Rob Smyth

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Open Source Project Hosting

I've been oscillating the last year between my loyalty to SourceForge and Google Code. A couple of times I have created a Google Code project to move a SourceForge project across but each time I've stayed with SourceForge. But then, I now have a few new Google Code projects. So far, I do not see a clear winner, each has its advantages.

The pros and cons are:
  • Registering A Project

  • A Google Code project registration is instant. Although I have had some trouble with full use of the SubVersion repository until a few hours after the project registration. Except for that the Google Code project is available immediately.

    SourceForge however requires the project to be approved. For me, this has taken anything from a couple of days to months. Usually three days although once I needed to escalate it through support and it took a couple of months.

  • Wiki

  • SourceForge has out sourced their Wiki support to Wikispaces and the result is clearly superior. Good WYSIWYG and default layout creates a good looking site.

    Google Code however provides much more flexibility. It seems that every page is editable as a wiki. Significantly Google Code allows you to edit the project page as it is a wiki page. But ... Google Code formatting is very ordinary and generally speaking Google Code pages just do not look good.

  • Release Upload

  • SourceForge's release upload has long been somewhat 'Unix'. Other words, 'difficult'. Google release uploads are a breeze. Just browse to the uploads page, click the link and browse to the file to upload. SourceForge has created an equivalent but you do need to go looking for it and it does feel 'tacked on'.
So, I'm using Google Code for API/developer utility projects as it very easy to use. I'm using SourceForge for non-developer/UI projects as the presentation is so much better. If your going to the trouble of making an open source project you want an audience. So, I'm choosing by audience.

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