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.

Everything New In July

Within the last weeks it was quite calm here. The reason is, that I was busy working on the base of PhYnformatik. WordPress is now running in version 3, the design has changed and I am trying to add some more value to the page using some plugins. For example relaed posts, that might be interesting to you, will be shown at the bottom of each entry. I have also integrated Flattr.

Flattr is a micropayment system that should make it easy giving money to authors in the internet for good content. Flattr is still in the beta phase, but I have some invitation codes for you (each code is only valid once):

  • a9379fb41d903b89d
  • 736023a7f4080f58f
  • 5e039f527eabac8db

I am also not alone here anymore. Dalabad will write some post in the future (when he gets time). Thanks for that in advance. He is also responsible for the selection of the design and has been helping working on the page. I think that he will introduce himself in an own post soon.

If anybody sees some errors, please leave a comment here.

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 😉

New Domain (and Configuration)

PhYnformatik ist now really PhYnformatik. The domain http://phynformatik.de is registered.

As the domain is pointing here, we have to tell wordpress to use it. The menu links are then updated automatically. Go to “Preferences → General” and set the WordPress- and Blog-address correctly.

You will see an error message after saving, because the new settings are not yet loaded from the database. Just reload the WordPress backend. Linked pictures or files within the articles have to be corrected manually.

Who is using several plugins with his browser (as me) should not forget to set some rights for them. I was wasting 15 minutes until I figured out, that I forgot allowing NoScript to execute Javascript on the new domain. Gears need to be allowed to access the “new” site as well.