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SourceForge To Acquire Development Portal Ohloh.net 79

Posted by timothy
from the get-your-conspiracy-on dept.
SourceForge, Inc. (parent company of Slashdot, and the corporate overlord of SourceForge.net and ThinkGeek) announced today plans to purchase Ohloh, a three-year-old Seattle company that runs Ohloh.net, a software-development portal that specializes in the community aspects of distributed open source projects. The purchase will probably be final as of next month. (I hope no one requires that I show up to an office, just because one will be nearby.)
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SourceForge To Acquire Development Portal Ohloh.net

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  • by religious freak (1005821) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:55PM (#28130011)
    How the hell do these guys make any money? I mean, really... The ads don't pay that much. Good for them though, I'm hopeful they'll be able to keep it up.
    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:15PM (#28130349)
      You'd be surprised how quickly ad money can add up on popular websites. Plus Thinkgeek sells a lot of things and has a nice markup on some items.
      • by Yfrwlf (998822)
        Um, the answer is it's not just ads, far far far from it. Look at the articles. LOOK at them. See all those words? It's propaganda, or insert your favorite word here, the nice term is "PR" but call it what you will. Companies try to bend consumer opinion about them by controlling/pushing/bending topics and articles and such to gain them favoritism, or to at least become more favorable towards them, or less unfavorable.

        Why do you think companies sponsor conventions? *ahem*Microsoft*ahem* scewz me.
        • by Yfrwlf (998822)
          And, to add to where I was going, ultimately that means that owning sites like Slashdot or others which have large communities means that companies will pay $$$$$ to be able to push articles onto the site, or bend reviews, or whatever. That's where the real money comes from. (some call it 'kickbacks' btw)
          • by Yfrwlf (998822)
            aka it's when you "sell out", lol. That's the primary reason these sites exist, so that you will hopefully become big enough that you can one day sell out to corps with cash. Whatever intrinsic reasons for hosting a site like Slashdot are long gone, sorry. I'm sure many of them may feel they're giving their honest opinion about stuff still, but their overlords will slowly put an end to that, you'll see.
            • by Kotoku (1531373)
              So who did you sell out your account to?

              Because they are posting fast and replying to their own posts!
      • ask for donations.

        I've come to the conlusion that people HATE advertising hence all the blocking and hatred of content containing ads like 'adware'.

        For 'small fry' not having large ad budgets to have ANY chance of earning money and not alienating your potential customers in this setting, 'tipware' seems to be the only way to go.

        People are not interrupted by 3rd party advertisers and if the content offered has value and merit, people will support the creator financially.

        If the audience pool is large enough,

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Have you checked out the prices on thinkgeek? There's your answer.

    • by Zapotek (1032314)
      And they've also added an option to disable ads on /. and I'm not a subscriber either. I already blocked them anyways...
    • by Samah (729132)

      Good for them though, I'm hopeful they'll be able to keep it up.

      They just need to get someone to start a project called OpenViagra.
      Either that or start reading spam emails.

    • by Repossessed (1117929) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:25PM (#28132699)

      400000 visitors, an hour.

      • Uh, I'd say that displays their high cost structure. You think they generate a ton of advertising revenue off of that? Maybe they do, but I'm pretty skeptical - how many people really click through on the florescent shower head ad?

        Sure, they make a few bucks, I'm just saying they probably don't make much. But hell, either: 1) I'm wrong or 2) they're overextending themselves by making unneeded acquisitions, like plenty of other companies have done in the past. But like I said, I hope I'm wrong and they
      • Impressive!

        But where did you find this number?

  • Not a Good Thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bacon Bits (926911) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:04PM (#28130149)

    I don't really see this as a good thing. In my experience many of the projects on Ohloh.net are there because the maintainers were unhappy or frustrated with problems they were having at SourceForge. FileZilla, for example, kept complaining to SourceForge that the ads that showed up would always include download links to sites charging for download of FileZilla.

    I suppose such projects will move to Google Code, but it's important to remember that choice is a good thing, and not everybody is happy with SourceForge.

    • by eln (21727) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:13PM (#28130317) Homepage

      I suppose such projects will move to Google Code, but it's important to remember that choice is a good thing, and not everybody is happy with SourceForge.

      So SourceForge will just buy Google!

      • by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:22PM (#28130457)
        All I could picture was the SourceForge accountants dragging a couple of barrels of pennies to the front door of the Google office in Mountain View, and a Roomba calling security.
      • If/(when?) the 'online advertising' bubble bursts and Google loses 90+% of their income tied up in their AdWords/AdSense programs.

        To put it simply:

        SourceForge delivers RESULTS in the form of hosted source code projects.

        Google delivers PROMISES in the form of 3rd-party advertising delivered online through AdWords/AdSense. Take that away and Google wouldn't have the money easily available to keep their search engine and the USENET archive (Google Groups) going -- the only things of TRULY lasting value Google

        • by Raenex (947668)

          If/(when?) the 'online advertising' bubble bursts and Google loses 90+% of their income tied up in their AdWords/AdSense programs.

          Google could probably afford a 90% reduction in ad income by cutting back to 1,000 employees. Seriously, they went on an incredible hiring binge of expensive high-tech employees. Hell, given that their search infrastructure is already built out, they could probably offshore most of it to India, China, Russia, Romania, etc.

          SourceForge delivers RESULTS in the form of hosted source code projects.

          Your post makes me laugh. So SourceForge gives away free hosting to open source projects. Now where do they derive income from? They sell ads, just like Google. They also offer paid-for s

    • by Shin-LaC (1333529) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:33PM (#28130613)
      I had no idea that ohloh hosted open source projects. My only exposure to them has been in the form of those annoying animated GIFs that display ohloh statistics on some open source project pages (typically hosted elsewhere).
      I hated those so much that one of the two explicit blocks in my Privoxy user.action file was "www.ohloh.net/projects/\d+/badge_js". To put that in perspective, the other block was for ".on.nimp.org".
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357)

        Never heard of nimp before. Being brave, I had to look. Just tell everyone it's goatse with a different skin, along with browser hijack.

        Oddly - I visited from a Linux desktop, but the Windows VM alarmed about a virus attack.... hmmmmm I'm sure glad I didn't go there FROM Windows.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TinBromide (921574)
      For some reason, (and i could be wrong) but it feels like the people who run thinkgeek, slashdot, and other sites under the umbrella may have a bit of autonomy as to how they run things. While yes, there will always be corporate mandates handed down from on high (DO THIS!), perhaps the ohloh.net managers will realize that how sourceforge does their ads was costing them big projects and would resist change as good nerds should.

      Then again, I am an eternal optimist that likes to hope for the best, you don't
    • "I suppose such projects will move to Google Code, but it's important to remember that choice is a good thing, and not everybody is happy with SourceForge."

      I was thinking the same thing. You see more and more projects (a lot of .NET stuff though) at code.google.com. I'm glad to hear that they have no intention of giving up the ghost.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bjourne (1034822)
      Um.. ohloh.net doesn't offer project hosting. It is a tool for analyzing statistics and creating reports about projects hosted on other sites.
      • They absolutely do project file hosting, but, yes, they're mostly known for project analytics. I'm not sure if they do RCS hosting like SourceForge does, but file hosting absolutely. FileZilla, the project I mentioned, no longer consistently updates the SF.net site (if at all), and all download links on filezilla-project.org go to ohloh.net.

    • by Eil (82413)

      What I hate most about SourceForge is when you search for an open source project and get handed the link to its SourceForge page rather than its actual web page.

      Gods damn it, if it wanted to browse the CVS or any of that crap, I would have found my way there eventually. Most of the time, I just want to find out what the application is all about and *then* go poking around the source or download the software.

    • Ohloh.net provides metrics, and the projects that are listed there are there because someone found them interesting enough to be worth tracking. They don't host projects. You imply that projects have left SourceForge for Ohloh to wind up "there" but that's nonsense. Ohloh tracks projects that are hosted all over the place. They don't host anything themselves. This is complete nonsense, and the people who modded you +5 "Insightful" clearly have no clue.

      • This is complete nonsense, and the people who modded you +5 "Insightful" clearly have no clue.

        As opposed to reading the thread to see if the point you made was asked and answered?

  • ...it shows a breakdown of commits by language [ohloh.net]; interesting stuff. Of course, the sample is limited to the projects they're tracking, and the metric - number of commits - is affected by the source code mgmt tool's idioms. Still, nice AJAXy-ness.

    • Heh, its fairly interesting, but it reminds me of how my favorite languages (perl and C) are declining in general use and my programming skills will go the way of cobol and fortran.
      • by tcopeland (32225)

        > my programming skills will go the way of cobol and fortran

        Nah, those Perl skills will translate to Ruby, and those C skills to, well, anything. Take heart!

        • I do, however, find it quite annoying when people write C in other languages. It would probably look fine in Perl, but it'd stand out like a sore thumb in Ruby.

      • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        You programming skills going the way of Cobol could be a blessing in disguise. Have you seen how much old Colbol guys get paid these days!?

        • Well, one could expect those pay rates with 90 years of experience....

          I kid, but yeah, the problem is that it might take them 8-9 months to find another job if they're disposed of when the system finally gets replaced by something that doesn't require a nice fat programmer maintenance salary. The salary, not the programmer being fat...
    • Interesting. The ruby metrics gave me a laugh. A steady rise around 2008 and a steady decline afterwards. Of course it isn't scientific data, but it does seem to coincide with the surge (and subsequent apathy) over Ruby on Rails by many developers.

      No offense to the rubyists out there ;)

      • It's not so much the Rails bashing, but the fact that Rails has existed since 2004. What was special about 2008 relating to Rails?

        • by PitaBred (632671)
          The publicity, really. Kind of like when Survivor was popular. Now it still exists, but has a much smaller audience.
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @07:12PM (#28131815) Journal
      It would be nice, except that the output is complete nonsense. It think, for example, that I am responsible for around 50K lines of Autoconf and 1K lines of D, when I have never committed anything in either language. My statistics for C and C++ are correct now, but for a while it was counting all of my Objective-C headers as 'C/C++' not as Objective-C, giving a widely skewed result. Because most of my Objective-C headers are documentation, it thought I had a comment ratio of almost 90% for C/C++.
  • Congratulations to SourceForge for their triumphant acquisition of Ohloh.net. Have some delicious and moist cake to celebrate with those of us still alive!

    • Re:Congratulations! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by legirons (809082) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:16PM (#28130363)

      so what happens when a site known for its great features and well-designed user-interface gets bought by a company with a phobia of both things?

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The site starts to look like slashdot.

      • by 0racle (667029) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:30PM (#28130557)
        They change the name so it doesn't sound like something chanted by an Age of Empires priest?
      • by westlake (615356) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:48PM (#28131541)

        so what happens when a site known for its great features and well-designed user-interface gets bought by a company with a phobia of both things?

        Mod this one up to +10.

        There is no more unwieldy a site on the web to navigate than Sourceforge.

        It doesn't matter what OS you favor. It doesn't matter if you are thinking rock-solid for the end user or bleeding edge for the inner geek. Trying to extract anything useful from Sourceforge has all the joys of root canal without anesthesia.

        The public face of FOSS needs something more inviting, something more along the lines of Download.com.

  • Just curious .. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by THEbwana (42694) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @05:48PM (#28130771)

    Where are their servers located ? .. would be interesting to know, due to various regional annoyances such as the DMCA, opposition to open versions of DeCSS etc.

  • Newsflash (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nezer (92629) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:21PM (#28131235) Homepage

    (I hope no one requires that I show up to an office, just because one will be nearby.)

    Newsflash: We don't care. That's your personal fear and issue that really is best left off the front page.

  • I hope they finally start adding the popular feature requests. Like ignoring certain paths in a repository.

  • I never heard of them. It looks like they are basically the same thing as freshmeat.net but with statistics tools for projects.

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