10 Aug

Codeplex hates open-source

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Did that get your attention? Good. I took my open-source baby steps with Codeplex and after about a year or two I discovered GitHub and I?ve literally not looked back since. So today I set out to send a pull request for a project that is hosted on Codeplex and I was amazed how alienated I felt. I?ve not spent a lot of time on Codeplex since it became all fancy with Git, Mercurial and a new ?user-interface style formally known as Metro? design.

So I went to the project page and was presented with this


And I started looking for a way to fork the project. Can you see it? Look really careful! Still can?t see it? Me neither. That?s because there is no way to fork from the project page. Hmm odd.

Oh, as you can see, I am sending the awesome Jeremy Skinner for Fluent Validation

Since I couldn?t find a way to fork on the project page, I continued to head over the Source Page and saw this.


At first I thought I?d run into another dead end, but after some more scanning I found this


Not the most obvious thing is it? Why would they make something so important so obscure? Not only is it hidden away in the sub-pages for the project, but on the page they decided to put it, they made it so small and stuck it in the corner .. squeeeezing it in between the top menu and side menu!?

In the end I noticed Fluent Validation was also maintained on GitHub so I ended up just forking that repository instead

GitHub 1 ? Codeplex 0

6 thoughts on “Codeplex hates open-source

  1. Andreas, I appreciate your feedback on the CodePlex UI design. I won’t disagree with you that the ability to find the Fork action within a project is currently difficult. This is an area that you will see improvement over the coming weeks. Making code come through on projects is an area of improvement that we are focused on, keep the feedback coming.

    Although I understand the need for eye-catching blog titles. But to me, it is not fair to reference user experience gap and extend it to a statement that “CodePlex hates open source”. Not true.

    The CodePlex team is committed to providing a great experience for open source developers. I think your feedback on the UI is valid and I would like to continue the conversation about other areas of improvement.

    -Mark Groves
    Program Manager – CodePlex

  2. Mark, the title of the blog post was meant to be provocative and anyone that takes the time to read past the first sentence are likely to realize that.

    To be fair the blog title was probably strong reason why you found it in the first place and even took it upon you to comment on it?
    Thanks for the info on the upcoming changes to the UI, looking forward to seeing the changes. I, quite frankly, hated the old design and I really to like the Metro, sorry Modern UI, theme 😀

  3. The title did cause a few emails into my inbox. But I do read your blog so I would have noticed it, but since I was on vacation this past week I was a little behind on keeping up with posts.

    Thanks for the feedback on the M***o Inspired UI. We do love the feedback, we can’t make things better if people assume we don’t care and self sensor. Anytime catch me on twitter @mgroves84 or mgroves at microsoft

  4. Andreas,

    You know I love ya, man.

    As you get older and wiser by meeting people like Mark (who is a freaking smart dude with a lot of heart and professionalism), I bet you’ll learn not to do this anymore 🙂

    These sorts of things affect people. Not large, faceless organizations. The organization remains unaffected while Mark probably had to do some scrambling yesterday because of this.

    Here’s the good news: I will soon be able to help find exactly the person to talk to about these things and hook you up (at least within MSFT).

  5. David,

    I do sincerely think that the blog post title is nothing more than a headline that pulls people in. Once you start reading I am confident that the vast majority, Mark included, get that I’m not literally saying they hate open-source.

    And if a provocative blog post title can bring the Program Manager of Codeplex to the post and just maybe speed up the change just even a little then it’s a total victory in my book 🙂

    Having access to the right people in the right position at Microsoft is handy, but truth be told I think a post like this puts a bit more on the table than just the immediate fix.. I like to think that thing like this might challenge what ever team it concern to give stuff that one extra iteration before something is released.

    Forking is *the* most significant feature for a collaborative site and diminishing it quickly sends the service down the route of being just place where you host your code.

    And yes, I am going to say this.. there is a reason that GitHub is rocketing when it comes to collaboration and it’s not because of git (quite frankly it scares a lot of people and its a bit of a hurdle to get over the initial learning curve), but it’s the attention they put in the small details around the whole “collaboration” part.

    … we’ll always have Vegas David! 😉

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