Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty, with Permission

Project Hosting on Google Code is a beehive of activity, with many large and active projects and even more that aspire to that level. Now it will be a little easier for project members to sort out who should be doing what by documenting each member's duties in plain language on the new People sub-tab. Here's an example from the zscreen project:

Duties describe what each member is expected to be doing. Project owners can grant permissions that control what each member is allowed to do. While permissions can be fairly fine-grained, it's usually best to grant broad permissions, and then trust your project members to do their duties or go above and beyond them when the situation calls for it.

In open source software development, anyone can access the source code of the project, and it's important to allow anyone to access issues and project documentation. But in some projects, there is a need to restrict some information to a subset of project members for a limited time. For example, you might want to quickly patch a security hole before publicizing the details of how to exploit it. Project members can now place restrictions on individual issues to control who can view, update, or comment on them.
Here's some of what our new permission system allows project owners to do when they need to:
  • Acknowledge the role of a contributing user without giving them any additional permissions
  • Trust a contributor to update issues or wiki pages without letting them modify source code
  • Restrict access to specific issues to just committers, or to a specific subset of members
  • Restrict comments on specific issues or wiki pages when another feedback channel should be used instead
  • Automatically set access restrictions based on issue labels
Getting started is easy, just click the People sub-tab and start to document what you and your project team are supposed to be doing. If you need to mess with permissions, see our permission system documentation for all the details.

If you'd like to meet some of the people behind Google Code, please drop by the Google booth at OSCON 2009 this week.


  1. While the permissions themselves are pretty cool, I think the ability to spell out what a member of a project is responsible for is the real winner in this update :-)

    Thanks a tonne for adding another cool feature to Google Code.

  2. I really wish to have Google Code, Google Apps and Google App Engine together... Everything on a private Project!!!

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  4. The open source software development is a useful for everyone because any can accuses code for the project...by fashion