Codeplex... Damned if you do... Damned if you dont...

In a follow up to this  post I made yesterday, it seems some people are annoyed that a Codeplex command line client exists at all...

I still can not help but feel some people are missing the point of Codeplex all together... as I see it (and these are only my opinions on the matter) - Codeplex:
  • Supersedes the aging gotdotnet.
  • Demonstrates TFS features
    • Scalability for high volumes of users (not necessarily usability, but they're working on that)
    • Case study for any large organizations considering deploying it across their organization.

  • Provides a place Microsoft can.
    • Host open-source projects for life.

    • Control and support the environment.
    • Keep a single message across their organization - we use TFS for source control from now on.

(At this point it's worth noting I'm a SVN/Trac/CC.Net guy myself... I can't actually justify the expenses of TFS at the moment)

For me the reasons to use codeplex over another open source provider are simply:

  • It's different / new.
  • It has a strong Microsoft / .Net focus.
  • It's easier to get going for a newbie .Net developer (integrated source control in VS.Net, simple wiki pages baked-in)
  • You can play with TFS.

They are reasons, but hardly "compelling" ones ;o)

The beta command line client is a good thing, but to counter that "6 months wasted effort" with a call to replace TFS with subversion in Codeplex ... that just seems counter-intuitive to me... suddenly you have a roll-on effect of zero integration between source control and the in-built issue tracking mechanisms... so what, lets replace that with Trac??... and now that comes with it's own wiki... so ditch the existing one... and suddenly Codeplex is nothing more then a shell for managing file releases with some forums.

What kind of message would it send to microsoft customers who have invested time and effort into team system... let's be reasonable, it's just not going to happen, so whats the next logical step... improve the tooling to work with the existing source control solution... first step to achieving that... build a decent command line client!

So... if you are looking for subversion based hosting why not use well established players who have been supporting open source from the beginning like SourceForge or tigris... don't they still deserve your love now more then ever since Codeplex is on the scene... what better way to vote than with your choice of OSS project hosting?

Codeplex is an alternative, not a replacement, for the likes of Sourceforge... perhaps what we need is a OssHostMatrix, much like WikiMatrix that compares
feature for feature so you can pick the host that's appropriate to your project on features alone, rather then bitching about what's missing in Codeplex, when it's freely available elsewhere...

I'm starting to feel sorry for some of the codeplex guys (like

Jonathan Wanagel, who I commend for being vocal about what's going on at codeplex... he seems to pop up on a lot of blogs I read) ... they certainly do seem a little damned if you, damned if you don't at the moment - especially when progress is slowly being made and demonstrated.

Written on March 28, 2007