Forge (software)


Forge (software)

A software forge is a collaboration platform allowing collaborative software development over the Internet.

A forge platform aggregates a set of applications with integrated Web interfaces, and generally hosts multiple independent projects. Software developers who are registered as contributors to the hosted projects can then use the various project management tools, and software development tools.

The term "forge" refers to a common prefix or suffix adopted by the various software development management systems created after the example of the SourceForge platform.

Two different kinds of concepts are commonly coined by the term "forge" :
* a "service" offered on a Web platform to host software development projects
* an integrated set of "software" elements which produce such platforms, ready for deployment in an organization or on the Internet

Examples of such services are :
* SourceForge.net
* BerliOS
* GNU Savannah
* Gna.org
* Tigris.org
* Google code

Examples of software available to setup a forge are :
* SourceForge Enterprise Edition
* GForge
* Savanne (powering GNU Savannah)
* Trac
* LibreSource

All these platforms provide similar tools helpful to software developers working in the hosted projects :
* source code configuration management systems (see revision control)
* mailing-lists or forums
* wikis
* software archives download services
* bug tracking system

Software forges have become popular as they proved successful in allowing development of a large number of free software projects in the last years.

Many free software projects now use their own forges to host development of their sub-projects, and add custom quality-assurance tools in particular. Examples are :
* Alioth (Debian)
* http://rubyforge.org/
* [http://forge.objectweb.org/ OW2 forge]
* http://forge.ocamlcore.org/

= See also =

* Comparison of Free Software Hosting Facilities


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