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Google Launches SourceForge Competitor

David A. Utter | Staff Writer

Even though Google said it is not competing with the SourceForge
project hosting site, it’s difficult to view it otherwise considering
Google’s features and other services that can complement it.

The Project Hosting section of Google Code debuted yesterday during
Greg Stein’s talk at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention. Stein
works for Google as an open source engineer, and is known for his
role as chairman of the Apache Software Foundation.

Before the announcement, NewsForge’s Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier and
Stein talked about Project Hosting. Stein said in the report that
Google just wanted to see what they can do with their infrastructure
to provide an alternative service for hosting open source projects.

Google is taking care not to overtly stomp on SourceForge with
Project Hosting, which will not have some features that are present
at SourceForge and similar sites.

That’s a careful statement, in that Google doesn’t say whether or
not it finds those particular features desirable. Stein goes on to
tell Brockmeier that Google was able to “cut out a lot of heavy
structure” in creating Project Hosting.

Google will disallow attempts to duplicate namespaces that already
exist on SourceForge. This will prevent someone from placing code
on Project Hosting and naming it after an established project on

Project Hosting has a couple of main features. One is the full-text
search across projects using Google’s vaunted technology in that
area. The other is version control. Google rebuilt the open source
Subversion project to work with Google’s storage technology, called

Stein also said Project Hosting will not include website hosting for
projects, as SourceForge does. That doesn’t mean Google couldn’t
suggest its Base or Pages services as options for developers. Not
to mention Gmail and the newly updated Google Talk for communication,
or Google Groups for discussions about a project.

ZDNet’s Google blogger Garett Rogers had guessed Stein would announce
a SourceForge-like service with Subversion during his talk. He noted
that while code search, as opposed to project search, isn’t available
yet, it should be something Google unveils soon.

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Camilla Todd
Camilla Todd is Head of Digital Marketing at WNW Digital and manages Search Engine Optimisation, PPC, Social Media campaigns and Brand Awareness for WNW Digital SEO clients. You can follow her on Twitter @camilla_wnw, email her at or phone on 01392 349580

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