GitLab won't delete your old, unloved projects after all

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Following some severe backlash from developers, GitLab has axed plans to delete free users' dormant projects after a year automatically.

Anonymous sources told The Register the plan was originally set to come into play in September 2022, with GitLab claiming the move would save them over $1 million, but has now been pulled following user outcry. 

GitLab, one of GitHub's open-source competitors, provides a DevOps platform that allows coders to develop, secure, and operate code, using languages such as Python and Javascript.

Why the move?

Twitter was soon filled with outcry from developers after the move was leaked. 

One user called Sam Guichelaar, said in a post: "92% of the projects I host on GitHub would be considered inactive and would be deleted on GitLab."

"These include things I want to get back to in the future or things I want to preserve." 

"GitLab deleting them would be absolutely unacceptable," he added.

Gitlab did not reveal the actual reasoning behind rolling back the decision, however, The Register's anonymous sources said that the resulting social media backlash was at least part of the decision.

Not all users were similarly damning about Gitlab's move.

One Twitter user, called Schykle, called the move "perfectly reasonable", saying "pay for its permanent storage, or host it on an archive somewhere since it's literally dead, and not an actively maintained project".

The open source platform's decision would only have deleted projects that were completely untouched, a small amendment would have been enough to save them according to the sources. 

It's not just GitLab that has been threatening GitHub's dominance as of late.

Amazon recently rolled out a new AI coding assistant from Amazon Web Services (AWS), dubbed CodeWhisperer, which comes in direct competition to Github's AI-based own coding tool, Copilot.

Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cloud computing, payments, artificial intelligence, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for AltFi, FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long-form feature writer.