I was looking around the thread for a spot to reply and this seemed like it was as good a place as any.
I'd like to offer my two cents, with some compound interest besides. Let's start with the major problems that SourceForge has:
* Reputation as a software source blasted to hell from years of misleading download buttons, the DevShare program, and badgersputumously stupid double-speak from its leadership.
* Reputation as a software hosting site blasted to double-hell due to things like the Gimp debacle and an inability on the part of developers to delete projects.
* Lack of software that anyone would want, due to quality projects fleeing from the aforementioned reputation suicide.
This isn't getting into any of the technical things that developers would like to see (Unicode, IPv6, various flavors of VCS, etc) but those will be covered below as well.
My recommendations on each point are as follows. First, reputation as a source:
* As soon as you can, create a legally binding terms of service (binding Sourceforge) that expressly forbids Mal/Ad/Badware. No unwanted shit, ever, even if it is so trivial as a shortcut to Yahoo on the desktop.
* Create a feedback mechanism where offending projects (like PDFCreator) can be reported and quickly suspended. Be strict about this - the loss of revenue from one project is no where near as hard to recover from as the loss of reputation. Reputation is extremely difficult to buy.
* Listen to advanced users on such things as creating download links that aren't hostile to wget. For that item specifically, since Devshare is down there is no longer a financial reason for obfuscating download links. But in general, attempt to build the site where people in the know can get what they need, easily.
* (Maybe) Sponsor forks of projects that were participants in DevShare. The assholes behind those projects profited from SourceForge's reputation suicide - they are in need of a housecleaning as much as SourceForge itself was.
Second, reputation as a development platform:
* Guarantee (again, in a legally binding way for SourceForge) that developers can close up shop at any time on Sourceforge and delete all traces of their project, without SourceForge intervention. The GIMP debacle is a perfect example. What's done is done - if someone wants to leave, you are doing your reputation no favors in keeping a zombie clone around.
* IPv6, Unicode, additional VCSes if they make sense (SourceForge already offers CVS, SVN, Git and Mercurial, correct?) - listen to developer feedback and if something makes good sense to add, do it.
* Listen to the various missteps that Github continues to make, and offer an alternative. Don't censor projects (unless it's something like Sarin-Nerve-Gas Maker 2.0 and the FBI tells you that you must), etc.
Lastly, there are scant few ways to address the severe lack of popular, high quality software projects. SourceForge lost a LOT of good software - VLC, Gimp, Notepad++, take a look at the Wikipedia records of "Project of the Month" and most of those are no longer at SourceForge ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
). SourceForge has left
... Clonezilla, NAS4Free, Filezilla (DevShare pariah), PDFCreator (Bundleware leper), 7-Zip, perhaps a handful of others. There isn't nearly the compelling selection that used to be available.
Being a mirror for open source software is probably a good thing, once the guarantee to only distribute clean stuff is in place ( in stark contrast to someone like Download.com ). But you're going to have to prepare the site to receive projects back, and hope that some eventually recognize the merit of your efforts.