You’ve probably all seen the article on RWW yesterday about GitHub surpassing SF.net, GoogleCode, and Codeplex. Kudos to our friends at GitHub! They’ve had some great ideas and have executed them flawlessly. They have made Git the number one VCS used by software devs. Most importantly, they have helped open source grow, and helped open source projects be more successful, and really that’s all we care about. Many people use us together; GitHub for collaboration, and SF.net for distribution, since our end-user interface is a little more friendly to the non-techies. Really it just comes down to using whatever tools work best for you and your team, and we totally understand that. So from SF to GitHub– High five!
Although the Redmonk analysis is quite interesting, I haven’t seen the actual data behind the BlackDuck study, nor have I seen the methodologies used to collect the data, so I really can’t speak to that. We show somewhat higher numbers than BlackDuck, at 954,679 for number of 2011 Git+bzr+SVN+Hg+CVS commits (not including commits through beta forge). And I can tell you that we have steadily been increasing year after year. So while GitHub has added to the number of overall open source commits, the landscape has been growing each year. If we look at the number of commits collectively across all repos (GitHub+SF+GoogleCode+Codeplex+ Bitbucket+Launchpad), the number is astonishing. It cannot be denied that this is an exciting time to be in open source, and the future looks bright for us all.
What really disappoints me, however, is the reaction by the general open source community. Check Twitter and you’ll see a flood of hate against SF.net. Have we forgotten that we’re all in this “open source” thing together? Do we not realize that it’s not a “popularity” contest, and that number of commits does not necessarily indicate a number of stable, released and downloadable projects? What GitHub does is awesome, and I fully support them in their efforts. But admittedly, we also have some pretty damn cool projects hosted on SF.net, and we do still serve up > 3,000,000 downloads every day. Let me say that again. 3,000,000 people come to our site *every day* and get a piece of open source software that makes their lives better. If that makes us “unpopular” then so be it.
To all the haters that have written us off, and wished we would die, I say this. We’re on your side, and we still love you. We still support you in your open source efforts. But it would be awesome if you would stop the hating and start doing something constructive. Can SF do things better? Of course! Allura is open source. Feel free to jump in, join the community, and help us continue to help open source. Don’t have time to contribute? Send us helpful, constructive feedback. Hating on us for the sake of hating is as ridiculous as hating on a different software language, OS, or text editor.
Open source is all about choice, transparency, and collaboration, not hating on others. Use what tools work best for you, and respect that others may choose a different path.
(And to the SF.net critics: you should pull up a chair, because we’re here to stay. )