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What is google doing with their new features?

People often say "what is google thinking with {insert name of their new serivce}?"

Google and Open Source Project Hosting

At the OSCON this summer they announced Google Code Project Hosting a Sourceforge like open source project hosting environment. It's inline with some of their other projects like Summer of Code, a project where Google pays university students to spend their summers working on open source projects. A system where Drupal got 14 projects (a value of over US$70,000 - listen to a summary of the progress in Lullabot Podcast #23).

Now, when they announced the whole Project Hosting thing it seemed like a nice thing for them to do for up and coming projects - but it also seemed more than a little redundant. If you're a small or medium project then Sourceforge will work great. If you're a larger project then maybe you need to use the OSUOSL (consider donating to them). Either way, it seemed more than redundant for Google to offer this hosting.

Mozilla Talkback

Mozilla has long used a system called Talkback and it uses a closed source, proprietary system that requires a license and is owned by a company called SupportSoft. People complain about this system all the time in forums saying "mozilla should build their own talkback system" to which the response is "why don't you build it as your own open source project and let us use it" to which the repsonse is usually something like "oh, I don't code, you should write it for me on your own time". You can guess how I feel about this exchanges...

Mozilla Airbag replacing Talkback - Google Project Makes Sense

Today, Benjamin Smedberg (bsmedberg) wrote about Airbag (Airbag Project Page). Finally I'm saying to myself, "Ok, Google Project Hosting was a duplicate that would probably run super-fast and the Google infrastructure, but now it has a killer feature".

Dang those guys are smart sometimes!

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