VA Software begins mailing-list ads

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Stephen Shankland

VA Software, the creator of the SourceForge site for open-source collaborative programming projects, has begun inserting advertisements into electronic mailing lists used by software developers. The sponsored e-mails began in 2002, with current ads focusing on an announcement from VA Software and IBM that's expected later this month at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, VA's site for high-performance computing and VA's ThinkGeek e-commerce site for techie goodies.

SourceForge hosts numerous free mailing lists used by programmers to discuss projects such as Linux's use of USB (universal serial bus) or the network file system. Some have objected to the ads, including one Linux programmer who countered with his own "signature" that complained: "Worst form of spam? Adding advertisement signatures ala sourceforge.net. What goes next? Inserting advertisements into e-mail?"