Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Google to host open source projects

Google has unveiled a new hosting service for open source projects, offering a place to store and share code as well as document feature requests and track issues.

The service is similar to VA Software's Sourceforge which hosts more than 100,000 open source projects. In the past Google has hosted several of its own open source projects on the service.

"One of our goals is to encourage healthy, productive open source communities. Developers can always benefit from more choices in project hosting, " Google said in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the service.

The service is powered by both open source and proprietary software. The version-control service, for instance, is based on the Subversion open source technology.

Although Sourceforge has a large lead, users of the service have complained that it can be slow and takes too long to implement changes. So far no competitor has succeeded in dethroning the service.

Google is wooing developers who seek to move their projects from Sourceforge to the Google service. In an attempt to prevent cyber squatting, the search engine has reserved the names of all existing Sourceforge projects and has promised to unlock them only to the Sourceforge project's administrator.