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Google Announces Open Source Repository 229

NewsForge (also owned by OSTG) has word of Google's newest product: an open-source project repository. Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier sat down for a talk with Greg Stein and Chris DiBona, who say that the product is very similar to sites like SourceForge but is not intended to compete with them. From the article: "Instead, Stein says that the goal is to see what Google can do with the Google infrastructure, to provide an alternative for open source projects. DiBona says that it's a 'direct result of Greg concentrating on what open source projects need. Most bugtrackers are informed by what corporations' and large projects need, whereas Google's offering is just about what open source developers need. Stein says that Google's hosting has a 'brand new look' at issue tracking that may be of interest to open source projects, and says 'nobody else out there is doing anything close to it.'"
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Google Announces Open Source Repository

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  • by sgt scrub ( 869860 ) < minus punct> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @05:16PM (#15794723)
    If SourceForge had Google's resources they wouldn't have those problems. if the percentage of people taking advantage of opensource software and sites like SourceForge would give something back they would have those resources. I would rather of seen Google contribute to SourceForge, or Freshmeat for that matter.
  • Re:No Public Domain (Score:4, Informative)

    by euthyphro ( 60068 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @05:16PM (#15794728)
    Other notable missing OSI license options: Academic Free License (AFL), Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL), Common Public License (CPL), and Eclipse Public License. It would be nice to hear the selection criteria used and how those criteria combat license proliferation, as well as how holding this position matters to Google.
  • by jaaron ( 551839 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @05:19PM (#15794746) Homepage
    That was _fast_. The announcement session hasn't even finished at OSCON.

    Greg just mentioned that a downloads features will be coming to Google Code Hosting.
  • by BigCheese ( 47608 ) <> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @05:33PM (#15794842) Homepage Journal
    Right now it's sort of an 'eh' service. We've got Subversion, a simple issue tracker and a really primitive home for each project. It's no SourceForge but it is fast.

    It will be interesting to see what direction they take it.
  • Re:What the catch? (Score:3, Informative)

    by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @05:37PM (#15794863)
    The calling home on a lot of their APIs is to throttle usage- if someone is getting huge traffic google may want to react to that by either lowering their requests, caching more data for them, or even buying them if its truely huge. Thats what google maps does, for instance.
  • by suds ( 6610 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:43PM (#15795274) Homepage
    Release early, release often

    Yes, I say give credit where credit is this case should credit Linus for the quote.
  • Re:Beating SF ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by rossturk ( 975354 ) * < minus caffeine> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @06:51PM (#15795321) Homepage
    We've been gathering input on the download system, well, pretty much since it was created. Personally, I find it painful, but there are a lot of reasons why it is the way it is today. That said, a replacement for the download system is currently in planning, and our primary aim is to allow consumers to get what they're looking for with fewer clicks. Our current phases tend to be about 90 days, and we plan to enter implementation in August.
  • by rossturk ( 975354 ) * < minus caffeine> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:05PM (#15795385) Homepage
    We just finished listening to Greg's presentation at OSCON, and so far we're feeling pretty good about what this means for the Open Source community, and, by extension, Because, after all, what's good for the community is good for us. Greg talked a bit about how he expects that users will want to "mix and match" tools that are offered at Google Code,, and other repositories. This resonates very well with us, and is consistent with our longer-term goals - flexibility is one of the cornerstones of our larger strategic direction. Developers should work using the tools they want to use. We've got a pretty good relationship with the folks over at Google, and I really believe they're launching this because they, like us, care about Open Source and want to see it continue to thrive. We've begun disucssions about integration between and Google Code - you'll notice that you can't register projects on Google Code with project names. I expect there will be a much more substantial integration as the community makes its needs known. Thanks, Ross Turk (joined by Jay Seirmarco) Engineering Manager
  • Re:No Public Domain (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:08PM (#15795407)
    AFAIK public domain has diffren meanings in diffrent jurisdictions and in some not a well defined meaning or non at all. And how could someone later on verify that it really is public domain and what you ment by that without the provision to identify you as the author? Consider using the MIT licence it basically says you can do what you want (the "without restriction", the "including" is just examples to show that you really know and mean it) but identify me as the author and you can't sue me, it's a bit wordy but it's probably as short as it gets using legalese.
  • by liquidpele ( 663430 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:31PM (#15795533) Journal
    As someone who regularly searches for projects on sourceforge, I welcome any competition. Sourceforge's search is just horrible. Every time I search for something, it brings back random things that have nothing to do with what I searched for, and will usually put projets at version 0.1 that have never been updated after their creation in the first page of the results. I mean, get a decent search rating system for god's sake! Maybe it's just me though.
  • alternative (Score:3, Informative)

    by pikine ( 771084 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @08:10PM (#15795711) Journal
    Your closest alternatives are BSD license or MIT license. BSD and MIT license differs in that BSD has this advertising clause: "Neither the name of the nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission."
  • by gonkem ( 532629 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:30PM (#15795979)
    You'd be amazed at the number of link spammers that issue tracking and wikistyle sites attract. Signup raises the bar (they will register and link spam); and then makes it simpler to find all instances of defacement if it occurs.

    Don't blame google; blame the link spammers.
  • Re:Beating SF ... (Score:2, Informative)

    by rossturk ( 975354 ) * < minus caffeine> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:39PM (#15796006) Homepage

    Yeah, for a developer-oriented site, we should be far more understanding of folks using wget. :) That, as well as some detection of the closest mirror, is part of what we've begun designing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @11:16PM (#15796354)
    Attribution belongs to Mayor Daley - "Vote early, vote often".

    Now git off my lawn or'll stick the dawg on yer!

  • This changed over seven years ago. To be unambiguous, Google (and others) refer to the updated license as the "new BSD license."

    See: ense.Change []
  • by rhavyn ( 12490 ) * on Friday July 28, 2006 @02:38AM (#15796925)

    I'm an architect at and I designed and implemented the search functionality that is currently running on the site. I take any complaints about the quality of the search results quite seriously. From I've seen, most of our users are quite happy with the latest revision of the search engine (launched in April of this year). However, if you could give me specific search terms that are returning poor results and some examples of what you think it should be returning I'd be happy to look into it to see if there is a bug in the search or statistics engines producing the poor results. My username is the same as my /. username, feel free to email me there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28, 2006 @03:53AM (#15797077)
    I just searched for the first word I saw when I went to "antivirus []".

    Why is "Moon Secure Antivirus", with rank at 28,000, no files, 0 downloads, registered this year, and only 82% activity considered more relevant than ClamAV?

    That's just not helpful! I'd rather not see something that has zero downloads but has more occurances of "antivirus" in the description (or whatever contributed to the relevancy score).

    Yes, I can change the sort order. But why make me jump through hoops to wade throug these low-quality projects?
  • Sourceforge quality (Score:4, Informative)

    by LarsWestergren ( 9033 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @04:06AM (#15797102) Homepage Journal
    I think Sourceforge needs to improve their quality if they are going to remain as central as they have been for open/free software development. There exists many alternatives these days, JForge for instance, or, Codehaus...

    I have a collegue who is one of the submittors to JRuby. He told me they had huge problems with Sourceforge last 6 months. Servers were down all the time, which slowed down development. I blieve they almost didn't get the demo finished before Java ONE because of this, and now they have moved to CodeHaus [] instead. Subversion, JIRA for bug tracking, and so far very stable servers, so they are very pleased.

  • Re:No Public Domain (Score:3, Informative)

    by HansF ( 700676 ) on Friday July 28, 2006 @11:59AM (#15799330) Journal
    Just FYI but that doesn't work that way all over the world.
    In belgium for example you will allways remain the copyright holder until the copyright expires (a while afther your death). In other words: you simply can't put your own creations in the public domain.
    That's why licences are important: you need a legal base for distributing your work.
  • by rhavyn ( 12490 ) * on Friday July 28, 2006 @12:53PM (#15799858)

    Thanks for pointing that out. I'll admit, Moon Secure Antivirus might not be the best candidate for the first result, but the result set returned isn't that bad. ClamAV is the second result and it appears to me that several other results on the first page are pretty good. And in this case it looks like the differentiator was simply that Moon Secure AV has "antivirus" in their project description more often.

    We are looking for ways to improve how we rank the relevancy of a project. Before your post I hadn't thought about using the registration date as a metric. Making projects listed on the site longer more relevant by a little bit isn't a bad idea and I may try playing with the tuning settings on my development machine to see what happens.

    I do think saying we're making you jump through hoops is a little over the top, the results don't seem to me to be as bad as you're making them out to be. And the improved UI makes it easy for you to scan the results and reject them the way you did. But I certainly don't want to downplay your problems, so please keep providing feedback so we can continue to improve the site. The development team is very motivated to make the user experience on as good as we possibly can.


1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.