I leiu of not being able to post directly to the SourceForge drifting article here is my post in diary format:
Firstly. I agree that many people have justified fears about SF's ability to keep up the level of service and about how SF will act given no small amount of pressure to stay alive. People do stupid things under pressure.
That said I fear that trying to make a new SF, or in this case of a distrubited SF, is a silly effort. SF is a larger than life tool for developers, but one that I honestly think, is like eating forbiddin fruit. It will haunt you to have something so wonderful & then have it taken away. It is so large that it's demands on funds are draining & face it there is no self-maintaining revenue. As hard as VA 'whatever' tries to keep it alive it will have to succumb to the financial pressure it exerts.
A distributed SF has the same effect. It drains resources. On a small scale, but still...? To a small guy, hosting it will have smaller financial impact, but aren't those truely just the same? Someone has to maintain it all! Otherwise it will die very quickly.
A valient effort! Yes. But I think it is futile to try to build another in its image (or better image in this case).
I do not criticize without having a helping suggestion either. I do think that efforts should begin to strip down the level of service that are a bare minimum to keeping projects highly effective.! Are these basic tools not available to individual developers? I think they are. Developer efforts should again rise from the ashes of the developer's level! This is surely more sustainable than a hundred distributed machines with a hundred distributed admins with multiplied problems! Yikes!
Also, will Savannah allow you or allow you to continue to develop your non-free, but opensource programs on the platform? I don't know either. But I suspect that many would or should have the same concerns with that project.
I do wonder if people will not start offering specialized services for a fee. People _do_ offer to do so to SF. I have personally seen the offers over some of the SF forums. One such service could be CVS? Another might offer mailing lists. etc. The point is that the individual developers/projects must maintain that point of control over their projects by NOT being dependant on another service. Savannah or otherwise. The world is governed by certain 'laws' and one is that in a financially based economy where services cost money to provide, equally the service will have financial demands on those who use it. So, there will always be a cost. Upfront (service provider), or backend (SF closing, exerting financial pressure like 'ads' or closing certain services, or creating propriety add-ons. Savannah is not immune. So neither are projects who use them. Keep control by using development tools of your own & distribute your project's info.