Tuesday, September 04, 2007

GoogleCode - DXCorePlugins

And so I have created a GoogleCode repository for an open source project called 'DXCorePlugins'.

I created 'DXCorePlugins' because I wanted a better way to manage my open source plugins for DXCore, CR and R!.

I irks me that I don't do as much work on said plugins as I would like to. I came to the conclusion that it was all the management that was becoming awkward.

Creating versioned code...
... to make versioned assemblies...
... and building versioned zip files with both source code and binaries.
... updating web pages to reference said zip files and explain the purpose of each.

... trying to keep track of 'issues', 'bugs' and 'feature requests'

It's all management which distracts from the fun part.... making a cool plugin which does something to help people in their daily coding lives.

So I decided that I had to move the source code off my machine and into a repository of some kind. We use CVS at work but are thinking of moving to SubVersion. so ideally this would be a good chance to get to know said source control software on something less mission critical.

So I needed hosting of an open source project which ideally allowed SubVersion access to the repository of code.

2 obvious candidates: SourceForge and GoogleCode. This does not make a definitive set but this is a hobby project after all. I didn't want the research to take over my life.

It should be noted that I did consider Codeplex but decided against it because of what appeared to be a bias toward MS SCC API. To me MS SCC API shouts SourceSafe and I've been stung there before. Now I know that this is an unfair judgement, but ours is a small company and we cannot afford to spend too much time on micro-management so the fewer pieces involved, the better. I simply saw Subversion as a natural evolution of CVS and therefore when I saw that I would need to introduce additional pieces( some kind of SSC - Subversion bridge) I basically ruled out Codeplex then and there.

Now... to say that I was then left with SourceForge and GoogleCode is also something of an unfair statement. A more accurate statement would have been..."I was left with GoogleCode and, if I really had to, SourceForge".

You see, SourceForge has, for me, been the slowest of experiences. Accessing a SourceForge has always been like returning to the days of dial-up connections. It makes me wonder if this isn't the method they use to connect their servers to the internet. Now in fairness, I have been led to believe that this is not the case for everyone. many people apparently find SourceForge a very reasonable resource. however I am apparently not in that position. So from day one, If I could run without SourceForge, I was going to...

And therein lies my one regret. If not for this one issue I would simply have added my code to the CRPlugin project on SourceForge. I would recommend that these projects definitely be checked out.

And so unless GoogleCode was to provide and major stumbling blocks, I was going to use it.

So how does one create a project on GoogleCode?

Well it turns out it's really easy. Just show up at http://code.google.com/hosting/ and declare the Name and Licence of your project. That's essentially all there is to it. True you'll need an account with google, but who doesn't have a GMail account these days anyway.

The hard part was choosing a Licence for the project.

Now originally I wanted to specify do anything you like with the code except sell it (I wanted to encourage giving back to the community) but I realised I was spending way too much time considering the licence when... In truth, I didn't really care what people did with the code as long as they don't blame me for something it might do by mistake.

I stared at the list and their definitions for ages before I finally gave in and asked for help.

Trevor Westerdahl rescued me and pointed me in the direction of the MIT licence. Indicating "An MIT license is about as "open" as a license gets. It essentially protects the writer form any harm...as in there are no warranties of any kind, but allows for selling, copying, redistributing, etc."

It sounded good to me, and so there you have it. http://dxcoreplugins.googlecode.com/ is up and running with it's first project 'CR_WorkBench'.

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