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Creating a Project - BrainDump

You know about SourceForge and other open source project repositories. Recently, Google took the surprising step of creating its own open source project hosting service. If you want to find out more about what this service can offer you, keep reading.

  1. A Look at Google Project Hosting
  2. Creating a Project
  3. Home Sweet Home Page
  4. Do We Have Issues?
  5. Being an Administrator
By: Terri Wells
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 37
August 22, 2006

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So how difficult is it? Well, let me put it this way: a non-programmer can do it without working up a sweat. You do seem to need a Gmail account to make the service work. Once you've signed in to your account, the link below the box that contains the example project labels changes to say "Create a new project." Clicking on that link takes you to the page shown below.

As you can see, I've filled out part of this page. The instructions in the blue box on the right are pretty clear, but let me go through the text boxes with you one by one.

The first text box is for the project name. Google is both strict and not so strict about what it wants you to put here. To quote from the instructions: "Your project's name must consist of a lowercase letter, followed by lowercase letters, digits, and dashes, with no spaces. The project name will be part of your project's URL." Trust me, I tried to put in something else; no dice.

The second text box is labeled "Summary." Google explains in the directions that "Your project's summary is a one-line description that will be shown when the project's name is shown." In fact, this is what appears in the blue hyperlink, so choose this carefully. As near as I could tell, Google doesn't actually put a character limit on this box. However, when your project comes up when someone does a search, only about the first fifteen to twenty words at most will show up in the hyperlink.

The blue hyperlink is composed of your project name followed by your project summary. This is worth keeping in mind when you name your project.

The third text box is for the description of your project. This is what shows up in black text below the hyperlink to your project. Google wants you to write this in plain text, explaining that it "will be the main content of your project's home page." I didn't even try to see how much I could type into that box, given how much space I had in the summary section! About the first 58 words you put in this section will show up on the results page when someone does a search.

Below the description is a drop-down menu for you to select your open source license. Google lets you choose from seven of the most popular ones, as you can see from this screen shot:

You are only allowed to choose one, however. Google Engineering Manager Greg Stein explained in a talk he gave covering the new service that "We're taking an actual position and saying that we don't want to encourage license proliferation...In general, we don't like people doing the dual-license thing."

After you have chosen a license, you add labels to the project so others can find it. You can add as many labels as you like. Interestingly, I found that my "Create Project" button (located below the labels) became active without any labels at all; it seemed to be choosing the open source license that was required to make it active. If six labels aren't enough for your project, you can always click "Add row" to add more.

>>> More BrainDump Articles          >>> More By Terri Wells

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