Showing some love to binaries

Documentation and licensing biggest open source challenges, says JFrog

Chris Mayer
bintray-teaser

The Israeli startup find some supporting evidence for their binary service Bintray in new survey, but also bigger challenges along the road.

Poor documentation and licensing are the biggest challenge
developers face when it comes to working with open source software,
a survey has found.

Israeli startup JFrog, best known for open
source repository manager Artifactory, found that 65% of developers
from over 150 Fortune 500 companies cited the two areas as the
biggest burdens. JFrog believe that this finding means
developers
often fear that “the OSS
they’re using is unreliable” despite technological
advances.

Other bugbears quoted by developers include the
reliability and performance of the distribution platform (25%) and
last minute code changes (57%). The most time consuming
non-development task was waiting for feedback (27%), followed by
issue and task tracking (18%).

The ‘Your Life as a Developer’ Survey seems to
have been created purely to see if JFrog were if they were right to
launch binary repository Bintray

back in January
. The service lets developers
publish and download open source software packages, and has a heavy
focus on social, allowing users to share and discover other
packages in the community. The most high profile users to date are
Netflix, OpenJDK, ElasticSearch and Gradle.

The report however does produce some interesting
findings.
For sharing libraries and code with
others,
50% of those questioned use source control
while 40% use binary repositories as their primary method. JFrog
believe this suggests that peers are much more collaborative than
they were previously.

Google Code and GitHub both ceased hosting
binaries in the last year, meaning Bintray could potentially pick
the mantle up from them. Yet, only 20% of respondents were active
users of the now-defunct services. JFrog believe this is because
Google and GitHub’s core strengths
lay
elsewhere. While this is undoubtedly the case, the findings
might suggest a deeper meaning
: that the
majority of larger enterprises don’t trust online private

binary repositories. Bintray’s main challenge therefore must
be to get them onside.

GitHub have since changed their strategy
somewhat by
announcing
Releases
, a rethinking of the shipping process.
Previously, GitHub deprecated the uploads feature as the feature
wasn’t as high-quality as the rest of the GitHub experience,
according to a company spokesperson. This might give Bintray some
competition.

Since going public
in April
, the stats are encouraging for
Bintray, with 5,814 members hosting over 65,000 software packages
on the service. The pickup rate since

Google Code stopped support
is particularly
encouraging, with 250% growth in registration in the two
weeks
following the announcement. The
introduction of automatic GitHub migration
was
also responsible for an increase in
uptake.

“This is a pretty significant jump for Bintray
that we believe correlates directly with the news from Google and
GitHub. It also highlights that there’s a market need and we can
expect more growth.” the JFrog report states.

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