Google shuts down Code hosting service

March 13, 2015 | 11:46

Tags: #github #google-code

Companies: #google #open-source

Google has announced that it is to close Google Code, a distributed version control system (DVCS) it launched back in 2006 to give open-source projects a place to store their code.

Google Code launched in 2006 as a place for open-source projects to store their source code and binaries, while also providing version control, issue tracking, and collaboration functionality. The platform proved popular, helped by Google's choice to use it as the official host for its own open-source projects. Its popularity could never match that of rivals such as GitHub, however, and now Google is calling time on the whole thing - giving Google Code users until the end of next year to download their source code or lose it forever.

'When we started the Google Code project hosting service in 2006, the world of project hosting was limited. We were worried about reliability and stagnation, so we took action by giving the open source community another option to choose from,' wrote Chris DiBona, Google's director of open source, of the project. 'Since then, we’ve seen a wide variety of better project hosting services such as GitHub and Bitbucket bloom. Many projects moved away from Google Code to those other systems. To meet developers where they are, we ourselves migrated nearly a thousand of our own open source projects from Google Code to GitHub.

'As developers migrated away from Google Code, a growing share of the remaining projects were spam or abuse. Lately, the administrative load has consisted almost exclusively of abuse management. After profiling non-abusive activity on Google Code, it has become clear to us that the service simply isn’t needed anymore.

From this week, it has become impossible to create new projects on Google Code as the service enters gardening leave. Projects currently hosted on the service can use it as normal until the 24th of August, when the site will be switched into a read-only mode. On January the 25th, the site will be closed altogether but archives of each project will be made available to download. At the end of 2016, even these archives go away - meaning any abandoned projects hosted only on Google Code and with no saved copies elsewhere will be gone for good.

DiBona recommends users to shift their projects to GitHub using an automated tool, somewhat ironically hosted on Google Code, but at the time of writing an unsurprising influx of traffic had led to the tool being unavailable.
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