In October 2022, the Gitea Ltd for-profit company took over the Gitea project. Brodie Robertson clearly explains the trust issues created by a move that took the entire community by surprise, including the Codeberg presidium and members. This situation was worrisome, and sad. We should not fight our collaborators and mates, but instead against the monopoly of proprietary for-profit platforms; standing united as the Free Software Movement and Gitea Community. Since day 0 (and before), Codeberg („TeaHub“ back then) was powered by Gitea and is strong in the Gitea ecosystem: e.V.-members help us maintain our current fork of Gitea and prepare Codeberg-specific patches.
Companies can help make the Free Software ecosystem more sustainable, and the Gitea project is no exception. Paid staff can work with a community of volunteers when a mutual trust exists. Sadly, Gitea Ltd broke that trust by a lack of transparency: its existence was kept a secret during months. After the initial announcement, Gitea Ltd published another blog post but it was still vague and there has been no other communication since. Who are the Gitea Ltd shareholders? Who, among the Gitea maintainers, are employees of Gitea Ltd?
Codeberg needs to run on a Free Software codebase maintained by trustworthy people. And the Gitea community deserves to be in control of the project when they generously volunteer their time. It must not be the company accepting the community. It must be the community generously accepting the company, and Gitea Ltd should be thankful for this, instead of trying to dictate how governance shall work in the future. Luckily Codeberg is in a unique position to reconnect the Gitea community in one place, independent and out of control of Gitea Ltd. And so we did.
The Forgejo project, launched today, is hosted on Codeberg and offers a new home to reunite the Gitea community. Over the past few weeks it got ready to create releases and Codeberg will use Forgejo instead of Gitea starting with version 1.18.0. It provides Codeberg with an essential feature: trust. On a technical level, Forgejo is a drop-in replacement for Gitea, similar to LineageOS which can be used instead of Android.
This is only the beginning and Forgejo will build a roadmap based on what users need. You can become an active member of the Forgejo community now by filling a survey, joining the Matrix space, or following Forgejo in the fediverse at https://floss.social/@forgejo.