Projecthosting on Bettercodes

A few days ago, I got an invitation from a registered user, to register on, a project hosting platform. I am really suspicious about such mails, if they are not eaten by my spam filter automatically. But my curiosity was too big.

Bettercodes is a platform, on which software projects can be hosted. The page is really new and so far there are about 4000 developers registered. It is based on a WordPress blog using the plugin Buddypress, to create a social network. Who registers his project there, can upload the sourcecode in a SVN or GIT repository. It is possible to create milestones and tasks. I could not (yet) find any bug tracking features. It is possible to ask questions and create groups. There is a chat available, and it somehow feels like Facebook for software developers.

I asked the Community Manager of Bettercodes some questions via E-Mail. Here are the answers. Originally, I asked in German but I translatet my questions here. The answers I got, were in English.

How can you describe in three sentences? has the vision to become the best place for developers in the Internet. is a specialized social network for the wants and needs of developers combined with a collaboration platform to run and manage development proejcts. The is an Open Source project where every developer can participate and contribute in the further developments of the platform. is free-of-charge and non-commercial.

The project is currently in a beta phase. When will it be completely opened? is now open for all interested developer in an open beta. We will still be in beta since we need to develop a lot of features and functions and eliminate several funcational bugs.

You are the Community Manager there. What does that mean?

As a community manager I take care about what’s going on on and be a point-of-contact for all questions regarding the project.

You do not have any advertisement on the website. How is the project funded? is a non-commecial and advertising free project. The project is financed thru donations from several firms and institutions, e.g. we received a free credit from Amazon Web Services to build and the free code hosting on their cloud computing solutions which really works great. Donations are only accepted without any obligations to the project.

The chat on the website reminds me of the Facebook chat. What can you say about that?

The chat is a self-developed feature which is not part of buddypress which we use also. The chat will be delivered to the WordPress and Buddypress community. We see the chat as an instant communication tool where people who work on common projects can communicate in a synchron way. Beside the chat we have an internal messaging system for asynchron communication between project members.

Why should I put my project on and not use pages like Launchpad or Sourceforge?

First of all we provide a freedom of choice. Users now can choose between GIT and SVN, but we have the integration of additional repository tools and tools like trac, code analytics, automated bug analysis, code quality reviews on our list. Second we combined it with a comprehensive project management plugin which is not finish yet. Third we offer a free code hosting without any limitations in terms of storage size, number of team mates or number of projects. Fourth the whole code hosting runs on Amazon Web Services with a liability of 99,9999%, so your code is secure. Fifth we are very keen about a great design and great usability. We believe that many site have really a lack here. promotes the networking of developers on their platform. How is this done?

We provide to tools that developer can network. We are working now on more comprehensive user profiles and a reputation management system. Our goal is that will be a place where developers from all over the world can meet, connect and find new and interesting relations to other coders…

What will happen to my data, I leave on the page? Is it possible for not registered users or crawling bots to see my participation in groups, etc.?

Personal data and the protection of data privacy is one of our major goals. We bring the user into full control about his/her data, e.g. compared to other social networks a deletion of a user account is 100% with all related data. We will not use any user data for any commercial activities…

You have code hosting using Git and Svn. What about for example Mercurial or Bazaar?

Well, as I stated above. We have plans to integrate additional code hosting concepts like Mercurial, Bazaar and others. But we are a small team and we need the support from the community. Than we can speed up and provide it earlier…

What are your plans for the future?

We have the vision that will be the best place for developers in the Internet. But we will not preset this direction or what this really means. We hope that many, many developer will engage with us and participate in the further developments. I don’t know where will be in 3 or 5 years. It is something like a journey without knowing the final destination…

Many thanks to Sandra Jüssen for the interview.

Blogparade: Ubuntu installed, and then?

Picking the idea frmo I hereby present what I am doing after installing Ubuntu.

Depending on my time, I did everything already. Setting every programm new, leave the home-partition, as it was, and everything between. But a few things are done (nearly) every time:

Install programs

  • Thunderbird + Plugins
  • Gimp
  • Chromium (Begining with the next installation) + Plugins
  • Gnome-Do
  • KeepassX
  • Banshee
  • GnuCash
  • Xmind
  • Scribus
  • Dropbox (Using a PPA)
  • VLC Player
  • VirtualBox (Using a PPA)
  • ubuntu-restricted-extras
  • Ding
  • TrueCrypt
  • Apache Server + PHP + MySql + phpMyAdmin
  • vim

Install Update

Recover Data

  • Documents
  • Photos
  • Music
  • ~/bin
  • ~/development

Recover Settings

  • Thunderbird
  • Chromium (especially my bookmarks)

Set startup programmes

  • Decrypt my documents (with are in a TruCrypt container, that is synced via Dropbox)
  • Gnome-Do

Some more settings

  • Use Neo systemwide
  • Wlan
  • Compiz

Computer in Uganda

Unfortunately this article, “Computer in Uganda” is only available in German. You can try to use Google Translate to get a version suitable for you.

Facebook Friends?

I just recognized a new function on Facebook. I can see news from people, I requested to befriend with, but who have not (yet) confirmed, on my wall.

Those news have to be (at least I think so) available for everybody to be shown there. Nevertheless I am a bit scared, that everybody can subscribe to my contents like this. Especially as status updates are visible for everybody by default.

LUG Uganda – Python + AppEngine

After the monthly meeting of the Linux User Group (LUG) Mbarara, there was another meeting on 23. July. A coorporate meeting of all three LUG groups here in Uganda, with Google.

After many weeks of preparation on the Uganda LUG mailing list, many phone calls and a lot of worries, I, who is living 5 hours away from the capital city, to get up at 4:00 am, At 5:00 am, the LUG Mbarara met to drive to Kampala with a hired coaster.

Shortly after 1:00 pm, the time, whe wo wanted to start, we arrived at Makerere university. The traffic jam and the security checks with full body checks made us arrive a bit late. The bulk waiting for us was huge.

Fortunately, I just bypassed the waiting crowd to discuss the last details. The rest from Mbarara had, at least, priority to chose places at one of the 100 Ubuntu Thin Clients. Unfortunately the others were not so lucky. After the room was overcrowded with 160 people, we had to close the doors. Some other 50 interested people could not enter anymore. Worse Luck.

After some introductiory speeches about the Linux User Group Uganda, FOSS software, our partners,  Hackers for Charity, S7 Labs, Apps4Africa and Google, the real program started.

John Chamberlain held a 2 hours introduction to python. In front of 160 people something not really easy. After using the interactive python shell, some calculations and a “hello world” programme, a game got programmed, where the player has to guess a numbre between 1 and 100. The computer then answers smaller or bigger, depending on nuber that the computer generated randomly before.

Afterwards Richard Ngamita showed the Goole App Engine. Web programs based on Python, that are hosted by Google and build on an Google frameword, what promises scalable and always available programs. There is no need to connect to a database, this is automatically done, by the Google API. The To-Do list, that was created in the presentation, is really slim. You only need to know all the API commands. Unfortunately my list was on of the few, that were running in the end.

In the meantime, Daniel Stern had his UConnect truck build up, to be stared at after the presentations.

The great end of the day was the after party in the Google offices in Kampala. A nice office with an nice view on the glowing city in the evening. Although the pizzas were gone even faster as the places at the workstations before, the evening was really great.

More pictures, reviews and some videos are available on the official event page: