SourceFORGE calls the center fine

The center is doing fine.

Don't cry for SourceFORGE, insists Darryl Dewan of VA Software, which runs it. The center is doing fine.

"We still have 24 million unique visitors, 2 million downloads a day, and 125,000 active projects. We're doing a lot of work to make that experience a whole lot better," he told me today.

That's the curious thing about open source "competition." Since everyone's code is freely available, and everyone's site is a mouse click away, all your competitors are actually helping you.

That's how Dewan feels about CollabNet. "Subversion is open source, and we have umpteen customers using it too. It is great that CollabNet is sponsoring Subversion. We're doing the same thing with SourceFORGE.net."

Speaking of which, Dewan spent OSCON handing out CD versions of SourceFORGE Enterprise edition, which is different from the online SourceFORGE, being architected with SOAP and adding things like role-based access control, better caching, and various API enhancements under a Java architecture.

Enterprise is a big part of the SourceFORGE business mode.

"A few years ago we moved into installing this behind the firewall for a few customers. The CD version is a binary file that lets you put a project team of up to 15 people together, behind your fireswall, with support through the community (although VA also offers paid support). It's our way ot creating demand but also getting peoples' hands on the product."

What about Google? "The Google announcement is a further endorsement of what might be good for the open source community. It validates the community.

"The open source world is maturing, and this is good for the community. There were thousands of people at OSCON who still talk about being #118 or a committer on SourceFORGE.Net.

"Google could be competitive with SourceFORGE.Net. We're trying to be more flexible, accelerate inventions, and remain committed to the community, with options you may not get with Google."

Competition, cooperation, growth. What's the problem? "We've got a phenomenal brand connected to the community," concluded Dewan. "We're trying to keep it a vibrant place to go."

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