You know you might have a problem when one of the most popular pieces of open source software decides it no longer wants anything to do with you. This is the situation SourceForge now finds itself in, with the developers behind GIMP announcing that the Windows binaries for its prolific image editor will no longer be hosted on the service.
Admittedly, SourceForge won’t suddenly collapse in a heap over the decision, but it doesn’t do much for its reputation, especially when you consider why GIMP’s developers made the move to self-host the Windows version of the program.
According to a post on the GIMP homepage, it was a combination of SourceForge’s allegedly deceptive advertising practices and its policy of wrapping Windows installers with adware that prompted the action:
SourceForge, once a useful and trustworthy place to develop and host FLOSS applications, has faced a problem with the ads they allow on their sites — the green “Download here” buttons that appear on many, many adds [sic] leading to all kinds of unwanted utilities have been spotted there as well.
The tipping point was the introduction of their own SourceForge Installer software, which bundles third-party offers with Free Software packages. We do not want to support this kind of behavior, and have thus decided to abandon SourceForge.
Again, GIMP’s decision probably won’t make a difference to SourceForge’s numbers, but it has at least made me reconsider downloading software from what was once a trusted source beyond reproach.