Category Archives: Version Control

SourceForge Redesigns Itself To Compete With Github

sourceforgeWhen I received an email today telling me that one of my ancient projects was being “upgraded” to the “new” SourceForge developer platform, I had to admit that I had no clue that SourceForge was even launching a new platform.

But sure enough, “The Next SourceForge” is out with a host of redesigned features that do look nice… and do remind me of everything that I currently use over on Github!

Of course, the project being “upgraded” is a small python app called “viewportfolio” that I wrote back in 2000 during the height of the .COM insanity when Red Hat’s stock had exploded and the tech bubble was all around us.

I last touched the code over 12 years ago!

I have no clue if it actually still works – and to be quite honest if I were to do anything with that app today, even to test it and make any fixes, I’d probably move it first to my Github account where I do all my work today.

But back twelve years, SourceForge was THE place where you hosted your project.  Everyone was using “SF” and it was where we all interacted for code.

Then, over time, it became a site so hideously overwhelmed with advertising that it was close to useless to interact with the site. And, well, more and more people started using the git version control system and for quite some time SourceForge seemed to still be wedded to SVN.

So I moved any new projects over to Github, as did many others that I knew, and I left SourceForge behind, only occasionally going in there when I needed to find older projects.  Even today, I’m working with someone who has a project on SF, but he’s moving that to Github in the next few weeks where I can work on it with him and where we’ll publicize it.

I applaud the folks behind SourceForge for launching “The Next SourceForge,” if for no other reason than that I do believe it is healthy to have competition around – and having another competitor for Github (there are several already) is a good thing in that it will continue to encourage innovation among the platforms providing project hosting services.

It’s also great to see the visual redesign of SF – a much cleaner interface and thankfully all the ads that were slathered all over the site seem to be gone.  And these new features do seem to be great improvements for projects hosted on SF.

Will “The Next SourceForge” prompt me to launch new projects on SF?  Or to stop migrating projects away?

Probably NOT.

The reality is that I’m now comfortably ensconced over on Github and I rather like it there. I guess I also trust the people/company behind Github more than I do Dice Holdings, the latest corporate overlord of SourceForge, in terms of being responsive to users and to continuing to improve the user experience.  Now this may be unfair… the folks behind SourceForge may be as equally committed as the folks behind Github… but one is a passionate startup and the other is part of a large publicly-traded company that is ultimately focused on helping connect employers and professionals with each other.

What about you?  Will “The Next SourceForge” get you to open new projects there? (Or to not migrate away?)

Contrasting Mercurial vs Git: Two Opposing Blog Posts

GitvsmercurialWhich should you use for a distributed version control system (DVCS) – git or mercurial? That was the question taken up recently by two opposing blog posts on Atlassian’s blog:

Admittedly this is a bit of a “religious” issue with adherents on either side being extremely passionate about the topic. In my own case, my writing here (as well as my Github account) definitely show that I fall down on the side of git… but I’m also always interested to learning more about the various tools.

The two blog posts are written by passionate advocates for each tool and so naturally have that flavor. Regardless, they make for interesting reading. I don’t see myself switching to Mercurial any time soon… but it’s interesting to see the pros and cons of each. We still don’t have the “perfect” tool… but will we ever?

Given that I started working with version control systems back when RCS was the only option I had… and then CVS was a huge step forward… and then SVN was viewed as excellent… all I can say is that we’ve come a loooonnngg way and it’s greatto see both git and mercurial out there.

P.S. I should note that both of these articles are part of Atlassian’s “DVCS Guide” that has some other useful pieces about why distributed version control systems are worth investigating and using.