SourceForge just a forge? Not quite, not anymore. Making public its partnership with BerliOS – the German open source mediator – SourceForge has just inaugurated its first collaboration agreement with other open source players. Where are we at? Read below to know more.
My name is Roberto Galoppini, and I have spent the last 10 years working in the intersection of open source software and business development. Few months ago I’ve joined SourceForge as its Senior Director of Business Development, a new position created to successfully attract and grow large open source projects, and to develop existing projects into successful products.
Having just completed a couple of important partnership agreements, it’s probably a good time to look back and see where we have been and where are we going. Let me start by telling you more about our first agreement. BerliOS – probably the second oldest open source public forge after SourceForge – has recently signed a collaboration with SourceForge, to serve all its downloads via our global mirror network.
BerlIOS closing down?
BerliOS was launched in January 2000 by the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS). The initiative was aimed at fulfilling open source developersâ€™ needs, included but not limited to hosting their projects. In the last 12 years BerliOS attracted over 32.000 users and acquired about 5000 projects, and it has accounted for over 1.6 million downloads per month.
At the end of September 2011 BerliOS announced its closure, and a number of forges and organizations offered help, mostly providing it with the possibility to migrate all its projects under a different umbrella.
Bringing BerliOS on board at SourceForge
Having met Joerg Schilling – BerliOS’ project leader – a few years ago, in the first place I contacted him to offer our help. We discussed some options, but we needed to await FOKUS final decision about quitting or not BerliOS.
FOKUS – the research institute backing BerliOS – eventually came up with a plan to keep BerliOS up and running, along with the idea to create a non-profit Association aimed at governing the operation of the BerliOS platform (see the BerliOS Mailing list for more info).
SourceForge and BerlIOS eventually discussed few possibilities, and we agreed that by giving all its projects the possibility to use of SourceForge’s global mirror network we could help.
Why BerliOS partnered with us
SourceForge has a download system able to serve over 4 million downloads per day and a global mirror network moving over 2 petabytes monthly. SourceForge provides projects hosted at BerliOS with a highly reliable infrastructure operated 24*7. Moreover, by using our download facilities they’ll also get access to our new enhanced download stats tools, splitting data by geographies/operative systems.
FOKUS decided to partner with us to serve downloads and downloads statistics via SourceForge because we could offer it a safe, highly-reliable infrastructure, able to fulfill all of BerliOS’ needs.
Now all projects hosted at BerliOS can benefit from our global mirror network and our uptime guarantee. BerlIOS software can be downloaded from SourceForge, where SourceForge is committed to deliver malware free software to the end-user. A sample project is available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/avidemux.berlios/files/, while statistics are publicly available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/avidemux.berlios/files/stats/timeline.
Take-aways from the collaboration and the future ahead
From a technical point of you, the creation of a BerliOS mirror was a challenge, marking the first time we hosted a project with thousands of files. Our open source platform Allura proved to be really flexible, and in only few days we solved all performances issues, and set an automatic process to manage all upstream updates.
In the collaboration process we gained BerliOS’ trust – as you can see from the original BerliOS Press Release – a partnership that we plan to extend in the very near future.
Building mutually beneficial collaborations with some of the largest open source ecosystem around is a significant step forward to let developers and communities know we are here to help. The BerliOS-SourceForge agreement is the first of such partnerships.
Specifically, establishing a strong relationship with BerliOS will be of help to collaborate on EU R&D proposals, something we just started to work on and we plan to do more of shortly.
SourceForge will continue to work hard to be the most trusted partner to the open source community. We are confident that our new partnership with BerliOS will help us better achieve this goal.