.NET Open Source Community – CodePlex / GitHub Comparision


The .NET segment of the open source ecosystem has been one of the fastest growing over the last few years.  The vast majority of all projects on CodePlex are .NET related, and among .NET developers CodePlex is generally the most well-known open source project hosting site.  The number of new projects started on CodePlex has been ever accelerating as shown in the following chart:

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CodePlex / GitHub Comparisons

GitHub is another open source project hosting site that has been rising in popularity.  Although GitHub is primarily used by developers preferring Mac or Linux, there are also many .NET developers that use it for their projects.  Sometimes we get questions about how the .NET open source developer community compares between CodePlex and GitHub, so below includes some information around that.

Project Counts

After CodePlex, GitHub probably has the largest number of .NET projects among the various open source project hosting sites.  The following table shows both the total counts and “Popular Project” counts (projects with at least 5 followers):

  CodePlex GitHub (C# projects)
Total Projects 22,030 8,908 *
Popular Projects (5+ followers) 3,621 910

Between the two sites there are over thirty thousand projects, although CodePlex has approximately 2.5x as many .NET projects as GitHub.  For popular projects, CodePlex has approximately 4x as many.  We’re not sure whether this is because popular .NET projects are more likely to choose CodePlex, or the community on CodePlex is more likely to make a .NET project popular, but it is probably some combination of both.

* GitHub does not require developers to specify a license, and typically less than half of them do.  Without a license specified, a project is not considered true “Open Source” since without specifying a valid open source license, project users do not actually have the legal rights that an open source license provides.  The above table counts the total number, not just the number of C# projects with an open source license specified.

Popular Projects

I think another interesting statistic is the percentage of total projects that are “Popular” using the same metric of having 5 or more followers.  The following table shows the popular project percentage for CodePlex and GitHub, including for just the subset of GitHub projects that are C# and Objective-C:

Site Languages % Popular Projects
CodePlex <All> 16.4%
GitHub C# 10.2%
GitHub <All> 9.3%
GitHub Objective-C 24.9%

The percentage of popular projects on CodePlex is higher than for C# projects on GitHub, but both are higher than the percentage of popular projects across all languages on GitHub. However for Objective-C projects on GitHub, a very high percentage of them are popular. GitHub is very popular among Mac developers, so is presumably the correlation there.

Overall Summary

I think it is great to see the growth in the .NET open source community, and all indications are it will only continue growing faster. I believe CodePlex has done a lot to help encourage and support .NET open source developers and look forward to helping many thousand more open source projects become popular and successful!


Comments (18)

  1. korendir says:

    I was expecting something completely different with this post. I was hoping to see some reason why I should use CodePlex and not GitHub. As it stands right now there it nothing that CodePlex offers that I want that GitHub does not offer, while GitHub offers features which either CodePlex doesn't or that are much easier to achieve with GitHub.

    I want reasons, not stats.

  2. Luke Holder says:

    This is such a misleading article. codeplex is not near the popularity and size of github.

    you compared total codeplex projects to total c# projects in github? how does that work?

    github has 90,000 unique public repositories, 12,000 having been forked at least once, for a total of 135,000 repositories.

  3. jwanagel says:

    Sorry for the confusion, the intention was not to be a post on "CodePlex vs GitHub – How to choose", so did not try to answer that question.  It is intended to more be general information about the .NET open source community across the two sites.

  4. Kevin says:

    Perhaps changing the title to "C# project count stats : Codeplex versus Github" would be wise

  5. JP Toto says:

    One thing I don't think this post shows us is the momentum shift towards GitHub. You have a chart for number of .net projects started on Codeplex but not one for GitHub. I'd be interested to see that comparison. Codeplex is older than GitHub so I would expect the lifetime stats that you show to be where they are. I'd guess that the stats are a lot closer over the last 6 months to a year. If the trends continue as is, I'd guess GitHub will take over Codeplex for popular .net projects in a year or so.

  6. Jeff Putz says:

    If you want incentive to host on CodePlex, isn't the higher rate of popularity among projects an incentive? To me, I'd rather have more visibility among developer than features.

  7. Simon Bartlett says:

    Does this take into account all the projects that still have a page on Codeplex, but have since moved to GitHub? Also, strangely enough, I never see projects moving from GitHub to Codeplex.

  8. bennage says:

    @korendir I would be interested to know what the features are that endear you to GitHub. I know there are many who just prefer git over Hg. Also, I've heard talk about the 'social' features of GitHub. What is it that draws you in?

  9. jwanagel says:

    @Luke – The blog post is about .NET, so that's why it is counting C# projects.

  10. jwanagel says:

    @JPToto – I checked the number of popular .NET projects created in the last year.  For CodePlex it was 991, for GitHub it was 489 (around 2x more on CodePlex).  The ratio being lower than the lifetime stats makes sense given CodePlex has been around longer.

  11. jwanagel says:

    @Simon – It doesn't filter out projects that have moved.  I know of several projects that have moved from GitHub to CodePlex, CodePlex to GitHub, and chosen a hybrid (i.e. hosting everything on CodePlex except the source control is on GitHub).  The one thing I have never seen is a project that hosts everything on GitHub except the source control is on CodePlex.

  12. daminetreg says:

    I wonder how were you able to get the codeplex statistics ? This is quite interesting, is there any statistics about how many mercurials and how many tfs repositories are hosted on codeplex ?

    Thanks for this small comparison. 🙂

  13. DotNetWise says:

    Compare those numbers now in 2013 🙂

    I think GitHub is way better than anything else

    5mil repositories world wise and 3 mil users can't be wrong :d

  14. Is there updated information on this?

  15. normal says:

    @DotNetWise

    Einstein was a genius in minority…

  16. WhenYouBelieve2014@gmail.com says:

    Why Codeplex?

    It's free and you may get paid. Yes, you can get funding for your project via DeveloperMedia Ads. Check out codeplex.codeplex.com/wikipage

  17. The Thinker says:

    @DotNetWise

    How about using a hybrid system? I have seen numerous dot net projects documentation botched on github compared to codeplex. However, hosting it on github then having a codeplex project would allow a person to receive funding for a project too while receiving more popularity. Last I checked, github does not have funding or its not stated clearly if they do.

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