.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:


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!