Projecthosting on Bettercodes

A few days ago, I got an invitation from a registered user, to register on Bettercodes.org, 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 bettercodes.org in three sentences?

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

The project is currently in a beta phase. When will it be completely opened?

bettercodes.org 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 bettercodes.org and be a point-of-contact for all questions regarding the bettercodes.org project.

You do not have any advertisement on the website. How is the project funded?

bettercodes.org 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 bettercodes.org 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 bettercodes.org 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.

Bettercodes.org 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 bettercodes.org 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 bettercodes.org 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 bettercodes.org 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.

Facebook Contacts Campaign

On Facebook I got greeted today by a window offering me to import all my friends from my mail accounts address book to Facebook. They promise not to save any passwords. They copy the whole address book onto their servers, though, and create statistics (also about not registered people). If one of those people then registeres with Facebook, you will get a friendship request automatically. They also save phone numbers. Those are data, which I don’t want Facebook to have.

For those who used this function once und now want to remove all the stored data (and that is, why I am writing this article), use this link: http://www.facebook.com/contact_importer/remove_uploads.php

[UPDATE:]

Till now I thought that you can Facebook, if you follow their rules – like free interpretation of their words – seriously. At least I did not think of something like this (linked homepage is in German).

MeeGo Dropbox App

Since the announcement of MeeGo I am following its development. MeeGo is a operating system based on Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin. I am as well thinking about buying a MeeGo based mobile phone.

For backups of important files I use Dropbox. As it is as well suitable for synchronizing of bookmarks, password databases etc. I would like to have a version running on my handheld device.

As the Dropbox developers took a long time creating an Android application and i would like to have one for MeeGo when I buy my device, I created the Idea “Dropbox für MeeGo” on their idea platform “Votebox”. MeeGo 1.0 is supposed to be released in May. Now enough votes are needed for the Dropbox developers to see this idea and hopefully implement it.

Every Dropbox user has six votes per month, which can be distributed on different ideas within the votebox. All votes can be given to different ideas, or if you favor one especially, you can give all of them to one idea.

Here the link to my Idea: https://www.dropbox.com/votebox/1629/meego-application (Dropbox Account needed to vote)

For those who do not know Dropbox: It is an internet data safe, available for Windows, Mac, Linux and (soon) several mobile devices. Every user gets 2 GB of free space. 50 GB can be bought for 10 $ per month. 100 GB cost 20 $. You download the appropriate version for your operating system, install it and all files and folders withing a special folder (using Linux usually ~/Dropbox) will be synchronized with the online safe. If you need access to your files from a computer, which is not linked to your Dropbox account, there is a web interface.

Using referrer links the free space can be expanded up to 10 GB.

Best thing is: Everybody using a referral link to sign up, gets 250 MB of extra space as well.

If you are not yet using Dropbox and want to have a look, just use this link to get your extra 250 MB space.

Feedstats

To collect statistics about this blog I use Piwik. Unfortunately this cannot take care of users which are only reading the RSS-Feed. I did not want to use an external service. The statistics are not so interesting, that I would like to give them to google. Accidentally I stumbled over Feedstats, a WordPress plugin, having only few functions (as far as I know Feedburner is much more powerfull) but enough for my needs.

The plugin can be found in the menu below the dashboard and shows the visitors of the last days in a table and a small graphic. There are the average of users per day, the maximum of users per day and the maximum of visitors online at the same time. But the most interesting part is (in my opinion) the statistic showing which feed was visited how often.

Additionally to this statistic there is a small widget for the dashboard providing some information without the need of visiting the whole statistic.

As you obviously see on the pictures, some more readers would not harm. Do not hesitate and subscribe my feed, if you like my posts 😉

Not Joining Facebook Group

These days there are so many groups appearing on Facebook promising 20 or 50 facts about something. The best video you have ever seen. Or something else. But only if you join and invite as many friends as possible. Sometimes the title sounds quite interesting, but I do not want to join such a group just for the purpose of passing some time and reading some (promised to be) funny story.

But there are tools to show the content of those groups easily. It is tested with three different groups, but I do not know what exact possibilities Facebook gives the group owners. Might not work everywhere. Everything you need is the Firefox Plugin Firebug. I do not know if something similar is available for other browsers. To understand a bit HTML is also an advantage.

Go to the page of the group, you want to see.

Right-click on the free space, where you expect some content. Click “inspect with firebug” and the firebug frame opens. See if the selected code marks the space on the page, if you move the mouse there. The particular code should include either “visibility: hidden” or “display: none”.

Change the value of this particular tag (the word after the colon) to “block” which is (at least for the display tag) the right value to show the object.

And like magic the content shows up. Repeat so for any other invisible object that might be there.

Close firebug again.

You have now successfully fooled Facebook to reveal some content for you.

The plugin firebug was developed for web developers who want to play with some code directly on webpages. I used it quite a lot while adjusting the grava design to this page. But the plugin can do a lot more.