end users can get involved in the project” — in other words, not just through code contribution. The Linkerd steering committee will differ from others, however, in that “rather than representing vendors, Linkerd’s steering committee members represent Linkerd users.” According to the post, all steering committee members must currently run a Linkerd production deployment of “non-trivial size” to ensure “no representation without productionization.” The committee will kick off in February, on a date to be announced on the cncf-linkerd-users mailing list. For a bit further context, head on over to SDxCentral to read about how the formation of the steering committee is said to be collecting vexed Istio users.
Me choosing the right tool for the job pic.twitter.com/qhOYy2ZOPo
— memenetes (@memenetes) January 25, 2021
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Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash.