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Friday, February 01, 2008

why Google Code Project Hosting rocks

Let's compare. Google Code Project Hosting (GCPJ) vs (SF).

You can start using GCPJ in <1 minute. With SF, you have to provide all those tax-forms-like details and wait until your request for the project is approved.

The project front page in GCPJ is cleaner than that in SF. Don't even bother thinking about the old version of SF.

GCPJ's label-based issues tracker is much more usable than the complicated SF's one. Everyone hates a bug tracker anyway, somehow GCPJ is still humanly managaeble.

Often you want to put some information quickly and the GCPJ wiki is fantastic for that. No need to create some web pages, upload them, and so on. Yes there is also the wiki support for SF but how many of you use it or even are aware of it?

The download page in GCPJ is easier for eyes.

Optional goodies are not packed within GCPJ. If you want to display some screenshots, redirect to Picasa Web Album. Need some mailing-lists? Connect the project to Google Groups.

Tracking the statistics (visits, hits, referrers) is easy because it is integrated with Google Analytics, which btw provides more useful information compared to the limited SF's stat tool.

Administering your project in SF can make you scream (aloud!). It's however dead simple in GCPJ.

SF's subversion access is known to be flaky from time to time. GCPJ's might not be the fastest, but so far it works smoothly.

GCPJ's subversion viewer (the very latest feature of GCPJ) is a way way better than SF's traditional one. Try both and prove it yourself.

In short: GCPJ is designed with Pareto Principle in mind. Most of the core features which the open-source developers (who, BTW, do not have so much free time) really need are made very easy to handle. It's rather minimalist, it's not perfect, but it improves over the time. SF is so dull and not for mortals.


John Varouhakis said... keeps going down, at
least since the compile farm
was removed (which was
probably it's most distinctive

And the new interface might
look cleaner but it is more
slow and bloated than ever
(seriously, who needs all
these gradient backgrounds on
a development oriented site?).

Also, some useful features
like the "help wanted" page,
have been completely hidden .

And the last ~2 months they've
disabled the "remember me"
login option, so every time
I get a bug report an click on
the link, I have to log in,
then go to my page,then choose
the project,tracker->bugs,
choose the bug report, then
reply (and meanwhile, every
page load takes several
seconds)... arghhh!!!!

And lately, they've started
approaching the threshold to
what I consider spam with
their "Marketplace".

And.. oh well, sorry for
ranting on your blog ;)

alsuren said...

I think comparing any code hosting site against sourceforge will make it look good.

Maybe you should compare it against launchpad, or MS codeplex instead.

Unknown said...

Fair enough, but SF is a way to give your project a face. Hacking together a website is more work indeed, but a project on SF with a nice website looks a lot more user-ready than a chunk of code on google's service.

SF sure leaves a lot to be desired, though.

Anonymous said...

That's why I put our firefox translation project for bahasa indonesia in GeCePeJe... Just a couple of click away to set it up. The only annoyance I found is the svn password is generated and we can't change it.

Anonymous said...


Also, google groups streamlines mailing lists quite a bit. I like using google groups as opposed to mailman because I have a cross platform project that we develop. This means that some of the members are not that savvy when it comes to computers...they can't manage mailing lists...they have no idea how to do things in mailman.

Using google groups, I can designate a manager and he/she can do the job easily within a few minutes. The interface is fantastic. All in all, without google groups/code I'd be lost in most of my projects...and getting more space from them than the default (say, for a linux distro) is only an email request away ;)

Greg said...

@romi -- the reason we generate a password for svn is because the default behavior is for svn to cache that. For security reasons, we don't want your Google Account password to be cached into your home directory.

Consider it to be a "less secure" password. If you ever think it has been compromised, then you can simply generate a new one. But your primary Google Account (Gmail) password remains safe and uncached.

Anonymous said...

I'd probably say that launchpad is none the worse, so google code shall compete and be compared with this one.

Everyone agrees that SF has become an utter crap since its shiny days in the early 00's.

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone! I'm the Community Manager for

I don't really want to debate about which repository people should use, because who am I to say? I think that people should use what works for them. Knowing that people are getting things done and producing better open source is a lot more important to me than pushing our tech.

Let's be honest: could be a lot better than it is. Everyone on our crew knows that, it's not a big secret. I work here (still - after eight years) because I believe our potential is powerful enough that I still want to be part of it.

Things have been changing a lot in our world lately. We've reinvented our company completely at least three times since I've been here, and again in the past few months. Our focus on has never been stronger; I can honestly say that I've never felt better about our ability to actually get things done than I do now. I think it won't be much longer before that starts to be more visible to people outside our crew. Naturally, I won't blame any of you for not taking my word for it...hopefully we'll be able to show you.

In the meantime, I invite anyone interested to send me a list of the top ten things you hate about (and the top ten things you value, if you have the time.) That sort of thing is priceless to us. I'm at


Mark Kerzner said...

Thank you for a review. I started my first open source project on Google Code, but was worried that SourceForge is so huge, while the activity on Google Code seems very limited.

Your post confirmed my decision. In my case, I just need to host the project and do not worry about promotion yet. Your saying that it is easier to use did it for me.

Selamat pagi, I am from Russia and live in the US but I did learn Bahasa Indonesia when I translated one of the software projects into multiple languages