Google sadly has decided shutting down its Google Code open-source project hosting service that was launched in 2006. Instead, the search giant is shifting projects to GitHub.
Google launched Google Code in 2006, but disabled new project creation on the site on March 12. As of August 24 the site goes read-only and on January 25, 2016, the hosting service will be closed completely. “When we started the Google Code project hosting service in 2006, the world of project hosting was limited,” said Chris DiBona, director of open source at Google in a blog post on the move. “We were worried about reliability and stagnation, so we took action by giving the open source community another option to choose from. Since then, we’ve seen a wide variety of better project hosting services such as GitHub and Bitbucket bloom. Many projects moved away from Google Code to those other systems. To meet developers where they are, we ourselves migrated nearly a thousand of our own open source projects from Google Code to GitHub.” DiBona explained that as developers migrated away from Google Code, a growing share of the remaining projects were spam or abuse. “Lately, the administrative load has consisted almost exclusively of abuse management,” he said. “After profiling non-abusive activity on Google Code, it has become clear to us that the service simply isn’t needed anymore.”
In addition, DiBona noted that GitHub and Bitbucket are both looking forward to working with developers moving off of Google Code, and he provides instructions on how to migrate off of Google Code in his post.
Meanwhile, Google is not alone in moving projects to GitHub. Microsoft, in January, announced it was moving its “Roslyn” .NET Compiler Platform from CodePlex to GitHub. The .NET Compiler Platform, also known as “Roslyn,” provides open-source C# and Visual Basic compilers with rich code analysis APIs. With it, developers can build code analysis tools with the same APIs that Microsoft is using to implement Visual Studio.
When Microsoft announced plans to open-source .NET in November, it said it was moving the key .NET projects, including ASP.NET 5 and .NET Core, to GitHub.
“GitHub has a vibrant open source community that we want to actively be a part of and contribute to,” said Kasey Uhlenhuth, program manager for Microsoft’s Managed Languages Team, in a January blog post. “We are also going to take this time to modify our pull request process. We are moving our code to GitHub as well as switching to use git internally. This means we will have fewer moving parts and will get us much closer to the same environment you’d be using on Roslyn code. It will be so worth it.”
Like Google Code, Microsoft launched CodePlex in 2006 in an effort to promote the use of open source software among developers on Microsoft platforms. Google’s DiBona said Google has migrated a thousand open source projects to GitHub, S. “Soma” Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Developer Division, said there are “hundreds” of Microsoft projects hosted on GitHub. These projects include CoreCLR, CoreFX, TypeScript and the Visual F# compiler and tools to name a few.
In December, Somasegar announced that Microsoft and GitHub were teaming to make developer tools available free for students. The companies announced GitHub and Microsoft were making Visual Studio Community 2013 available as part of the GitHub Student Developer Pack.
Through the Student Pack, student developers can access Visual Studio, as well as great free offers for Azure and Visual Studio Online, Somasegar said. With the pack, students get:
Visual Studio: All the tools, designers and debuggers you need for your next project – with support for web, mobile, desktop and cloud apps using C#, Node.js, Python, F#, VB and more. Visual Studio 2013 Community is free for students and other non-enterprise developers.
Visual Studio Online: Tools for planning, backlogs, tracking bugs and running builds and continuous integration – all in one place. Visual Studio Online accounts are free for up to five users.
Microsoft Azure: Host apps in the cloud on a platform that supports any OS, any language and any framework. Microsoft Azure subscriptions include 10 free web sites and 10 free mobile services.
The question is also whether just a code repository service like Google Code is differentiated enough and has high enough value, or the market will start going up the stack to more integrated solutions like IBM Bluemix and WSO2 App Cloud – and thus get not just the code storage but the whole set of tools you need to develop and run the apps: cloud IDE, databases, testing, lifecycle management, app hosting, etc.