SourceForge logo since 2018
Type of site
|Free hosting for open-source software project management|
|Owner||Slashdot Media (2019-present)|
BIZX, LLC (2016-2019)
DHI Group, Inc. (2012-2016)
Geeknet, Inc. (1999-2012)
|Created by||VA Software|
|Key people||Logan Abbott (President)|
|Registration||Optional (required for creating and joining projects)|
|Launched||November 1999; 22 years ago (1999-11)|
SourceForge is a web service that offers software consumers a centralized online location to control and manage open-source software projects and research business software. It provides source code repository hosting, 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 other features.
SourceForge was one of the first to offer this service free of charge to open-source projects.[discuss] Since 2012, the website has run on Apache Allura software. SourceForge offers free hosting and free access to tools for developers of free and open-source software.
As of September 2020[update], the SourceForge repository claimed to host more than 502,000 projects and had more than 3.7 million registered users.
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 and Mercurial. Major features (amongst others) include project wikis, metrics and analysis, access to a MySQL database, and unique sub-domain URLs (in the form
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 US$20 million 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 increasing SourceForge's revenue. The result has in some cases been the appearance of malware bundled with SourceForge downloads. On February 9, 2016, SourceForge announced they had eliminated their DevShare program practice of bundling installers with project downloads.
Negative community reactions to the partnership program led to a review of the program, which was nonetheless opened up to all SourceForge projects on February 7, 2014. The program was canceled by new owners BIZX, LLC on February 9, 2016;
On May 17, 2016, they announced that it would scan all projects for malware and display warnings on 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 without charge. The software running the SourceForge site was released as free software in January 2000 and was later named SourceForge Alexandria. The last release under a free license was made in November 2001; after the dot-com bubble, SourceForge was later powered by the proprietary SourceForge Enterprise Edition, a separate product re-written in Java which was marketed for offshore outsourcing.
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.
In 2009 SourceForge announced a new site platform known as Allura, which would be an extensible, open source platform licensed under the Apache License, utilizing components such as Python and MongoDB, and offering REST APIs. In June 2012 the Allura project was donated to the Apache Software Foundation as Apache Allura.
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. In July 2015 Dice announced that it planned to sell SourceForge and Slashdot, and in January 2016 the two sites were sold to the San Diego-based BIZX, LLC for an undisclosed amount. In December 2019, BIZX rebranded as Slashdot Media.
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 with 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 varied; some complained about users not being as aware of what they are getting or being able to trust the downloaded content, whereas others saw 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 ..."
In response to the DevShare adware many users and projects migrated to GitHub, other software hosting facilities, or self-host their software. In May 2015, SourceForge took control of pages for five projects that had migrated to other hosting sites and replaced the project downloads with adware-laden downloads. Community concerns triggered a prompt review of SourceForge mirroring program, and third-party bundling of mirrored content was discontinued on May 27, 2015.
After SourceForge was sold to BizX in 2016, DevShare was discontinued. On May 17, 2016, SourceForge announced that they were now scanning all projects for malware, and displaying warnings on projects detected to have malware.
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 versions of their Windows binaries that "put other software apart from GIMP on our users' systems" 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. GIMP said "To us, this firmly places SourceForge among the dodgy crowd of download sites."
On June 1, 2015, SourceForge claimed that they had 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 had been taken over by SourceForge staff accounts (but have not 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. No such Community Panel ever materialized, but SourceForge ended the bundling of installers after new ownership took over in early 2016.
Project of the Month
Since 2002, SourceForge has featured a pair of Projects of the Month, one chosen by its community and the other by its staff, but these have not been updated since December 2020.
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.
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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". Archived from the original on June 3, 2015.
- ^ "Dice holdings bytes slashdot".
- ^ "Today we offer devshare beta, a sustainable way to fund open source software". July 2013.
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- ^ Roberto Galoppini (July 1, 2013). "Today We Offer DevShare (Beta), A Sustainable Way To Fund Open Source Software".
- ^ Roberto Galoppini (February 7, 2014). "DevShare Relaunch: Power to end-users!".
- ^ Abbott, Logan (February 10, 2016). "SourceForge Acquisition and Future Plans". SourceForge. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
- ^ "SourceForge now scans all projects for malware and displays warnings on downloads". SourceForge. May 17, 2016. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
- ^ "SourceForge Code Release". VA Software. January 14, 2000. Archived from the original on March 1, 2000. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
It's finally here...The Code behind this site is being released under the terms of the GPL.
- ^ "SourceForge - Files". Archived from the original on April 18, 2001. Retrieved February 11, 2017. Early code releases
- ^ "SourceForge Alexandria". Archived from the original on March 2, 2002. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- ^ "Restarting free SourceForge development". LWN.net. December 11, 2002.
- ^ Rick Moen. "Sourceforge forks". Retrieved February 11, 2017.
...around 2002, VA Software decided to junk the entire SourceForge codebase ... as the basis for its proprietary SourceForge Enterprise product, and recode the entire thing from scratch in Java...
- ^ VA Software. "Differences Between SourceForge.net® and SourceForge® Enterprise Edition". Archived from the original on March 10, 2007. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
SourceForge.net was built ... using popular web scripting languages including PHP, Perl and Python and many Open Source tools and components. ... By contrast, SourceForge Enterprise Edition was architected and built from the ground up ... [with a] Platform-independent J2EE architecture
- ^ Business Wire (December 8, 2003). "Latest Product from VA Software Provides Better Governance for Offshore Outsourcing". Archived from the original on February 11, 2017.
VA Software Corporation (Nasdaq:LNUX), provider of SourceForge Enterprise Edition ... today announced the release of a product designed to address key challenges related to offshore application development. SourceForge Enterprise Edition 3.5...
- ^ "China Says Asta la Vista to Altavista". VNUNet.com. September 6, 2002. Archived from the original on October 11, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2007.
- ^ SourceForge Unblocked in China. Moonlight Blog. July 24, 2008.
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- ^ "An Open Forge". SourceForge. March 11, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
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- ^ "DHI Group Inc. - Dice Holdings, Inc. Acquires Online Media Business from Geeknet, Inc". Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- ^ "Dice Holdings acquires Slashdot and SourceForge". September 19, 2012. Archived from the original on December 8, 2013. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- ^ "DHI Group plans to sell off Slashdot and SourceForge". Ars Technica. July 28, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
- ^ "Slashdot Media Acquired by BIZX for Undisclosed Price". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
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- ^ Today We Offer DevShare (Beta), A Sustainable Way To Fund Open Source Software | SourceForge Community Blog. Sourceforge.net (July 1, 2013). Retrieved on 2013-09-18.
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- ^ a b Sharwood, Simon (November 8, 2013). "GIMP flees SourceForge over dodgy ads and installer". The Register. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
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- ^ 2013 gimp.org snapshot Internet Archive
- ^ 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.
- ^ a b "SourceForge grabs GIMP for Windows' account, wraps installer in bundle-pushing adware [Updated]". May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
- ^ "SourceForge Acquisition and Future Plans". SourceForge.net. February 9, 2016. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
- ^ "New SourceForge owners kill contentious DevShare bloatware program". PCWorld. February 12, 2016. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
- ^ "SourceForge now scans all projects for malware and displays warnings on downloads". SourceForge.net. May 17, 2016. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
- ^ a b "GIMP-Win project wasn't hijacked, just abandoned". Archived from the original on May 29, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- ^ a b c "GIMP Project's Official Statement on SourceForge's Actions". GIMP. May 31, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
- ^ "SourceForge grabs GIMP for Windows' account, wraps installer in bundle-pushing adware [Updated]". Ars Technica. May 27, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- ^ "SourceForge Open Source Mirror Directory". Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- ^ "SourceForge locked in projects of fleeing users, cashed in on malvertising". Ars Technica. June 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
- ^ a b "Sourceforge Hijacks the Nmap Sourceforge Account". Seclists.org. June 3, 2015.
- ^ "Third party offers will be presented with Opt-In projects only". June 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- ^ Sean Gallagher (June 4, 2015). "Black "mirror": SourceForge has now seized Nmap audit tool project". Ars Technica.
- ^ "What happened to Sourceforge?". Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- ^ "Project mirroring policies will be revisited with our Community Panel, existing mirrors removed". June 18, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- ^ "New SourceForge owners kill contentious DevShare bloatware program". PCWorld. February 12, 2016.
- ^ Team, Community. "Projects of the Month". SourceForge. Archived from the original on December 31, 2020.
- ^ "What is SourceForge.net?". Retrieved May 28, 2013.
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- ^ "Some good news: SourceForge removes blanket blocking". SourceForge.net. February 8, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
- ^ "Downloads in North Korea and other countries". SourceForge.net. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
- ^ "SourceForge заблокировал скачивание файлов для крымских ip-адресов".
- ^ "SourceForge заблокировал скачивание файлов для крымских ip-адресов".
- ^ "SourceForge.net заблокирован на территории Крыма".
- Official website
- "The SourceForge Story", by James Maguire (2007-10-17)