Where do Oxford researchers manage the source code for their software?

I’ve been taking a look around lately at the various places where researchers are keeping the source code for their software.

Its not an exhaustive survey by any means (though maybe we should do one of those), but it seems that there are two common options.

Octocat - the mascot of Github

Github is, as you would expect, a very popular place to host source code. Here you can find the Micron Oxford Bioimaging Unit, for example, the Oxford Clinical Trials Unit, and the Oxford Internet Institute. Its also where IT Services hosts its own open source projects. Even the New College JCR has its own space on Github!

GitHub is a good choice given its well known, has good supporting services such as issue tracking and website hosting, and lets you register an organisation as the owner of multiple projects. It also allows a small number of private repositories for free as well as unlimited public repositories.

The gitlab mascot

However, for research groups that need to manage private code repositories, or want to host the code locally, GitLab seems to be a popular option. GitLab provides many of the supporting services that you find on GitHub, such as issue tracking, but can be hosted locally with no limit on the number of private repositories, and can even be integrated with other services such as LDAP. You can find GitLab installations at Oxford in Mathematics, at the FMRIB, and the Bodleian.

Subversion logo

There are also a few Subversion repositories around; we use one in IT Services for managing our websites (among other things), and there’s one in Computer Science. Given that these are primarily for internal use I suspect there are quite a few more out there we aren’t aware of.

If you’d like help choosing where to host software source code for your research group, send us an email at researchsupport@it.ox.ac.uk

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