Sourceforge alternatives?

Hi tech community, Since we’re currently re-doing the OpenMRS website, one of the pages that needs modernizing is the Download page. I can work with the Website Redesign squad to beautify this.

However, I’ve heard feedback from devs brand new to the OMRS community that they’re pretty surprised when they see we’re hosting things in Sourceforge - apparently it makes us look pretty old-school, not modern, etc.

My concern: I realize this isn’t the highest priority. However I can imagine this leaving a bitter taste for new developers who use our software - we’re putting all this energy into modernizing our tech stack, our website, and then suddenly it looks like we might not be as modern as we’re suggesting. (Feel free to tell me “no Grace you’re wrong, that’s an unfair assessment of Sourceforge, it’s ridiculous that you brought this up” :stuck_out_tongue: I’m not the expert here, just thinking about our users’ experience.)

Question: Are there any Sourceforge alternatives we could consider? Are there any possible quick-wins here? (Or is this a ridiculously huge lift that’s not even worth thinking about right now?)

CC: @burke @dkayiwa @moshon @ibacher @mogoodrich @mksrom @achachiez, curious to hear what you think :slight_smile:

I, too, had this reaction when I was starting out.

All the downloads that we provide via SourceForge are also stored in JFrog, so the quickest possible win would be to just update the links to point to the appropriate files there, though the URLs are a little tricky.

Here, for example, is the URL to download the OMRS Reference Application 2.11: https://openmrs.jfrog.io/ui/api/v1/download?repoKey=releases&path=org%2Fopenmrs%2Fdistro%2Freferenceapplication-standalone%2F2.11.0%2Freferenceapplication-standalone-2.11.0.zip.

Thank you @ibacher, both for validating this and for giving me a glimmer of hope that this could be a quick-ish fix (b/c of course links are super easy to update on the website).

I thought there was some issues with JFrog - for some reason I thought that the recent sunsetting of JFrong Bintray meant we couldn’t use that service anymore, maybe I got confused?

It’s a little bit confusing. JFrog, the company, had two products we were using, Bintray and Artifactory. Bintray was sunset, but Artifactory (which serves as our Maven repository) is still alive.

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FYI – We get valuable download stats from Sourceforge, including number of downloads and breakdown by country. If we move our downloads elsewhere, it would be nice to not lose that feature.

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We could pretty easily move that kind of tracking to Google Analytics, though (I setup something like that to track downloads through addons.openmrs.org).

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If modern is defined in terms of awesome features or ease of use that SourceForge does not provide, them am in for a migration. But if simply because SourceForge has been in use for many years and we just wanna switch to something new, then i would think otherwise. :slight_smile:

It would be really nice to keep everything in one place if possible.

I actually didn’t know about these Sourceforge stats :frowning: Will look into that

(Update for those interested; you can view the all-time OMRS downloads on Sourceforge here: OpenMRS Download Statistics: All Files

Findings:

  • Downloads have been on a downwards trend since 2017
  • 70% of our users are using Windows OS - I had expected to see few Mac OS, but I thought it would be gradually trending up. image

My strongest reason for wanting to move off of SourceForge is just that I don’t trust them at all after this fiasco. I know things supposed to be better now, but I’m still suspicious when I’m sent to a SourceForge link and tend to look for other ways to download something if at all possible. But that’s never been a compelling enough reason for suggesting it.

PS Another potential hosting provider that might be low hanging fruit is OSU-L who apparently think they are hosting something for us (they aren’t). Their mirroring service is used extensively by large open-source projects.

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I believe Sourceforge also mirrors content, automatically detecting and serving content from the nearest mirror to the user. So, it may be worth considering download times – especially in Africa & Asia – as a metric for comparing alternatives.

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