SourceForge Sucks

I know what I just said is considered blasphemy, but it’s the truth.  SourceForge is the undisputed king of Open Source project hosting.  They provide Free and Open Source (FOSS) projects much needed tools like bug tracking, mailing lists, forums, and download mirrors.  They also collect activity statistics so that project managers know how many people are visiting the project page, downloading the software, etc.

Being hosted on SourceForge is great from a marketing perspective as well.  Having your project listed on SourceForge gives it a sense of legitimacy in the open source community.  Project managers can publish press releases and news articles to appear in SourceForge’s main news site.  Also the projects with the most activity get listed on the home page.  Sounds good,  right?

Well, the feature list is excelent, but SourceForge has a lot of technical problems.  I haven’t been able to check any project statistics for 3 days now.  There were 2 full days this week where the site was completely down, and then when it came back up no one could log in.  The tools themselves (with the exception of the download mirrors) are all pretty weak.  There are much better (free) alternatives to the SourceForge provided tools.

Having said all that, I realize that we will probably stay with SourceForge.  Brand loyalty is very strong even in the open source community.  There are better services out there now, but SourceForge was there first, and that’s why they have over 100,000 open source projects hosted with them.  I can deal with some sub-par admin features, I just hope they can become more reliable.

10 thoughts on “SourceForge Sucks

  1. I created ShareSource, a site similar to Sourceforge when me and a friend were going to create a project, and were discussing the methods available to us at that point of time. ShareSource has now grown to be a site that has at least some success – but for us it is the perfect site. We are able to develop our software efficiently and easily, plus – it has things that Sourceforge can only dream of 🙂

  2. Sourceforge continues to suck, they revised and revamped their user interface and it is worse than ever.

    The rankings have been wrong for 3 months now.

    It has to be the most poorly designed site on the planet and I hope someone buys it and fires everyone.

  3. The sourceforge interface really sucks now, it’s harder to find info on each project site. They added those silly javascript menus that really make it more difficult to navigate.

  4. The site is also slow, there is no easy way to copy links for downloading via wget except by clicking the file link a few times and then aborting the auto-download. And the search engine on the mailing list pages searches all of sourceforge. How incredibly useful!

  5. What is worse, where it the discussion how SourceForge can be improved? Well, he… there is the “Suggestion Box” forum, but it is filled with spam and no one is answering.

    But hey, something is going on, about a year ago SourceForge was orange, then it turned black, now it is blue. This is crazy. The real problem is of course not the color, but the interface:
    – Useless forum thread view where you can only see one answer at a time
    – Search box which you cannot find etc etc

    SourceForge R.I.P.

  6. I’m moving my projects to Google Code. My two complaints about SF are:

    1) The interface really really sucks. Navigating around SF as a developer is a nightmare, even when you know what you want to do. It’s just way too complex for no good reason. Let us focus on writing code, not administering or project.

    2) Required approval for starting and deleting projects. A lot of other sites are this way too (Alioth, Savannah, Gna, Gforge, etc.) but they have good reasons to be technical and otherwise. SF is too big and too “neutral” to be such a PITA about that stuff now that it’s 2009.

    No. 2 was why I chose Google Code over Gna! Gna! is probably the best-run out of the other choices, and has just the right balance of features to simplicity. But now that I’ve been using Google Code, I think Google beats them all.

  7. I fscking hat SF. This site has sucked for so long, I am surprised anyone still uses it. Since 2001 this site has been slow, and setup with a terrible interface. The UI designers of that sit should all be fired. I can understand if the economics do not support the necessary amount of servers for the site, but after 10 years, I guessing they are never going to bother to bring the performance to a usable level.

    The day this site shutsdown, I will remember for the rest of my life.

    /rant

  8. Agree, i’ve resigned from sourceforge a month ago for a single good reason.

    They f*d their entire search engine.
    Now whether i go by score or relevance i keep getting the highest rated items at the top…

    now cms or browser based rpg or lxde has very little to do with xampp or some fucking microsoft core fonts packages…

    Now i’m desperately looking for another place to both get and contribute with OS…
    Mostly into web scripts.
    If you find one, please tell me

  9. SourceForge:
    – no preview when posting
    – unable to edit comment in forum once posted
    – impossible to set email address without setting username (while signed in using OpenID)
    – one link to site support sends you to a login form that says you’re already logged in, the other one ends up with a redirect loop
    “pure joy”

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