Its the end of the year, and a great time to look back. In December 2007, I wrote an article about my favorite open source sites, that I am revisiting. It would be grossly inaccurate to call this an annual update, but if I do this again in 2011 I can call that article an annual update. So without further adieu, these are my favorite Open Source Sites for 2010.
Github (http://www.github.com – My Profile – JustAProgrammer Org)
Distributed version control initially bothered me on principle. I like centralized and federated systems. However, contributing to mongodb forced me to use git and github. This lead me to the realization that in DVCS, the centralized authority came from the one repository that the official builds were generated from. The other repository clones are simply sandboxes and don’t need to be controlled by the buildmaster.
However, github is much more than a git hosting service. It lets you form a community thats focused on the code. It lets you host downloads and have a project wiki so it can replace a site like sourceforge. Unlike sourceforge, it puts the repository at central stage. We here at justaprogrammer like github so much, we setup a github organization to host our open source projects.
Codeplex (http://www.codeplex.com – My Profile)
Between codeplex and Github, I have pretty much written off sourceforge. I think there is plenty wrong with codeplex, but its been getting better. For example, their SVN endpoints for their TFS repositories perform better than they used to. Also, the fact that they support, and sponsor, the DVCS Mecurial is great. Although I’ve not used it myself yet, it seems that you can do a one button clone of a codeplex project that uses Mercurial for SCM a la github’s clone feature.
Now the one obvious problem with github is that it is windows centric. I would not host anything on it that was not primarily a windows or .NET application.
Ohloh (http://www.ohloh.net – My Profile)
This is the only site on my 2007 list that stood the test of time. Ohloh is a unique site. It is a combination of social networking and open source software metrics. If you write open source software you can list it on the site, and have it scan your version control repository. It will report metrics about your software. It will also generate metrics about the lines of code you write across all open source projects on the site. You can also list software you use, and give other users on the site “kudos” if you enjoy their work. Finally, all these metrics are used to sort every user on the site by a single ranking system. The exact formula is a secret like those used to calculate credit scores.
AlternativeTo (http://www.alternativeto.net – My Profile)
This user supplied content site lets you search for alternatives to any program for any operating system. Its awesome for two reasons. First of all, site membership is OpenId based. Secondly, it distinguishes between freeware and open source. As you can tell if you look at my profile, I contribute to the site as well as use it. The majority of the software on it is desktop software, but the list of server software is growing as well.
My list has changed quite a bit in three years. Only one site remained on it, Ohloh. This shows that Open Source and the web have evolved in 3 years. I can’t wait to revisit this site in 2011. Until then I invite you, the reader to share the sites you enjoy in the comments below.