Google Code now a general open source repository

Google Code now a general open source repository

Summary: Open source projects of all types now have four good choices on where to put their developing code, in Google, CodePlex, Sourceforge, or a corporate forge.

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When corporate repositories like CodePlex and Google Code first emerged, they were mainly sandboxes for projects associated with the parent companies.

If you were supporting Microsoft stuff, you went to CodePlex and used a Microsoft-friendly open source license. Same if you were on Google Code -- chances were you had an Apache license and your code's target was fixed on a larger Google project.

This has been changing over the last year. We have covered the move by Microsoft to make CodePlex independent, targeting corporate code repositories rather than just .Net-friendly projects. Now Google is doing the same, announcing it will accept open source projects under any license, even the AGPL.

This is considered a concession, although some are calling it a birthday present, given that Google Code has now been online five years. (Time flies.)

I think it's just another example of evolution in action. Legal papers were never really needed to show that a project on Google Code was Google-centric, nor that one on CodePlex was Microsoft-centric. This was implied in the hosting.

Now open source projects have five serious choices for handling their central code repositories:

  1. Put it at Sourceforge. Still a valid choice.
  2. Go to CodePlex. If you're in the Fortunate 500 it won't get you fired.
  3. Put it on Google Code.
  4. Align with a project-centric repository like Apache or Eclipse.
  5. Open your own forge and control your community.

Only the last costs any serious money, but for many it will also remain the option with the greatest benefits.

Topics: Microsoft, Google, Open Source

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9 comments
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  • RE: Google Code now a general open source repository

    It's interesting that this happening at the same time that centralized version control is becoming obsolete. Even in the corporate setting. Options like git (and to a lesser extent Bazaar) have made it possible to work with a distributed version control system and only think about VCS when pushing "official" commits.

    It would be interesting to know if choice of forge, and by extension, choice of VCS has any influence on rate of contribution. In the past few months, I've been more likely to contribute to a project if they use a distributed model (and by extension, host code on github or launchpad) than if they have a centralized repository. The former makes it easier to dive into the code and begin experimentation. I can create experimental branches and destroy them if something goes wrong, all the while keeping the original source "pristine."
    Rob Oakes
    • RE: Google Code now a general open source repository

      @Rob Oakes

      just FYI: SourceForge offers cvs, svn, git, bzr, AND hg!
      lhcrouch
    • RE: Google Code now a general open source repository

      @Rob Oakes You make some excellent points. Version control is leaving the forge.
      DanaBlankenhorn
    • RE: Google Code now a general open source repository

      @Rob Oakes

      Google Code offers both Subversion and Mercurial.
      hohonuuli
  • Google is a company of followers

    There are no leaders or innovators at Google. However, they're doing quite well for themselves by following Apple's (and now Microsoft) lead.
    iPad-awan
    • That's just false

      @iPad-awan Google created a system that can deliver compute power, bandwidth and query response at a tiny fraction of what companies like Apple or Microsoft must pay. They innovate plenty.
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • I think you guys are missing some others

    How about:

    BitBucket
    GitHub
    LaunchPad
    PaulFranz
    • RE: Google Code now a general open source repository

      @PaulFranz Rob brought that point home. All good places to go.
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • RE: Google Code now a general open source repository

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