What's next on Google's kill list? Signs point to Google Code

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Evidence is mounting that Google Code is next on Google's chopping block

If you've been taking bets on which of Google's projects are next to be canned, here's one to bump to the top of the list: Google Code.

The list of reasons why Google Code is ripe for the axe is long, but let's kick off the countdown with the most obvious and disturbing reason why: The last time Google Code had a new feature advertised was in 2011.

That feature, by the way, was the addition of support for Git, which in its own way might end up being the death knell for Google Code in the long run by allowing projects to be migrated out of it more easily.

The second big reason is the rise (and rise and rise) of GitHub, which has accelerated the practice of coding as a collective and social endeavor. It's not only added features at an ever-accelerating rate, but has gained the kind of clout that Google Code could have only wished for.

Even Google projects are starting to migrate to GitHub. Consider V8, the JavaScript engine that's become the heart of Node.js and many other projects. Its home at Google Code now has an official mirror at GitHub, which hints at the possibility of the project eventually migrating for good. If Google's own engineers aren't relying on Google Code, what does that say about the amount of life left in it?

Other hints have piled up as well. Back in May 2013, Google Code discontinued the hosting of downloads, citing abuse of the service, with existing projects having the ability to create new downloads discontinued as of Jan. 15, 2014. (All new projects after the May announcement were unable to create downloads.) While this isn't by itself a sign of the site's decrepitude, it is a hint as to how much less Google as a whole seems willing to throw Google Code's way as far as resources are concerned.

Likewise, the official blog for Google Code has had little to say about Google Code itself for some time now, instead discussing Google's code contests and various Google-sponsored code projects (again, some of which aren't hosted on Google Code anymore).

If Google decides to pull the plug in Google Code, odds are it won't happen all at once, but rather follow the same pattern laid down by the way previous Google shutdowns: a warning, a window of time for users to migrate off, then the real turning off of the lights. By that time, the majority of users who care about their projects might well have already split.

This story, "What's next on Google's kill list? Signs point to Google Code" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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