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 update.png
Screenshot of SourceForge main page in 2014
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 Geeknet, Inc. (1999-2012)
DHI Group, Inc. (2012-2016)
BIZX, LLC [1]
Created by VA Software
Launched November 1999
Alexa rank
Negative increase 316 (July 2016)[2]
Current status Online

SourceForge is a Web-based service that offers software developers a centralized online location to control and manage free and open-source software projects. It provides various consistent and mostly optional features, including a source code repository, bug tracking, mirroring of downloads for load balancing, a wiki for documentation, developer and user mailing lists, user-support forums, user-written reviews and ratings, a news bulletin micro-blog for publishing project updates, and others.

SourceForge was one of the first to offer this service for free to open source projects[3][discuss]—but many users and project have now migrated to GitHub, other software hosting facilities, or self-host their software.[4][5] In May 2015, SourceForge took control of pages for 5 projects that had migrated to other hosting sites and replaced the project downloads with adware-laden downloads.[6] Community concerns have triggered a prompt review of SourceForge mirroring program and third-party bundling of mirrored content was discontinued May 27, 2015.[6]

As of March 2014, the SourceForge repository claimed to host more than 430,000 projects and had more than 3.7 million registered users.[7] The domain sourceforge.net attracted at least 33 million visitors by August 2009 according to a Compete.com survey.[8]

Since 2012 the website runs on Apache Allura software. SourceForge offers free access to hosting and tools for developers of free / open-source software, competing with other providers such as GitHub, Bitbucket, RubyForge, Tigris.org, BountySource, Launchpad, BerliOS, JavaForge, GNU Savannah, and GitLab.

On July 1, 2013, SourceForge began a beta test of a program they call DevShare, which offers projects a way to monetize their downloads by having an optional download that includes prompts for the user to download additional software that is not part of the project. Due to community reactions to the partnership program, it was revisited a few months later, but the program was ultimately opened up to all SourceForge projects on February 7, 2014.[9][10] The program was cancelled by new owners BizX in February 2016.[11]

Concept[edit]

SourceForge is a web-based source code repository. It 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, though it is best known for providing revision control systems such as CVS, SVN, Bazaar, Git or Mercurial.[12] Major features (amongst others)[13] include project wikis, metrics and analysis, access to a MySQL database, and unique sub-domain URLs (in the form http://project-name.sourceforge.net).

The vast number of users at SourceForge.net (over 3 million as of 2013)[8] 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 through SourceForge directory and Enterprise Directory.[14][15] 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 site. In 2006, Sourceforge Inc. reported quarterly takings of US$6.5 million.[16] In 2009, sourceforge reported a gross quarterly income of US$23 million through media and e-commerce streams.[17] 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.[18]

Since 2013, additional revenue generation schemes, such as bundleware models,[19] have been trialled, with the goal of further improving sourceforge's revenue. The result has in some cases been the appearance of malware bundled with Sourceforge downloads.[20] On February 9, 2016, SourceForge announced they had eliminated their DevShare program practice of bundling installers with project downloads.[21]

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.[3] The software running the SourceForge site was initially free software. The last release under a free license was made in November, 2001. SourceForge would be powered by the proprietary SourceForge Enterprise Edition.[22]

In September 2002, SourceForge was temporarily banned in China.[23] The site was banned again in China, for about a month, in July 2008.[24][25] On August 6, 2012, SourceForge.net was banned again. Several days later the ban was lifted.

In November 2008, SourceForge was sued by the French collection society Société civile des Producteurs de Phonogrammes en France (SPPF) for hosting downloads of the file sharing application Shareaza.[26]

In 2009, SourceForge announced a new site platform known as Allura, which would be an extensible, open source forge platform licensed under the Apache License, utilizing components such as Python and MongoDB, and offering REST APIs.[27] In June 2012, the Allura project was donated to the Apache Software Foundation as Apache Allura[28][29]

In September 2012, SourceForge, Slashdot, and Freecode were acquired from Geeknet by the online job site Dice.com for $20 million, and incorporated into a subsidiary known as Slashdot Media.[30][31] On September 26, 2012, it was reported that attackers had compromised a SourceForge mirror, and modified a download of phpMyAdmin to add security exploits.[32]

In July 2015, Dice announced that it planned to sell SourceForge and Slashdot. On January 27, 2016, the two sites were sold to the San Diego-based BizX, LLC for an undisclosed amount.[33][34]

Controversies[edit]

Some of SourceForge's monetization practices have been met with criticism by developers and end users.

DevShare adware[edit]

Number of hosted projects, 2000-2010 [needs update]

In July 2013, SourceForge announced that it would 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.[35] Opinions of this new feature vary, with some complaining about users not being as aware of what they are getting or being able to trust the downloaded content, whereas others see it as a reasonably harmless option that keeps individual projects and users in control.[36]

In November 2013, GIMP, a free image manipulation program, removed its download from SourceForge, citing misleading download buttons that potentially confuse customers, as well as SourceForge's own Windows installer, which bundles potentially unwanted programs. 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 ..."[37][38][39]

After Sourceforge was sold to BizX in 2016, DevShare was discontinued.[40] On May 17, 2016, SourceForge announced that they were now scanning all projects for malware, and displaying warnings on projects detected to have malware.[41]

Project hijackings and bundled malware[edit]

GIMP, who discontinued their use of SourceForge as a download mirror in November 2013,[37][42] reported in May 2015 that SourceForge was hosting infected versions of their Windows binaries on their Open Source Mirror directory,[43][44] which SourceForge claims is a collection of abandoned projects.[45][46] This came despite SourceForge's commitment in November 2013 to never bundle adware with project downloads without developers' consent.[42][43][47]

On June 1, 2015, SourceForge claimed that they stopped coupling "third party offers" with unmaintained SourceForge projects.[48] Since this announcement was made, a number of other developers have reported that their SourceForge projects have been taken over by SourceForge staff accounts (but have not had binaries edited), including nmap,[47][49] and VLC media player.[50] On June 18, 2015, SourceForge announced that SourceForge-maintained mirrored projects were removed, and anticipated the formation of a Community Panel to review their mirroring practices.[51]

Project of the Month[edit]

Since 2002 SourceForge features a Project of the Month.[52]

2016 ProjectLibre
2015 Simutrans, GnuCash, ClamAV, ScummVM, Octave-Forge, TortoiseSVN, JasperReports Server, NAS4Free, gnuplot, PSeInt, TeXstudio, fre:ac, Maxima, FlightGear
2014 SCons, MPC-HC, PortableApps, OpenMediaVault, VASSAL Engine, eXo Platform, Freeplane, Cmdbuild, 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 hosted more than 300,000 projects and had more than 3 million registered users,[53] although not all were active. The domain sourceforge.net attracted at least 33 million visitors by August 2009 according to a Compete.com survey.[8]

Country restrictions[edit]

In its terms of use,[54] 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, the secure server (used for making contributions to the site) has blocked people from those countries. As of January 2010, the site had blocked all access from those countries, including downloads. Any IP address that appeared to belong to one of those countries could not use the site.[55] A month later, SourceForge relaxed the restrictions so that individual projects could indicate whether or not SourceForge should block their software from download to those countries.[56]

Crimea has been blocked since 1 February 2015 [57][58][59][better source needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BIZX Subsidiary SourceForge Media, LLC Acquires Slashdot Media". Marketwire. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "Sourceforge.net Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  3. ^ a b James Maguire (17 October 2007). "The SourceForge Story". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  4. ^ O'Grady, Stephen (June 2, 2011). "What Black Duck Can Tell Us About GitHub, Language Fragmentation and More". RedMonk - tecosystems. 
  5. ^ Binstock, Andrew (December 9, 2014). "The Long Death of Project Hosting Sites". Dr. Dobb's. 
  6. ^ a b "SourceForge grabs GIMP for Windows' account, wraps installer in bundle-pushing adware [Updated]". Retrieved 2015-05-30. 
  7. ^ "About". Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  8. ^ a b c United States (2011-10-26). "Sourceforge attracts almost 40m visitors yearly". Siteanalytics.compete.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  9. ^ Roberto Galoppini (1 July 2013). "Today We Offer DevShare (Beta), A Sustainable Way To Fund Open Source Software". 
  10. ^ Roberto Galoppini (7 February 2014). "DevShare Relaunch: Power to end-users!". 
  11. ^ Abbott, Logan. "SourceForge Acquisition and Future Plans". SourceForge. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  12. ^ "Sourceforge.net". Apps.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  13. ^ "Comprehensive service directory – sourceforge". Apps.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  14. ^ "SourceForge.net". 
  15. ^ "SourceForge.net". 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ "SourceForge Reports Second Quarter Fiscal 2009 Financial Results". 
  18. ^ "Dice holdings bytes slashdot". 
  19. ^ "Today we offer devshare beta, a sustainable way to fund open source software". 
  20. ^ Schofield, Jack (29 January 2015). "Are there any trustworthy sources for downloading software?". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  21. ^ "SourceForge pledges to clean up its downloader act". BetaNews. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  22. ^ "Restarting free SourceForge development". LWN.net. 2002-12-11. 
  23. ^ "China says asta la vista to Altavista". vnunet.com. 2002-09-06. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  24. ^ SourceForge Unblocked in China. Moonlight Blog. July 24, 2008.
  25. ^ "Gamedev.net". Gamedev.net. 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  26. ^ "Record Labels to Sue Vuze, Limewire and SourceForge". Torrentfreak.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  27. ^ "An Open Forge". SourceForge. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  28. ^ Proffitt, Brian (2012-06-18). "SourceForge back-end code to be donated to Apache". ITworld. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  29. ^ "SourceForge submits Allura to Apache's Incubator". H-online.com. 2012-06-19. Archived from the original on 27 October 2013. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  30. ^ "DHI Group Inc. - Dice Holdings, Inc. Acquires Online Media Business from Geeknet, Inc.". Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  31. ^ "Dice Holdings acquires Slashdot and SourceForge". 19 September 2012. Archived from the original on 8 December 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  32. ^ Lucian Constantin (26 September 2012). "Compromised SourceForge mirror distributes backdoored phpMyAdmin package". ITworld.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  33. ^ "DHI Group plans to sell off Slashdot and Sourceforge". Ars Technica. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  34. ^ "Slashdot Media Acquired by BIZX for Undisclosed Price". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  35. ^ 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.
  36. ^ Nathan Willis (21 August 2013). "SourceForge offering "side-loading" installers". LWN.net. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  37. ^ a b Sharwood, Simon (November 8, 2013). "GIMP flees SourceForge over dodgy ads and installer". The Register. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  38. ^ "GIMP Project's Official Statement on SourceForge's Actions". gimp.org. Retrieved 2015-11-23. 
  39. ^ "SourceForge, What the…?". gimp.org. Retrieved 2015-11-23. 
  40. ^ "New SourceForge owners kill contentious DevShare bloatware program". PCWorld. Retrieved 2016-02-14. 
  41. ^ "SourceForge now scans all projects for malware and displays warnings on downloads". SourceForge.net. Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  42. ^ a b "GIMP-Win project wasn't hijacked, just abandoned". Archived from the original on 29 May 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  43. ^ a b "[Gimp-developer] GIMP project's official statement on SourceForge's actions". Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  44. ^ "SourceForge grabs GIMP for Windows' account, wraps installer in bundle-pushing adware [Updated]". Ars Technica. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  45. ^ "SourceForge Open Source Mirror Directory". Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  46. ^ "SourceForge locked in projects of fleeing users, cashed in on malvertising". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2 June 2015. 
  47. ^ a b "Sourceforge Hijacks the Nmap Sourceforge Account". Seclists.org. 3 June 2015. 
  48. ^ "Third party offers will be presented with Opt-In projects only". Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  49. ^ Sean Gallagher (4 June 2015). "Black "mirror": SourceForge has now seized Nmap audit tool project". Ars Technica. 
  50. ^ "What happened to Sourceforge?". Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  51. ^ "Project mirroring policies will be revisited with our Community Panel, existing mirrors removed". Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  52. ^ Project of the Month | SourceForge Community Blog. Retrieved on 2014-01-04.
  53. ^ "What is SourceForge.net?". Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  54. ^ "terms of use". Slashdot Media. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  55. ^ "Sourceforge blog clarification for denial of access". Sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  56. ^ "Some good news: SourceForge removes blanket blocking". Sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  57. ^ "SourceForge заблокировал скачивание файлов для крымских ip-адресов". 
  58. ^ "SourceForge заблокировал скачивание файлов для крымских ip-адресов". 
  59. ^ "SourceForge.net заблокирован на территории Крыма". 

External links[edit]