Google announces hosting for open source projects
July 29, 2006 Leave a comment
The Google service I mentioned previously has been officially announced. Google Code Project Hosting is a place for Open Source project that fall under an approved license to host their code. While it shares some features with SourceForge, it's a much more minimalist approach (although they do add that it's not yet feature complete). They do specifically state that they do not intend to compete directly with SF:
Stein says, “We really like SourceForge, and we don't want to hurt SourceForge” or take away projects. Instead, Stein says that the goal is to see what Google can do with the Google infrastructure, to provide an alternative for open source projects.
DiBona says that it's a “direct result of Greg concentrating on what open source projects need. Most bugtrackers are informed by what corporations” and large projects need, whereas Google's offering is just about what open source developers need.
While Google does not offer project web site hosting (Google pages isn't integrated, but is an alternative), forums, etc. – many SF projects don't seem to use them anyway. What Google is offering seems to directly target the places where you hear the most complaints about SF, and that's: reliability, search and version control. You have to assume it will be reliable as it's Google. The same goes for the quality of the search (although to be fair the SF search has improved somewhat recently). The CVS support at SF was horrific and they still seem to be ironing out the kinks in their SVN support. Google is offering SVN with their custom Big Table backend, so it should be extremely scalable. The issue tracker the site uses is one developed by Google. I'd guess the long term impact of this on SF won't be clear until we see what the Google offering looks like feature complete. For now, both sides seem to be looking forward to a peaceful almost symbiotic coexistence, which shows the maturity and solidarity of the Open Source community.
Google, Open Source, GOOG, SourceForge, svn