Google Kills Off Google Code

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Another long-in-the-tooth Google outgrowth is being shuttered because Google says it has been superseded by outside alternatives.

This time it’s Google Code Project Hosting for the chop — with Google justifying full closure on the grounds that a “growing share” of projects on the service are “spam or abuse” and the associated “administrative load” is “almost exclusively” related to abuse management.

In a post on its Open Source Blog, Google notes that times have changed since it set up Google Code way back in 2006, with the aim of providing a reliable and stable project hosting site. Ergo it claims developers have since moved to “better” services, such as GitHub — including Google itself moving many of its own open source projects to where more of the developer action is.

Google’s Chris DiBona, director of Open Source, writes:

Since then, we’ve seen a wide variety of better project hosting services such as GitHub and Bitbucket bloom. Many projects moved away from Google Code to those other systems. To meet developers where they are, we ourselves migrated nearly a thousand of our own open source projects from Google Code to GitHub.

As of yesterday Google had disabled new project creation on Google Code, and is providing developers with links to migration tools (such as this Google Code to GitHub exporter tool) to help them shift projects elsewhere.

It says it will also be offering migration support to those who need help to migrate their projects over the next three months. By August 24 the site will switch to read-only. And Google has set a final shut down date of January 25th, 2016 for Google Code (although it says downloaded tarballs of project source, issues, and wikis will be available throughout the rest of 2016).

DiBona adds: “We know this decision will cause some pain for those of you still using Google Code and we’re sorry for that. We’ll continue to do our best to make the migration process easy for you.”

In comments on Google’s blog post, some Google Code users express disappointment the company is not intending to continue hosting those projects that aren’t migrated — maybe because their maintainer has gone AWOL or passed away — in a read-only format, given that they will otherwise be entirely lost come final shutdown.

“Wouldn’t it be more responsible for Google to just host the projects that don’t move over indefinitely in a read only mode? I can’t imagine that it’s resource intensive and it’d instill more faith in Google products. It’s like watching Geocities go away,” writes one.

“A complete copy of all projects should be handed over to archive.org so that we don’t lose history and important projects that are no longer maintained,” adds another.