The SourceForge logo
Screenshot of SourceForge main page in 2014
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|
|266 (August 2015[update])|
SourceForge is a web-based service that offers a source code repository, downloads mirrors, bug tracking and other features. It acts as a central location that software developers can use to control and manage free and open-source software development.
SourceForge was one of the first to offer this service for free to open source projects[discuss]—but many users and project have now migrated to GitHub, other software hosting facilities, or self-host their software. 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. Community concerns have triggered a prompt review of SourceForge mirroring program and third-party bundling of mirrored content was discontinued May 27.
As of March 2014[update], the SourceForge repository claimed to host more than 430,000 projects and had more than 3.7 million registered users, although not all were active. The domain sourceforge.net attracted at least 33 million visitors by August 2009 according to a Compete.com survey.
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 Gitorious.
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.
- 1 Concept
- 2 History
- 3 Controversies
- 4 Project of the Month
- 5 Reception
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
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. Major features (amongst others) 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) 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. 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.
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. In 2009, sourceforge reported a gross quarterly income of US$23 million through media and e-commerce streams. 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.
Since 2013, additional revenue generation schemes, such as bundleware models, 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.
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.
Closing of SourceForge source
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 until 2012.
Temporary bans in China
In September 2002, SourceForge.net was temporarily banned in China. The site was banned again in China, for about a month, in July 2008. On August 6, 2012, SourceForge.net was banned again. Several days later the ban was lifted.
Attacks and outages of SourceForge.net
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 to remain secure. In December 2007, SourceForge.net was offline for a while due to another attack. It is unclear exactly what happened, since there were no reports about the outage.
On January 27, 2011, SourceForge faced another attempt. 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, 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
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 failed suit against Sourceforge.net, Vuze, Limewire, and Morpheus for hosting the P2P file-sharing application Shareaza that "facilitates mass copyright infringement". SourceForge was not sued for hosting copyrighted material, but for hosting Vuze.
Attackers compromise a download mirror server
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.
Sourceforge experienced an extended outage in 2015 due to filesystem corruption, lasting from July 16 to 31. Transfer rates from "cloud-based" backups were cited as a factor during the recovery. Services were partially restored over this period, with project websites experiencing outages until July 23, with releases and source repositories gradually restored thereafter.
Some of SourceForge's monetization practices have been met with criticism by developers and end users.
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. 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.
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 ..."
Project hijackings and bundled malware
GIMP, who discontinued their use of SourceForge as a download mirror in November 2013, reported in May 2015 that SourceForge was hosting infected versions of their Windows binaries on their Open Source Mirror directory, which SourceForge claims is a collection of abandoned projects. This came despite SourceForge's commitment in November 2013 to never bundle adware with project downloads without developers' consent.
On June 1, 2015, SourceForge claimed that they stopped coupling "third party offers" with unmaintained SourceForge projects. 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 yet had binaries edited), including nmap, and VLC media player. 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.
Project of the Month
Since 2002 SourceForge features a Project of the Month.
As of May 2013[update], the SourceForge repository hosted more than 300,000 projects and had more than 3 million registered users, although not all were active. The domain sourceforge.net attracted at least 33 million visitors by August 2009 according to a Compete.com survey.
- "Sourceforge.net Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- James Maguire (17 October 2007). "The SourceForge Story". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- O'Grady, Stephen (June 2, 2011). "What Black Duck Can Tell Us About GitHub, Language Fragmentation and More". RedMonk - tecosystems.
- Binstock, Andrew (December 9, 2014). "The Long Death of Project Hosting Sites". Dr. Dobb's.
- "SourceForge grabs GIMP for Windows’ account, wraps installer in bundle-pushing adware [Updated]". Retrieved 2015-05-30.
- "About". Retrieved 2014-03-03.
- United States (2011-10-26). "Sourceforge attracts almost 40m visitors yearly". Siteanalytics.compete.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- Roberto Galoppini (1 July 2013). "Today We Offer DevShare (Beta), A Sustainable Way To Fund Open Source Software".
- Roberto Galoppini (7 February 2014). "DevShare Relaunch: Power to end-users!".
- "Sourceforge.net". Apps.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
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- 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.
- "SourceForge Reports Second Quarter Fiscal 2009 Financial Results".
- "Dice holdings bytes slashdot".
- "Today we offer devshare beta, a sustainable way to fund open source software".
- Schofield, Jack (29 January 2015). "Are there any trustworthy sources for downloading software?". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- "Restarting free SourceForge development". LWN.net. 2002-12-11.
- "China says asta la vista to Altavista". vnunet.com. 2002-09-06. Retrieved 2007-12-04.
- SourceForge Unblocked in China. Moonlight Blog. July 24, 2008.
- "Gamedev.net". Gamedev.net. 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "SourceForge.net Hacked!". News.softpedia.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "attack". Sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "attack | SourceForge Community Blog". Sourceforge.net. 2011-01-27. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- "Record Labels to Sue Vuze, Limewire and SourceForge". Torrentfreak.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- Team, Community (2012-06-18). "Allura submitted to the Apache Incubator! | SourceForge Community Blog". Sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- Proffitt, Brian (2012-06-18). "SourceForge back-end code to be donated to Apache". ITworld. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- "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.
- "Allura Incubation Status - Apache Incubator". Incubator.apache.org. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
- Lucian Constantin (26 September 2012). "Compromised SourceForge mirror distributes backdoored phpMyAdmin package". ITworld.com. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
- 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.
- "Sourceforge Infrastructure and service restoration update for 7/31".
- 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.
- Nathan Willis (21 August 2013). "SourceForge offering "side-loading" installers". LWN.net. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
- Sharwood, Simon (November 8, 2013). "GIMP flees SourceForge over dodgy ads and installer". The Register. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
- "SourceForge locked in projects of fleeing users, cashed in on malvertising". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "Sourceforge Hijacks the Nmap Sourceforge Account". Seclists.org. 3 June 2015.
- Sean Gallagher (4 June 2015). "Black "mirror": SourceForge has now seized Nmap audit tool project". Ars Technica.
- Project of the Month | SourceForge Community Blog. Retrieved on 2014-01-04.
- "Sourceforge blog clarification for denial of access". Sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "Some good news: SourceForge removes blanket blocking". Sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
- "SourceForge заблокировал скачивание файлов для крымских ip-адресов".
- "SourceForge заблокировал скачивание файлов для крымских ip-адресов".
- "SourceForge.net заблокирован на территории Крыма".
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