Best Online Project Sites / Source Code Repositories

This was officially one of the worst weekends of my life. I have spent the 3 day holiday shopping for a new automobile, and enduring one high pressure sales pitch after another. But you probably don’t want to listen to me bitch about car shopping bullshit, do you?

So let’s talk about something else instead. Let’s discuss free online source code repositories. Or rather best project sites with integrated repositories.

These are the three we like.

These are the three we like.

I have always been a big fan of Google Code. It has a clean interface, gives you a choice of using Subversion, Git and Mercurial, has built in Wiki and Issue tracking systems and download hosting. It is really a great package. Use of the tagging system all throughout the application makes it incredibly flexible. Instead of using hard-coded presets, it simply suggests nice defaults for categorizing your issues, assigning them severity, labeling releases and etc. The main downside is that you need to actually have a Google account, and I know that some people are vehemently against selling their souls to the search giant. Me? Google has devoured my soul so long ago, I can’t even remember having it – so it was not a problem for me. No, seriously. When I bought my MacBook I even got an nasty email from Steve Jobs about my soullessness.

Eventually though, I discovered GitHub. I have always been a Subversion person, but I started using git due to peer pressure. All the cool kids were doing it, and I just wanted to see what it was all about. I tried it once and it was pretty cool. So I did it again, and again, and again. Next thing I knew, I was on my knees in a dark alley uploading source code to GitHub. And I really, really like the Hub. It is not as clean and simple as Google Code, but it is much more powerful. I love that it allows me to fork someones code straight from my browser with a single push of a button. The community and collaboration features are just unmatched. And this seems to be the hip place to be these days.

Unfortunately neither GitHub nor Google Code offer free hosting for proprietary projects. And seeing how I have one project which I’m a bit embarrassed to release into the world, this was a bit of a problem. I could of course just use the private Subversion repository on one of my servers. But let’s say I wanted something similar to GitHub or Google Code. Something with a nice web based interface, project/issue tracking, stats and etc. Well, there is BitBucket. I only started using it last week, so I really can’t attest to it’s features. I know that it lets you create free private repositories, and that it’s current interface seems to be heavily inspired by that of GitHub. Unfortunately it requires you to use Mercurial.

I’m currently using all three of these, plus some private SVN servers. To wit, my Windows box has been overrun by Tortoises. No, I’m not kidding. I am really fond of the Tortoise brand UI tools, so I am currently running:

I just need one more, and I can use them to re-enact Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes.

So what is your favorite project site? Which one do you find yourself using the most? Here is a poll:

Favorite project site:
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View Results

Feel free to add new project sites to this list.

I realize we did something very similar last year, just for the version control systems themselves. Git was the clear winner. You see that poll here.

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9 Responses to Best Online Project Sites / Source Code Repositories

  1. icebrain PORTUGAL Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    You can use git with a mercurial remote repo, there are such bridges; it’s what I do nowadays with SVN. Of course, I use the command line version since I’m on Linux.

    I too have some repositories I want to keep closed, but I’ll probably install Gitorious on my home server instead. Services like Github are nice to share the code, but if the code is for my eyes only there’s really no reason to use them.

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  2. icebrain PORTUGAL Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    Oops, I meant gitosis, not Gitorious. Although a simple git repository over SSH works fine too.

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  3. Joshua Kehn Google Chrome Mac OS says:

    Assembla offers free private hosting with unlimited users. It doesn’t have as nice an interface but it is private.

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  4. I’m going to have to cheer for GitHub, since they’re hosting my entire blog (except for Disqus comments) at no cost to me — including no ads — making GitHub Pages their “killer app.” But you already know about that, Luke.

    Choosing a second favorite from those the remaining two would be difficult for me. Gitorious, as a host, would really be my second favorite. I really like the model that GitHub, Gitorious, and BitBucket use. No single user technically controls a project. Leadership is de facto, determined by the community through its own self-organization. Contributing to a project requires no special permission. You just fork, make your commits, and make a pull request. Even if it’s not accepted, your changes are still out there, still associated with the project.

    Google Code is a lot more traditional, more monolithic, and less supportive of that model. Even though they support decentralized SCM, they still aren’t taking advantage of it. BitBucket does, but, as you stated, it’s built around Mercurial, which I’m not really interested in using.

    However, I’m not too picky, so long as you don’t use SourceForge! Bleh!

    As icebrain mentioned, gitosis is great for private repositories. I did that before I changed hosts. You’re using a virtualized host now, right? That means you could be using gitosis really easily. All you need is a dedicated shell account.

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  5. Ron NEW ZEALAND Mozilla Linux says:

    Any reason to not use github private repo’s? Sure they cost but they were resonable iirc

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  6. Joshua Kehn Google Chrome Mac OS says:

    @ Ron:

    They are only reasonable for small modular teams with few projects.

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  7. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    icebrain wrote:

    I too have some repositories I want to keep closed, but I’ll probably install Gitorious on my home server instead.

    I was not aware of Glitorious. Thanks.

    icebrain wrote:

    Oops, I meant gitosis, not Gitorious.

    Oh… Freudian slip maybe? Because Gitorious sounds a bit similar to another word that starts with Cli… ;)

    @ Joshua Kehn:

    Nice. I’m learning about all kinds of new project sites.

    @ Chris Wellons:

    I know, the GitHub pages thing is crazy. I still can’t believe you are hosting an entire blog on it. :)

    @ Ron:

    I just bought a new car. I’m done buying new stuff for a while. :P

    More seriously though, I just don’t care enough about any of my projects to pay for private repository. I’d much rather set up my own git and/or svn repo on one of the servers I’m already paying for and go with that.

    @ Joshua Kehn:

    Yeah. If you are using it mostly for your own code and not collaborating with anyone it is a bit of an overkill.

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  8. jambarama UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Haha, what joker voted for Pastebin?

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  9. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Google Chrome Linux Terminalist says:

    @ jambarama:

    LOL! Pastebin – the preferred source control suite of all 1337 h4x0rz and anon skript kiddies.

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