So, you come to SourceForge every day (at least I hope you do) to check out what’s new and what’s happening with your favorite projects. If you’re around the FOSS community for any length of time, you’re bound to hear mention of this site when people talk about where they host their projects or look for software. Did you ever wonder about where the idea to provide free hosting for open source projects got started or how SourceForge was created (hint: lots of pizza and caffiene)?
Last fall, Datamation’s James Maguire relayed the history of the company in a fascinating article, “The SourceForge Story.” He picked the brain of our favorite Community Manager Ross Turk and several other people who were around back in 1999 to get a sense of how things developed over the first few weeks — and years.
Maguire tells of the early years when infrastructure couldn’t keep up with the demand of thousands of developers clamoring to eke out a sliver of server space. He also tells of the time when SourceForge suddenly got an influx of cash and staff following its first profitable quarter in 2006. The aging infrastructure was replaced, more developers flocked to the site, and the rest, as they say, is history.
If you’ve been thinking of getting a new FOSS project underway, what are you waiting for? As Maguire notes, “… some projects incubated at SourceForge have broken through to the big league. Zimbra, recently acquired by Yahoo for a heart-stopping $350 million, began life as a SourceForge project. So, too, JBoss, now owned by Red Hat. SugarCRM, launched as a SourceForge project in April 2004, raised $26 million in venture capital; its customer list includes Starbucks and NASA.”