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GNU is Not Unix

SourceForge Goes Public Beta 75

Thanks to Tony for sending me the information on SourceForge. They've gone into public-beta, and having seen it yesterday, it looks super-cool. It's a free (as in beer) service to Open Source developers offering easy access to CVS, mailing lists, bug tracking, message boards/forums, task management, web site hosting, permanent file archival, ftp downloads, full backups, and total web-based administration. Check out - and put your stuff in.
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SourceForge Goes Public Beta

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  • They do plan to open-source the tools used to build the site. From their FAQ:

    If you just like our tools so much that you want to use them, then go ahead. We'll be releasing many of them as
    Open Source soon. If this prospect overwhelms you, then contact VA Linux Professional Services, they'll be glad
    to help you. (Shameless plug for our sponsors.)

    This is in response to a question about whether the site can be used for non-open source projects.
  • That Verisign page claims that Netscape 4.06 and later are not affected. And the Y2K CA rollover is not supposed to happen until after 1/1/2000: "Netscape Communicator version 4.05 or earlier and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 for Macintosh include a root CA certificate set to expire at the end of 1999. Users of these browsers will experience an additional dialog box when connecting securely with your site after January 1, 2000..."
  • Sorry for the confusion there. Our intent was to promote these products in general and to give users something to download initially from our servers... sort of 'seeds'. We do print at the top of all 'seeded' project pages: NOTE: This project entry is maintained by the SourceForge staff. We are not the official site for this product. And we link to their own homepages as the project homepage. Should we not provide access to these projects at all, or is there a better way we could do this?
  • 1. I'm sorry that us giving things away hurts you so much.

    2. I don't understand the 'handing over your work' comment since authors maintain the copyright on their code, which is Open Source anyway.

    3. I was personally involved in the creation of SourceForge and am a little offended at your comments that VA 'dropped support' for OpenProjects for some weird reason. We've hosted OpenProjects for some time now and are continuing to maintain that server. SourceForge was created to offer an outstanding service package that was of a scale different than anything done before.

    4. I'm an Open Source developer and don't plan to take over anything. I'm also an admin at SourceForge.

    I'd love to talk with you about these issues, seriously. Please feel free to email me about it.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yes, read DiBona's message. Note that it also says:

    VA will pay for press releases

    VA will pay for domains

    VA is pouring a huge amount of $$ and hardware into helping the community

    are you honestly going to say that giving root out to thousands of users is a good idea? have you ever administered a system of this size? Where does your paranoia about control come from? If you don't like what has to offer, go somewhere else. But don't fill /. with crap about how using this service is handing your work over to the mercy of anyone.. it's open source, you both freedom and rights -- neither of which VA or any other company can take away from you.

  • another poster mentioned this, but i'd like to elaborate.

    i use a local cvs repository on my box for development. it'd be nice to have a pserver (why's it called pserver, anyway) so that other people can see the latest code or so i can when i'm not at home. the only problem is, i commit often and i don't want to have to have ppp up everytime i want to commit something.

    possible solutions:
    1. cvsup -- this is what freebsd uses extensively. only problem is, it's writting in modula-3. modula-3 compilers aren't available for every arch (eg, the ppc box i have at home)
    2. rsync -- i've never used rsync before, but afaik, it should work fine for mirroring repositories.


  • Well, I'm sorry you feel that way. Luckily I won't let your being a fool interfere with my job of giving out bandwidth, machinery and services to free software groups.

    As far as my ego, the message you quoted hardly relates how large it in fact is. I invite you to visit my web site to truly appreciate the grandiose nature of it.

    Chris DiBona
    Linux Community Guy, VA Linux Systems

    Grant Chair, Linux Int.

  • 10G = 10 Grand = ten thousand
  • SourceForge doesn't mandate that you use all of their services. You can pick and choose to use forums, CVS, mailing lists, etc. So, sure, if it fills a need put it up. You might also consider putting the program as a module alongside XCDRoast if you can arrange this with the XCDRoast developers.
  • This does not seem to be what's happening. The pages you referred to specify that this problem has to do with Versions older than 4.05.

    I am Using Netscape Communicator 4.51, and still got the message that the site was using an unrecognized root certificate.

    Hmm, just tried to view the site again, and the original pop up warning is now gone.

    Ah. Now the pop-up appears when I click on 'New User via SSL'.

    Anyone have additional information?
  • I am having the same problem. I am using Communicator 4.7 (Linux)... This is interesting, cause they SAID it only happens with 4.07 and lesser. I am happy to see that Netscape is so up to date.

  • what is the difference between free beer, and free free...?
  • "What is the difference between free beer, and free free ...?"

    Free beer is distribution related, free speech relates to viewing and modification of the source - the recipie for the beer, and free free means you get both the beer and the recipe.

  • Doesn't it seem like this could actually _make_ money? I mean, it's such a cool service by people who already know Open Source well. Why couldn't they do more than just give the service away?

    Could they sell CDs, with SourceForge hosted software on them? As long as the authors approved?

    I wonder if they've thought of this?

    Would anyone give permission to do this? Especially if the per CD cost was low. I mean, you're getting hosting for free. If the CDs supported that service, would that be okay? You're already giving the software away.

    More over, would people pay money to get authoritative versions of linux software compilations on CD?

    Just a thought,

  • All right. I am now very, very annoyed. I shouldn't be, but I am. Please forgive me.

    I have been running a site ( []) dedicated to hosting open source projects for four months now. CVS, Jitterbug, mailing lists, you name it, it's there. For four months, I have been paitently trying to get the word out about my site. Nada. Nil. Nyet. VA Linux basically turns and coughs and gets smack on the main page of Slashdot.

    Please understand that this is not a criticism of VA Linux, nor of Slashdot, fine organizations that they are. I'm just very, very, very frustrated. And sometimes a little public venting helps.

    Cameron Wellock
  • Traditionally, free as in beer is used to refer to something which is free of charge.
    The other use of free is free as in freedom, which many feel is the real heart of the open source movement.
    Free as in freedom means you can do what you want with it. You have the source code, so you're free to modify it to suit your needs, and, generally, you are free to redistribute it at no charge.

  • Does anyone know what happened to I first heard about it here [] on slashdot. They were offering free web and ftp hosting for open source software.

    I got an account there, and then one day it just disappeared. Someone else appears to have bought the domain now, and they're selling a CD [] of some sort.

  • The guys at Source Forge are definetely on the level. They pre-registered my project (Pagecast). I was a bit confused at first so I just dropped them a line at and I was immediately given admin status on my project.

    Apparently they are working on an "Are you the owner of this project?" kind of link to get people in control of their own projects.

    I am definetely going to put Source Forge to work. I've been needing a well-connected public CVS server for a while, and complete mailing list, bug tracking, and task list is just frosting.

    Apparently there *are* other projects (XNOT) out there, but I had not heard of that until today either! I'm afraid I'm going to go with source forge.

  • Hey, dt, you've never actually seen XNOT, have you?

    Just a thought.

    I'm sure I'm being a little bit too sensitive here, but to me it seems that Mr. dtype is implying XNOT couldn't reliably host a tea party for grannies. How very unkind. VA's got what, a quarter of a billion dollars behind it, and dt has to stop to point out he's bigger than me? Bite me, you godless communist.

    OK, I think I've got all that out of my system. I'll stop flaming now, I promise.

    - Cameron Wellock, the profoundly irriated sysop at XNOT [].

    Disclaimer: The author of this post was not in a rational state of mind at the time this posting was made.
  • Sadly though, I see the encryption type on their SSL.. 40 bit RSA, 40 bit key.

    That's not what I got. Either you're not running a full strength Netscape or you need to go into your security configuration and disable all the insecure ciphers.
  • I've got something to do this weekend. I've still got a pretty bitter taste in the back of my throat after the Geocities/Yahoo! licensing fiasco, and have been looking for a new home. My congrats to the team at SourceForge for putting this together!
  • What if it cost companies (consultants, agencies, etc.) more -not- to open-source their projects. What if it cost $10G in tools to get a closed-source project off the ground, but you could get world-class development tools for your open-source project for free.

  • It's a free (as in beer)...

    Sorry, couldn't help myself.
  • I suppose that they impose GPL or something else. I looked around but I couldn't find a word this though. Can somebody tell me if they enforce a liscence or can you choose something like a BSD liscence or a GPL liscence or can you make your own half-breed liscence?
  • by rde ( 17364 ) on Wednesday November 17, 1999 @10:07AM (#1525010)
    A cool idea. I hope many emulate the spirit in which this was done.

    For legal reasons, we can't host strong-encryption products with code that originated outside of the US

    This is the sort of thing we're going to see more and more. As far as I can see, the US government has two options:
    1. Get rid of this silly 'munitions' rule
    2. Accept that US companies will perpetually be at a disadvantage in international projects. I'm beginning to see this 'no encryption' message with increasing frequency; one pops up about once a week.
  • At first glance this looks very cool. One of those "Hey, why didn't I think of putting up a website like this" kind of things.

    The policies look very generous (100MB web space, more if it seems justified, cgi-bin/, anon ftp) I just hope they don't get abused by those annoying folks that insist on putting warez and illegal mp3s on any free service they can.

  • When I tried to follow the suggested link, I got a certificate warning. The certificate appears to have been signed by Verisign, but the version of Netscape I'm running (4.5) doesn't recognize it. Anybody know what's going on here?
  • I could not submit a bug in the source forge bug report area (doh. Can't even submit a bug that the bug submission does not work!)

    Had a dodgy certificate that explorer didn't like...

    And the projects that are there seem to be focused mirroring other projects

    Finally - could you/would you trust someone else to keep a server up 24-7 for your source code? My experience of projects is that they need more than cvs/mailinglist. They need coordinated web site and people close by to make it all work

    So. I am not moving from my work machine yet. But I guess this is the way things are going to go


  • Finally - could you/would you trust someone else to keep a server up 24-7 for your source code? My experience of projects is that they need more than cvs/ mailinglist. They need coordinated web site and people close by to make it all work.

    Here's the reason that I'd consider this (or something very like it):

    I have a private CVS tree on my computer. However, I would like to be able to

    (a) let other people have readonly access to this tree so they can see what
    I'm working on, and
    (b) have a good way to distribute source tarballs.

    Currently my only recourse for (b) is to tell people to access it on my
    computer, which is unreliable [1] and not optimized for that sort of thing. (a)
    is doable with pserver, but insecure on top of having the same problems as (b).

    If there were a way for me to keep a local copy of the CVS tree, *and* simultaneously mirror it with something like this, I think I would be in heaven :) Probably this needs modifications to CVS to replicate commits and keep the trees in sync, though.. [2]


    [1] as in, it reboots when I feel like it, may be running unstable software, etc.

    [2] if the server's tree is readonly for everyone but me this becomes a *lot* easier, I think.
  • But isn't the market getting kind of full?

    There are a -lot- of servers offering these kinds of facilities, so what does SourceForge have that the others don't?

    (I'm not saying it doesn't have an advantage, only that someone needs to point it out to me, if I'm to even get an inkling why someone wouldn't use one of the other facilities.)

  • > Finally - could you/would you trust someone else to
    > keep a server up 24-7 for your source code?

    This is a very good point, but there's an obvious bigger problem. Not only do their machines have to be up and running, but you have to be able to get to them. If something between you and them goes down (and there are a /lot/ of things that can go wrong), you're hosed.

    What would be /really/ cool is if they rolled up all the software that they use and distributed /that/. Each of the components (CVS, a mail server, mailing list software, etc) is easy. Tying them all together is not so trivial. If I could go to a new development team here at work and say, "Good, your new server is working. Here are all the tools you'll need, tied together," type a little, and be done... ohhhhh...

  • Welcome to the world of business. As you've learned, it's not about products or services, but marketing.

    Those with more marketing muscle (and $) will always win out over the little guy, regardless of technical merit (as evidenced by our favorite target, Microsoft).

    I do understand your frustration, though.

  • It also says:

    "If you accessed this page for root CA certificate rollover instructions prior to October 25, 1999, send an e-mail to our Root Rollover Specialist at or call 650-429-3400 for more information and instructions."

    It is after October 25th, so maybe that means something. Besides, it doesn't cost anything to email them and ask what their take on things is...
  • so with free beer you cant modifiy it, and free free is modifiable?(sp)
  • Well, seeing as Netscape (now a subsidiary of AOL) provides the hosting for Mozilla, this is probably one of the few open source projects that won't be attracted to move to SourceForge!

  • $10K=10,000 is more standard hacker speak. It's metric (or nearly, but let's not get into an argument about that here! :)

  • Well.. basically I think of it as a one stop shop. I get all the bug tracking, forums, mailing lists, anything that I want for my OSS project. And if you can think of something that we're missing.. submit a feature request, there's a decent chance it'll get done.
  • Any license approved by the OSI is allowed. Other licenses are approved on a case-by-case basis.
    See: [] ite/faq.php#whohost-main []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, 1999 @10:12AM (#1525028)
    XNOT [] has been doing this for a while, only better. Not beta, free CVS, page hosting, chat, FTP, an' all that. I'd take a look there too if you're interested in finding a host for a free software project.
  • I suppose that they impose GPL or something else. I looked around but I couldn't find a word this though. Can somebody tell me if they enforce a liscence or can you choose something like a BSD liscence or a GPL liscence or can you make your own half-breed liscence?

    You didn't look very hard, did you?

    Did you try the FAQ []??

  • You need to be logged in to submit a bug. I just submitted a bug about the blank page you get back when trying to submit a bug and not logged in. :) As for the certificate, it works for me (Netscape 4.7) -- I'll put a report in about that as well.
  • by jdube ( 101986 )
    This sounds extremely cool... but what advantages does it have to what is already around? I suppose there are some... I have never used it, if you have please reply and inform :) Oh, and I ordered a Gnome shirt from Copyleft seven weeks ago and it still isn't here so if you are or know someone who works there accost them until I get the goods ;)

    If you think you know what the hell is really going on you're probably full of shit.
  • It looks like any OSI approved license is welcome, so that gives you some room to move.

  • I must sya that this is the first time of have heard of a service like this, even though there are apparently others (XNOT).

    So does this mean that in the future we'll see a lot more of the following: ?

    New Mozilla Milestone Release
    Posted by Roblimo [] on 03:94 AM November 18th 2019
    from the about-time-they-got-around-to-it dept.

    Mozilla Milestone 1,256 is out. Go for it! Get it from Sourceforge []

    (Note: I in no way mean to insult Rob or mozilla. It's just the example I pulled off /. when I wrote this. I like Mozilla. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Similar to, but not quite the same as a quick shot of whiskey. No, mozilla is not on sourceforge.)

    "You want to kiss the sky? Better learn how to kneel." - U2
    "It was like trying to herd cats..." - Robert A. Heinlein
  • How about Freshmeat at
  • They aren't mutually exclusive. Something can be both "free as in beer" and "free as in freedom". However, "free as in freedom" usually implies free as in beer as least to me.

  • Based upon the "free, as in beer" comment in the article, I'm guessing that the SourceForge software (scripts and friends) are not available for public consumption. However, I was unable to confirm this after several minutes of perusing. Does anyone know for sure that the source is not available? If so, will it ever be available?
  • While we're on the subject of free resources for open source/free software developers, I would like ot take this opportunity to shamelessly plug Advogato [], a new site I'm launching.

    Advogato is an advocate for free software developers, as opposed to free software users or free software businesses. The main features now are a Slashdot-style news flow and a cool diary server.

    One of the central features is an implementation of the peer certification work I'm doing for my PhD research. The site uses a group trust metric to determine membership in the community of free software developers. Only members can post, which is my crack at the S/N problem.

    If you are a free software developer, you are warmly invited to join, poke around, and participate. Others are welcome to poke around.

    ObOnTopic: From a look over their site, SourceForge looks impressive as hell. With VA's backing, they inspire quite a bit of confidence that they'll be able to handle the load. This can only be of benefit to Linux, free software in general, and of course VA.
  • by Lando ( 9348 )
    Well, there goes my hosting of open source projects. And heck, while I'm at it guess I'll drop my own projects on their server, save me some admin hassel.

    This looks to be a serious, shattering even development. Anything wrong with the way things are set up? I read the docs and I can't see anything wrong at this time.

  • Go here: m/server/cus/rootcert/webmaster.html [] which describes what's happening.

    Then go here: ty/rootcert/" [] and download a new browser.

    It used to be that you could just download the certificates that you needed, but the URL i had for that is now dead...
  • What if it cost $10G...
    $10G= Ten ?Gazillion? dollars?


  • The main difference is probably the hardware and a full time staff and Linux company behind it. We're not trying to compete with anyone on this, just trying to give something to the OpenSource community. In the end, I think having 'competing' services like this will drive them all to be better.
  • Ok so I wrote a small program that converts an mpg into a format suitable for XCDRoast (including the information file). I'd like to give others access, but I don't want to trudge through CVS and all of the other administrivia. Where can I drop a small hack for the rest of the world to pick it up?

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.