GitHub announced new pricing policy. There are good news and bad news.

The Good

The good news is the new personal account pricing. For $7 individuals get unlimited private repos. And they can add any number of collaborators. Yay!

The Bad

The bad news is their organization account pricing. Now it’s $9 per user (and $25 for the first 5 users).

In what they called “legacy” pricing model, you paid for repos. For $100 you’d get 50 private repos and no cap on the number of users in the org!

Let’s calculate what does the same $100 buy you now.

$25 + 9 x $9 = $106

Which gives us 14 people. So roughly you got 3 times more repos than people. Interesting.

Now, I can imagine a company where every person writes and maintains 3 microsevices and insists on keeping them all in their own private repos. They may welcome such change.

“But Sergei, GitHub allows you to stay on your legacy pricing, why you are ranting?” - you may ask.

And that bring us to

The Ugly

GitHub called the previous pricing model “legacy” model. To show you how old-fashion and uncool you are, if you want to use it. I will call it “good-old-sane” model from now on.

The first problem is simple: now GitHub doesn’t allow you to create an org and use the good-old-sane pricing. They took this option away. So lucky you, if you already have an org. And sorry, if you’ve just come to the OSS party.

Here, I want to take a step back and explain

Why private repos are essential for OSS

If you are doing OSS in your work-time, you probably know the answer. There are a bunch of reasons why you need private repos, even when your job is to write open-source:

  • Internal things (i.e. specific docs and handy scripts)
  • Experiments
  • Products in-the-process of being open-sourced

The last one is the most important. You want to prepare repo privately (i.e. setup a build server) and push a button to switch from private to public. So having a paid organization account is a necessity for existing org companies to go open-source. A lot of projects went through that path.

The announcement full of epithets like “immediate freedom”, “better way to work”, even “better way to grow”. They sound absurd to me. What kind of “better way to grow” is it, if adding a new person to the org (i.e. a new hire) now involves associated cost?

I’m not against monetization strategy that charges enterprises insane amount of money. Slack does it, I like slack. What I’m against is the shift in the monetization from the good-old-sane model to a “new model” under the flag of community approval. Dear GitHub, just admit your greed.