rubyforge gone forever?

At one point, in pre-github days, rubyforge.org offered free hosting to open source ruby projects, with source control, listservs, documentation hosting, etc. It was a popular place to host open source ruby projects.

Since github took off, rubyforge has been much less popular.   rubyforge wasn’t receiving any development, or much support, or much communication from the developers/owners.  Most of the project pages still on rubyforge seemed to be abandoned.

Today I noticed rubyforge.org seemed to be down entirely.  According to this article I found on the internet, it may have gone down November 6th, after a security exploit.  However, according to the internet archive cache, it looks like it was up on November 21, but responding with an error message on December 11.   Today on Dec 16, there’s simply nothing responding at rubyforge.org at all.

Umlaut still has/had it’s project listserv hosted on rubyforge.  As recently as December 3, a listserv message came across the list. I sent one this morning to test it, and I think it hasn’t come through yet, but the listserv was sometimes slow even when it was up, so not sure.

I had been meaning to move the Umlaut listserv somewhere else for a while, but procrastinated in part because I wasn’t sure where.  But I finally took the plunge and created an Umlaut Google Group.  For various reasons I had been hoping to find an alternative to Google Groups, but I was unable to find anything that was free and that I felt like I could trust to stick around, and offer the features I wanted, including google-searchable threaded archives,  a decent UI, and decent spam protection.

It’s not clear if rubyforge.org is coming back or not. I think it’s probably for the best that it gets shut down — it was hosting many abandoned project pages that one would find on google, and perhaps get confused into thinking were current, but in fact the project had moved to github.  Although a more intentional transition with announcements would have been welcome.  I wish I had the chance to look at the subscriber list for the Umlaut listserv so I could have invited everyone to the new Google Group. And I wish the previous Umlaut listserv archives weren’t now pretty much lost from Googleability with no notice. (It’s possible although hardly sure I could retrieve them from archive.org somehow, but I lack the motivation to find out. And Google Groups offers no way to import archives anyway, bah).  But I can imagine that the developers/maintainers of rubyforge were getting pretty burnt out halfway maintaining something that was no longer much used or appreciated, and are glad to have an excuse to just pull the plug.

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