Since I picked GPLV3, as OSI approved Open Source licence, it opened up the popular SourceForge platform as a host for my CloudPad application.
For developers not familiar with SourceForge it provides cloud based tools that allow a developer or team of developers to host their Source Control repository, manage the development team, interact with users, provide a news feed and release software.
I have not been using the system long so am still finding my way around. There are a huge number of tools available but as I have not explored many I will just give a quick overview of what I consider the vital ones.
Being familiar and happy with Subversion it was a simple choice to pick that although I hear good things on Git. Avoid CVS though unless you have a pressing need for it as it really is showing its age.
By default there is public read access to the repository and write access for the account holder of the login that created the SourceForge account. As you add developers to the project they are given access to the repository.
File Hosting and Release
There is a file hosting and release system that allows you to make your application setup files available to people. It groups files by application, version and platform so it is easy for users to locate the latest version for their system. Once you have files uploaded they are accessible from the Download button on your projects main page.
Bug and Feature Request Tracking
There are a number of tools that provide for bug and feature requests. I selected MantisBT as it appeared to be feature rich and well supported.
If you have ever used a bug tracking system you will feel right at home as most of the good ones I have used feel similar once you get past the different looks, Mantis is no different. It provides all the normal reporting, tracking, assigning and logging feature. It will even produce change logs for you application based on the state of the “tickets” in the system.
Project Forum and Wiki
Not much to say about forums and Wikis, they are a common part of the Internet and need no introduction.
There are a load of other features I have not even touched on yet so here is a quick list of some.
- Screen shot hosting.
- Project activity log.
- Mailing lists.
- Automatic backup.
- Help wanted advertising.
- Documentation management.
The final point of interest is Donation management so people can donate money to the project, one of the few forms of revenue open to Open Source projects.
What does all of this cost you….. $0. Yep its all free!
If you are planning on releasing you code as an Open Source project you should take a long look at SourceForge. It is one of the longest running and most popular systems in this area for good reason