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 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.

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).

Shifting and more

This blog is really growing these days. I started many years ago with a small page on Funpic to teach myself some HTML. Quite fast I shifted to bplaced.net who are providing free webspace without advertisement. Slowly some content was gathered there. At the beginning of this year I decided to give my page a name and make this Blog out of it.

Now the free webspace is not fitting my needs anymore. For all the work I am doing here I need some more functions. Unfortunately on bplaced pingbacks and trackbacks are not working. Therefore I will shift to a virtual server from Host Europe. Planned date is next weekend. I think that PhYnformatik shall be available the whole time, but I need to deactivate comments for one or two days.

Thank you very much bplaced! I am really greatful for their good service. I only had a small problem once, and it could be solved within a few hours after reporting it.

When shifting I have planned to include Flattr here. Here is an invitation code: 6b8f8ad826c05d5f1

PhYnformatik can be found on Facebook as well. Integration of Facebook’s Features (like the “I like it” button) are – due to data privacy reasons – not on my agenda.

I am really wondering how everything will work out and if I can meet all expectations. Yours as well as my own. Don’t hesitate to make suggestions or give constructive criticism if you see any issue here.

News in the Internet

My daily media comsume these days is restricted to my laptop. The Uganda papers are not comparable to German ones if you talk about independence and respectability. I only read them on a five hours bus trip, when there is nothing else to do.

Before I came here, I used to read the local paper (nearly) everyday while having breakfast. Sometimes I red the Süddeutsche as well. I rarely watched news on TV, but while driving I listened to the News provided by the Bayrischer Rundfunk.

Here I get my news from Google News. I can chose areas of interest and now get news about politics, economy, technics, Germany and the world. I even get articles about my German hometown and  what is in the German news about Uganda (and is quite interesting). All the news are aggregated from different news pages.

Additionally I subscribed 10 blogs about Linux (mostly Ubuntu), 3 about MeeGo, 11 about technics generally and 15 more and I am using Facebook. My account on identi.ca is not used, as I don’t have too much bandwith to waste.

Lena’s (and therefore Germany’s) victory of the Eurovision Song Contest was brought to my by one of my subscribed blogs. I read about the resignation of the German President Horst Köhler at Facebook first. Are those media channels so much faster than the former ones? What about the reliability? These days I get most of the news, I am ineterested in, brought directly to me. A Ugandan friend first told me about the Bayern Munichs failure in the Champions League Finals (even though I am not too much into football). If I then want further information, I can easily get it. First step there is to verify the announcement what I am (disgrace on me) not doing for every message. Especially if it is nothing to important, I just leave it like this. But if I want to know more, I mostly use the traditional news pages.

How are you getting informed? Is there anybody getting his paper in the mornig delifered on his tablet pc? What is the primary news channel? What about news while you are on holiday, on a business trip in a foreign country or (like me) staying abroad for some more time?