Monday, March 26, 2007

Can Codeplex make your code prettier too?

Disclaimer: the following is a part of comments that I posted on Josh Ledgard's new post Google makes your code prettier.  Since I have some pretty bad experience with posting long replies on MSDN site now I always save a copy.  I thought that since I haven't updated my site for a while, I will also post a part of my response here.

I took notice of Google Code a lot earlier than Codeplex because of its Summer of Code project. It is obvious that Google is very good at garnering the attention of (young) developers and keeping its reputation as the coolest place for developers.  For instance, on reddit the prettifier got 259 points.

Instead the last entry of FoxPro got released on CodePlex, got almost no attention.  (P.S. I always think that MS should release VB6, the latest obsolete/non .NET version of VB to codeplex.  VB6 is a lot more popular than FoxPro...)

It is not a popularity contest, but in general Google Code is the place where cool ideas come up.  Even if I have a cool .NET project I want to publish SourceForge is probably a better place for now.  Codeplex only hosts MS-sponsored project and is a PR machine.  That's the impression I get, is that true?

Below is my comments on Josh's blog

1. what makes google code more popular than codeplex besides publicity? well first of all they did a fine job at publishing their ideas. second, googlers are allowed to devote some of their own time into their own interesting projects. I guess it's not possible in MS but, I am sure you guys have written a lot of cool (little) tools that won't monetize but will be very useful. So maybe it's time to encourage Softie to publish their ideas (esp the ideas/prototype that aren't funded) into codeplex.

An open source playground where Softies (some of the smartest and most experienced coders in the world) publish their own cool gadget will get a lot of attention.

2. Re-amp the interface of codeplex: now it is a bit lame. The search bar should be in the middle, and i still prefer a directory of project types instead of popular tags. Popular tags should go to the right side (much like channel 9 where it lists the videos based on popularity).

3. What is the goal of codeplex? A place where "ideas" converge or a place where "Microsoft-published" ideas converge? If it's the latter then codeplex must expand to allow Java/Firefox plugins/eclipse plug-in to get hosted.

4. One thing that Google Code does better is to designate a person (not a no-name PR announcement) to introduce a cool idea in code.google.com. Too bad they haven't done it for their Open Source projects. But this is an opportunity for codeplex. Codeplex really needs a host who can communicate important ideas to the community. It's most vital for important projects like IronPython to garner attention!

5. although the MSDN website is very overloaded, it saddens me to not able to find a (obseravable link between msdn and codeplex. That really signifies the "importance" of codeplex within MS' priority list. If MSDN is the focal point of Windows developer, then it should be an entry point to codeplex, no?

Update: the comments never made it to Josh's blog.  It keeps rejecting them and I guess my voice wouldn't be heard :P

1 comment:

Jonathan Wanagel said...

You should post your comments on the CodePlex discussion: CodePlex Discussion