In July of 2006, I first wrote about Google Code, as a new competitive alternative to SourceForge for open-source project hosting. Times sure have changed in the last 8.5 years and Google is now shutting Google Code down.
The writing has been on the wall for nearly two years about Google Code’s fate, so the move shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
In May 2013, Google shut down Google Code Download services. At the time, I thought that it made no sense, after all what good is a code repository when developers can’t use the service to enable binary downloads?
It wasn’t Google shooting itself in the foot that is the prime cause of Google Code’s demise, but rather the extreme success of Github.
Nearly every major interesting open-source project that I’m aware of is now using Github. Github isn’t just a place to download files (you can still use Sourceforge for that), it has become a fantastic and integral part of the development process in a way that neither Sourceforge nor Google Code ever truly offered or enabled.
“To meet developers where they are, we ourselves migrated nearly a thousand of our own open source projects from Google Code to GitHub,” Google’s Open-Source leader Chris DiBona wrote. “As developers migrated away from Google Code, a growing share of the remaining projects were spam or abuse. After profiling non-abusive activity on Google Code, it has become clear to us that the service simply isn’t needed anymore.”
The end of Google Code is coming in a timed approach. As of March 12, all new project creation has been disabled. On August 24, the site goes read-only and the site will effectively disappear on January 25, 2016.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist