I would really like to see sourceforge succeed, as it has a nostalgic place in my heart.
However, I hope the new management (I've been following them on slashdot too) is aware that it is probably very complicated to do so. Right now all the people who I know that talk about sourceforge are older people, most of which don't contribute to open-source anymore. When they mention it, they still remember the awful flow of everything and mostly consider it an open-source aggregator for software where you can publish your own software. Newer folks haven't even heard of sourceforge, and those that have talk about it as that "dated, old, virus-filled website". My sample may obviously biased.
I think that in order to success, SourceForge needs:
- External tools for the best integration with Git and "the developer's workflow" and their website.
- No more going through pages and pages just to download a file. Make this shit easy!
- A really overhauled UI. I'm not saying change for the sake of change, but change because regardless of liking it, the new kids think that look is lame and dated, and I think (may be wrong) that a radical change in UI helps lead to the idea that sourceforge itself is changing.
- Builtin statistics and integrations for git that look and feel great. The "new kids" love their statistics. They love to see how they're productive, how a branch leads to another, and to another. How they're active "friday at 5pm" and spammed 3000 lines of code. The "new kids" are a great target demographic, because they're usually the ones that create the "hyped up projects" -- even if these projects are doomed, or a fancy reinvention of the wheel, they surely give off an awful lot of projection to the website. If they get to sourceforge and they can't "1-click" to clone a project easily, in their mind the whole development process is already shittier, because it takes "more clicks", it doesn't "just work", etc.
And lastly, I should focus on what I said before
>mostly consider it an open-source aggregator for software where you can publish your own software
This is where I think sourceforge should really focus. I think github is a terrible way to explore and meet new projects, and my peers mostly do too (perhaps we're just stupid!), and I haven't found a meaningful alternative. I'm sure these websites exist and they're great, but I can't for the life of me find one -- but I do know sourceforge, so maybe you can tap this from older audiences and bring newer audiences too. Sourceforge got me to know so many projects in the past...it would be great if it had this to offer, even -- yes! -- if it linked directly to projects hosted elsewhere. Slowly build your user-base around this concept that you're the master of open-source software spread, with a decent UI and the feeling that there's just an infinite stream of projects to explore. Oh, I used to love that sourceforge had screenshots in project pages -- they are visual and make a user trust the project much more easily. Github makes this process much more convoluted, IMO.
I don't know if sourceforge is salvageable, and I didn't scratch the business model. But damn, me and my friends fresh off of college[*] really wish we were part of your team in rebuilding this platform and its reputation. It sounds like an amazing and exciting challenge and, since I doubt I can be a part of it, I wish you the best of luck. Make sourceforge a reference again!
[*] Which is why most of this analysis can be flat out wrong -- perhaps I am one of those pesky "new kids". It'd be an amazing project to work on, nevertheless.
P.S: Bring slashdot back to its glory days and maybe my sig will be gone for good!