Subtext Is On The Move

subtext 0 comments suggest edit

Simo beat me to the punch in writing about this, After many long years being hosted on SourceForge, the Subtext submarine is moving into a new project hosting port.

We’ve finally moved off of SourceForge and onto Google Code’s project hosting. Our main site (primarily for end users) is still at and I’ve hopefully updated every place it points to SourceForge to now point to Google Code.

Subtext-moves Image stolen from Simo’s blog. ;)

This was a very tough decision between CodePlex and Google Code. CodePlex is a great platform and I really like what they’ve done with being able to vote on issues etc… They seem to be innovating and adding new features at a rapid clip. I host Subkismet, a smaller project, on CodePlex and probably would choose it for a brand new project.

My one big complaint with CodePlex is that we really want native Subversion access, not a subversion bridge to TFS. For example, I was able to run the svnsync command to get the entire SVN history for Subtext into Google Code. That’s not something I could do today with CodePlex.

One other thing I really like with Google Code is that it’s fast. When you go to our project page, and click on the tabs, notice how fast the transition is. Click on an issue and see how fast you get there. Make a change and save it and it just snaps back. I spend a lot of time triaging and organizing issues etc… so this snappiness is really important to me.

Another great feature I love is how well code review is integrated into Google Code. For example, you can use the web interface to look at any revision in our repository. Take a look at r3406 for example.

Click on the diff link next to each file that was changed. For example, the diff for AkismetClient.cs. You get a nice side-by-side diff of the changes. You can double click on any line of code to leave a comment. Scroll down to line 160 and take a look at a comment. Don’t worry, I was the original author of that file so I’m not offending anybody but myself with that comment.

So there’s a lot I’d love to see improved with Google Code, but I’m pretty happy with the usability of the site overall. It’s a far improvement over SourceForge where I started to viscerally hate managing issues and doing any sort of administrative tasks over there.

We’re now using Google Groups for our Subtext discussion list and we have a separate group for notification emails such as commit emails. I’m going to leave the tracker and file releases on at SourceForge for a while longer until we’ve moved everything over. Unfortunately, there’s no automatic import from SourceForge for bug reports. But if you’re interested in keeping tabs on the progress Subtext is making, feel free to join the groups.

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11 responses

  1. Avatar for Andrei Rînea
    Andrei Rînea March 29th, 2009

    So just the direct SVN support and response time were the issues that made CodePlex lose?

  2. Avatar for ANaimi
    ANaimi March 29th, 2009

    Should've looked at

  3. Avatar for Simone Chiaretta
    Simone Chiaretta March 29th, 2009

    @ANaimi: GitHub is cool, but doesn't have issue tracking, mailing lists, which are both very important features needed for any opensource development.

  4. Avatar for Mike
    Mike March 29th, 2009

    Good choice. A few days ago I got an invitation to do a questionaire on Codeplex. I told them that Codeplex was way to slow (it looks like it was built by some coder that has just discovered the UpdatePanel: "Het let's use that everywhere") and that it was ridiculous to build an open source code hosting platform on Visual Studio Team System... what were they smoking?
    I think they can get the site faster if they stop using those silly webforms and switch to MVC + jQuery. I don't think the Subversion issue will ever be resolved, because they seem to not understand the issue with Team System and they certainly don't understand Subversion.

  5. Avatar for michael herndon
    michael herndon March 30th, 2009

    that's partially true, you can use lighthouse (issue/project tracker) for free as long as its an opensource project and use git's hooks to do a mailing list if you really wanted to. I think what git seems to lack unless i've missed something is a way to present downloads like for installers or builds.
    but you can also use git with google code by using git svn.

  6. Avatar for Will
    Will March 30th, 2009

    Given that Sara Ford is into martial arts, was this a wise move?

  7. Avatar for RN
    RN March 30th, 2009

    Hi Phil,
    Where do you get all these images for your blog..

  8. Avatar for haacked
    haacked March 31st, 2009

    @Will ha! Well being a martial arts practitioner would make her very disciplined and understand that it is for self-defense only. ;)

  9. Avatar for smehaffie
    smehaffie April 4th, 2009

    I personally think we should support CodePlex whenever possible. For a project this size I am sure the development team of CodePlex to get the features that you want. That is the only way CodePlex will get better and get to a place where it is a true contender with Google Code.
    I do agree that Codeplex could have a lot of thing improved to make it better, but you can say that about every program / web site. They way to make it better though is to use it, give the dev team feedback and watch it improve with each new release.
    That is just my 2 cents.

  10. Avatar for Lone
    Lone March 16th, 2011

    Splendid work. Thank you so much for this post. Interesting content.

  11. Avatar for Ivy
    Ivy March 16th, 2011

    Definitely a helpful site. Just perfect for my research.