SourceForge

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This article is about the website. For other uses, see SourceForge (disambiguation).
SourceForge
Sourceforge logo.png
The SourceForge logo
Sourceforge.net.png
Screenshot of SourceForge main page in 2009
Web address sourceforge.net or sf.net (redirect)
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Collaborative revision control, software development management system
Registration Optional (required for creating and joining projects)
Owner Dice Holdings, Inc.
Created by VA Software
Launched November 1999
Alexa rank negative increase 185(August 2014)[1]
Current status Online

SourceForge is a web-based source code repository. It acts as a centralized location for software developers to control and manage free and open-source software development. It was the first to offer this service for free to open-source projects.[2][discuss] The website runs a version of SourceForge Enterprise Edition, forked from the last open-source version available. As of March 2014, the SourceForge repository hosts more than 430,000 projects and has more than 3.7 million registered users,[3] although not all are active. The domain sourceforge.net attracted at least 33 million visitors by August 2009 according to a Compete.com survey.[4]

SourceForge offers free access to hosting and tools for developers of free / open-source software, competing with other providers such as GitHub, RubyForge, Tigris.org, BountySource, Launchpad, BerliOS, JavaForge, GNU Savannah, and Gitorious.

Concept[edit]

SourceForge is a web-based source code repository, which acts as a centralized location for free and open-source software projects. It was the first to offer this service for free to open-source projects. Project developers have access to centralized storage and tools for managing projects, although it is best known for providing revision control systems such as CVS, SVN, Bazaar, Git or Mercurial.[5] Major features (amongst others)[6] include project wikis, metrics and analysis, access to a MySQL database, and unique sub-domain URLs (such as http://project-name.sourceforge.net).

The vast number of users at SourceForge.net (over 3 million as of 2013)[3] exposes prominent projects to a variety of developers and can create a positive feedback loop. As a project's activity rises, SourceForge.net's internal ranking system makes it more visible to other developers who may join and contribute to it. Given that many open-source projects fail due to lack of developer support, exposure to such a large community of developers can continually breathe new life into a project.

Revenue model[edit]

Sourceforge's traditional revenue model is through advertising banner sales on their website. In 2006, sourceforge inc reported quarterly takings of 6.5 million USD.[7] In 2009, sourceforge reported a gross quarterly income of 23 million USD through media and e-commerce streams.[8] In 2011, a revenue of 20 million USD was reported for the combined value of the sourceforge, slashdot and freecode holdings, prior to sourceforge's acquisition.[9]

More recently, additional revenue generation schemes, such as bundleware models,[10] have been trialled, with the goal of further improving sourceforge's revenue.

History[edit]

SourceForge, founded in 1999 by VA Software, was the first provider of a centralized location for free and open-source software developers to control and manage software development and offering this service for free.[2]

Temporary bans in China[edit]

Main article: Golden Shield Project

In September 2002, SourceForge.net was temporarily banned in China.[11] The website was banned again in China, for about a month, in July 2008.[12][13] On August 6, 2012, SourceForge.net was banned again. Several days later the ban was lifted.

Attacks and outage of SourceForge.net[edit]

SourceForge has faced critical attacks on its databases. In 2006, attackers targeted the SourceForge.net database and most of its users were advised to change their passwords in order to remain secure. In December 2007, SourceForge.net was offline for a while due to another attack.[14] It is unclear exactly what happened, since there were no reports about the outage.[citation needed]

On January 27, 2011, SourceForge faced another attempt.[15] The attack was mainly against some of the developer infrastructure and resulted in the exploitation of several SourceForge.net servers. SourceForge said: "The attack resulted in an exploit of several SourceForge.net servers, and we have proactively shut down a handful of developer centric services to safeguard data and protect the majority of our services."

According to a SourceForge.net announcement on their blog,[16] as a short term response, they have taken down services such as CVS Hosting, ViewVC (web-based code browsing), New Release upload capability, and Interactive Shell services. The company is silent about the type of attack and from where those attempts were made.

Suit by SCPP[edit]

Société civile des Producteurs de Phonogrammes en France (SCPP) is an umbrella group for a variety of organizations in France. In November 2008, SCPP initiated a suit against Sourceforge.net, Vuze, Limewire, and Morpheus for hosting the P2P file-sharing application Shareaza that "facilitates mass copyright infringement".[17] SourceForge was not sued for hosting copyrighted material itself, but for hosting Vuze.

Apache relicense[edit]

In June 2012, SourceForge released its underlying software, named Allura, under the Apache license which was then accepted by Apache foundation for incubation.[18][19][20][21]

Attackers compromised a download mirror server[edit]

On September 26, 2012 it was announced that attackers compromised a download mirror server for the SourceForge software repository, rigging the installer package for phpMyAdmin, a web-based MySQL Server interface, with a backdoor.[22]

Acquisition[edit]

In September 2012, Dice Holdings acquired SourceForge from its previous owner Geeknet.[23]

DevShare adware controversy[edit]

Number of hosted projects since 2000

In July 2013, SourceForge announced that it will provide project owners an optional feature called DevShare, which places closed-source ad-supported content into the binary installers and gives the project part of the ad revenue.[24] Opinions of this new feature vary, with some complaining about downloaders not being as aware of what they are getting or being able to trust that the downloaded content, whereas others see it as a reasonably harmless option that keeps individual projects and users in control.[25]

In November 2013, GIMP, a popular free image manipulation program, removed its download from SourceForge, citing misleading download buttons that can potentially confuse customers, as well as SourceForge's own Windows installer, which bundles third-party offers. In a statement, GIMP called SourceForge a once "useful and trustworthy place to develop and host FLOSS applications" that now faces "a problem with the ads they allow on their sites..."[26]

Project of the Month[edit]

Since 2002 SourceForge features a Project of the Month[27]

2014 eXo Platform, Freeplane, ApexDC, Free Pascal Compiler, Universal Media Server, Clover EFI bootloader, Minsky
2013 cpuminer, Password Safe, BleachBit, West Point Bridge Designer and Contest, TeXstudio, winPenPack, ReactOS, FileBot, SuperTuxKart, PostBooks, Kiwix, DOSBox
2012 JStock, Rigs of Rods, ProjectLibre, PeaZip, XOOPS, Liferay Portal, 0 A.D., Luminance HDR, Elastix, Scribus, Boost, HyperSQL
2011 TICO, The Number Race, GCompris, iTALC, Moodle, Tux Paint, OpenPetra, odt2braille, NVDA, eGuideDog, CiviCRM
2010 Snort, Gutenprint, jEdit, Ghostscript, Wireshark, Scintilla, OpenNMS, LAME, Mantis, Arianne, Notepad++, Clonezilla
2009 OpenGTS, Mumble, Sweet Home 3D, Medical, eyeOS, Piwik, Silex, DOSBox, dotProject, Frets on Fire, ZK, TinyMCE
2008 OrangeHRM, shareaza, concrete5, WinSCP, Enomalism, Kablink, PowerFolder, MindTouch, ehcache, Hyperic HQ Enterprise Monitoring
2007 Firebird, Barcode4J, Openbravo, Inkscape, Scorched 3D, Art of Illusion, Zenoss Core, FreeCol, FreeNAS
2006 Rosegarden, Pentaho, Linux NTFS file system support, openQRM, Sahana disaster management system, Stellarium, Filesystem in Userspace, CMU Sphinx, FreeMind, Nullsoft Scriptable Install System
2005 FCKeditor, NHibernate, MediaWiki, MinGW, Gourmet, JasperReports, Nagios, Robosapien Dance Machine, net-snmp, OGRE, ClamWin, RSSOwl
2004 TortoiseCVS, PearPC, SugarCRM, Azureus, Bochs, Audacity, AWStats, eGroupWare, BZFlag, Mailman, Compiere, phpBB
2003 PhpGedView, FileZilla, Gallery, TightVNC, Boa Constructor, Tikiwiki, MegaMek, POPFile, JBoss, TUTOS, Crystal Space, SquirrelMail
2002 phpMyAdmin, Fink, Gaim

Reception[edit]

Error message seen by someone attempting to access SourceForge from an ITAR-restricted country.

Usage[edit]

As of May 2013, the SourceForge repository hosts more than 300,000 projects and has more than 3 million registered users,[3] although not all are active. The domain sourceforge.net attracted at least 33 million visitors by August 2009 according to a Compete.com survey.[4]

Country restrictions[edit]

In its terms of use,[28] SourceForge states that its services are not available to users in countries on the sanction list of the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (including Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria). Since 2008, access to the secure server (used for making contributions to the site) has been blocked for people from those countries. As of January 2010, all access including downloads was blocked for those users. This meant that all people whose IP addresses appear to belong to those countries were prevented from using the site.[29] A month later, the restrictions were relaxed so that individual projects could indicate whether or not their software should be blocked.[30]

These restrictions have drawn criticism as being counter to the free software movement, the open-source software movement and the principles of making software available to all without discrimination.[31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sourceforge.net Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-08-17. 
  2. ^ a b James Maguire (17 October 2007). "The SourceForge Story". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "About". Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  4. ^ a b United States (2011-10-26). "Sourceforge attracts almost 40m visitors yearly". Siteanalytics.compete.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  5. ^ "Sourceforge.net". Apps.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  6. ^ "Comprehensive service directory â€" sourceforge". Apps.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  7. ^ Hunt, Katherine (2007-05-24). "Sourceforge quarterly profit surges as revenue rises". marketwatch.com. Retrieved 2013-08-13. "Software Corp., late Thursday reported third-quarter net earnings of $6.49 million, or 9 cents a share, up from $997,000, or 2 cents a share, during the year-ago period. Pro forma earnings from continuing operations were $2.1 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with $1.2 million, or 2 cents a share, last year. The Fremont, Calif.-based maker of computer servers and storage systems said revenue for the three months ended April 30 rose to $10.3 million from $7.9 million. Analysts, on average, had forecast a per-share profit of 2 cents on revenue of $12 million." 
  8. ^ "SourceForge Reports Second Quarter Fiscal 2009 Financial Results". 
  9. ^ "Dice holdings bytes slashdot". 
  10. ^ "Today we offer devshare beta, a sustainable way to fund open source software". 
  11. ^ "China says asta la vista to Altavista". vnunet.com. 2002-09-06. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  12. ^ SourceForge Unblocked in China. Moonlight Blog. July 24, 2008.
  13. ^ "Gamedev.net". Gamedev.net. 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  14. ^ "SourceForge.net Hacked!". News.softpedia.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  15. ^ "attack". Sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  16. ^ by admin (2011-01-27). "attack | SourceForge Community Blog". Sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  17. ^ "Record Labels to Sue Vuze, Limewire and SourceForge". Torrentfreak.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  18. ^ Team, Community (2012-06-18). "Allura submitted to the Apache Incubator! | SourceForge Community Blog". Sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  19. ^ Proffitt, Brian (2012-06-18). "SourceForge back-end code to be donated to Apache". ITworld. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  20. ^ "SourceForge submits Allura to Apache's Incubator - The H Open: News and Features". H-online.com. 2012-06-19. Archived from the original on 27 October 2013. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  21. ^ "Allura Incubation Status - Apache Incubator". Incubator.apache.org. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  22. ^ Lucian Constantin (26 September 2012). "Compromised SourceForge mirror distributes backdoored phpMyAdmin package". ITworld.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  23. ^ Timothy Lord (2012-09-18). "Dice Buys Geeknet's Media Business, Including Slashdot, In $20M Deal". Retrieved 2012-09-18.  "Press release". 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  24. ^ Today We Offer DevShare (Beta), A Sustainable Way To Fund Open Source Software | SourceForge Community Blog. Sourceforge.net (2013-07-01). Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
  25. ^ Nathan Willis (21 August 2013). "SourceForge offering "side-loading" installers". LWN.net. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  26. ^ Sharwood, Simon (November 8, 2013). "GIMP flees SourceForge over dodgy ads and installer". The Register. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  27. ^ Project of the Month | SourceForge Community Blog. Retrieved on 2014-01-04.
  28. ^ "terms of use". Slashdot Media. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  29. ^ "Sourceforge blog clarification for denial of access". Sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  30. ^ "Some good news: SourceForge removes blanket blocking". Sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  31. ^ Anthony, Sebastian (2010-01-25). "Blog entry discussing country-wide blocks". Downloadsquad.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 

External links[edit]