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jan.koprowski 6th May 2011 23:08

New developer concern - why a not Git

I'm starting my adventure with ISPConfig 3 right now :) Because I need something which isn't currently supported (php-fpm and nginx) I'm starting from point of future contributor of this project. But my first thing was: "Who the hell use Subversion today?". I thought: "Fine. I'll make my own for on github, I will write few additional modules. Then I will send my "push request" to community and after review my patches will be contributed." but .... wait! this is Subversion :|

Is there any reason why ISPConfig3 are on Subversion? There are so many advantages from using Git I can't imagine why someone still use Subversion.

Please - answer me because this blow my mind forever. I just can't live with this :)

till 9th May 2011 13:21

The ISPConfig project is older as the git project, so GIT and github does not even existed as the ispconfog development started. Also there are more tools available for SVN which are integrated in the development IDE's then for git.

There is no reason for us to change the repositoy system as SVN works great for us.

jan.koprowski 9th May 2011 22:53

Age of project is not an answer. Which tools are available for SVN which are absent for Git? I don't know any. But it is Your choice. My experience is switching to Git helps extend developer's audience. That is all. Thanks for explanation.

vStone 30th June 2011 15:23

You can easily use git yourself i you want to and add the svn repository using git-svn. I do this myself. After importing the svn repository in your git repo (which will take a while), use

git svn rebase

git svn dcommit
(if you can commit to the ispconfig svn that is)

nveid 28th August 2011 11:27

Personally I'm a big fan of the ruby gem svn2git (converts the svn branches to real git branches and allows pushing back.. something git-svn I believe lacks). On second thought, looks like svn2git is just a one way tool to get your svn into a true git like setup.

Though it would be nice if the actual development switched to using git. As in the days when svn came about it trumped cvs(even though on my personal projects I went towards darcs), git definitely trumps svn and its time to move away from its antiquated facilities.

zbuzanic 18th October 2011 16:12

Hmm, I was wondering these days: can I for example modify ispconfig svn 2063 for my own needs and then merge it with latest svn patches? Is that possible with svn?

till 18th October 2011 17:33

Yes, thats possible with SVN. Just checkout the svn release that you want to use as basis for your changes and then add your changes in the code. Then run a svn update command from time to time to keep your sources up to date and svn just merges your local changes with the changes in the ispconfig repository.

cfoe 30th March 2012 20:26

I really do see your point. You have great experience with svn but ...
While I really love ISPConfig 3 the "environment around" the Core seams to be outdated.
Let me just list my impressions from my point of view as a systems architect not as a programmer.
You take following facts into consideration:
  1. ISPConfig is open-source
  2. people are willing to help improve ISPConfig (my impression in the forum)
  3. Bugtracker Flyspray is discontinued
  4. SVN is outdated (sorry, my personal opinion. do not take it the wrong way)
  5. the Wiki is not an open wiki
  6. vBulletin is a pain for me
  7. UI is not outdated but not 100% Web 2.0 (

That leads me to the following conclusions:
  1. GitHub hosting would be totally free forever (I know sourceforge is free as well);
  2. <see other points>
  3. Bugzilla/MantisBT, maybe Trac are considered the "standards"; you need to abandon discontinued software - One example: I am not able to edit my own feature requests.
  4. GitHub would lower the threshold to contribute (one click for a fork) -> more forking by external contributors
  5. use a wiki software to let people contribute to the wiki -> you can search the wiki and do not need to search the forum and the other resources you provide on the website
  6. vBulletin + the subforum-style at makes it hard to search at least for me (is anyone with me on that?)
  7. The new skin "larry" of Roundcube 0.8 beta totally blows me away.I am a sucker for simplicity. Would be great to have a matching skin for ISPConfig. Maybe with good collaboration it can be possible

After all this critique I need to emphasize that I came from Plesk, WHM and Confixx and they are no match to ISPConfig.
I am ready to contribute to a move to a more modern environment for ISPConfig if you want my help.

Would be great to get a few replies to this post.


till 2nd April 2012 15:33

Thanks for your offer to help out. We are currently working on a redesign of the ispconfig website and we might use some other software to organize the project in future, so the infrastructure will get modernized step by step.

We do not plan to switch to a different forum though as howtoforge is one of the largest sponsors of the ispconfig project.


people are willing to help improve ISPConfig (my impression in the forum)
Many users like to contribute until they realise that it requires to dedicate some of their time to do it. For example the ui post that you linked above, never heard anything back from him. Same for the wiki, we started it 4 or 5 times as free wiki because users promised that they wanted to maintain it and crontribute information. It never lasted longer then 2 - 3 weeks until they stopped contributing as they realised that it causes some work to maintain a wiki and that they have to check it daily if they are the administrator in charge. At the end I had to delete all the spam comments daily myself and we had to close the wiki.


One example: I am not able to edit my own feature requests.
You cant edit them because we had to disable that function as spammers posted reasonable requests first and when the requests moved to the second page after a few months they added spam links to their posts.

Getting code contributions to ispconfig is a two sided sword. On the one side, its great to get some code contributed, on the other side it tooks often longer to fix it then it would have taken to write it on your own. To write secure code for a admin panel you have to know a lot about linux system administration, security and programming.

For example the contributions of language files works great, they can be created with the ispconfig language editor, exported as a single file and then imported on other servers. Themes are uncritcal as well as the interface part does not run as root and the theme files do not contain any php code.

Contribution to the other parts of ispconfig are more critical, we received contributions that destabilized the core, caused failing updates, destroyed jails etc. Nothing of these things happened due to bad habit, its just missing knowledge about details of Linux systems and you wont see this problems if you just take a short look at the code. So we have to decide if we want to set the focus on a stable software or more contributors and I guess most users of ispconfig would prefer the stability. Currently the development is done by employed developers of the companys ISPConfig UG and projektfarm GmbH and a few larger ISP's that use ispconfig. We welcome every new developer or company that likes to participate in the ispconfig development but as you might see from my explanations, contributing to ispconfig is not as easy as contributing to a cms system or writing a plugin for wordpress and thats not caused by the ispconfig enviroment only.

cfoe 14th May 2012 10:31

To give my 2 cents, again:

Roundcube just switched from SVN to GitHub. Look at the project page at . It has a ton of watchers and a few forks already (about 10 days after the switch).
As soon as my own projects reach v1.0 I will try to contribute to Roundcube and ISPC more.

One (maybe dumb) question:
Is there an equivalent to GitHub "pull request" for SVN?

For me this is one of the great features of GitHub. Everyone can contribute and the maintainer can check all commits before merging the code.

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