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Github collaboration: does it matter where the GitHub repo lives?

Sylwia Vargas
I teach React, Redux, JavaScript, Ruby, Rails at Flatiron School | I care about web accessible and inclusive tech | she/her
・1 min read

Hey friends!
I am wondering if it matters on whose account a github repo lives. I oftentimes have some project idea and then usually my collaborator goes ahead and creates a github repo for it. I didn't mind it until I noticed that this is a pattern with so many people — folks seem to care a great deal to have the repo live on their accounts.

My questions:

  • When and why does it matter?
  • Does it matter, if the project is non-commercial?
  • And does it matter if the project will be monetized?

Thank you!

Discussion (5)

yechielk profile image
Yechiel Kalmenson • Edited

I don't think it makes a huge deal (other than that it shows up in the owner's GitHub account so they can take more "credit" for it?)

Once it gets commercial you might want to transfer it to an org.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

No I don't think it really matters. Alongside credit, the biggest thing might be practicality. Who plans to do more administrative/maintenance work, maybe they should be the holder of the repo?

talha131 profile image
Talha Mansoor

Two advantages of creating a repository that I know of are:

  1. You are credited as the owner of the repository. So all the stars and fork count contributes towards your standing in the community
  2. Github records your contributions directly. On the other hand, if you add to a fork, then Github counts your commits only when they are merged in the upstream. Consequently, if you are an owner, then your commits will make a nice Github graph without waiting for your pull request to merge.

Besides these gains, owning a repository lets you manage the access and setup tools such as CI.

When I work with people who are not fluent in Git or Github, I create the repository myself, to ensure they do not mess it up in any way. Otherwise, I do not care who owns it.

renegadecoder94 profile image
Jeremy Grifski • Edited

I tend to want to keep projects on my account because I'd hate to see a project get deleted later by another owner. I realize Git itself is distributed, but it's always been a fear of mine.

I also just like to have control of the repo in case I want to move the repo to another account or organization. Of course, that probably happens so infrequently as to not matter.

oleksiyrudenko profile image
Oleksiy Rudenko • Edited

GitHub is a great place supporting collaboration to store repos at. It is better to have a repo under one's account than not having it in any cloud at all.

You might create a repo and agree with your collaborators to use it. Or create an organization to group projects and have a better control of contribution policies.
Source code openness and commercial/non-commercial nature are different matters. A project can be open source and yet commercial.

BTW, a repo can be moved to a different owner, to an organization for example.