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CodePlex Shuts Down; Migration to GitHub Recommended

| by Abel Avram Follow 4 Followers on Apr 01, 2017. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Microsoft has decided to stop providing free hosting services for open source projects via CodePlex. They recommend moving instead to GitHub or other hosting providers.

While some hope that the shutting down of CodePlex is nothing more than an April 1st joke, Brian Harry, Corporate VP at Microsoft, wanted to make sure that this was not a joke. After 11 years of activity, CodePlex no longer accepts new projects; it will turn into read-only mode in October and it will completely shut down on December 15th, 2017. After that, CodePlex will become an archive of former open source projects, allowing people to browse and download them. Those who move the projects they own will be able to redirect people to the new host.

Microsoft has worked with GitHub to streamline the import of CodePlex projects to the known git host. A migration walkthrough was set up with guidelines on moving a project’s source code, license and documentation to GitHub. The migration tool will be enhanced to also support the move of issues. Those who prefer a different repository can choose from VS Team Services, BitBucket or GitLab, among others.

Regarding the reasons behind this move, Harry mentioned that GitHub has become the “de facto place for open source sharing.” Microsoft itself has an important presence on GitHub with dozens of open source projects, including VS Code, TypeScript, .NET Core and other .NET technologies, PowerShell, etc.. Microsoft brags about the fact that they have the most contributors (~16,500) among organizations present on GitHub, more than Google or Facebook. Another important reason for closing down CodePlex was the lack of activity: out of ~109,000 projects, less than 350 had at least one commit during the last 30 days.

Two years ago we reported the demise of two other open source hosting providers: Codehaus and Google Code. They too closed due to lack of interest from developers. Although Google Code added support for git at some point, most developers have already embarked on GitHub, which has become the place where most open source projects are hosted. 

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