Process to join the open source program is not working for me


I’ve filled an application form to join the Gitlab Open Source community here, and submitted the asked screenshots. Now I got an email back saying that the information was not enough, and asking me to resubmit them again. However, it does not explain why the submitted screenshots weren’t accepted, or what data is missing. So I’m confused as to what resubmit. Is anyone able to help me with my application, as some of my open source projects really need those extra CI minutes to ensure they won’t break users?

Moreover, the process seems a bit too rigid. I’m not sure whether I mark my projects as open source individually, rather than my whole persona/namespace. Which I should, right? After all, in this OSS business, can’t one just submit a statement that “in my honor, I shall not make money from gitlab projects” or something? I mean, I don’t use gitlab for anything else, and the killer feature for me was the CI, which I’m now blocked from using.

Hi @honeyryderchuck :wave:. I’m happy to help here.

Thanks for this thorough explanation of what you experienced and what you were expecting (makes troubleshooting much easier!). I was able to retrieve your original application form dated 2022-05-05 and reviewed it. I also see that the application was rejected but the rejection includes no notes—which is odd, because we strive to leave clear and specific notes on rejection letters. So this leads me to believe there must have been some technical issue or glitch concerning the application. We experienced some issues with our review process a few months ago and I’m wondering if perhaps your application was unfortunately subjected to them.

Because several months have passed, the application has timed out and I’m afraid that we’ll need to ask you to resubmit your application for another review. I recognize this creates more work for you and I do regret that. But at this point it’s really the most expedient way for us to process your application. We’ve ironed out our technical issues, so I’m confident that this time around the process will be much smoother.

You’re correct that because the program’s benefits apply to an entire namespace—not a single project in a namesapce—every project in the applying namespace must meet eligibility criteria. We specify that provision on the program application page and in the GitLab handbook. So, yes: if you’re submitting a namespace for the GitLab for Open Source Program, all the projects it contains must meet the program eligibility requirements (carry an OSI-approved license, etc.).

As for the rigidity of the application process, I can only say that we do our best to ensure that qualifying projects can apply and claim their benefits as easily and as seamlessly as possible while ensuring that those that don’t qualify still get the help they need subscribing to and using GitLab. We can always improve, of course, which is why I appreciate notes like yours that help us identify hiccups and rough edges in our processes.

I went ahead and went through the gruesome work of submitting separate applications for each of my OS projects. Let’s see how that goes.

Let me clarify: I’m not against some due diligence. I understand gitlab saw a lot of undesired freeloading in its platform, and measures had to be taken. I’ve been feeling that CI machines for free projects are somehow throttled, and I think that’s fair.

What I’m disappointed with is all this nonsense of a process. I already have an account in gitlab, and projects! Can’t gitlab just put there an automated “submit for OS grant” button somewhere in the way? Do we need a separate website, separate form submission (JS-dependent, does not survive page refresh, come on!) , links + screenshots of the public pages those links take you to… what’s the point of all this friction? What’s at stake?

This nonsense really makes me feel that gitlab is becoming out of touch with the community it grew with. I used to laud gitlab over all competitors for being obviously more user friendly, to the point I publicly bashed github everytime they stole a feature. Can we get that attitude back?

Thanks for following up, @honeyryderchuck. I’ve reviewed your applications, and you should have now received instructions for finalizing your program membership and claiming your benefits.

Note that applicants need only submit a single application for the program. As per our FAQ:

Must I submit separate applications for all my open source projects?

GitLab for Open Source Program benefits apply to an entire namespace. To qualify for the program, every project in the applicant’s namespace must carry an open source license. When you apply, submit materials for the single project you believe represents all the projects in your namespace.

So while I did review the individual applications you sent, I sent you only one subscription license, which you’ll apply to the honeyryderchuck namespace, unlocking benefits for all your projects therein. Additional applications from you will appear as “Rejected” by the review system, but please know that all the projects you submitted for review did qualify and you should be good to go.

I do want to note that I noticed some inconsistencies in your applications, particularly regarding public project accessibility. While some of your projects were publicly accessible, not all had the “Users can request access” option activated, which is a program eligibility requirement. Nevertheless, I approved your application, figuring I’d simply leave you a note here and trust you to rectify that small item when you had a chance.

An automated application button is a neat and interesting idea and we can certainly look into its feasibility. We’re always seeking ways to make the application process smoother and less cumbersome for current and future members. I think you’ve answered the question “What’s a stake?” earlier in your assessment: What’s at stake is potential abuse, equity in the open source program’s administration, and a fair and consistent experience for members. I understand the current application process may not be ideal for all users, but at the moment it represents the most effective way for us to process applications, ensure that open source projects qualifying for the program (like yours) receive their benefits, and curb potential abuse (uncommon, to be sure, but not non-existent).

At any rate, I believe you should be all set now, and I’ll look forward to seeing what you continue to build on GitLab. Thanks for supporting the program!

I’ve followed through with the process and claimed the subscription. However, in doing so I had to create a group. Does this mean that I have to move my projects to the new group? That’s unideal in my case: I have links everywhere in my packages. My project websites are hosted and served from the repo (gitlab pages). Can’t this be applied to my personal namespace instead?

I don’t believe the license can be applied to a user account. In case it’s not possible, I went ahead and approved the applications for the individual projects you submitted for the program. That way you’ll have the licenses you need to activate each project independently, if that’s the route you choose to take. Note, however, that you will need to renew each of those applications in 12 months. In the intervening year, you might wish to consider consolidating under a single namespace to ease the work of renewal when the time comes. Only a suggestion, of course.

Thanks for the help in sorting this out.

In case it’s not possible, I went ahead and approved the applications for the individual projects you submitted for the program.

I haven’t received the follow up emails yet, I’m supposed to right? The only extra email I found with a coupon directed me to the same submission form as before, where I can only associate them with groups, not individual projects.

Note, however, that you will need to renew each of those applications in 12 months. In the intervening year, you might wish to consider consolidating under a single namespace to ease the work of renewal when the time comes. Only a suggestion, of course.

Indeed, that’s the long term plan. I’ll just need time to manage the transition, have all redirects redirecting, perhaps rehost the project pages, things I’ll require the time to after dealing with the current priorities and having CI running to validate them. 12 months should be enough.

You are. I re-issued the emails and codes, just to be sure. They should arrive shortly.

Sorry to bother you again.

The emails have arrived. They’re coming with the same instructions however:

Screenshot below.

Could you share the link where I could follow this process for single projects and insert the coupons?

Thanks, @honeyryderchuck, for your detailed account of the situation here.

Applying subscription licenses to individual projects or to user accounts may not be possible. I want to engage my teammate @a.conrad in the thread, as he would know more definitively than I do.

@a.conrad any feedback?

It’s been almost 10 days. I’m going to start assuming you don’t care about solving my problem.

I’ll eventually get to decide as well whether I move my projects into the group structure gitlab is forcing me to, or I’ll move CI out of gitlab.

I think this might be your best move, @honeyryderchuck, if you’re interested in leveraging all benefits of the GitLab for Open Source Program.