After many years of using Trac to run our own development and community website, we are moving to GitHub.
Why the Switch?
When we first began using Trac, NVDA was a much smaller project. In addition, there was no hosted service that suited all our needs. In the last few years, this is no longer the case with services such as GitHub and BitBucket emerging as modern, feature-packed options with vibrant communities.
While Trac has served us very well, it has not been without its problems and these are continuing to grow in recent times. These include increasing spam (despite automated checks), performance problems, excessive load on our server, and bugs in both Trac and plugins that aren’t fixed for a long time (or still haven’t been fixed yet). Most recently, new users have been unable to verify their email addresses and thus unable to file issues. Also, some highly desirable features are not yet possible (or at least quite problematic) with Trac, such as replying to issue comments by email, formatted (HTML) email and simpler notifications.
Using a hosted service means we can eliminate the significant work involved in maintaining our own service, including management of upgrades, user accounts and spam. As a small organisation with very limited resources, this work is simply no longer justifiable given that there are now very compelling alternatives. These resources are far better invested in other, more important NVDA work.
The prevalence of GitHub and the massive size of its community brings some additional benefits. First, people interested in NVDA development don’t need to learn a system specific to NVDA; they can use their knowledge of GitHub for other projects as well. Second, NVDA is more visible to the wider open source community, opening the door for more contributions from outside.
What Effect Will This Have?
- The source code, issue tracker, official project documentation, etc. are now all located at NVDA on GitHub.
- If you do not have one already, you will need to sign up for a GitHub account to report issues, contribute code, etc. Unfortunately, Trac accounts cannot be transferred.
- If you were receiving notifications for particular tickets on Trac, you will need to “subscribe” to the corresponding issues on GitHub to continue to receive notifications. Note that the GitHub issues have the same numbers as their original Trac tickets.
- Emails for all issues are no longer sent to the nvda-commits email list. If you wish to see notifications for all issues, you should “watch” NVDA on GitHub instead.
- Community maintained wiki articles can now be found on the NVDA Community wiki on GitHub.
- If you have already checked out the source code with Git, you will need to run this command to change the repository URL:
git remote set-url origin https://github.com/nvaccess/nvda.git
We understand that there will be some inevitable discomfort in learning and becoming familiar with this new system and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused. This decision was made after a great deal of careful consideration and we strongly believe it is in the best interest of the project going forward.
If you have any questions or concerns, please subscribe and post to the NVDA development email list.