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GNU is Not Unix

FSF Migrating From Savannah to Gforge 208

bluestrain writes "It's been almost 4 months since Savannah was hacked. The site is still not completely functional, no new projects have been accepted since December 2003. Now it seems that the FSF is abandoning Savannah in favor of Gforge. RMS himself has confirmed the plans. A few developers are questioning the change. Hopefully the dust will settle and savannah can start accepting projects again."
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FSF Migrating From Savannah to Gforge

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  • ...already [gforge.org]. Savannah moving over is certainly a big one, though.

    Stuff like this is why we're continuing to optimize GForge's SQL [rubyforge.org]...
  • good news! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:10AM (#8849141) Journal
    No offense to the OSDN/Slashdot guys, but sourceforge has started to suck dick lately. Constant downtime, searches that don't work, CVS running a week late, and now PBS-style appeals for money on the front page.

    If you just need a good (and free) public CVS server, what other options are there besides sf and gforge?

    • Re:good news! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Queuetue ( 156269 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [euteueuq]> on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:25AM (#8849312) Homepage
      Lately? I groan every time I see a project is hosted at sf - it means 20-minute mailing list searches, regular downtime, and the whole download-roulette game where you try to deal with the klunky interface and find a not-completely-dead mirror.
      • Re:good news! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tcopeland ( 32225 )
        > it means 20-minute mailing list searches,

        Although SourceForge will be much faster now that PlayFair has moved to Sarovar :-)

        No, but seriously, folks. If the top 10 projects [sourceforge.net] moved off of SourceForge, I bet that'd eliminate 75% of the load. eMule alone gets downloaded a quarter-million times a day...
    • Re:good news! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FreeLinux ( 555387 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:26AM (#8849325)
      but sourceforge has started to suck dick lately.

      I hadn't heard about this new feature. It could be rather interesting. But SourceForge has been having too many problems for too long. It seems as though no one is maintaining it, they simply disable a feature when it breaks. Additionally, I have always been concerned about having so many projects and information sites in a single OSDN basket. One never knows what the future holds for OSDN.
    • Re:good news! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by daishin ( 753851 )
      Well, why dont you invest lots of money like SourceForge into servers and making it as good as it can be, I mean being over-loaded with people such as you who then complain that its starting to suck, well ofcourse it is and if its a problem you should help those good people out and donate resources to them.
      • by David Hume ( 200499 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @12:10PM (#8849944) Homepage

        Well, why dont you invest lots of money like SourceForge into servers and making it as good as it can be, I mean being over-loaded with people such as you who then complain that its starting to suck, well ofcourse it is and if its a problem you should help those good people out and donate resources to them.


        I understand your point. I too don't like it when somebody complains about a good or service that is provided free or at below cost.

        However, the post to which you are responding may also have a point. The free rider problem [stanford.edu] and the tragedy of the commons [wikipedia.org] (or, perhaps more precisely, tragedy of the net-commons [forbes.com]) are inherent and endemic problems with Open Source software and projects.

        Let's face it, Open Source projects are classically Marxist -- i.e., To each according to their needs, from each according to their ability [wikipedia.org]. I'm not saying that to red-bait. On the contrary, I think it is kind of nice. :) However, it does require certain assumptions regarding human nature -- e.g., that people will act from good will, not be "lazy" (or place a different value on leisure), not freeload, etc.

        Which I guess is my way of saying that, given these problems, I'm always surprised when people are surprised when an Open Source or Free Software project is over-burdenend and/or under-supported.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:33AM (#8849413)


      Go look for yourself. VA is pimping SourceForge off as a tool to help companies ship jobs overseas. They don't even hide the fact.

      Have a look for yourself: VA Software [vasoftware.com]
      • What's so wrong with using the techinical tools for outsourcing. If you don't like this trend, I understand you. But the best way to fight IMHO is to promote a law that requires paying the US (or watever country's corporation is outsourcing) minimal wages to the workers in India, Russia, etc. This will not allow them (us) compete only on price.
        • Interesting!

          Or, if not a law, maybe an international union of some sort.
          • Re:Time for IWW? (Score:2, Insightful)

            by sashako ( 768589 )
            International union might not help here, because e.g. my income is 4 times greater than average income in Russia, and it is sufficient [izardsnest.org] for sustaining a very comfortable life here. So, the union of this sort here will not succeed because there will _always_ be too many people who will agree on the smaller salaries. So US workers who's jobs are being stolen are the _only_ force that is interested in this legislation.

            P.S. I am not in the outsourcing business right now,quit it 2 years ago, but it is still set

      • Go look for yourself. VA is pimping SourceForge off as a tool to help companies ship jobs overseas. They don't even hide the fact.

        Another tool that's helping companies "ship jobs overseas" is Linux. gcc is a big help in these endeavors, as well.

        Oh, and don't forget about the Internet.
    • Re:good news! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sbrown123 ( 229895 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @12:08PM (#8849924) Homepage

      and now PBS-style appeals for money on the front page.


      God Im gonna get flamed for this.

      Anyways, maybe its not such a bad idea if Sourceforge required paid membership (like $50 a year) for file and cvs access. Seriously, I'd pay if the moneys right for better service and quicker file and cvs access.
      • Re:good news! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 0x0d0a ( 568518 )
        I wouldn't work on an Open Source project that required me to pay to work on it. It's just not reasonable.

        I can understand them providing additional services, like POP3 email access @sourceforge rather than just email forwarding, or something like that, for money. However, if SF tries doing something like this, they are, simply and plainly, going to go away.
    • by scrytch ( 9198 ) <chuck@myrealbox.com> on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @01:42PM (#8851108)
      > sourceforge has started to suck dick lately

      That's what I call a feature.

      thankya, I'll be here all week.

  • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:10AM (#8849142) Journal
    I consider SourceForge to be representative of Open Source Software, and Savannah to be representative of Free Software.

    It's amazing how accurately they seem to portray their respective ideologies.
    • As sourceforge is not, to my knowledge, open source
      I am unclear how it is representative of open source.

      It's not free software either.

      This is one of the reasons that Tim Perdue created gforge incidentally.

      Phil
      • IIRC, back in the day (during the boom), SourceForge was released under the GPL. After the bust, they changed the license of the SF software to proprietary, and tried to sell it to the highest bidder.

        I think that Savannah was forked from the GPL-based Sourceforge...
  • "Shouldn't that be GNU/Forge?"

    "I for one welcome our Gnu project management overlords"

    "In Soviet Russia, projects manage gnu!"

    • How was this redundant, when I posted it when there were 3 other comments? And how was it off-topic? Plenty of people thought it was funny...

      I smell a new round of moderators shortly. Let's here it for metamoderation...

  • by ideatrack ( 702667 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:14AM (#8849187)
    This is probably uneducated on the matter, but I can understand why they want to move.

    Frankly 4 months is way too long for the site to be "not completely functional" and it can't help but make you doubt the quality of the administration of the site if there weren't sufficient provisions in place for this eventuality. Any website is a target so any webadmin should have a plan in place.

    When there are seemingly more secure options out there, more reliable anyway, then you'd go with them. Being faithful is one thing, but you can only do that for so long.
  • by Rapid Home Offer ( 770408 ) * on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:14AM (#8849194) Homepage Journal
    For Stallman, the opposition to security was both ethical and practical. On the ethical side, Stallman pointed out that the entire art of hacking relied on intellectual openness and trust. On the practical side, he pointed to the internal structure of ITS being built to foster this spirit of openness, and any attempt to reverse that design required a major overhaul. --
    Free as in Freedom [oreilly.com]

    The decision to move to GForge was made by Bradley Kuhn and the system adminitrators, according to Richard Stallman. They considered Savane could not be made secure enough. --

    Seems like Stallman has lost sight of his roots!
    • by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:21AM (#8849275) Homepage Journal
      Seems like Stallman has lost sight of his roots!

      or he's starting to show signs of being realistic.

      • or he's starting to show signs of being realistic.

        Yes. This is an increasing problem in our community - witness the GFDL debate. The RMS of old was wildly - some would say blindly - utopian. "No passwords", "Everyone can learn how to program", "It's possible to write a free operating system including compiler tools and editor".

        We owe a lot of the results we've seen to that lovely, crazy optimism.

        Sometimes you're wrong, of course, and get bitten - but sometimes you are very right. The success of the fre

    • Did you read the words you quoted? "The decision.. was made by Bradely Kuhn and the system administrators."

      What do Stallman's roots have to do with it? Do you expect him to wield supreme veto power over anything done by anyone at the FSF?
      • The very next words I quoted said, "according to Richard Stallman". Well, I guess you see that as him throwing his hands up in the air and giving up. You don't know Stallman very well, do you? If you recognized the way RMS works, you'd know that on religious differences like this, he is very pedantic and doesn't stop.

        I mean, read the following made up quote to realize that I'm right: "The decision to move to MS IIS was made by Bradley Kuhn and the system adminitrators, according to Richard Stallman. They
    • Thank you for providing a link to the text, which confirmed my impression that we're speaking about different kinds of "security" (and that the way you presented the quotes is misleading).

      Here is a more comprehensive quote:

      At the AI Lab, Stallman's political activities had a sharper-edged tone. During the 1970s, hackers faced the constant challenge of faculty members and administrators pulling an end-run around ITS and its hacker-friendly design. One of the first attempts came in the mid-1970s, as more a

  • Subversion support? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jared_hanson ( 514797 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:16AM (#8849210) Homepage Journal
    Anyone know if they can get subversion support in their as long as they are going through the effort to switch? I'd really like to see a free OSS hosting solution using all the latest and greatest tools. That and I'm not to sure about trusting the future of SourceForge, given VA's seemingly complete retraction from the open source community.
    • I don't think Subversion has taking the beating CVS has at Sourceforge and Savanah. If they offered CVS and Subversion concurrently, that would be great, but with the penetration of subversion clients in IDEs and the like, I'd like to see CVS stick around a bit.

      Sourceforge is now a commercial product with commercial bugs. A perfect case study of what not to do with OSS code. No significant alternatives have appeared to challenge SourceForge other than Savannah. Considering the bandwidth costs I doubt any o
    • by monac ( 83505 )
      Somebody was working on gforge supporting subversion through webdav. His project name was Dforge or something. Can't check it atm. Gforge site seems slashdotted and down now. I remember he made a working alpha or beta version of Dforge when i checked a few days ago.

      Subversion is so convenient and I also switched to subversion recently. Supporting subversion or Webdav may have many potential advantages in its flexible architecture. I hope webdav be integrated into Gforge into its next mainstream version.
  • by Electrawn ( 321224 ) <<electrawn> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:18AM (#8849242) Homepage
    Gforge may be great for high traffic sites like Savanaah, but for low traffic 1-10 project sites I use Xoops+MyXoopsForge or Novell Forge. I think Savanahh made a good choice here, but they are stuck once they port. Novell Forge is the other choice.

    GForge uses some highly optimized transaction stuff and database functions inside postgres that probably should be in the PHP layer.

    Reminds me to port MyXoopsForge to postnuke to take advantage of ADODB! Compatibility or speed?

    -Electrawn
    • Why have the transactions in the PHP layer? Lots of databases now support transactions including MySQL.
      • Why have the transactions in the PHP layer?

        Compatibility vs. Speed. I don't like the fact Gforge is highly optimized for Postgres only. And in the Faq that they refuse to accept MySql patches. Thats pretty arrogant, but it's their project.

        I like abstraction layers like ADODB or php PEAR. Either allows you to migrate from say MySql to Oracle or Postgres to DB2 with 1 or 2 PHP code chages. Moving the data is a different story, but it can be done.

        -Electrawn
        • by tcopeland ( 32225 ) * <tom@@@thomasleecopeland...com> on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @01:10PM (#8850702) Homepage
          > And in the Faq that they refuse
          > to accept MySql patches

          It's not that simple. It'd be a fair bit of work to port GForge to MySQL, and for what gain? PostgreSQL [postgresql.org] is fast, stable, and open source. And targeting PostgreSQL means we can write stored procedures to make hotspots faster.

          I agree that abstraction layers are good, though - we've chatted on the forums a bit about the pros and cons of refactoring towards PEAR.
          • Wouldn't be to MySQL per-se, would be more porting to an abstraction layer like PEAR or ADODB (ADODB fan myself for speed).

            The ability to support MySQL or Sqllite or whatever would just be an side benefit of the abstraction layer, the real benefit is now you can hook into oracle or IBM dbs.

            Just have to give up those in the DB functions.

            -Electrawn
  • RMS in hospital? (Score:5, Informative)

    by slipgun ( 316092 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:21AM (#8849273)
    I don't have time to discuss this further. I am in the hospital and falling behind on my other work.

    He's in hospital? Nothing serious, I hope.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:27AM (#8849345)
    Let everyone hope that Richard Stallman gets well soon.
  • Would someone enlighten me to the main differences between Savannah, GForge and SourceForge?

    [IIRC, SourceForge is written in PHP. I've never been comfortable with how customizable and interoperable the whole PHP package is...]

    • by Anonymous Coward


      1) Savannah is insecure.
      2) GForce is nice.
      3) VA advertises SourceForge as a tool to help companies ship jobs overseas. Go look at their website for yourself if you don't believe it. They're not even bashful about it. I'm not surprised people are leaving it in droves, if not for sucking, but for the fact they're (the developers) are getting dicked as well.

    • by Electrawn ( 321224 ) <<electrawn> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @12:02PM (#8849816) Homepage
      Sourceforge, also code named Alexandria. Original concept of a public development and collaboration for Open Source Projects. Last code base available was about 2000 before VA took the project Closed source for commercial purposes.

      Savannah: Fork of Alexandria code for GNU projects. I evaluated it but it was too kludgy to understand.

      GForge: Fork of Alexandria code by former Sourceforge developer. Rips out foundries and is for optimized PHP and Postgresql and Apache. Patches for Oracle in beta, refuses mysql patches.

      Novell Forge: Fork of XoopsForge that uses LDAP and Novell directory server. Needs Xoops 2.0 to run.

      XoopsForge: Fork of Alexandria that runs as a module in Xoops. Not much Dev activity, most dev in Novell Forge.

      MyXoopsForge: Fork of XoopsForge that has some active development. Used for forge.xoops.org

      The only thing that may compete in the same space that is somewhat similar is PHPGroupWare.

      -Electrawn
      • GForge: Fork of Alexandria code by former Sourceforge developer. Rips out foundries and is for optimized PHP and Postgresql and Apache. Patches for Oracle in beta, refuses mysql patches.

        Why? No seriously, I wouldn't support a project once I encounter this kind of attitude. People often go "Well, it's their project so they have the final say about it.", which is bullshit. If you're going to start your own OS project and be a complete jackass to people who use it, ( In short, your developers, bugteste

        • To be honest this may be to do with the feature set that oracle and postgres have as compared to mysql. Sure, it may be possible to get it to work with mysql currently, but it may be either very clunky or may not work well with future planned features.

          In other words, there may be very good technical reasons for not supporting mysql.

          Also, if they accept mysql patches now, how are users who want to use mysql in the future feel if mysql support is dropped later? If someone wants a mysql version they should s
        • Why? No seriously, I wouldn't support a project once I encounter this kind of attitude. People often go "Well, it's their project so they have the final say about it.", which is bullshit. If you're going to start your own OS project and be a complete jackass to people who use it, ( In short, your developers, bugtesters, QA people, support staff AND users all in one. ) then DO NOT START A DAMNED OS PROJECT. Look what's happening to Xfree86 for example; they went anal about licensing and voila, the OS communi
  • by mellon ( 7048 ) * on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @11:35AM (#8849445) Homepage
    It sounds like a total of two people are questioning this decision, which is a small number given how many people use savannah. I have rarely seen a controversy about GNU end so quickly - there were a total of about ten messages in the thread. There is always someone for whom any change is a big tragedy.

    As to losing track of roots, maybe RMS is getting a little bit more pragmatic in his old age. It's all very well and good to say "we should do X" when you have the resources to do X, but if you don't have the resources to do X, then saying "we should do X" is just stupid.
    • Not exactly. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by devphil ( 51341 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @12:10PM (#8849952) Homepage


      There are two reasons this decision is somewhat controversial for those of us maintaining FSF-related projects:

      1. The decisions are made in a closed environment.
      2. The Savannah admins have not demonstrated sufficient competence nor responsiveness. (Not meant to be a personal attack; I think they only have a few part-time volunteers.)

      For example, GCC is under constant pressure by RMS to move from its own server [gnu.org] (that happens to be hosted at Red Hat) and onto Savannah. But this pressure has been resisted for the same reasons, and it will continue to be resisted regardless of what "packaged development environment" Savannah is using.

      With regard to the pair above, (1) the GCC maintainers have never been invited to share their concerns with the Savannah maintainers; when they speak up, they're ignored, and (2) Savannah gets fscked up on a regular basis, and complaints are ignored. For example, Savannah is supposed to be mirroring the GCC CVS repository, but it falls over constantly, leading to even higher load on the GCC servers as users switch over. The Savannah team has a long long way to go if they want to hold themselves up as a reliable open development site.

    • Depends. Sometimes you decide that if we don't have the resources to do it, we must *get* the resources to do it.

      How important is X to you?

      Also, what's the GForge license? It's quite possible that RMS sees nothing wrong with moving to GForge. (I know that GForge is Debian-Free, so it's likely to be GPL. In which case the choice of which site would probably be largely pragmatic.)

  • About gna.org (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @12:02PM (#8849818)
    Many of the previous savannah contributors have already moved to gna.org, which is sometimes referred to as savannah's successor.
    I have already moved all my projects to gna a month ago. Gna is way more stable and way faster than savannah. I love it.
  • by dyfet ( 154716 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @12:55PM (#8850502) Homepage
    I have always felt that, rather than having a single mass community site, like a master sourceforge or Savannah site, where most projects congregate, it would be much better to have a lot of little "xforge" sites scattered about and that can then be more specialized to the needs of different groups and projects over time; that individual universities, companies, and even individual project maintainers, could easily setup and deploy locally or through common hosting services; and then to have specialized master search or index sites that could locate and aggregate projects easily from remote xforge's...

    The problem of the single Sourceforge site or Savannah site is that it is a single point of failure. Many projects will be down if sourceforge or Savannah, for example, are down for extended periods of time. Having smaller project sites will at least mean failures will be far more localized and far less disruptive to the community as a whole.

    The problem in the original sourceforge code is that it was impossible to easily customize or deploy, and this remained fairly true even after the heavy hacking done on the Savannah branch. If gforge has finally solved this problem, and makes it relatively easy to deploy xforge-like sites, then I see this as a very promising development indeed.
    • > that can then be more specialized to
      > the needs of different groups

      Very well said. And this is happening with GForge installations. For example, there's graal.net [graal.net], which is "the home of Graal Player World collaborative development". Instead of projects, they've got "worlds".

      Over on RubyForge [rubyforge.org], we're working on integrating the Ruby project distribution mechanism - Ruby Gems [rubyforge.org] - into the GForge file release process. It's mostly duct tape currently, but it's coming along.
  • Hi all, I know a bunch of people on the gforge team...while they've had disagreements with RMS over the whole gnu/linux vs linux thing, I think they could only be characterised as hostile only the deluded.

    Also, I'd point out that GForge is released under the GPL....so if actions count...

    Chris DiBona

  • by Tadghe ( 18215 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2004 @02:13PM (#8851433) Homepage
    From the gforge faq, on why it doesn't support Mysql (see http://gforge.org/docman/view.php/1/24/faq.html)

    "You could do it, but why bother? To quote Tim Perdue - "GForge could not be made to run on the primitive MySQL database without serious hacking, and I won't accept those kinds of changes back into the system. For the amount of work involved in such a project, you'd be better off taking an hour to learn postgres. It's a superior database in every way, with the only point of debate being speed on simple 'hello world' type applications".

    It'd be a lot of work because:

    1. GForge uses Postgres stored procedures, so you'd have to convert those into PHP functions

    2. GForge uses Postgres functions like pg_connect, so you'd have to replace those with the MySQL equivalents

    3. GForge uses subselects, so you'd have to rewrite those to use temporary tables or whatever (MySQL 4.1 supports subselects, so once it becomes production-ready, this won't be a barrier anymore)
    "

    So what they are telling me is that this thing is hard coded around PG specific routines..... That's NOT a good thing, I don't care what they think about Mysql (ditto applies to DB2, SapDB (Now MaxDB), Informix or Sybase).

    Someone call me when these guys get a clue.
  • I was momentarily interested in GForge but when I saw that it was designed for small projects, then less so. Where are the task-to-release views? Management of releases? The tracker view goes near but so far...Task assignments for testers, developers and approvers? How do you map tasks to code? So close yet so far...if this project could beef up some of it's features, then it could really be a killer app for small and large companies.

    h.
    • Interesting feature requests you've got there. All good ideas (IMHO). Do you have any more? If so please post them. Who knows, maybe someone will code 'em up :)

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