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Bad projects

How about adding a link to report a "bad" project for review, that is a project which is purely commercial with no freely accessible source code etc...? For as far as I understand the idea of ohloh, such closed projects are not the target group.

Andre Martin almost 9 years ago

Well, officially, we've never made a ruling either way about whether closed source or commercial software projects should be allowed on Ohloh. We lean towards allowing such projects on Ohloh.

I suspect some of our users feel that Ohloh should be used to promote open source software only.

However, I think Ohloh's real strength lies in promoting people, and almost everyone works with commercial software to some degree. I think there's a lot of value in adding commercial software experience to an account profile, or adding a commercial OS to a software stack.

While being free is a good thing, I don't equate being commercial with being "bad". Everyone has to make a living.

As you point out, there's a lot of utility in having a project on Ohloh -- reviews, mapping its users and contributors, and tracking its popularity -- beyond just source code analysis. Why shouldn't I be able to add Mac OS X to my software stack, and add a rating?

For now we haven't crossed the line of adding commercial software to Ohloh, but I'd be curious to hear how others feel about this.


Robin Luckey almost 9 years ago

I'd like to point at the first line of the Wikipedia description about ohloh (I couldn't find a similar "About" text at the ohloh site, sorry if I missed it): "(...) platform that aims to map the landscape of open source software development."

As I mentioned before, I meant with "bad project" those "with no freely accessible source code" and referred to them as a "closed project". It is a fact that such closed projects mostly are "purely commercial". I agree however that my commercial reference might have caused some misunderstanding.

Therefore, I'd like to rephrase my question: "How to deal with projects that are totally closed (and never were open)?"

Otherwise, I could as well list Windows as a project. I'm afraid that such closed projects are merely using ohloh as a free advertisement platform.

Andre Martin almost 9 years ago

Andre, I wrote the first line of the Wikipedia page so I'm afraid I am the only person responsible for that if it's inaccurate.

dartar almost 9 years ago

Andre, I wrote the first line of the Wikipedia page so I'm afraid I am the only person responsible for that if this is inaccurate.

dartar almost 9 years ago

dartar, I think your ohloh description at Wikipedia is very good as it allows for both free and commercial services for as long as there is open source code; that is for as long as there is code to get one's hands on.

Given ohloh's main feature of analyzing source code, in my opinion it doesn't make much sense to allow any closed project onboard. That would turn ohloh into a software database but how to confirm the people's claim that they are involved? That might proove impossible for some cases and raise disputes over who wrote what in the first place and so on...

Andre Martin almost 9 years ago

Commercial open source projects should be allowed as there is nothing wrong with commercial free software.

But I really wouldn't like to see non-free projects in Ohloh.

Lennart Koopmann almost 9 years ago

humm maybe a special category of commercial or closed source software could be added ?

they would not be at the same level of open source software but people would be able to add them in their stack and/or add them in their experience/stats etc.

I got an example: I use Flex Builder a lot, the software is based on Eclipse, but it's closed source and commercial but that's only the IDE part

on the background the IDE use the Flex SDK which is open source (compilers, frameworks, etc.)

As a user I would like to at least be able to add "Flex SDK" in my stack, ideally I would like to add too "Flex Builder" in my stack.

Also this would need to be regulated, I would certainly not want to have any commercial software being added to ohloh. but only the ones that the people really use, maybe a system of vote or suggestion ?

zwetan almost 9 years ago

The underlying issue seems to be that "projects" are used for: A) open source software projects B) limiting the selection of tools that can be chosen for the stack.

There are lots of open source projects that have dependencies on closed source tools. Ohloh doesn't allow such open source projects to list their tool usage in their stack.

I guess it just depends on how pure ohloh is desired to be (And I am not stepping in to that conversation!)

morris almost 9 years ago

First, let's speak of "proprietary" or "closed-source" instead of "commercial", since as Lennart pointed out, there is free software that has commercial success, like OTRS, several SQL packages, Linux distributions, etc.

I would not mind if proprietary software can be registered without source code analysis (haha g), but you still have reviews, rankings, users, contributors... Why this can be useful? It can be useful to determine fields in the free software world where proprietary software is still the better alternative; where free software has to improve. For example some developers use VMware for some weird-OS hacking, though there is qemu and the like. Ohloh could help to find out why.

Of course, closed-source contributors should not get a better KudoRank because they're involved in some popular closed-source tool development. So imho it can have some advantages to be able to add proprietary software, but there have to be some limitations.

Btw, Andre, I don't think that Ohloh can be used as a free advertisement platform, because there can always be users that may rank a project down or write bad reviews.


Stephan Beyer over 8 years ago

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