The SourceForge Mirage Effect

I have now started to regularly experience what I will class as the ‘SourceForge Mirage Effect.’ Let me explain this phenomenon with a common scenario:

You’re working on your latest project, and would like to find an Open Source component to expedite development. You’ve already checked Apache and its Jakarta projects, and have returned empty-handed.

You then decide to head to the mecca of Open Source projects, SourceForge. After choosing a few choice search terms, you click the ‘Search’ button and BAM! The search results come back, and there at the top of your list is Xyz4J. You take a look at the description, and it sounds perfect. Xyz4J has everything you’re looking for – and more.  Now, just as your expectations have been built up, you click on the project name, and are taken to the project page where you are greeted with the following information:

Activity Percentile (last week): 0%

This Project Has Not Released Any Files

CVS Repository ( 0 commits, 0 adds )

You’ve just experienced the SourceForge Mirage Effect.

My one request to the SourceForge team: Add a checkbox on the main page search for ‘Only search projects with released files.’

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2 Responses to The SourceForge Mirage Effect

  1. Aquarion says:

    It may not limit the search for you, but SF’s results page does show a disk icon for every project in the list that actually has released files

  2. Jason says:

    Yes, this definitely helps. However, for searches that return a large result set, it would be nice to filter out those without released files before the matching projects are returned. Also, it doesn’t handle the projects that haven’t officially released files, but have useful code in their CVS repositories.
    Am I asking for too much? There’s certainly a lot of ‘skeleton’ projects in SF. Projects that are ideas without activity. Does anyone know how often SF goes through their databases to remove inactive projects (those without any released files or content in their CVS repositories) ?

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