GitLab has ditched plans to delete dormant projects on free accounts. The plan was designed to save money but got a poor reception.
The idea, originally revealed by The Register, was to delete any project from a free-tier that was inactive for more than a year. The policy was planned to start in late September. According to their source, the move could have saved GitLab as much as a million dollars a year.
The Register simply referred to “well-placed sources” who were not authorized to speak publicly. There’s a good chance that means somebody within GitLab who was unhappy with the plans wanted to get the word out in the hope of public feedback changing minds. If so, they were successful.
GitLab now says it will “move unused repos to object storage. Once implemented, they will still be accessible but take a bit longer to access after a long period of inactivity.”
There’s still some question about exactly how the revised policy will work. It appears users may have to actively mark a project as something they intend to work on in the future. The code would then remain publicly visible.