Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The SourceForge vs. GitHub Conundrum


Or "When is it time to move?"

I've got https://sourceforge.net/projects/stingrayreader/ which has been on SourceForge since forever. 

Really since about 2014. Not that long. But. Maybe long enough?

The velocity of change is relatively slow.

However. 

(And this is a big however.) SourceForge seems kind of complicated when compared with Github. 

It's not a completely fair comparison. SourceForge has a *lot* of features. I don't use very many of those features. 

The troubling issues are these.

1. Documentation. SourceForge -- while it has a Git interface -- doesn't handle my documentation very well. Instead of a docs directory, I do a separate upload of the HTML. It's inelegant. SourceForge may handle this more smoothly nowadays. Or maybe I should switch to readthedocs? 

2. The Literate Programming Workflow. There's an extra step (or two) in LP workflows. The PyLit3 synchronization to create the working Python from the RST source. This is followed by the ubiquitous steps creation of a release, creation of a distribution, and the upload to PyPI. I don't have an elegant handle on this because my velocity of change is so low. SourceForge imposed a "make your own ZIP file" mentality that could be replaced by a nicer "use PyPI" approach.

3. Clunky Design Issue. I've uncovered a clunky, stateful design problem in the StingrayReader. I really really really need to fix it. And while fixing it, why not move to Github?

4. Compatibility Testing. The StingrayReader seems to work with Python 3.5 and up. I don't have a formal Tox suite. I think it works with a number of versions of XLRD. And it *should* be amenable to other tools for Excel processing. Not sure. And (until I start using tox) can't tell. 

5. Type Hints. See #3. The stateful design problem can be finessed into a much more elegant use of NamedTuples. And then mypy can be used.

6. Unit Tests. Currently, the testing is all unittest.TestCase. I really want to convert to pytest and simplify all of it.

7. Lack of a proper workflow in the first place. See #2. It's a more-or-less sitting in the master branch of a git repo that's part of SourceForge. That's kind of shabby. 

8. Version Numbering Vagueness. When I was building my own Zip archives from the code manually (because that's the way SourceForge worked.) I wasn't super careful about semantic versioning, and I've been release patch-number versions for a while. Which is wrong. A few of those versions included new features. Minor, but features. 

But. One tiny new feature. So. It will be release 4.5.

See https://sourceforge.net/p/stingrayreader/blog/2018/10/moving-to-github/ for status, also