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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Google Project Hosting

Google suggests to “Release early, release often.”

Google employee Greg Stein foreshadowed this release on Tuesday, and it’s now announced at the OSCON Open Source Convention; as part of their Google Code initiative, Google released a new service for the open source community called Project Hosting.

Project Hosting allows developers to search for open source projects of others, browse labels (like “Python” or “Database”), or upload their own projects... provided you have a Google Account, of course. Google says, “One of our goals is to encourage healthy, productive open source communities. Developers can always benefit from more choices in project hosting.”

When you upload your own project (which must be open source), you can provide a name, summary and labels, and choose a license. You’ll then get a project homepage, like “”. This page allows you to track bugs & tasks and manage your source code via a Subversion* repository (the URL will be e.g. “”). To use the Subversion code versioning system, Google suggests a list of clients, like TortoiseSVN or Subcommander. You can also administer the project settings by changing the metadata or assigning project members; to communicate with other developers, Google integrated Google Groups.

Should developers consider Google Project Hosting? Google claims their hosting service is “simple, fast, reliable and scalable,” but also admits:

Google Code will have lots of key features at launch, but we may not have all features you want or need for your project. Rather than try to offer every possible feature, we have focused on doing the most important things really well. More features will be added over time, but only when they are ready. However, we will not offer the following any time soon: shell accounts, build farm, private projects, nested projects, or multiple alternatives for each type of hosted tool.

It’s hard to tell how many projects Google hosts at the moment, though the infamous search for “the” lists 60 projects.

[Thanks Pierre S. and Manoj Nahar.]

*Version control systems, also called CVS, allow a team of programmers to work together on the same programming project without causing harmful collisions.


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