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Open-source directory debuts

Ohloh, an open-source information provider created by former Microsoft employees, launches its public beta.

Ohloh, a directory of open-source projects, launched its public beta on Wednesday. Ohloh provides metrics and links on open-source software with regard to origin, start date, active contributors, code activity, licensing and comparable projects. It also offers a cost-analysis feature to help developers decide whether to buy or build.

Ohloh co-founder and CEO Scott Collison, a former Microsoft employee, said that through his interaction with companies while at the software giant, he recognized the difficulties developers have when using existing search engines, directories and community sites to find and evaluate open-source projects. In addition to Collison and co-founder Jason Allen, who also previously worked at Microsoft, Ohloh is financially backed by former Microsoft executives Paul Maritz and Pradeep Singh. Maritz was a member of the executive committee and manager of the overall company at Microsoft from 1986 to 2000.