July 2019

GitHub Satellite 2019

On May 23, the GitHub Satellite 2019 took place at the venue "Kraftwerk" in Berlin. We visited the conference and workshops.

Although the workshop day was aimed more at novices, it also provided some useful tips for experienced Git and GitHub users. For example, for the ever-recurring topic "monorepos", tools were introduced which, by calculating different metrics, give an indication that a repository should be split. In the workshop on the new feature "GitHub Actions", we had to realize that this is not suitable for CI/CD/DevOps tasks and, moreover, it is not yet available in GitHub Enterprise.

The conference itself started with the keynote held by CEO Nat Friedman. In view of the loud criticism after the take-over by Microsoft he tried visibly to emphasize GitHub's connection and support of the open source community. As an example of the successful collaboration on GitHub.com, the first appearance of a black hole using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) was cited, including a live link to Dr. Ing. Katie Bouman, the media face of the scientific project. Five other members of her team were even on site.

The keynote was also packed with announcements about new security, enterprise and community features. Most of these features revolve around the dependency graph of projects, which can then be determined if the project uses a supported package manager such as Maven, pip or npm. Thus, the information now available enables the new "security alerts" to be given to the maintainers of projects that depend on projects with a known vulnerability. In addition, "dependency insights" can be used to view license information for dependencies or for automated security fixes to automatically update affected dependencies via a pull request when a security vulnerability becomes known.

In addition, some features were introduced which should be important for GitHub Enterprise Server customers. These include among other things internal repositories accessible to logged-in users only, or "enterprise" accounts as a new hierarchy level above "organizations" and "teams". Two new authorization levels are also intended to close the gaps between no access and read access, as well as read access and write access, for example to be able to create an issue without being able to see the code.

The further conference offered a broad spectrum of topics, also beyond the GitHub ecosystem and in different qualities in terms of technical detail and relevance. A roundtable discussion, such as with Marietje Schaake, a Member of the European Parliament, on the subject of "software security, trust and public policy", was a nice idea to add to the agenda - a format that is upgradeable.

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