Google Code Hosting

Google Code started out as a site to house Google’s Open Source projects and contributions. Then in July 2006 Google announced that they were adding Project Hosting.

This places them somewhat in competition with SourceForge, although they have publicly stated that they don’t intend to offer all the features that SourceForge do (an educated guess suggests this means things like compile farms and shell access).

The SourceForge services have been extremely useful to Programmer’s Notepad over the years. We make use of the tracker, downloads and their hosted Subversion (CVS when we started) for source control. However, there are several problems with the service which have become steadily worse over the years. The site is user-hostile and spattered with animated ads:


I have no problem with SourceForge supporting their work through advertising, but the number of huge animated flashing ads on each page completely overwhelms the content the site exists to serve - never a good sign.

The download service they provide is supported by mirrors around the world. Unfortunately, there is no way to direct your users to a link where they can just download your software. Instead, they are forced through a landing page displaying sponsor links and, you guessed it, more advertising.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the tracker (system that holds bugs and feature requests) is incredibly frustrating to use.

The Google site is refreshingly clean in comparison:


Sure, advertising hasn’t made it to this page yet but I still trust Google to be a bit more tasteful with their ads based on their other ad-supported services. The tracker is simple-yet-powerful, with customisable tags being used to classify items, and is obviously backed by powerful search. Downloads support direct linking and are also identified using tags.

The site provides a wiki (if you want it) and wiki markup is available throughout. The level of control over the front page presentation and the configuration of features is great.

The Programmer’s Notepad source code has all been synchronised into a Google Code SVN repository (browse with change history!) and the 2.0.8 downloads are currently being provided from Google’s servers.

I’m working on a script to import the tracker items from the three PN SourceForge trackers into the Google Code one. I’m not 100% sure it’ll be possible yet, but given that Google make a python script available to upload new downloads, I’m fairly hopeful.

The SourceForge site will stay around, and development and trackers haven’t moved over yet (I’ll be sure to tell you when they do) but Programmer’s Notepad is jumping ship.

Visit Programmer’s Notepad at Google Code