Several reasons why I prefer Github over Drupal for Hosting my Drupal Projects.

Why I prefer Github over Drupal, a crosspost from an issue on

  • I do more then "only Drupal". Github allows me to maintain all these none-Drupal modules in the same environment. Just another angle to look at the "but it's good to have everything centralised". It is now centralised for me, the developer; arguably the most important person in a project.
  • Collaboration is far easier on Github trough its forking and pulling mechanism. No fiddling with patches, continuous re-rolling them and so forth. The entire experience is just simply a lot better worked out on Github. "It's all about the details"^1.
  • I firmly believe that Drupal should ditch the entire project-hosting. And leave it to the community members to choose where they host: On their own (companies') servers, on Github, Bitbucket, launchpad, whatever rocks your boat. And no, you can still have central places to find your modules then. In my believe: when there is a competition between hosters and contrib-search-engines, they will be a lot better then what we have now. ^2
  • I care for developers, not users. Users give me little in return (other then high-usage rates and self-esteem). Developers are my main target, for they have the tools and skills to help improve my work. Their "payment" comes in patches, bugfixes, performance-improvements, refactorings and so on. For me, the most valuable payment. Obviously, most developers are users themselves. And many user can become a developer. But in the end, I choose a project-manangement-environment aimed at developers, because they are my main target audience, because in my Open Source Projects, they "pay" best. And so, I prefer to lower the barrier to make such a payment.

In the end, It should be for the best for all of us.

Obviously, Github lacks a few things, most of which are easily solvable due to the distributed nature of Git. Depending on how much Drupal projects I will continue to maintain (I am evaluating that right now), I might release some of my tools which help me here.

  • Drupal automatically builds releases. You now need to push to two remotes if you wish nightly builds (the -dev version).
  • Update and security infrastructure is built around hosting and maintaining on entirely. You host elsewhere? You won't be able to push out new security releases to your users.
  • Drupal has a really strange (and anoyingly incompatible with de-facto standards) workflow and branching model. Aliasing and simply ignoring most Drupal standards helps a lot.
  • BUT IF IT IS NOT ON DRUPLA.OGR IT IS NOT OFFICIAL!!11onone. Sadly a module has to be released on to be taken in consideration in most projects. Personally, I find that smallminded. Since there are great projects not on But facing the facts: a module has to be on, so if you host elsewhere, you still need to host on too. Meaning two environments, twice the fiddling and thrice the amount of Description/readme/changelog copypastig. By hosting on alone, you avoid most of this.

1: The most hilarious and sad example is the fact that when I decided to move my tickets over from to Github, I closed the ticket-feature on Tagadelic; you should no longer be able to post tickets there.. But due to some bug, this feature does not work: So now I have to keep replying on tickets on, telling people the tickets are closed there. Sigh.

2: It will also solve another rediculous problem: that of "too much modules". Right now, the solution to this is to hold back module-development! Hah! Because the mechanism to find The Best Contribs is broken, you simply say: we will stall creation of new contribs: because then people can find the oldest ones best. Edit: due to excessive spamming (my server almost crashed, recieving over a million! spam POSTS per day) comments can be posted over at reddit. I will reply there.

This article was published on And migrated to this blog.

in drupal214 github1

About the author: Bèr Kessels is an experienced webdeveloper with a great passion for technology and Open Source. A golden combination to implement that technology in a good and efficient way. Follow @berkes on Twitter. Or read more about Bèr.

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