The murky future of Open Source software directories

A shift is occurring in the world of free and open source software (FOSS) directory sites.

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CC-BY 2.0, by Tomomi ( https://secure.flickr.com/photos/girliemac/ ). Original: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/girliemac/6514567755/in/set-72157628409467125

 

Freshmeat.net, in recent years rebranded to Freecode, seems to have been sunset. On almost the same day, Ohloh have suddenly rebranded as Black Duck Open Hub to better spruik the name of the parent company. Maybe they needed a cash injection to cope with some long term maintenance and scaling issues ? Also related, earlier this year the BerliOS project hosting service shutdown due to lack of support and funding, with all projects absorbed by Sourceforge. The more user-focused AlternativeTo.net, one of my favorites, seem to be staying the course … and so they should since they do a lot of things right.

I’m not speculating on what it all means, but with Freshmeat no longer fresh, and Ohloh in flux, there could be opportunities emerging for entrepreneurial web devs interested in taking over from the old guard and showing them how it’s done in the “post-PC era”. Maybe the utility of the open source software directory as we know it has passed – certainly on Linux a decent repository browser with user reviews, like the Ubuntu Software Center, tends to fill the void for the average user. But maybe there is still a need for something to replace these directories on the open web, in some form … I wonder what that will be ?

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