Friday, July 28, 2006

Source Code Hosting from Google

Google now offers hosting for your source code: Google Code - Project Hosting. It seems to use subversion for version control and you can use your Google username (the password is generated for you) to check out code. Labels are used instead of set categories - it would be better if they were used to complement categories instead. It has very few licenses to choose from (which in some ways is good as there are so many open source licenses to choose from) - it lists only the most popular ones.

There are a few downsides though:

  • Code has to be downloaded via SVN (browser or client application), no zip/exe/tar.gz releases
  • Latest updates not shown on homepage (due to lack of releases feature - listing SVN updates would not be very helpful as they page will be constantly changing)
  • No popularity / activity rating (listing most active and popular projects on home page)
  • No Atom (Google don't use RSS) feeds (which is a bit of a surprise)
  • No ability to request features
  • Search page doesn't indicate how it is sorted or offer any status next to results
  • No category view (as tags are used instead)
  • No development status (beta, alpha, stable etc) feature - you use labels instead

If you mostly work with source code and only need the absolute essentials (issue tracking and a place to store your code), this may be fine. But if your needs are greater, CodePlex or SourceForge are better.

I wouldn't expect it to have as many features as SourceForge, but it should at least be at a similar level as CodePlex.

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