Open source community: host yourself!

Free software, private hosting

The recent news that Gimp is leaving Sourceforge raised a problematic issue for open source and libre software communities. Sourceforge hosts many of these communities and began to introduce advertising a few years ago.

Sourceforge used to be what github is today, a central point where you can start your free software development and see it grow. It allows you to host your sources and packages, your bug tracker, your documentation and everything a software project needs.

Today, when you want to download a software installer, instead of having a clean one proposed by the community, you get a Sourceforge specific installer which also downloads unwanted stuff. It’s not just Sourceforge that is doing this. Many other “download hubs” work this way, but Sourceforge is considered a special example due to its history with free software.

Github is the new Sourceforge

The problem with Sourceforge also applies to github. A few weeks ago, Github came under massive attack. It impacted not only communities with github hosted projects, but also other communities with github dependencies (Dylan wrote a blogpost about it).

We all love libre software because it brings us freedom and other great advantages but ironically we now tend to share this freedom through private platforms.

There is a tendency within internet communities to promote self-hosting for everyone. This means hosting your emails, your documents and all your private data on your own platform. This is a result of real concerns about internet giants (such as Google, Facebook and others) gathering and analyzing our personnal data. So why don’t libre software communities host their projects themselves?

So now what?

At Enalean we are very aware of these issues as dedicated open source users, contributors and advocates. Our solution, Tuleap is free and open source and, guess what? A forge to host software projects.

As you can imagine, we felt very concerned about the Gimp problem because we think that you should be able to rely on open source hosting for your open source development. We want to help communities to move away from private hosting.

The problem is that while you spend time installing your platform you are not developing new features or fixing bugs. To address this, Enalean offers all open source communities free installation and configuration of a Tuleap instance on their premises.

Have you got some spare hardware or a VM for self-hosting your project? Ping us and we will install and configure Tuleap on it for free and give back the keys: it’s your server, with your software.


About the Author

How great is the challenge of creating economic value for a company with a libre software. I enjoy this! It encourages me to think business and communication in a disruptive way. I believe in the core value of FLOSS and agile spirit: open minded listening, transparency and co-creation. I'm Marketing Manager at Enalean.

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