A blog for the enterprise open source community
Black Duck-Ohloh marks far flight of open sourceJay Lyman, October 11, 2010 @ 12:13 pm ET
We’re a long way from SourceForge, which used to be the closest thing to a single repository for open source software. From a few years ago when we first chronicled the changing locale of open source software to the more recent state of open source code, project and community destination, we’ve seen a dramatic change and evolution in how and where the actual code of open source software resides. Far from having a single home of any kind, open source is now spread out to thousands of other sites and communities, including Apache Software Foundation, Eclipse.org, GitHub and Google Code.
That evolution continued with Black Duck’s recent acquisition of code and developer community Ohloh, which we covered in a 451 Group TechDealMaker report. Black Duck believes, as do we, that Ohloh was an under-appreciated asset in the areas of collaboration and connection to enterprises, which includes the business that Ohloh built by providing useful information on open source projects to large enterprise users. Unfortunately, that business push largely ended when Ohloh was acquired by SourceForge.
We expressed some concerns with the Geeknet (then SourceForge, Inc.) acquisition of Ohloh in May 2009, given Geeknet’s tendencies toward e-commerce and advertising and frankly away from developers. Our reservations were based mainly on the continued overlooking of the opportunity to maintain and provide valuable information on open source developers, projects and trends, and also to connect enterprises eager to use and pay for open source software with the right developers, communities and vendors. Now that Ohloh is under Black Duck — which is more about code, developers and the hot and upcoming languages, projects, uses and advantages of open source software — it may have a better chance of living up to its potential of being the next-generation code destination — the new SourceForge for a new era of open source software.
Black Duck’s efforts to support and integrate the Ohloh community with its existing KnowledgeBase, Koders.com search and other technology may create an open source software directory geared specifically for enterprises, which make up the bulk of Black Duck’s own customers and community. Black Duck does make a better match for Ohloh since the company is closely connected to the latest and greatest uses of open source, which now include cloud computing and mobile devices. Still, considering that Ohloh draws on more than 250,000 code repositories, project hosting and other sites, there will likely be continued evolution, competition and improvement in these online destinations for developers. The bigger challenge and opportunity lies in bringing the code, developers and collaboration together for the enterprise users that sometimes still struggle to find good information on open source.
Add Comment Categories: Software