Great Free Services and Tools

DevjaVu: Free subversion and Trac hosting for your code. Great, warmly attitude from the start of the terms of service to their mode of implementation. You want something like Trac, especially for its timeline of recent commits, in my experience. The issue tracker and its automated ties to checkin messages ("Closes #4", for instance) is another great feature to have. Spoil yourself!

Userscripts.org uses this, since some time. It's rather easy to check out the code base for contributing, by the way; it wasn't many minutes before I had a test us.o server of my own running.

Google Code: Another free subversion repository hosting for your code, of a recognized brand. Very nice and visible way of declaring repository content licenses -- how kindly you allow others to use your work, for one thing. I have started migrating my growing collection of user scripts there, starting with most recent additions. I am a sucker for keeping a tidy repository, so I have postponed checking in my old junk until I've taken an inventory of what is still useful. Committing things somewhere is a rewarding feeling, when you're at the next good state, and recording a message of the change is simply priceless.

Greasemonkey is tentatively moving its code base and wiki here. Voices on the GM list have it the repository is a bit slow at times. I have not suffered much from it myself yet, but with my choice of repository, I would probably not notice even rather horrible performance.

Subtlety: Regardless of your pick of subversion repository, letting others keep up to date with what you do in it by way of feed is a snap with this beautiful Camping tool. Feed it a subversion repository URL and it gives you an RSS feed of commits, listing the checkin message, and links to the files it affected. It is of course similarly an excellent way of yourself keeping track of projects other people, perhaps not even including yourself, work on; here is one tracking the progress of Exhibit by David Huynh of the MIT Simile project. Which brings me to the subject of...

Exhibit. This is a beautiful client side tool for visualizing, resorting and filtering information in all sorts of ways. I'm fairly confident this is where browser technology is heading, and I'm all for helping us get there a little quicker. So is David. Applied Semantic Web research does not come much more applied than this, and you can do beautiful things with this baby. I'm tinkering with a few blue sky ideas of my own, and played rather heavily with the Google Spreadsheets integration it just grew this weekend.

If you cared to skim through that page, have or create some Google Spreadsheets (they import comma separated values, for instance) and tag up column titles as it expects, you can head over to my instant exhibit page and try it out right away. It will lack many of the features view customization gives you, but it is still a great place to start. Due to some slight lunacy with the JSONP exported by Google Spreadsheets, so far, the top left column (A:1) isn't present in the feed, so Exhibit, for the time being, decides it reads {label} -- in other words, keep your label property in the first column and settle for having it a string, for the time being.

Google Pages: Finally some decent, large capacity (at least 100 megabytes, anyway) hosting, without a lot of fuss. Even if you, like me, don't care much for their WYSIWYG page builders and templates, there is that neat feature on the right of the page where you can upload your own files and have them show up right on the site right away, whether graphics, javascript, HTML or otherwise. Recommended. For all I know, you can't subdivide your data into directories yet, but to just have somewhere to dump things, you might not need to.

Adsense Black List: For AdSense web masters, this is a cooperative effort to use the AdSense competitive ad filter -- not to avoid linking competitors, but to cut off the "minimum-pay" slack on the low end of the bell curve of earnings per click. A rather good idea to improve outbound links. And for us visitors? Fewer links to made-for-AdSense sites of 100% junk.