Google launches open-source repository

Search engine giant offers now hosts open-source programming projects, an alternative to

In its latest effort to further the open-source programming movement, Google opened a site Thursday where programmers can host their software projects.

As , Google engineering manager Greg Stein announced the project hosting site during a talk at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, Ore.

"One of our goals is to encourage healthy, productive open-source communities. Developers can always benefit from more choices in project hosting," Google said on a frequently-asked-questions site.

One choice for programmers is VA Software's, which hosts more than 100,000 open-source projects.

Google's hosting service, which accumulated dozens of new projects on its opening day, features mechanisms to store software, discuss it with mailing lists and track bugs. Google permits projects under a variety of open-source licenses--but not the full range.

"We'd like to see projects standardize on the most popular, time-tested ones. The selected licenses offer diversity to meet most developer needs," Google said.

Google's service uses hosting software called Subversion, which Stein had worked on in his previous job at CollabNet. That start-up, which still oversees Subversion development and sells hosts distributed programming projects for its clients, welcomed Google's move.

"I think it's a great thing," said CollabNet co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Brian Behlendorf, who added that Google still contributes to the Subversion project. "It's not too often that Google can deploy something they didn't entirely write."

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