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How to customize your project’s tickets, wiki, and discussion forum

SourceForge lets you customize some of its popular developer tools, such as tickets, wikis, and discussion forums. So let’s take a look at how to customize some of the more popular project tools.

While all of a project’s settings are found under the Admin link in your project’s menu, you can now locate the settings for the current tool (e.g. Wiki, Tickets) in the left side panel where they are much easier to find.

Every tool has a few settings in common. For example, you can change a tool’s label; maybe you want to call your wiki “Documentation” for example.  You can also set fine-grained permissions to control who can view, edit, and post comments. You can also delete tools that you don’t need.

Admin sidebar

 

Wiki Settings

Wiki options include the ability to set the default home page, as well as enable or disable per-page discussion comments.  If you want to make more room for your content, there are also options to hide the left sidebar and hide page metadata from showing.

Ticket Settings

Admin sidebar of tickets tool

Tickets have many customizable options.  Click on “Field Management” to customize the fields used for each ticket.  You can modify the open & closed ticket statuses, add additional custom fields, and select which fields show up in list views.  The “Edit Searches” page lets you save specific searches.  “Options” lets you enable voting on tickets, control email settings, and add custom messages to the New Ticket and main ticket listing pages.

Discussion Forum Settings

Admin sidebar for discussion forums

Discussion settings are mostly within each of the “Forums” in the tool.  You can have different forums for different topics, such as General, Help, Development, Translations, Plugins, etc.  Each forum can have its own view and post settings.

Introducing SourceForge’s new markdown text editor

Sometimes small things make all the difference and that’s why we are happy to release a new markdown text editor on SourceForge. What this means is that when you create a ticket, edit a wiki page, or comment on a post on SourceForge you find it that much easier to format your text.  Our new text editor includes a toolbar to insert formatting and live syntax highlighting, so you can see what you’re doing while you edit.

Here’s what it looks like:

Markdown text editor screenshot

Note that the toolbar functions do the most of the common formatting so you don’t have to remember the syntax; however, the toolbar contains just the essential options. The full list of formatting and macro options are available by clicking the “?” – Help button. You’ll find that markdown supports lots of formatting, and we’ve taken care to extend it with additional linking and macro options too.

In the area where you type, there is live syntax highlighting of most formatting. This gives useful indicators of what formatting is being applied and it also helps you avoid accidental formatting. To see a full preview of your text, click the preview button (eyeball icon).

A special thank you to the Open Source Apache Allura platform folks. SourceForge developer tools run on Apache Allura and that’s where this improvement came from. Read all about it at: http://allura.apache.org/posts/2015-markdown-editor.html

That’s it for now. Happy editing!

How to get your project noticed on SourceForge

You know your project better than anyone – you can rattle off all its features, give a one-minute elevator pitch, or a quick five-second version. But does your project speak for itself? People need a quick preview to understand if your project is something they want to use. So make sure you enter a full description, short summary, and feature list on your project admin page. These page elements show up in search results, your project summary page, and elsewhere so they are essential!

Visual elements such as an icon, screenshots, and a YouTube video play a key role in attracting new users, so go ahead and upload yours now. And categories are crucial for your project to be found in the SourceForge directory, which spans hundreds of thousands of projects. If someone has to look hard for exactly the right tool, make sure your project is listed!

New features to better manage your project admin pages

Since the elements of your project page are so important, we’ve made a few changes on the SourceForge side to make it easier for you to fill in that information.

Project admin fields

For example:

  1. We’ve moved the Features edit boxes from the Summary page to alongside all the other edit fields on the admin page. Now you can update all the information for your project in one place.
  2. We’ve added tooltips to many of the admin fields to explain what the fields are intended for. When you hover over key fields, you get some additional help to guide you as you describe your project.
  3. Finally, we simplified the text for the Icon field and made the upload link more prominent. Don’t overlook this important part of your project! Icons or logos are displayed through the site alongside your project name, so it’s a great way to identify your project.

That’s all the changes for now but drop us a note if you have other helpful ideas to improve your project page features at communityteam@sourceforge.net.

Happy editing!

Introducing SourceForge Deals

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 10.29.04 AM

What is SourceForge Deals?

It’s pretty simple:

SourceForge Deals is an online storefront with merchandise that’s chosen, stocked, and fulfilled by a third-party with products that are intended to be of interest to you.

To amplify this:

While we might have used some of the products on offer, we can’t offer an endorsement of any product that we haven’t used. You may remember that for a long time SourceForge was linked to ThinkGeek  (a service of Geeknet) and you’ll see that SourceForge Deals has some similarities to ThinkGeek’s service. For example, SourceForge makes money if you buy any of the product deals through the store, which helps us bring you more of the free downloads that you have come to expect. With that said, SourceForge Deals is not SourceForge and vice versa, but we hope you enjoy it!

SourceForge’s Ongoing Effort to Eliminate Misleading Ads

SourceForge is home to over 400,000 Open Source projects. Our site and our work to support software development projects is funded in part through advertising. We’d like to give you an update on our advertising initiatives to date and discuss what’s coming next.

Here’s what we’ve been doing to eliminate misleading ads

In November 2013, we launched our BlockThis initiative to remove misleading and confusing ads. For example, ads that appear on our download page and feature a big green download button, which clearly seeks to draw users away from the legitimate download flow. Since starting this initiative, we’ve discovered that approximately 95% of the few dozen ad complaints we’ve received have been legitimate, resulting in the removal of these offending ads. We plan to continue our BlockThis initiative and our work with advertising partners to identify and prevent misleading ads.

We’re taking a new approach to unwanted Web space ads

images-1We’re extending the BlockThis program to include advertising that appears on our Project Web. While we had routed these complaints to project teams in the past, certain recent uses of the Project Web have triggered ad concerns, resource abuses, and Chrome security issues, which is why we are taking direct action.

Here’s how you can help!

If you see a confusing ad, drop us an email at blockthis@sourceforge.net providing a screenshot and, more importantly, the full link to the ad. To copy it: Right click on the link and choose “Copy Link Location” in FireFox; “Copy Shortcut” in Internet Explorer; “Copy Link” in Safari; and, “Copy Link Address” in Chrome. We’ll be sure to review all requests and, if we agree with your complaint, we will take immediate action.