HepForge is a development environment for any sort of academic software projects related to high-energy physics. We aim to encourage good software development practices in HEP, with a ready-made, easy-to-use set of Web based tools, including:
Typically, such systems are rather awkward to set up and require some expertise in areas that are not "core skills" of physicists, such as Web server configuration, CGI scripts and so-on. By having already done the bulk of the setup work, HepForge provides high-quality software engineering tools for projects which would otherwise not have the resources to set them up.
An additional motivation for HepForge is to provide a central area for development of a large fraction of the small-to-medium scale software projects in high-energy physics. While we are not designed for large-scale activities such as developing software frameworks for LHC experiments, our system is ideal for smaller groups, such as the developers of phenomenology packages.
In return, we ask developers of HepForge projects to attempt to make the best and most portable software possible, with documentation, user support (our bug tracker and mailing lists can help!) and use of standard methods where possible. We encourage users to use the Subversion version control / code management system and to familiarise themselves with GNU autotools, which can help make their code much more portable (not to mention installable via a very standard interface). We are happy to help project owners with these tools.
For more information about HepForge, please see our presentation to the CHEP06 conference.