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Google Code Deprecates Download Service For Project Hosting 185

Posted by timothy
from the look-but-don't-slurp dept.
New submitter c0d3g33k writes "Google Project Hosting announced changes to the Download service on Wednesday, offering only 'increasing misuse of the service and a desire to keep our community safe and secure' by way of explanation. Effective immediately, existing projects that offer no downloads and all new projects will no longer be able to create downloads. Existing projects which currently have downloads will lose the ability to create new downloads by January 2014, though existing downloads will remain available 'for the foreseeable future.' Google Drive is recommended as an alternative, but this will likely have to be done manually by project maintainers since the ability to create and manage downloads won't be part of the Project Hosting tools. This is a rather baffling move, since distributing project files via download is integral to FOSS culture."
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Google Code Deprecates Download Service For Project Hosting

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  • So? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, 2013 @03:50PM (#43806389)

    Github did exactly the same thing quite some time ago, and people didn't complain too much. Why is this a big deal?

  • Re:Addendum (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, 2013 @03:51PM (#43806407)

    If this is "evil" what word do you use to describe "genocide?"

  • by Luthair (847766) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @03:52PM (#43806415)
    Github also had to discontinue file downloads for the simple fact that people abused it and used the service as a way to distribute content unrelated to the open source material.
  • Re:in future news (Score:5, Informative)

    by Desler (1608317) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @03:52PM (#43806421)

    Github did the same thing last year.

  • by oGMo (379) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @03:53PM (#43806439)

    Github did this recently [] too which was annoying, because it was useful. They're not entirely clear why ... "confusing" doesn't seem nearly as likely as "abuse", though I am not aware of any abuse in particular. Since Google is providing Drive as an alternative, and not even immediately removing the service for those using it, it's not even as bad as Github's move, which removed it for everyone. I suppose it's an opportunity to cut another Google dependency though if you really want.

  • Re:So? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rakishi (759894) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @04:09PM (#43806543)

    People did complain. Amusingly, the biggest counterpoint was that if you want to offer downloads you should probably use google code which is much more user (rather than programmer) friendly.

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @04:25PM (#43806685) Homepage

    Because the average user doesn't want the source code, they want to download a prepared binary in an installer or zipfile?

  • by MAXOMENOS (9802) <maxomai&gmail,com> on Thursday May 23, 2013 @04:51PM (#43806959) Homepage

    Quoting the comments:

    Roberto Galoppini May 23, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    SourceForge welcomes Google Code open source developers, to distribute downloads from our open source platform.

    We serve over 150 Million+ downloads each month, reaching 42 Million+ unique visitors. We help tiny projects as well as whales like Apache OpenOffice to distribute their downloads via our worldwide mirror network.

    By distributing your releases at SourceForge you’ll get a complete download analytics, and the opportunity to tap into a large open source community. We already serve other ecosystems by offering their hosted projects our download facilities, including Githubbers.

    As a trusted partner for open source we're glad to help. []

    [Disclosure: I work for SourceForge]

    Setup looks pretty simple; but, since I don't have code in Google Code, I can't put it to the test. Can anyone attest to how well this works?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, 2013 @05:52PM (#43807449)

    Github used to have an API that would allow you to upload & host arbitrary binary blobs and make them available from your project's download page. They discontinued THAT service, because people were abusing. And probably, causing a lot of expense in disk, file server, and bandwidth costs for github.

    You can still create git repositories, and clone them, and upload and share code, etc. etc. etc. You just can't upload arbitrary binary files and redistribute them via github. For projects that want to redistribute binaries of some form as part of their project, github recommends use of CloudFront or Amazon S3 or similar "cloud storage" services, which you can add links to on your project page if you wish.

    Github doesn't need to host 50GB of your best porn (creatively named and saves money on all that excess storage and bandwidth, and you still have plenty of options for legitimate hosting needs. This allows github to not waste money on being a file transfer service, and instead, build their core services.

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @06:40PM (#43807785)

    Any public file sharing system is liable to be abused period. This includes version control systems.

    (1) Version control systems, unlike file downloads, are central to the purpose for which Google provides Google Code, to wit, facilitate developer-to-developer collaboration on open-source projects.
    (2) Version control systems, unlike file downloads, are not particularly widely abused for hosting malware to be distributed through emailing deceptive links to unsophisticated users.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, 2013 @10:01PM (#43808841)

    I suspect you may have misunderstood how one would actually abuse this.

    I email you (or, say, your mom) a link saying Malwarebytes v.10 is now available for download, and it fixes a critical vulnerability and needs to be updated soon or you're at risk. Go to , a project that I've created. I might even populate it with something looking like code that would match, to trick people who are more technical than they really are.

    A non-technical user may see that it's it's hosted at Google, and, having some trust for them, they choose to download. Your prompt shows up (what that accomplishes I don't know, so I assume the user, already intent on downloading it, answers it.)

    So, by your second rule, they download, which contains MalwareBytes.exe (actually malware), and voila. 0wned.

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955