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Topic: Move away from sourceforge - immediately!

derWalter
Joined: 2009-08-21, 20:37
Posts: 26
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Pry about Widelands
Location: EUROPE-> AUSTRIA-> VIENNA-> :)
Posted at: 2010-01-27, 07:11

after source forge banned whole countries from accessing their website, its nut public or free software anymore!

this is against the spirit of the free software movement, where everyone should have free access to the code.

here is the blog entry: http://sourceforge.net/blog/clarifying-sourceforgenets-denial-of-site-access-for-certain-persons-in-accordance-with-us-law/

what and how do you think about it?

Edited: 2010-01-27, 08:00

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QCS
Joined: 2009-12-29, 22:47
Posts: 256
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Posted at: 2010-01-27, 09:58

I don't like the way they are doing that, but if you really need to feel bad about something, please do so about US entities creating and enforcing these laws. Sourceforge belongs to a US company (Geeknet), and has to abide those laws, if stupid or not.

Additionally, you should be aware that there are plenty of ways to circumvent the restrictions they built. I would even say the people working for this company were well aware of that, too. They abide the law, not less - but also not more than that.

If you warn about Sourceforge, you should possibly also offer a substitution. No, Google Code is absolutely not an option (in my personal POV), Freshmeat belongs to Geeknet, too, and BerliOS has problems in different ways (maintenance, security). What's left? Launchpad, and GNU Savannah. Both not optimal replacements, but well, at least not under US laws.

Edit: Interesting read on the topic (found in the discussion on the Sourceforge blog page): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_open_source_software_hosting_facilities

Edited: 2010-01-27, 10:40

CMake is evil.

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derWalter
Joined: 2009-08-21, 20:37
Posts: 26
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Pry about Widelands
Location: EUROPE-> AUSTRIA-> VIENNA-> :)
Posted at: 2010-01-27, 20:54

source forge does not host free software, its closed source from now on. that's a fact, why is an other story.

yeah, of course ppl could circumvent these restrictions but first the have to know HOW. first they need software to work with.

what they are doing is a heavy attack to the free software principles. sf could store their data outside the us, but they don't.

i'm scared, in other projects instantly topics were opened and discussion started about leaving sf, here, nothing... it seems here is no need for free software anymore :/?

discuss

ps.: also google code is restricted too :/ - there should be a column @wikipedia for this!

pps.: http://horde3d.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1084 here is an other discussion going on about this. (horde3d is a free software, light and tight, next generation 3d engine, built and maintained by german it students with a growing community)

Edited: 2010-01-27, 21:01

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SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
Posts: 1440
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Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2010-01-28, 10:52

Hi,

I wasn't aware of this change in sf.net handling. I do not read their blog, so I couldn't know. The news are most disturbing though.

The first alternative that comes to mind is launchpad.net. Problem is bzr didn't perform well on our binary data last time I tried. Github and Gitourious are US too, I think. So they will have to enforce the US law as well, it is just a matter of time.

I just started to be happy again with sf.net from a technical view: their git integration is very nice. face-sad.png

Now for immediate steps: The first thing to do is to offer cloned repositories: widelands has a git repository that can easily be cloned and therefore mirrored by just about everybody. I suggest people do this and add links to their cloned repositories on the DownloadPage. We can still get our product to everybody then :/.

What do others think? Are their viable alternatives to sf.net? I agree that !BerliOS is no alternative. I think Savannah won't let everybody in.

Cheers, !SirVer


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QCS
Joined: 2009-12-29, 22:47
Posts: 256
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Posted at: 2010-01-28, 11:32

Thanks SirVer for the statement.

Maybe we would need to pinpoint specific must-have and nice-to-have points and compare the available hosters. The Wikipedia page should help narrowing down possibilities.

Must-have:

  • Must accept GPL software running on Windows/Linux/MacOS

  • Project page

  • Forum

  • Wiki

  • Bugtracker

  • SVN or Git

  • Mailing List

  • Lots of space (our binaries are large)

  • Not hosted in USA

  • Free

  • Download page (for package distribution)

Nice-to-have:

  • SVN and Git

  • Translation

  • Import of complete SVN repository (without losing history)

  • run by a free organisation

  • hosted in Europe

  • No ads

Any more things to add before we start rumbling through the list of alternatives? face-smile.png

This could lead to a lengthy discussion, but we have to keep it in technical terms.

Edit: Github is in USA; but Gitorious belongs to Shortcut AS in Oslo, Norway.

Edited: 2010-01-28, 11:46

CMake is evil.

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QCS
Joined: 2009-12-29, 22:47
Posts: 256
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Posted at: 2010-01-28, 12:03

An interesting hoster could be Gna! ( http://gna.org ), located in France, supported by FSF, only hosting GPL Software, have SVN but they don't support Git.


CMake is evil.

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QCS
Joined: 2009-12-29, 22:47
Posts: 256
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Posted at: 2010-01-28, 12:55

For the sake of better documenting where we stand, I've created a wiki page:

http://wl.widelands.org/wiki/WidelandsHosting/

This is a stub right now, will work on that this night, using the Wikipedia page as inspiration and working myself through their offerings. If anyone wants to add Must-haves and Nice-to-haves, it will be better to discuss them in this thread or at the mailing list (or add them as "yet to decide" in the wiki page) before adding them to the tables.


CMake is evil.

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SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
Posts: 1440
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One Elder of Players
Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2010-01-28, 14:00

Okay, as I see it SVN is a must have. The !WiHack showed that not all developers are interested in learning git/bzr and I doubt it is useful. SVN is a low entry barrier. I basically have no problem moving with the SVN/bug-tracker and everything else but staying on sf.net for git hosting (since git is just a convenience for developers and not 'official'). Moving our bug tracks will be.... painful. But if we do so, a better bug tracker is a must! (I like launchpad with this regard, but could live with Trac).

On a sitematter: how old is this US law? How likely will it be long lived? Can an american comment on this?

cheers, !SirVer


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QCS
Joined: 2009-12-29, 22:47
Posts: 256
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Posted at: 2010-01-28, 14:59

Well, not being American, I can tell what's known outside.

The problem here is not really a law, but a whole organization of US authorization. It is the OFAC - Office of Foreign Asset Control (German: Exportkontrollbehörde) of the US Department of the Treasury (German: Finanzministerium). They are providing lists of sanctions against other countries which might use products or knowledge of US citizens or entities (private, non-profit, governmental) to possibly harm or exploit the USA (as state/government, not private). People and entities of the USA, regardless where they are located, are not allowed to do what is written on these lists. Some of these entries are more or less generic trade blocks, many of them are specific parts or knowledges (like weaponry/arms; or nuclear technology).

Some of these sanctions can be "general" product or knowledge related, but regarding every country. Maybe you remember the strict US cryptography export problems which for example prevented people from outside the US to get strong (128bit) encryption methods, but only 40bit encryption - this was a very similar reason.

The laws about that are long in use, and the sanctions are also in place for quite a while (e.g. Cuba); some sanctions were updated recently (e.g. Iran). Why Sourceforge is now hurrying to abide those restrictions is beyond my knowledge, but some believe the OFAC might have given Sourceforge and some other entities a "hint" that it might be better to check for compliance.


CMake is evil.

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SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
Posts: 1440
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One Elder of Players
Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2010-01-28, 17:17

QCS, thanks. This cleans that up.

I thought about this for some more time and if no one has very strong objections (objective objections, not personal please) I will suggest a move to launchpad. I'll write an approximate time line on the wiki page.

Cheers, !SirVer


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