Tag Archives: SourceForge

SourceForge abandons Open Source idea and its community

Once upon a time SourceForge.net used to be the biggest and most popular platform for Free Open Source Software (FOSS) in the world. Just in the field of medical FOSS they hosted more than 900 projects and in total more than 230,000 projects. People from all around the world could search for projects of interest, collaboratively develop them via the platform, seek for support or just download the source code or precompiled binaries.

SourceForge.net - former FOSS platform

This is now all gone. According to their recent blog post “Clarifying SourceForge.net’s denial of site access for certain persons in accordance with US law” they disallowed users from ‘rogue states’ to interact with their platform and since last week they are also automatically blocking any IP (visitor) from certain countries including Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

It appears really strange to me that they still show phrases like “Find and develop Open Source software” or “SourceForge is your location to download and develop free Open Source software.” on their front page. I am not yet sure if they should add the note “… in case you are from a ‘good’ country” or better remove the term “Open”.

At least it is clear that it is not Open Source anymore what they are doing as they are infringing two of the most crucial principles of the Open Source Definition which read like this:

  • 5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups: The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.”
  • 6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor: The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.”

SourceForge seems not to be familiar with these and is blocking users to comply with the US law … and hell yes, the US is the country whose Secretary of State recently gave a widely honored speech about Internet Freedom.

Happily there are dozens of other real FOSS portals/platforms where you can now move to and host your FOSS project while preserving the original idea of Open Source.

Articles about this in German are available at golem.de and netzpolitik.org.

Finding Medical FOSS: Freshmeat vs. SourceForge

I just realized while searching for new or emerging medical open source projects that freshmeat.net looks and works quite differently compared to former times. Seems they launched already in March 2009 their new Freshmeat 3.0 platform.

Freshmeat.net Now tagging is used for indexing the projects while the categories have been thrown overboard. Regarding medical FOSS the project admins seem not to really make use of this feature. Tags similar to hospital information system, PACS, EMR or patient management have never been used or I was just too dumb to find some health care related ones. Only two projects are tagged with “Medical“, the tag “Medical Science” is associated with 146 projects. One and a half year ago the category “Medical Science Apps” contained 139 projects there.

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