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Szymon Kobalczyk's Blog A Developer's Notebook

When I started blogging here on GeeksWithBlogs it turned out that if want to publish any code samples I have to find yet another place to host the source code. I didn't own any web servers that I could use for this, so I started looking how other bloggers do this, and came across ProjectDistributor.net. It did exactly what I was looking for:

ProjectDistributor is a web application for distributing small pieces of software - such as tools, components, widgets and controls. Users create groups to store projects against and visitors can login to download those projects or to leave feedback about bugs or to request new features.

Although it's quite simple and didn't offer many features it did a decent job hosting my samples. The projects can be grouped by author and category.

However recently I got several comments that the download links don't work, and the site was down for some time (now it's up again). To fix this I decided to move my files to Windows Live SkyDrive. It's a generic service for hosting any files on internet. When you sign up you get 1GB of free space. The UI is very simple: you can create folders, setup the permissions (private, shared or public) and you then quickly upload your files.

The nice addition is that when you publish a file on SkyDrive, it creates a nicely formatted HTML snippets that you can embed in your page (there is even a Windows Live Writer plugin that helps you with this):

image

These nice emblems is the only thing I really miss abut SkyDrive. They were just easier to find on the page then a simple download link.

But as I said, SkyDrive is a generic service not really targeted to host programming samples. You don't get any ways to categorize, tag or search the projects. You don't even get the number of downloads or any other statistics. In addition some of my friends reported that they get redirected to Sign In page for Windows Live whenever they open my blog.

That's why when I heard about CodePlex's younger brother – MSDN Code Gallery on recent .NET Rocks! interview with Matthew Manela I decided to give it a try and this weekend I moved all my samples there:

image

Here is the link to my resources page: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/KobushCode

My experience so far was very positive. It's basically a CodePlex (even shares the same codebase from what I heard) but without the TFS integration - so you don't get version control or project management features. But when you create a resource page you still get:

  • Home page that you can edit with wiki syntax and supports comments. You can also create subpages to publish your articles or documentation. You can also tag your project so it would be easier to find for others.
  • Rleases tab where you publish your source code, binaries or stand alone documentation (and it has a downloads counter).
  • Discussions forum that your readers can use to publish questions or comments.
  • You can even run an Issue Tracker to record bugs or feature requests if you need to (it's optional and you can turn it on in the Resource Page Settings).
  • If you find someone to help you out with the project you can manage your team on the People tab.
  • License tab shows the terms and conditions the user needs to agree when downloading your code. Note that currently it's the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) and you cannot change it (you can do this on CodePlex though). It's a basic "use it how you want - no guarantee" type of license, and personally I don't have any objections to it but you need to judge it for yourself.

Also note that while I decided to publish all my samples on a single resources page, nothing prevents you from creating more than one. You can then link them together using Related Resource Pages sections.

For me the site offers all I really need to host my code samples. But if your project eventually grows and you need more features you can move it to CodePlex (I wonder if there will be any migration path for doing this). Also note that in many aspects it replaces now retired GotDotNet site and some popular samples were migrated from it.

Probably most bloggers that write about programming face the same problem that I had, and MSDN Code Gallery does a good job solving it. So if you are looking for a place to put your samples I strongly recommend to give it a try.

Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 7:14 AM Development | Back to top


Comments on this post: Moving my code samples to MSDN Code Gallery

# re: Moving my code samples to MSDN Code Gallery
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Great post. I took your advice and am quite happy with it. Thanks!
Left by steve on Apr 21, 2008 3:47 AM

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