This December, Microsoft will shut down its CodePlex open source project hosting site, deferring instead to code-sharing site GitHub. The site will go read-only in October.
CodePlex was launched in 2006 when Microsoft was trying to make a name for itself in open source. But the company acknowledges that GitHub has superseded it, and the software giant has itself jumped on the GitHub bandwagon.
"Over the years, we've seen a lot of amazing options come and go, but at this point, GitHub is the de facto place for open source sharing and most open source projects have migrated there," Microsoft's Brian Harry, vice president for cloud developer services, said. The shutdown will happen on Friday, Dec. 15. The ability to create new CodePlex projects already has been disabled.
Indeed, key Microsoft projects like the Visual Studio Code editor, the TypeScript language, and .Net open source projects already are on GitHub. Many projects already have migrated off of CodePlex, Harry said, and there are now fewer than 350 projects on it.
Microsoft plans to do a complete backup of the site before decommissioning it. "At that time, CodePlex.com will start serving a read-only lightweight archive that will allow you to browse through all published projects -- their source code, downloads, documentation, license, and issues -- as they looked when CodePlex went read-only." Users also will be able to download an archive file with project contents in formats like JSON and Markdown.
To help with migration, Microsoft has posted a walkthrough on the CodePlex wiki. A migration tool will be available soon, Harry said, and Microsoft has added an option to set an "I've moved" banner that will direct users to the project's new home on GitHub. For migrating only source code, the choices include Git hosting services like Visual Studio Team Services and Bitbucket, which also supports Mercurial repository users.
In 2012, CodePlex hosted more than 28,000 projects. Microsoft had been perceived as an opponent of open source early in the new century, but that has changed with the company's growing embrace of the concept, though its bread-and-butter Windows OS has remained proprietary.