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In FOSS development communities, a forge is a web-based collaborative software platform for both developing and sharing computer applications. A forge platform is generally able to host multiple independent projects.
For software developers it is a place to host, among others, source code (often version-controlled), bug database and documentation for their projects. For users, a forge is a repository of computer applications.
Software forges have become popular, and have proven successful as a software development model for a large number of software projects.
The term forge refers to a common prefix or suffix adopted by various platforms created after the example of SourceForge (such as GForge and FusionForge). This usage of the word stems from the metalworking forge, used for shaping metal parts.
Two different kinds of concepts are commonly referred to by the term forge:
- a service offered on a Web platform to host software development projects;
- an integrated set of software elements which produce such platforms, ready for deployment.
All these platforms provide similar tools helpful to software developers working in the hosted projects:
Some provide other features as well:
Free online services
- Joinup collaboration platform
- Open Source Development Network (OSDN)
- Tigris.org (Since 2014, no longer accepting new project proposals. Developers can join ongoing projects.)
Freemium online services
Paid online services
- GNU Savannah (the first fork of SourceForge)
- Savane (software)
- SourceForge Enterprise Edition (superseded by CollabNet TeamForge)
Discontinued online services
- BerliOS (It was disbanded in 2014, some projects have been moved to Joinup collaboration platform.)
- CodePlex (Shutting down on December 15, 2017)
- Gitorious (deprecated, superseded by GitLab)
- Gna.org 
- Google Code
- Open Source Assistive Technology Software (OATS)
- JavaForge (powered by Intland codeBeamer)
- Project Kenai (created by Sun Microsystems but shut down by Oracle)
- Collaborative development environment (CDE)
- Comparison of open source software hosting facilities
- List of free software project directories
- Application lifecycle management
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