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Open Source Software

Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Get (or Share) News About Open Source Projects? 85

Posted by timothy
from the just-start-typing-random-ips dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Now that freshmeat.net / freecode.com doesn't accept any updates, I wonder how the Slashdot crowd gets news about new projects, and even new versions of existing projects. For project managers, where could you announce new versions of your project, so that it can reach not just those who already know the project. Freshmeat / Freecode had all the tools to explore and discover projects, see screenshots (a mandatory feature for any software project, even with only a console interface or no interface at all) and go to the homepage of the project. I subscribed years ago to the RSS feed and sometimes found interesting projects this way. You could replace these tools by subscribing to newsletters or feeds from the projects you follow, but that doesn't cover the discovery part." And do any of the major development / hosting platforms for Free / Open Source projects (GitHub, Launchpad, or Slashdot sister-site SourceForge) have tools you find especially useful for skimming projects of interest?
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Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Get (or Share) News About Open Source Projects?

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  • Google? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 26, 2014 @06:49PM (#47540377)

    What's wrong with just googling for stuff

  • Re:Google? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by intermelt (196274) on Saturday July 26, 2014 @07:50PM (#47540577) Homepage

    What's wrong with just googling for stuff

    Google only helps if you know what you want. Google doesn't tell you what you want that you didn't know existed. Freshmeat / Freecode was great for this. I always found things I didn't know I needed.

  • Re:Google? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 26, 2014 @07:52PM (#47540585)

    What you're saying is true these days. Slashdot is the best source of computing news around, even with the stupid beta site, the bad editors, and the sometimes stupid moderation.

    I used to get my software and programming and open source news from some subreddits and Y Combinator's Hacker News, but I can no longer stand going there. Things have really gone downhill at both places. There's just something totalitarian about their up/down voting. That, and a lot of the people there now are kind of shitbags (a.k.a. hipsters).

    The subreddits I used to read gradually got taken over by little tyrants, who were mainly hipsters, who would down vote (or ban, if they were mods) anyone who said anything even lightly controversial or against the grain. This drove away the best people, which drove away the best submissions and discussion, which made those subreddits useless to me as news sources.

    HN is like the subreddits, but its totalitarianism is totally ingrained into the system at its very core. There are just way the hell too many filthy hipsters there. I'm talking about the extremely hypocritical kind, who never manage to practice what they preach. They insist that freedom is important, but the moment anyone writes something that might be construed as offensive, even in the slightest way possible, they attack without mercy and down vote until the user who dared engage in free speech is banned. HN used to draw in some high-profile participants, which hid the tyranny at first, but I think they got driven away eventually, too. Now the submissions tend to be about social causes rather than technology. Even when technology is involved, the discussion quickly degrades into some of these hipsters going on and on and on and on about racism, or sexism, or homophobia, or transphobia, or even tearing people apart merely for being 'dismissive' or not being 100% complimentary about somebody's shitty work.

    I totally think it's the lack of up/down voting, and far fewer hipsters, that makes Slashdot better, or maybe just the least-worst. The community still submits the content here, and has some say over what gets promoted, but otherwise the discussion is so much freer and we generally don't have to worry about pathetic little tyrant hipsters censoring every single useful comments. I can easily browse at -1 to see everything, including comments that were wrongly modded down, which is something that can't be done easily at Reddit or HN.

    Maybe there's just something about Slashdot that helps keep away the hipsters. What I've found is that every community that attracts hipsters ends up becoming a shitty place for news and discussion, while sites and communities that don't attract hipsters end up with the best stories and the best discussion. Get hipsters out of the equation, and it's possible to discuss real topics and real issues in a realistic way. That means controversial issues are out in the open, instead of being censored.

  • Re:Google? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stephanruby (542433) on Saturday July 26, 2014 @08:16PM (#47540647)

    What's wrong with just googling for stuff

    Googling usually works for me, but I browse the results with the image tab. This way, I only take a look at open source projects with actual screenshots.

    In any case, the original question seems to be asked from the point of view of a marketer. A developer will often know where to advertise his open source project for the type of community he's catering for. That's the key. Know your community of users. Know where they hang out and what they read. And once you have a couple of users that recommend your open source project (assuming they like it), then your project will start to gain page rank in Google, and other indexes.

    Just to give you a personal example. As an Android developer, I often hear of relevant open source Android projects I can use on DevAppsDirect [google.com], Android-related meetups, StackOverflow questions, and through Google searches. And obviously, if I was a different kind of developer, or if I was a different kind of project manager with a different kind of community/user focus, my sources could be very different.

  • Re:Google? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by westlake (615356) on Saturday July 26, 2014 @09:00PM (#47540825)

    What's wrong with just googling for stuff

    Time.

    Ideally, what you want is a list of projects which are simply and accurately described, not dormant or defunct, and generally regarded as useful or promising in their present state.

  • Re:Google? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 26, 2014 @09:57PM (#47540973)

    Yeah, but Slashdot has its own ideologies:

    - Linux and Apple good, Microsoft bad
    - copyright assertion bad, piracy good (since digital stuff was meant to be free). Big exception: GPL violations must be vigorously prosecuted
    - patents are bad (this one I mostly agree with)
    - privacy violation by the government for security is totalitarian and alarming, similar techniques by Internet companies is a necessary evil (as a business model)
    - H1-Bs and offshoring of US/Western European jobs to developing companies bad
    - technologies or companies promising to make programming and/or system administration dramatically cheaper and easier = quackery
    etc

    These biases are institutionalized and reflected on a daily basis in choices of stories, summaries, and (especially) moderation, which controls which posts will be read by most readers. If you happen to be on the majority side of these biases, you might not notice. But I find it annoying that thoughtful posts can be modded 0 so that they're well hidden while mindless rants parroting the view of the majority (often with F words that are apparently taken as evidence of passion) are modded up to +5.

  • Re:Google? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kallen3 (171792) on Saturday July 26, 2014 @10:34PM (#47541047)

    As someone pointed out you have to have some idea of the project you are looking for. I have found many software projects on Freshmeat/Freecode just by going there 3 or 4 times a week. Sometimes there will be things listed that I had not given any thought to and then I see it listed there found it intriguing went to the web page and checked it out. Later on I would go back and download it because I would recall months later when the need arised it was there. Trying do that with google, what would be the search string, "New software"? Especially for us not searching for anything specific and just wanted to find new open source software in general.

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