Hosting on SourceForge

Some people are wondering whether BleachBit will continue to use SourceForge hosting services because this year SourceForge suffered several public embarrassments.


First, SourceForge modified the installer for GIMP and a few other projects that were no longer actively maintained on SourceForge.

Second, SourceForge suffered a massive outage from July 16 through July 22 that affected the BleachBit web site, which includes the download links, documentation, forums, and software update notifications.

Less intensely, SourceForge has generally fallen out of style with developers in favor of GitHub.

Nevertheless, SourceForge has provided valuable services to BleachBit: Since 2008 BleachBit has used multiple SourceForge services: file hosting, project web hosting, and SVN. The flexible LAMP system that SourceForge offers powers the BleachBit CMS and discussion forums.

However, BleachBit does not rely solely on SourceForge. In 2014 BleachBit migrated from SVN on SourceForge to Git on GitHub. Issues and translations have been managed on Canonical's Launchpad, and most downloads are served through a private mirror (i.e., not SourceForge).

The response

The issue of the installer is not a concern because:

  1. The Windows installer for BleachBit is digitally signed to prevent tampering. It cannot be altered without damaging the signature, and wrapping the installer would show either no signature or another signature.
  2. BleachBit is actively maintained, so under the old policy, SourceForge would not have done anything anyway.
  3. BleachBit uses the SourceForge download service only as a secondary mirror.
  4. In response SourceForge already changed their policies.

As an aside, though companies regularly contact me with offers, BleachBit has never included advertising junk in the installer.

In response to the outage issue: it was very inconvenient, but is it really worth moving the BleachBit website to another hosting service? I have hosting projects on SourceForge since 2002, and until this outage, SourceForge had a decent reputation for reliability. I hope they have learned a lesson, which I am sure was costly.

Looking forward

It would have alleviated 95% of the pain if SourceForge offered in case a HTTP redirect when the project web hosting is down to run a temporary site, so I filed a support ticket (support ticket 10988).

In the short term BleachBit will continue to use SourceForge for project web hosting and a secondary download mirror. I will consider options for improving the reliability of the BleachBit update notification system for the next release (BleachBit version 1.10). I will consider alternative hosting options, but I will prioritize the development of BleachBit code.

UPDATE (February 2016): BleachBit is no longer hosted on SourceForge.

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