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SourceForge Improvements: It’s easier than ever to start a project

Over the past few weeks, we’ve rolled out a series of improvements to make it easier to start a project on SourceForge. We started by adding a “Create” button on the header of every page, so you always can find it.

On the project registration form we now give you faster name suggestions and show more available tools & features. SourceForge projects have a lot of tools available, and now we show them all – including Web Hosting and Mailing Lists. Bonus: if you’re not logged in when you get to the registration form, we show a nice login overlay so you can still see what the form is like while you log in.

Screenshot of project registration form

As soon as you’ve created your project, the new welcome tour guides you through some of the key parts of your project. For example, you’ll see how to customize the tools you want to use on your project, categorize and describe your project, and more.

Screenshot of project welcome tour

We also send you a nice project welcome email, so you’ve got a reference in case you forget where your project is. And even better – when you’re on SourceForge, your account menu lists your projects, so you’ve got easy access to all of your projects.

Have a wonderful time making open source!

SourceForge Singled out as ‘Shining Star’ in PCMag Column

In his column on PC Magazine, seasoned columnist John Dvorak hailed SourceForge as “the shining star” of freeware providers, as it promotes the unadulterated model of freeware amidst the many “onerous models” that have befallen the world of free and open source software.

In the column published just recently, Dvorak states how such models as crippleware, nagware and misdirection download services have caused the decline of free and open source software. Though these models were designed to increase profit, they only ended up propagating mistrust among freeware users. This he notes, is what is causing the “coming death” of freeware.

But he points out that SourceForge is keeping freeware alive by offering what it originally promised: free, quality open source products with no scams or misdirections. He concludes with a stellar recommendation of SourceForge: “My advice is to go [to SourceForge] and look for those handy utilities before looking anywhere else.”

While we certainly appreciate the commendation, we don’t totally agree with Dvorak’s view on the decline of open source software. Though the reputation of freeware has been marred by dubious models in the past, we’re confident that free and open source software will continue on and even expand its reach in the future.

Learn more about the strides we’ve made so far and what you can look forward to with SourceForge. You could even have your say on developments to come by taking part in our conversation here.

SourceForge now scans all projects for malware and displays warnings on downloads

Starting today, SourceForge will display a warning badge next to the download button on any project that has been flagged as containing malware by our malware scans. Our definition of malware includes adware, viruses, and any unwanted applications that may be intentionally or inadvertently included in the software package of any project on SourceForge.

We’ve partnered with Bitdefender to scan the open source software projects on SourceForge so that users feel more secure in downloading clean, safe software from SourceForge that will not put their machines in jeopardy, nor bundle any adware, malware, or unwanted applications. We will also be running additional scans with ESET.

The top 1000 most popular SourceForge projects, representing 84% of all SourceForge traffic, have already been scanned. The vast majority of them contained no issues, but projects that were flagged for malware were notified, and most of them have rectified the issues already by removing the flagged files. For the few projects that have not addressed the issues, the malware warning badge (screenshot below) will display in red next to the download button. At this very moment, in a process that will take weeks, every last project, even dating back years, will be scanned and will display a warning flag if there are any suspicious files flagged by our virus scanners.

screen-malware-1

Interested parties can click the “Files” tab to see exactly which files in the project were flagged. We’ve also disabled automatic downloads on projects that have been flagged, so a user would manually have to proceed with downloading a file that may contain malware. Project admins will get an additional dashboard that will provide more in-depth details on why a file was flagged and how to address it. Project admins will also be able to submit a support request related to any issue detected by the scanners, and they’ll also be able to request a file be whitelisted once we’ve reviewed it.

screen-malware-2

screen-malware-3

Going forward, all new projects uploaded to SourceForge from brand new user accounts will not be accepted if they are flagged by either Bitdefender or ESET scans upon uploading. Projects from users who have been registered with SourceForge for a certain amount of time will be able to upload projects, but if they are flagged they will display the warning.

As with all virus scanners, the method is not 100% perfect, but we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that the open source software hosted and distributed on SourceForge is clean, safe, trustworthy, and free of any adware, viruses, malware, or unwanted applications.

SourceForge Acquisition and Future Plans

At the end of January, SourceForge and Slashdot were sold to BIZX, LLC by DHI Group, Inc. As the new owners of two iconic sites, we are excited about the future and what we can do together. We’ve already started to take action, and are developing further plans for the site. We encourage your feedback to help us shape the future direction for the site.

Our first order of business was to terminate the “DevShare” program. As of last week, the DevShare program was completely eliminated. The DevShare program delivered installer bundles as part of the download for participating projects. We want to restore our reputation as a trusted home for open source software, and this was a clear first step towards that. We’re more interested in doing the right thing than making extra short-term profit. As we move forward, we will be focusing on the needs of our developers and visitors by building out site features and establishing community trust. Eliminating the DevShare program was just the first step of many more to come. Plans for the near future include full https support for both SourceForge and Slashdot, and a lot more changes we think developers and end-users will embrace.

Stay tuned for future announcements about how we’re making SourceForge better for everyone.

Logan Abbott

President

SourceForge Media, LLC

SourceForge’s new admin mode is live!

One of our SourceForge New Year’s resolutions is to provide you with better tools and designs, to make managing your projects easier and more intuitive. After all, we use these SourceForge tools in-house every day, so the ability to customize them and provide for their ease of use is something we feel strongly about. This is why we’ve built a new admin mode for all projects’ navigation bars.

The new admin mode provides easy access to your project tools, letting you rename, reorder, configure, and delete them. SourceForge projects offer a lot of flexibility in terms of tool usability and now this is more apparent and easier to use.

The new toolbar approaches customization in a modern way, emphasizing a more contextual, intuitive interface. Instead of the old approach, where you accessed tool settings from a separate page, the new Admin Toolbar consolidates all tool settings into a familiar toolbar format, as demonstrated below.

Installing a new tool

The new Admin Toolbar is easy to find and use. There is a “Add New” link on every page to help you install a new tool from anywhere. With improved features, like tooltips and real-time validation, the updated experience is more intuitive than ever.
Demonstration of installing a new tool

Changing tool options

To change the tool settings, use the Lock/Unlock button on the right side of the bar. This feature makes these options accessible when you need them and inconspicuous when you don’t. And the gear icon opens up a context menu to manage your tools directly from the interface, such as renaming, deleting, or setting specific options. This means you’re always just a few clicks away from all your tool settings.
Demonstration of changing tool options

Reordering tools

Some key tools are anchored in place, but many tools are movable by dragging and dropping them to the desired location. Just click the unlock button, and then drag and drop them into the order you want. You can even customize the order within sub-menu drop-downs.
Demonstration of reordering tools

Grouping similar tools into dropdowns

When you have multiple tools of the same type, the Grouping Threshold option is also available. It determines if tools will fit in the navigation bar or automatically be grouped into a dropdown menu.
Demonstration of changing the grouping threshold

Go check it out!