SourceForge and Slashdot were bought by new owners at the end of January. BIZX, LLC bought the two sites from DHI Group, Inc and they are already taking big steps to undo the damage the site’s reputations have suffered in previous years.
SourceForge, home to many open source software projects, last changed hands in 2012. In July 2013, the owners announced a new program called DevShare. It allowed project owners to bundle their software with adware and toolbars in exchange for a share of the revenue. This tainted many projects and projects like the FTP client FileZilla could no longer be recommended in good conscience.
Last year, SourceForge took even more aggressive tactics in taking over abandoned accounts such as GIMP for Windows and modifying the installers to include the bloatware. As a result, many tools such as Google Safe Browsing and adblocking extensions blacklisted SourceForge to prevent visiting the site.
The new owners are making some good first steps to restore trust. With only acquiring the site at the end of January, they have already eliminated the DevShare program according to the acquisition announcement and future plans blog post.
As of last week, the DevShare program was completely eliminated. The DevShare program delivered installer bundles as part of the download for participating projects. We want to restore our reputation as a trusted home for open source software, and this was a clear first step towards that. We’re more interested in doing the right thing than making extra short-term profit.
Hopefully this is a turning point and the new owners will listen to the site users.