Tuesday, September 4, 2007

new burden on sites hosting open-source projects

All the cool kids are registering themselves and their projects at Ohloh.net, which bills itself as 'the open source network'. I'll let the visionaries of the blogosphere weigh in with insightful commentary about what Ohloh should mean to us all.

I did want to make one observation, though. It doesn't take much poking around to notice that there is a bit of an issue with downloading project history. The connection between you and the meta-data from your project(s) is a big part of what drives up your KudoRank. So obviously, you'd like to see the meta-data downloaded and processed as soon as you register each of your projects. But download failures seem to be a common problem -- not with all projects, but enough of them to be noticeable.

I started wondering how much of an unexpected burden is being placed on the sites hosting open-source projects by the rise in popularity of Ohloh.net. Take common-lisp.net, for instance, which hosts the source repos for many Common Lisp projects. Until now, it looked like the level of donations was keeping pace with the regular bandwidth costs and other expenses. But is Ohloh driving bandwidth costs up? And, is some fraction of the download problems that are observed at Ohloh possibly due to site administrators taking counter-measures to try to mitigate this issue?

It will be interesting to see if this is a real issue. In any case, this is a good excuse to encourage everyone to support the sites that host our projects.

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