Tag Archives: sourceforge

Introducing the SourceForge Open Source Mirror Directory

SourceForge is proud to announce a new neighborhood on our site – the Open Source Mirror Directory. This is an extension to our existing software directory, where we’ll be mirroring projects that are not hosted on SourceForge.

Why are we doing this?

We want the SourceForge software directory to be as useful as possible. When you come here to search for a piece of software, we want you to be able to find it. And if that software isn’t hosted on SourceForge, we still want you to be able to find it. Millions of people use SourceForge every day to search for Open Source software, and we want to give them the best experience possible, even if the best answer to their search is a project hosted elsewhere.

By mirroring these projects here, we come a step closer to that reality. And, in the process, we do those projects a small favor in return, providing another way to get to their website, and being part of their software distribution mirroring network. We’re putting your software in front of more than 40 million additional potential users a month.

Yes, there are a few other places that list free software products, but a number of them offer downloads that include unwanted addons like browser toolbars, install wrappers, and various other malware. This, in turn, undermines the trust and openness that should be at the core of free software, and that hurts everyone that cares about Open Source. We want to provide a place where you can trust that you’re only getting the exact product that was provided by the original packager.

SourceForge has always been about promoting Open Source, whether those projects are developed at SourceForge or elsewhere. Obviously, we prefer that projects are hosted on SourceForge, but mostly we love Open Source, and want to be part of promoting it in whatever ways we can.

What are we doing?

Starting immediately, we’re adding non-Sourceforge Open Source software projects to our software directory. This will include a description of the product, links to their official website, and a mirror of their software releases. We’ll be monitoring these projects so that we always have the latest releases available. You can see the complete current list of what we’re mirroring at https://sourceforge.net/mirror/projects/All/.

We’re starting slowly, adding projects from a number of different sources, and seeing what the impact is on our hosting infrastructure. So if your favorite project isn’t represented here yet, please be patient, we’re getting there.

You’ll be easily able to identify that a project is a mirror, rather than a SourceForge project, both by the URL, which will look like https://sourceforge.net/projects/hedgewars.mirror/, and by the the presence of the SourceForge Open Source Mirror Directory logo that appears in the top right corner of the page.


We want to hear from you.

If you have an Open Source project outside of SourceForge, we’d like to hear from you. If you want your project mirrored on our site, or if you don’t want your project mirrored on our site, please let us know. Or there’s any other service that we can extend to your project community, we’d like to hear that, too. Contact us at communityteam@sourceforge.net and we’ll be sure the message gets to the right people.

The Top Myths About SourceForge

Since starting at SourceForge about a month ago, I’ve been paying close attention to media and Twitter mentions of SourceForge. I’ve been astonished at the sheer volume of misinformation that’s just accepted as fact. I suppose when things are said often enough you just can’t help but believe them. Here are some common myths about SourceForge.

You have to use CVS

Sourceforge has offered Subversion for many years – pretty much since Subversion was available.

But we’ve also offered Git for many years. We had Git long before Git was cool. In fact, Git is the default when you create a new project. And, the Sourceforge codebase itself (Codename: Allura) is developed in Git. On Sourceforge. The Sourceforge code is released under the Apache Software License (ASL2) and is just as free as everything else on Sourceforge.

Much like another popular code hosting service you might have heard of, our Git implementation provides one-button forking, and one-button pull requests.

Oh, we offer Mercurial (hg) hosting too, if you prefer.

SCM options

We do, in fact, still offer CVS, but only to support older projects that haven’t gotten around to migrating yet – and there are a few. We’re available to help you migrate between various different SCM solutions, if you need that help.

New projects have to be approved

Long, long ago, we required that new projects be approved. This was a spam prevention measure. I remember those days, vaguely. That was at least four jobs ago, and a lot has changed since then. These days, creating a new project takes less than a minute, and does not involve any approval step.

You can’t customize your website

One default Sourceforge project site looks like another. But you have the option of creating a virtual host where you can put up a site that looks like whatever you want. Virtual hosts have tools you’d expect from a typical webhost, including php and mysql, but you can also install a variety of other things in order to make your project website whatever you need it to be.

We’ll answer requests for any hostname you have registered, as well as for PROJECTNAME.sf.net, and you can have up to ten virtual hosts per project. You then have access via your login shell to update those sites.

Sourceforge Is Dead

Ah, yes, the standard tech meme of announcing the death of whatever it is that you don’t like. As usual, it’s somewhat exaggerated.

We have almost 3.5 million registered users. The number of projects on Sourceforge is right at 325,000, and continues to grow every day. The existing projects continue to develop software, committing over 5,000 changes a day, closing tickets, and pushing out new releases, every day. And visitors from 40,000,000 unique addresses visited the website last month, downloading releases more than 4,000,000 times a day.

And Google seems to think we measure up pretty well to those other hosting sites. (via @robilad)

Google site stats

Meanwhile, yes, there are a lot of dormant and abandoned projects. This is also the case at Google Code, GitHub, and any other code hosting service you care to think of. It’s the normal lifecycle of Open Source software that some projects fall by the wayside because they are done, and there’s nothing more to do. Also, some end because the developers lose interest and move on, while others do because something else has been created that obsoletes it.

It is natural, and expected, that an older code hosting service will have a larger number of abandoned projects than the newcomers. We’re working on some ideas of community health metrics so that you can more quickly identify whether a particular project is active or not, while still keeping around the older projects that someone might still find useful. And we already incorporate project activity into search result ranking, so that these less active projects won’t be the ones that you find, most of the time, when you’re looking for software.

So, we think we’re pretty much alive, but we’re not resting on our laurels. The engineering team is working constantly on the platform, making it work better, look better, and scale better. And, for the criticisms of Sourceforge that are true, we’re working hard to correct them.

We think it’s worth your time to look into Sourceforge for yourself, and not just accept the myths.