Just a Theory

By David E. Wheeler

Quest for PostgreSQL Project Hosting

The pgTAP project is currently hosted by pgFoundry. This is an old version of GForge, and from what I understand, highly modified for the PostgreSQL project. That’s fine, except that it apparently makes it impossible for anyone to find the tuits to upgrade it to newer versions.

And it needs upgrading. One annoying thing I noticed is that the URLs for release files include an integer in them. For example, the URL to download pgTAP 0.23 is http://pgfoundry.org/frs/download.php/2511/pgtap-0.23.tar.bz2. See the “25111” there? It appears to be a primary key value or something, but is completely irrelevant for a release URL. I would much prefer that the URL be something like http://pgfoundry.org/frs/download.php/pgtap-0.23.tar.bz2 or, even better, http://pgfoundry.org/projects/pgtap/frs/pgtap-0.23.tar.bz2. But such is not the case now.

Another issue is hosting. I’ve registered pgtap.org to use for hosting the pgTAP Web site, but there is no support for pointing a hostname at a pgFoundry/GForge site.

These issues could of course be worked out if someone had the tuits to take them on, but apparently there is no one. So I’m looking to move.

The question is, where to? I could get a paid GitHub account (the pgTAP source is already on GitHub) and be able to have a pgTAP site on pgtap.org from there, so that’s a plus. And I can do file releases, too, in which case the URL format would be something like http://cloud.github.com/downloads/theory/pgtap/pgtap-0.23.tar.bz2, which isn’t ideal, but is a hell of a lot better than a URL with a sequence number in it. I could put them on the hosted site, too, in which case they’d have whatever URL I wanted them to have.

There are only two downsides I can think of to moving to GitHub:

  1. No mail list support. The pgTAP mail list has next to no traffic so far, so I’m not sure this is a big deal. I could also set up a list elsewhere, like Librelist, if I really needed one. I’d prefer to have @pgtap.org mail lists, but it’s not a big deal.

  2. I would lose whatever community presence I gain from hosting on pgFoundry. I know that when I release a Perl module to CPAN that it will be visible to lots of people in the Perl community, and automatically searchable via search.cpan.org and other tools. A CPAN release is a release to the Perl community.

    There is nothing like this for PostgreSQL. pgFoundry is the closest thing, and, frankly, nowhere near as good (pgFoundry’s search rankings have always stunk). So if I were to remove my projects from pgFoundry, how could I make them visible to the community? Is there any other central repository of or searchable list of third-party PostgreSQL offerings?

So I’m looking for advice. Does having an email list matter? If I can get pgTAP announcements included in the PostgreSQL Weekly News, is that enough community visibility? Do you know of a nice project hosting site that offers hosting, mail lists, download mirroring and custom domain handling?

I’ll follow up with a summary of what I’ve found in a later post.

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