2008-07-07

Why I Host Projects on Mozdev

I've been using Mozdev for almost eight years, ever since it started hosting Forumzilla, my project to build a Mozilla-based web forum reader (which eventually became a Thunderbird extension and then Thunderbird's built-in feed reading feature).

Mozdev plays the critical role in the Mozilla community of hosting Mozilla-related projects that aren't considered core enough to the Mozilla mission to host on official community infrastructure.  It's a great adjunct to AMO, which distributes many of the projects that Mozdev hosts.

Over the years, I've been happy to host a number of such projects there, including the aforementioned Forumzilla plus Bugxula (defunct), Tinderstatus, and revision control/bug tracking for the Labs project Personas.

Although there have always been alternatives, they have been unpalatable: SourceForge has a cumbersome and unfamiliar interface, and hosting on my own server would have meant doing all my own systems administration.  I use Mozdev because I want to focus on my projects, not on the infrastructure for developing them.

Over the last couple of years, Google Code has become an option.  Although it provides much less functionality than Mozdev (and limits how many projects you can create), it does have a simpler interface and a more modern revision control system.

The folks who run Mozdev (which includes me) want simplicity and modern services (without sacrificing power) for Mozdev too, and we've identified three priorities in that regard: adding Mercurial for revision control, implementing WYSIWYG content editing, and automating project creation and management.

So I'm thrilled to read Mozdev developer Doug Warner's announcement today, via a post to the project owners mailing list, that he has landed Mercurial support.  Now you can get all the goodness of Hg hosted on your behalf for any of your Mozilla-related projects.

Eight years later, I think Mozdev remains the best place to host my projects, and it's just getting better.  I can't wait to see what's next (and I have some ideas about what simple WYSIWYG editing could look like, about which more soon).

3 comments:

dafi said...

You post is an excellent analysis about moz-stuff hosting.
I use SF and I'm starting to found it awful.
The forum is too much complicated and I'm not free to handle it better.
After four years is very difficult to shift on mozdev or TuxFamily.

I want to migrate my extensions from SF but many websites refer to my sorceforge.net
space it I'm afraid this can create confusion.

Migration from a free space to another must be planned when you have "addicted" users :-P

Anonymous said...

I'm preparing to open source a Firefox extension I've been working on and I'm thinking mozdev is a better choice than sourceforge. After reading your post I'm thinking you'd agree. The fact that my project is a Firefox extension and it will use the MPL license, does this make mozdev a more obvious choice than sourceforge?

Myk said...

anonymous: Yup, I do think Mozdev is a better choice than SourceForge for your project! It's simpler to use than SourceForge, and its tools are similar to the ones Mozilla developers use (which helps if you ever decide to start participating in Mozilla development efforts like Firefox).

Also, you'll be part of a community of developers hosting Firefox extensions and other projects at Mozdev who are a good resource for questions about extension hacking, distribution via AMO, and other Mozilla-related topics.