Happy new year to everyone !

To start 2013, I decided to move Ghost4J from sourceforge to GitHub !


Why moving ?

When I started Ghost4J, 4 years ago I chose to host it on sourceforge : I already knew the platform and it felt confortable for me: SVN, FTP access for the web site… Classical tools.

At the time I didn’t know GitHub (and not even git - the scm tool) at all, and even when I got to know it, it took me some time to understand the benefits of such a platform.

Then, last month I read a very interesting article (in french : A celui qui a fait Twitter Bootstrap), in few words : how a successful open source project can swallow your life and some things you should never do with open source.

Of course, Ghost4J is not Twitter Bootstrap (and will never be), but here are some lessons this article taught (or reminded) me:

  • The open source project you started can’t (and must not) stay yours forever: if you decide to give it to a community, then the community must own the project at some point. As the founder, your role is to invite and help people to contribute. The sooner you do it, the most successful the project will become.
  • An open source project should not be centralized: of course at the beginning you do everything by yourself, but if someone is interested in helping you: you must accept it and give him the ‘keys’ to your project (access to tools, share the roadmap with him…).

Why GitHub ?

After that I realized that GitHub was the tool that could help me : with sourceforge I had to copy/paste or patch the code contributed by users by myself as GitHub provides the fork / pull request mechanism, probably the best way to integrate contributions.

GitHub is a social network… For coders, and this is very important : it is easier to get in touch with other developers, and the stars / forks give you a good mesure of involvement of others around your project, as sourceforge only gives you the number of binaries downloaded per day and a user rating mechanism that nobody uses anyway…

GitHub has also better (more recent) tools than sourceforge : git, issue tracking, general site looking (much clearer than sourceforge, even if it got better last year).

So what’s new ?

The web site for the project is now http://www.ghost4j.org (yes: I bought the domain!) and it is managed by the gh-pages feature of GitHub (and can be re-published with a single maven command !).

The site is still generated by the maven site plugin, but I decided to update the documentation and it uses the fluido skin now (form a Bootstrapped look !).

The GitHub page for the project isĀ https://github.com/zippy1978/ghost4j.

I even set up a repository for maven artifact releases and snapshots (check the web site out for instructions).