Inkscape moves to GitLab

The tools that projects use to manage code have changed in the last ten years and the Inkscape project has wanted to take advantage of the more advanced and modern systems available and encourage more contributions. But these newer platforms have involved a large step of exporting the code base and all of the many branches into a new system. But we needed to take the leap into a new system, because our code platform and repository system was putting off new contributors and made working on Inkscape harder for existing developers.

This transition has taken the project a year or more to plan carefully which platforms would host the Inkscape project and how to technically convert the codebase with the minimal amount of data loss. Tools exist to convert from bzr to git branches, but a lot of testing and experimentation was conducted to make sure this large project would translate correctly.

During the decision about which platform would host our git repositories, we discounted staying on Launchpad itself as its git support was very weak compared to other platforms and the project doesn't appear to be actively developed. Another option was GitHub, which is a very popular project host and pretty much the defacto platform for many developers. This platform lost some points because it's entirely proprietary and there existing a very solid Free Software competitor in the form of GitLab - which was the final decision for the project's new platform.

Last week, developers were given notice of the impending change and encouraged to commit their work before the cut-off date. Yesterday, Ted Gould, a long time Inkscape contributor and Inkscape board member, completed to conversion and uploading process, moving Inkscape from the Launchpad platform using bazaar, to the GitLab platform using git repositories. The process took a number of days to complete, wherein code could not be uploaded. Now that the process is complete, all developers will have to change their local repositories to using the new system.

All new developers are encouraged to read the documentation before starting new work and getting to know the GitLab system. Bugs/issues will continue to be on launchpad for now.