Various members of the community have raised questions publicly and
privately about the implications of Anaconda's new Terms of Service
anaconda.com. First of all, we understand your concerns. We
would like to explain a bit how
conda-forge works, how the TOS change
affects us and
conda-forge users, and what our plans as a community
are for the future.
What makes it non-surprising [that no other free conda package
distribution services have appeared] is that, at the moment, any third
party channel like
conda-forge is free. The TOS change does not apply
conda-forge, nor to other channels hosted on anaconda.org; the TOS
change in question applies only to the "defaults" channel and other
software hosted on repo.anaconda.com.
While having alternative hosting is in our plans, we cannot afford the
costs. We are just a community of volunteers. We have experimented with
conda-forge artifacts to GitHub and continue to do so
regro/releases). We also have put those artifacts behind an
experimental repodata server. One of our core devs (@wolfv) is working
conda-forge artifacts as well.
It is very important to recognize that Anaconda Inc kindly donates use
of their hosting and employee time to us, absorbing all of these costs.
They host about 1.8 TB of our data and serve over 100 million downloads
of artifacts from that data each month. This is a highly significant
conda-forge would not exist without it. Anaconda Inc
employees also provide help with maintaining some of the most complex
package recipes in conda-forge.
Note that Anaconda Inc has also said that part of the revenue from the
TOS change will be donated to OSS projects. (see this blog
You should be aware that
conda-forge is a part of NumFOCUS, and so it
stands to benefit from the change in TOS, as do many other OSS projects.
We absolutely welcome help from the community to move our efforts on
building out more hosting infrastructure for
conda-forge forward. This
could be anything from spending time developing
quetz to providing
hosting/mirroring for our data. Please do get in contact with us if
you'd like to help out!