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11 September 2008, 13:16

Sun quietly launches open source project hosting site

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Last Friday, Sun Microsystems quietly rolled out a beta version of Project Kenai, an open source project hosting system which bills itself as "More than just a forge". Tim Bray, Sun's Director of Web Technologies, announced Project Kenai on his blog, ongoing. Project Kenai, pronounced "KeenEye" according to Bray's announcement, is a Rails based application, providing source code management and issue tracking, like other open source forges. Kenai includes the infrastructure for social networking, hence the "More than just a forge" slogan.

Nick Seiger, one of the developers interviewed by Bray, said that part of the motivation in building Kenai was a "need to demonstrate credibility in building on top of more traditional LAMP/SAMP web stacks (not just Java EE)", going on to detail the Solaris, MySQL, Apache, Glassfish, JRuby and Rails based stack and components in Kenai.

Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Office at Sun talked about Project Kenai's licence selection in a posting to his WebMink blog. He pointed out that where other project hosting services made available a specific selection of open source licences, Kenai allowed new project creators to select first from a recommended OSI licences, then other OSI approved licences, and finally retired OSI approved licenses. Phipps' hope is that this mechanism will direct new projects to select one of the more common licences and reduce licence proliferation without reducing developer choice.

Project Kenai is in beta, and new projects require an invitation during the beta phase, but any developer can view the projects in progress. It aims to become the primary site for Sun's 750 open source projects.


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