When VA Software Corporation (which as of June 2007 was once again renamed, to "SourceForge, Inc.", and then on Nov. 4, 2009 was renamed yet again to Geeknet, Inc.) created its proprietary SourceForge fork, it promised that the open-source original version would continue to be maintained: It reneged on that promise.
(More precisely, VA Software took proprietary the "alexandria" codebase of glue code, the only component it owned copyright to: Shortly after launching its proprietary fork, it disabled CVS access to the unreleased 2.6.x alexandria code.)
There are replacement flagship versions maintained by other groups:
- GForge was (is?) a fork of the 2.6.1pre4 alexandria CVS checkout (snapshot), from just before VA Software disabled CVS access. Unlike the others, it had the distinction of being lead by primary SourceForge architect Tim Perdue, who had already cleaned up a great deal of VA Software-added cruft (foundries, caching, image servers) and done considerable code cleanup. Tim then took primary lead once more in maintaining the open-source codebase in coordination with the Savane (formerly Savannah) group. http://gforge.org/
In 2009, Perdue's company GForge Group / GForge, LLC did a proprietary rewrite of GForge called GForge Advanced Server (GForge AS), and the open source main GForge fork became basically unmaintained since 2005's 4.5.x releases. (Tim Perdue died in 2011.)
FusionForge was founded in January 2009 by three GForge contributors, merging a number of patches to alexandria ("SourceForge") and GForge that had been maintained out of tree. It seems likely to be the leading code branch.
- "Savane" fork (https://gna.org/projects/savane), FSF-Europe affiliated, is derived from the v. 2.0 alexandria release code. It was at first named "Savannah". As of Feb. 2009, it has not had a release since 2006.
- BerliOS Developer (was at http://developer.berlios.de/) forked a codebase from a very early alexandria release, maybe v. 1.5. Defunct as of the BerliOS service's shutdown.
sf-genericinst (http://sf-genericinst.sourceforge.net/) looks pretty dead, as is sfportable, and X-Forge (Java/XML) died at birth. XoopsForge (http://xoopsforge.com/) and GBorg (http://gborg.postgresql.org/) seem to be semi-clones rather than forks.
Debian-SF (http://www.nongnu.org/debian-sf/) was derived directly from the alexandria v. 2.5 release, and maintained separately in the early 2000s, but by 2007 was fully abandoned in favour of the Debian packaging of GForge.
CoopX (http://sourceforge.net/projects/coopx/) was a project to create an XML representation of project state for interchange among SourceForge-family implementations, but never produced code.
There are also numerous similar projects and hosting services:
- SourceFubar (http://www.sourcefubar.net/)
- Tigris (http://www.tigris.org/)
- SEUL (http://www.seul.org/)
- Dotsrc.org (http://dotsrc.org/), formerly SunSite.dk
- iBiblio (mainly storage — http://ibiblio.org/)
- Gna! (https://www.gna.org/)
- Alioth (for Debian projects — http://alioth.debian.org/ — now running GForge)
More are listed by the redoubtable Christopher Browne.
In early 2002, VA Software promised to release a GPLed alexandria 2.7 release in August 2002, but appears (a/o December 2002) to have reneged. Outside parties have inquired on the alexandria-devel project's support forums, and received no reply.
Inventory of things in the VA Software proprietary fork (relative to the final official open-source v. 2.5 release):
- Oracle support, Oracle Search, Oracle Stats, Reporting
- IBM DB2 support
- new backend scripts (scripts that integrate external services: e-mail, project Web, download servers, etc.)
- an ncurses installer
- new Tracker code (also included in alexandria 2.6.x snapshots)
- ClearCase support
- Perforce support
- Solaris SPARC port
Also starting around 2002, VA Software decided to junk the entire SourceForge codebase (no, not just the alexandria piece — all the constituent codebases — seriously!) as the basis for its proprietary SourceForge Enterprise product, and recode the entire thing from scratch in Java2 Enterprise Edition. (This move occasioned much humour at the company's expense from its former programmer and other technical staff. The product is reported, per expectation, to be dog-slow.) The result was initially labelled "SourceForge Enterprise Fusion" and billed as "the next-generation release of SourceForge technology". Later (late 2004?), when they finally scrapped their proprietary fork of Tim Perdue's code, they renamed the Java codebase "SourceForge Enterprise Edition".
In April 2007, VA sold its entire remaining "SourceForge Enterprise Edition" (Java product) business to CollabNet. A month later, the firm renamed itself to "SourceForge, Inc." On Nov. 4, 2009, it gave up that name, too, renaming itself to Geeknet, Inc.