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Monday, December 07, 2009

SourceForge vs. Freshmeat | Tech FAQ Blog

SourceForge vs. Freshmeat | Tech FAQ Blog: "SourceForge vs. Freshmeat

SourceForge and Freshmeat are both great web sites for finding obscure open source software packages.

Both are very old and authoritative web sites; Freshmeat was started in March of 1998 and SourceForge came along in August of 1999.

SourceForge has a larger database of projects to search, which is a major advantage. SourceForge also has a better search feature, in that you can filter your search results by meta data fields such as Development Status, License, and Programming Language.

Unfortunately, once you find the list of projects which meet your criteria, SourceForge falls down. SourceForge presents very little data about each individial development project and the current SourceForge design makes it very difficult to find the real homepage of the development project. SourceForge is attempting to trap visitors within SourceForge’s limited environment. This makes SourceForge almost useless.

Freshmeat doesn’t have a search feature with the sophistication of the one you will find at SourceForge, but when you find an open source project at Freshmeat, it gives you all the data you need — including the real homepage of the project — with a far superior user interface.

So what am I stuck with? I go to Freshmeat and search for projects. If I find too many or too few results, I go to SourceForge and repeat the search. But then I take those search results back to Freshmeat to find useful project descriptions.

Freshmeat, please improve your search feature; SourceForge, please stop trying to trap visitors within your horrible new user interface."