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The general direction and scope of project hosting on Google Code
Updated Sep 22, 2009 by

Making Project Hosting on Google Code Better

If you are interested in understanding the why Google Code's project hosting facility has and doesn't have certain features, how to get bugs fixed, or contribute ideas, then this document is for you.


To start with the basics, why do we host open source projects in the first place? The short answer is that project hosting exists to help the open source world. We've infused a slightly longer answer into our mission statement:

Mission Statement

To support the open source community by providing a scalable, reliable, and fast collaborative development environment for open source software, docs, and standards that promotes best practices in open source software engineering.

We spent a lot of time on that sentence and really tried to pack it with meaning. So, if you'll indulge us, let's explain why our mission statement is formulated the way that it is:

"To support the open source community"

Our primary goal is to do what we think is best for the open source community as a whole. One way of helping is to provide a lightweight collaborative development environment that's designed to be used as a one-stop project hosting facility or provide a la carte features to meet the needs of an open source project that just needs one part of our system.

Our goal is to provide project hosting features that are generally useful for open source software development. This means that we most likely will not be adding more arcane features that meet the needs of a very specific subset of open source projects. Our general guideline on adding features is that if a feature doesn't apply to at least 80% of the existing open source projects, we won't add it.

In addition, we think that license proliferation is bad for the open source community, so we only allow a subset of licenses to be used on Google Code as a way of discouraging license proliferation. License proliferation means the creation and use of new OSS licenses that have no reason for existing. There are over 200 open source approved licenses, most of which are variants of existing licenses that do not add much value. This state of affairs makes compliance with open source licenses a nightmare because you can no longer simply rely on having a small number of licenses if you use open source libraries (in either an open source or a commercial product), but instead have to deal with mixing code from as many licenses as you use libraries. This is not just bad from a legal perspective, but it is a huge turnoff for people wanting to use and create open source. The licenses we have chosen cover the needs of 99% of our users, and our stand on license proliferation has actually helped to create a dialog about what licenses people should be using, and given us a chance to educate people about good license choice.

Lastly, our feature set intentionally excludes, or greatly simplifies, many of the "enterprise" features that collaborative development environments provide because we think that these features are not needed for the majority of open source projects. We've also decided to concentrate on a small number of tools in our application and to try to do each one well.

"scalable, reliable, and fast"

We intend to scale seamlessly to over a million projects, accommodating any "Slashdot effects" without degrading service to either the project being slashdotted or any other projects we host. Our goal for reliability is 99.99% uptime, no 500 errors, and no lost data, ever (We keep multiple backups in several different geographic locations). As part of this, we want to provide a multi-homed service that will accommodate data center downtime without inconveniencing end-users.

As for speed, our website should provide subsecond response times, and our Subversion server should be as fast or faster than a stock Subversion DAV server. We know that we're not there yet, but we're working on it.

As for usability, we follow the lead set by other successful Google products that emphasize fast interaction, quick task completion, and a clean visual appearance. Specifically, our issue tracker and subversion tools should have performance that is on par with the best competing tools. We focus on high-frequency use cases, but allow our target audience the versatility to handle a long-tail of diverse usage. For example, our issue tracker makes it easy for teams to track fields that are specific to the needs of their project, and even to track unusual issues that don't fit any a priori schema. We balance the needs of different classes of users to help maintain the overall health of the community. For example, we limit the ability of project owners to customize project home pages in any ways that would make it harder for end-users to quickly navigate through multiple projects.

"collaborative development environment"

Project hosting on Google Code provides the tools necessary for engineers to work together to build, and maintain open source software. Collaboration is key to building better software, and to building better software development communities.

"for open source software, docs, and standards"

We only intend to host projects that are open source software projects, documentation projects directly related to open source software development, and projects for the development and maintenance of open standards.

"that promotes best practices in open source software engineering"

We've tried to make it easy for our users to follow "best practices" in software engineering, specifically with regard to open source.


This mission is reflected in many of the features that we've added as well as, more importantly, the features that we haven't added.

We Want To Hear From You

If you have questions or comments, or support requests, please join our mailing list at If you'd like to report a bug or file a feature request, first search through the open issues at to see if there's an existing issue that covers your needs and indicate your interest by starring the issue (Note that you have to be logged into your Google account to star an issue); the more people that star an issue, the higher it will rank on our list of priorities. If you don't find an issue that matches your request, please file a new issue at

The content on this page created by Google is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. User-generated content is not included in this license.

Comment by, Aug 23, 2009

not the first, certainly hope not to be the last either. I love the thoughtfulness of you guys :-) Particularly about not allowing any and all licenses, but just a subset... it is wonderful how you, instead of trying to bunch it all together in a bulky solution, choose to make slim, functional and adaptable ones. kudos!

Comment by gstein, Sep 22, 2009

The "one version control system" no longer applies.

I also believe you veered away from this mission statement with the roles/descriptions. Almost all Open Source projects that I've ever seen and participated within do not have highly-managed descriptions of what each person does. It is almost always a casual process, and documenting roles is for the control-hungry dictators/leads. To put another way: the introduction of granular permissions came with pointy-hat role descriptions; (imo) the permissions are fine/great, but too much was layered over them.

Comment by, Sep 22, 2009

gstein: Thanks for reviewing this. I updated the language about "one version control system".

Regarding the duties feature, a lot of good technical people like to document roles and processes a little. It helps coordinate people, and adds a feeling of organization and stability to the project. The control-hungry version of it would be to enforce roles or limit people's contributions based on roles, and to only allow project owners to edit them. The simple ability to document each contributor's expected duties in plain text provides an outlet for that urge to define roles, so that project owners are not tempted to misuse the formal permission system to do that. That outlet seems to be working. And, anyone can edit their own duties, so the tone and level of detail is up to social forces in the team.

This blog post shows that some projects have chosen to use it. Some use it to document their team organization and reward contributors with recognition. And some use it to express their team culture in fun ways. You should be concerned if you see a blog post about people using formal permissions in a bunch of crazy ways!

Comment by, Oct 5, 2009

Can you guys express your subjective opinion on how you compare with, say with Sourceforge or Launchpad? Do you collaborate with this folks?

Comment by, Nov 3, 2009

Free, decent, hosted svn is a time-strapped CS undergrad's dream. Thanks for the effort, everyone

Comment by, Dec 19, 2009


Comment by, Jan 23, 2010

I love Google Code! Gonna host my projects here from now on.

Comment by, Feb 3, 2010

Google code is nice, but i miss GIT support very much! :-(

Comment by, Feb 22, 2010

Hmm...I'm working on a small project and need version control. It isn't open source right now, so I can't host it here. Seems a little hypocritical for google (who's core engine is NOT open source) to favor open source projects so much and not the rest of the computing industry. I'm just saying ;)

Comment by, Mar 11, 2010

Yep, I don't mind to pay Google to use their service for my private use. I am just tired of maintaining SVN and Trac.

Comment by, Mar 30, 2010

احلى اضافة المساعد

Comment by, May 1, 2010

like code in google it is free

Comment by, May 19, 2010

Would pay for private spaces, but need Git.. I know Git isn't at 80% usage but SVN is pretty bad, I am continually having to rescue people from branches gone wrong and crazy merge problems, things you don't see with Git.

Comment by, Jun 15, 2010

Are there any plans to offer private project hosting as part of Google Apps Premier?

Comment by, Jun 21, 2010

Using Google Code together with Google Groups and GitHub? is the perfect combination for most of my open-source projects :-)

Comment by somicide, Jun 30, 2010

Just dropping by to say thanks

Comment by, Jul 6, 2010

This is amazing. Although I am new to all this does anyone know if we add our business applications on google app engine will it be secure I mean what if one does not want to show the code ?I am not against google but can we trust them so that no one sees our code.If yes then it is amazing.Hats off to google team.

Thanks google.

Comment by, Aug 25, 2010

I was just looking around. I have open source projects sourceforge. My concern is that the biggest company in the IT world right now (ohhhh! forget M$ for a minute, they won't exist soon) controls a competitor to pure opensource hosting. I do not trust big companies. What reassurance do we get that Google won't turn its back to opensource one day (say in 20 years) and decide to take advantage of all this code for its own profit? Don't give me the License bull... they only worth the money you put to assert them.

Comment by, Aug 25, 2010

georgosn, open source is usually put out for the benefit of everyone, whether they be individuals, small companies, or big companies. Google already makes use of a lot of open source, and so do almost all other Internet and software companies. I hope that you like what we have been able to do with it. If you feel strongly that you don't want your projects to be used commercially, then don't make it open source at all because open source implies no "field of endeavor restrictions". See Google takes licensing very seriously and we have a very proactive compliance group.

Comment by, Aug 27, 2010

I don't think you understood the meaning of the sentence above. I didn't mean that Google, or any other giant/company for all that matters, makes USE of open source. There is a reason that I put in the same sentence the expression "takes advantage" and "turn its back on open source". I am and will continue to write open source and in fact deliberately I put LGPL in my source. I want companies, no matter how big or small to make money out of using open source code and I have a philosophy behind my actions. What darkens my thoughts is the possible infringement of licenses and using code of others without paying the respect that is due. You may take licensing serious now but what is keeping you on that (usually a law) may slowly disappear. With big money comes big power (even political power) and then laws change. Besides, a law is nothing but a tool for the powerful to control the weak. Anyway, I did not mean my post as an attack, it is only a general point that I wished to be heard especially by a powerful ear. It looks like I succeeded, thanks for taking the time to reply.

Comment by, Sep 6, 2010


Comment by, Sep 29, 2010


Comment by, Sep 30, 2010

so do I

Comment by, Oct 1, 2010

Congrats! Google goes up in my 'coolness' rating scale once more :)

Comment by, Oct 26, 2010


Comment by, Oct 26, 2010


Comment by, Oct 29, 2010

just say hi :)

Comment by, Dec 28, 2010

全是英文啊!!! 有代码都不知道怎么托管,晕ing 能否出个中文的啊?

Comment by, Jan 13, 2011

全是英文啊!!! 有代码都不知道怎么托管,晕ing 能否出个中文的啊?

Comment by, Jan 18, 2011

用google chorme翻译一下就OK了

Comment by, Jan 30, 2011

Can Flash documents be open source in Google Project Hosting? I'm curious.

Comment by, Feb 25, 2011

I'm trying google code and I have a question: is there any way to know the number of check outs of my project by other users?

Comment by, Mar 7, 2011

keren boss..

Comment by, Mar 10, 2011

c'est une bonne idée

Comment by, Apr 1, 2011

I would like to learn decoding as well as how to make gadgets.Any teachers out there?

Comment by CaptainSmokey1000, Apr 25, 2011

u should make it optional, plus its reloading a whole new page after leaving a comment which is like stone age. Cool idea would have home page slide out in ice animation & fill up most of screen but still have window left over showing ur comment and all the comments in it in scrollable window. Or just have comment confirmation when the home page reloads, with a preview of your comment there so it doesn't confuse people at first.

Comment by, Jul 2, 2011

Great write up, very thoughtful.

Comment by, Jul 21, 2011


Comment by, Aug 3, 2011

Great!!! really it is cool.

I am wondering how I will host my private project(not open source) to google code??? is there any option to make my project private??????? :)

Comment by, Sep 5, 2011

I am currently in the middle stages of bringing a new and socially relevant Site that will enable People to establish a more personal link with their peers and friends...while at the same time generating support for various causes and Projects that will benefit those who are deserving of our efforts..and this will also lead to the development of new and revolutionary Art forms..and Creative links within the Artistic Community.

Comment by, Sep 7, 2011

thanks a lot.

Comment by, Oct 5, 2011
This doc explains a lot, but I'm still bothered by the question for whose sake I entered this page: Are projects in Google Code Hosting all created by end-users? I mean, have you guys also crawled some OSS projects over the internet to feed the search engine? In this way, I'm confused about the main purpose of your project -- a vertical search engine for OSS's or a collaborative environment? Thanks.
Comment by, Nov 2, 2011

help me pls

Comment by, Nov 11, 2011

The 3rd block of the chapter "To support the open source community" of this document needs to be updated/harmonized with the document at:

Comment by, Jan 10, 2012

كيف تعالج نفسك من المطبخ

Comment by, Jan 20, 2012

ok marius,i connect to you now to Nigeria and my Holden in Jepun for big amma and sound fiuters of papa...

Comment by, Jan 20, 2012

this is commentar of Unik & security of my house become the disclimer

Comment by, Jan 20, 2012

ok,selamat jalan kawan..howdYY

Comment by, Feb 9, 2012

GCode is where I am migrating all my stuff these days - free, fast, and 2 factor auth with a third "factor" for SVN :D

Comment by, Jun 9, 2012

支持google code……

Comment by, Dec 23, 2012

a lot of double entries on Nov 26, 2012 and some interesting points of view before 2010, august.... so I expect no serious monitoring over here (allthough I may be mistaken)....but how I got here, that's something to investigate.... (from my point of view)

Comment by, Jan 14, 2013


Comment by, Jan 24, 2013


Comment by mrimranzahoor28, Mar 17, 2013

good marketing

Comment by, May 9, 2013

good morning....

Comment by, Jun 21, 2013

Filing or finding an issue on this plattform is a pain. For filing a new issue, filters should be addes. This way others can find already filed bugs. e.g.: - App bug concerns - Version of app - version of OS - service bug concerns (bluetooth, sound, etc.) - ...

Comment by, Feb 10, 2014

2014-2-7 PM3:29于 <>写道:

Comment by harunaabdullahi3, Mar 24, 2014

nice of you google ilove that.

Comment by, Mar 25, 2014

Abdiwali Bilal

Comment by, Apr 1, 2014

Just dropby and like to say tnx google..

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