Google today have announced the closure of the Google Code project hosting service, which was launched in 2006. At the time, there were relatively few project hosting suppliers across the world and Google took it upon themselves to offer a service in order to improve stagnation and reliability across the sector. Since then, competitor – described by Google as “better” – project hosting services have been made available in the market such as GitHub and Bitbucket. Google themselves have moved a little under a thousand of their own open source projects away from Google Code across to GitHub, a sign of meeting developers where they are. Google supported the early project hosting service and rather than try to compete, have continued encouraging the services available by supporting the newer websites.
In Google’s blog post, Google’s Director of Open Source, Chris DiBona, explained that as developers moved their projects away from Google Code, the share of remaining projects that are spam or abuse has grown. Chris said this on the matter: “Lately, the administrative load has consisted almost exclusively of abuse management.” Essentially, after considering the level of non-abusive activity on Google Code, the decision has been taken to close down the service because it is no longer needed. The first part of this process is to disable project creation from today. The service will be shut down on the 25 January, 2016. Another significant date is the 24 August 2015, when the website goes to read-only mode. This means that clients may checkout and view project source code.
Google have worked on a number of project migration services designed to help developers move away from Google Code and to other service providers. Once the project hosting service is closed in January 2016, Google will make downloadable tarballs available (of project source, issues and wikis) for the rest of 2016. Of the migration services way, Google explains that the simplest way is to use the Google Code to GitHub exporter tool, which automates the project migration of source, issues and wikis into a new GitHub repo. Google will also offer stand-alone migration tools to GitHub and Bitbucket and would remind users that SourceForge provide a Google Code project import service.