Google challenges SourceForge in open source project hosting

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Google announced today at OSCON, the O’Reilly open source conference, that it has launched an open source project hosting site that will rival SourceForge.net. The service has been given the unglamorous name Google Code Project Hosting.

Early comments around the web highlight the need for a competitor to SourceForge.net, which is believed to experience too much down time and emphasize enterprise users at the expense of others. SourceForge.net runs on the propriety SourceForge software and is owned by Fremont California’s VA Software.

Projects hosted by Google are organized by tag and includes an ajax feedback and issue tracking. They system is built on Subversion and Google’s Big Table file system. Projects can be up to 100mb in size. The reliability of Google’s uptime seems to be a primary selling point.

The interface is pared down and doesn’t include much of the information that you find when you look at a project on SourceForge. There’s an ajax issue tracking feature for user feedback. So far the whole thing looks far less user-friendly than SourceForge but if it’s targeting a technical audience exclusively that might be of less consequence.

Projects already available on the site include things like Webomedia, an ajax based framework that will help create online streaming of media, Simple File Manager, an easy to use web based alternative to FTP, and RepoMan, an encrypted Python P2P chat service. Humorously, the sample tag “stable” currently brings up no results.

Update: Several people have pointed to Jeff Lindsay‘s DevjaVu as an alternative. It’s in private beta right now, but it’s a startup and we love startups.

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