Interview Teazer - Tim Perdue about SourceForge behind the scenes and his new project GForge

by Steve Mallett

Here's a teazer for our interview with Tim Perdue, former co-"head honcho" behind putting together SourceForge.

Tim talks to about his new release of GForge, a fork of the code running SF & gives us the real scoop of how SourceForge got started. So now the "valuable open source tool" is back in action in the form of GForge. Tell us what GForge is about. How much is it philosophically and practicality motivated?

Tim:...At the time that I had left VA Linux, I was aware of downloaded/free copies of SouceForge running at the biggest of the big companies, from GE, Sony, IBM, Xerox, and Intel to others I can't remember anymore. IBM DeveloperWorks even runs part of their main website on old SF code, and so does the Free Software Foundation. So the open source code is having a huge impact. Someone really needed to pick it up, and after a year of trying to get others to take up the slack, I finally did it myself. What kind of features do you see being added that may have been hampered previously by other concerns?

Tim: My main interest is turning this into a client that you can detach and take with you.
How does that work?

Tim: Think of it more like CVS for bugs, tasks, etc. You can copy it to a local machine and check it back in if you made any changes.
What was it like at the helm of what is one of the biggest open source projects in existence?

Tim: ...So it was Uriah and I trying to keep this monster growing totally by ourselves. I guess Quentin had joined to handle support requests at that time. But it got really, really ugly for Uriah, as he tried to admin and keep all the shoddy hardware running 24x7 by himself. That was really shameful. We sent some seriously nasty messages to upper management, which went completely unanswered and ignored.

At the same time, most every manager in the company was trying to take credit and grab control. At company meetings you would hear how the whole thing was the idea of so-and-so and they supported it from the start. The reality of how SF started was very different, and the official vision for SF was also very different than what we wound up with. Probably only the founding team remembers know how SF really started and what the original management vision was. What was that original vision?

Tim: The real goal of SourceForge was to build a site aimed at IT managers. Believe it or not, that was the real goal. Nobody working there, except Uriah and Larry Augustin, knows that. Everyone else has been fired or quit...

What questions would you like answered before the interview is published (some might be covered already)?


2002-12-06 10:18:54
What does the "G" stand for??

It's either really funny or is a take on GForce.