Story 2014-06-19 3P6 R.I.P Freshmeat

R.I.P Freshmeat

by
in internet on (#3P6)
You might remember Freshmeat, a hacker site whose name was changed in 2011 to FreeCode (to me, it will always be Freshmeat). Freshmeat kept track of software packages, their newest versions, change logs, and updates. For project developers, it was a great way to get the word out about improvements to their software. For users, it was a spectacular way to search for and discover interesting and useful software. While not totally devoted to open source software, the bulk of the software was for Unix and Linux systems, and much of it was open source.

In 2012, FreeCode was bought by Dice Holdings, along with Slashdot and the rest of Geeknet's sites, for $20M. Two years later (ie, yesterday), it was dead in the water.

As of yesterday, visitors to Freecode.com will see "Effective 2014-06-18 Freecode is no longer being updated (content may be stale)." Turns out, Freecode.com wasn't generating enough revenue via page impressions of ads, and Dice Holdings decided to stick a knife in its heart, explaining:
The Freecode site has been moved to a static state effective June 18, 2014 due to low traffic levels and so that folks will focus on more useful endeavors than site upkeep. The site contents have been retained in this static state as a continued path to access the linked software, much of which is on self-hosted servers and would be difficult to find otherwise.
It might seem better than nothing to just freeze FreeCode into a static site, but a site whose purpose is to track the latest and greatest is dead in the water if all of its information was frozen on 18 June. Rest in Peace, Freshmeat. [ed. note: Is it now rotten meat? Because I see flies on the carcass].
Reply 15 comments

They should rename it cre.org (Score: 1)

by marqueeblink@pipedot.org on 2014-06-19 12:39 (#266)

Code, ready to eat

Re: They should rename it cre.org (Score: 1)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-06-19 13:44 (#26B)

Good one - I still wish someone would screen scrape that site, fork it, and open it up as a community project. Remember Themes.org? Same thing - that place went through at least 3 iterations. Actually, criminy, I just tested that URL and it redirects to f*cking freecode.com! Dammit!

Slashdot (Score: 4, Interesting)

by bryan@pipedot.org on 2014-06-19 12:43 (#267)

I guess this also means that Dice will trim off Slashdot when the page views get too low. The comment counts of Slashdot stories have been steadily dropping for the past few years, even before the beta and alt-slashdot thing from earlier this year. One could probably plot a graph and get a pretty good end time estimation.

SourceForge will pass the mark first, though. Ever since they've allowed obnoxious ads that look like download buttons on their download pages and malware to their hosted packages, that site seems to be universally hated. Most sane projects have moved to GitHub and I expect that transfer to continue.

Re: Slashdot (Score: 2, Insightful)

by vanderhoth@pipedot.org on 2014-06-19 13:08 (#269)

Totally agree with this. I don't expect it won't be long before /. gets the axe too, which is why I've moved over here and to soylent. /. is pretty much just a shill posting site now, "I've used windows 8 for 10 years and it's so easy to use my unborn child is creating super HD video of THEIR OWN BIRTH with it!!!!11!!1!1111"

Also agree with the souceforge comment. I used SF for a few different projects and to find some really great software, but now it's just a big ad fest, and a deceptive one at that. I've moved over to Github, and Git is really good. I use both SVN and Git for development, each has it's place. I find Git is much better for collaborative projects with large teams where as SVN is really good for individual or small team development.

But I digress, that's what happens when community site get sold to corporate interest. Dice paid a lot of money for the brand /. had built up because they wanted to monitorize it, which means exploiting the community.

Re: Slashdot (Score: 3, Insightful)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-06-19 13:42 (#26A)

I was thinking the same thing. Slashdot isn't dead by any measure - their current poll about what time you get to the office has received 17,000 votes, for example while ours has received 16 :) But increasingly the articles aren't great and the comment quality is on decline. I was looking around for new things to read even before the Slashcott, and so are probably the better commenters. They might not be on the chopping block yet, but they're not far away, and it's clear Dice bought things expecting them to generate revenue, and will act if they don't. That's the way business works.

It's a reminder then that these kinds of sites are best run as community projects or by small, non-corporate entities and last longest if they resist the opportunity to sell out. Cycle is always the same - generate something cool, sell to corporation, corporation ruins it and then sells it off, and everyone loses. The Gracenote database is a spectacular example of this - a user-generated database of song titles and albums got sold to a corporation who immediately restricted access to the information. Screw you, consumer!

No regrets for jumping ship. Dice Media can go get **cked.

Re: Slashdot (Score: 1, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-06-19 23:25 (#26P)

Re: Slashdot (Score: 1)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-06-20 12:17 (#274)

Wow - disappointing and totally inadvertent. I wrote the Pipedot poll without being aware of the Slashdot poll, which I now see ran earlier. Wonder if I was remembering it subconsciously, or if it's just an obvious question with obvious answer-choices? Anyway, rest assured it's just an unfortunate coincidence, not plagiarism, and it's certainly not an effort to just siphon content from the green site to here.

If you have any poll ideas, join the pipedot mailing list and send them in, please. The more the merrier.

Re: Slashdot (Score: 1)

by bradthegeek@pipedot.org on 2014-06-20 13:10 (#275)

While on the subject of /., is anopne else having their ad prefs ignored? They have added ads (bottom of page, top of comments), in addition to the header and sidebar. Now, I can recheck my ad prefs and they just all dont go away. Sometimes none do. At home I now surf with adblock on /. because of this. At work and on my mobile devices I have not gone so far yet.

I guess I am wondering if this is across the board or only 'random users' like beta. The do seem to be constantly givving me mod points.. maybe an attempt at compensation for the ads?

Re: Slashdot (Score: 1)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-06-20 22:26 (#27B)

No, it's happening to me too, and the blocking/overlay advert at the bottom of the page is frankly unforgivable, in my opinion. I really detest it.

Was it still useful? (Score: 1)

by kwerle@pipedot.org on 2014-06-19 19:00 (#26D)

I used to use freshmeat a bit. I guess back in the .. 90's? But searching improvements (google, etc) and distribution packaging improved immensly in the past 15-20 years.

Sad to see it go - but just for nostalgia reasons.

Is there anyone around here that'll actually miss it, functionally?

Re: Was it still useful? (Score: 1)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-06-19 19:20 (#26G)

I haven't used it recently, because frankly I'd forgotten about it. But I used to regularly go there to discover software. Search for "project management," "spline editor," "graphing package," etc. always turned up software I'd never known about - that was fun. Google could do it, but it's nice having a dedicated resource and community committed to contributing to it. It doesn't all have to go to Google, the relentless, omnipresent monopolist. (exaggerating, a little, but you've got to admit Google is freaking EVERYWHERE).

Re: Was it still useful? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-06-21 01:30 (#27E)

Yeah but freshmeat was both usable and useful. When they went web2, rewrote it in ruby and rebranded as freecode... what the hell was that about?

Freecode is a pointless site that nobody will miss. There probably still is a place for something like freshmeat... Bryan?

Ohloh (Score: 2, Informative)

by bryan@pipedot.org on 2014-06-24 20:48 (#292)

There is a similar site called Ohloh that has been active for a few years now: https://www.ohloh.net/
Ohloh is a free, public directory of Free and Open Source Software and the contributors who create and maintain it. Ohloh Code is a publicly available, free code search site that indexes most of the projects in Ohloh.

Ohloh is editable by everyone, like a wiki. All are welcome to join and add new projects, and to make corrections to existing project pages. This public review helps to make Ohloh one of the largest, most accurate, and up-to-date FOSS software directories available. We encourage contributors to join Ohloh and claim their commits on existing projects and add projects not yet on Ohloh, to assemble a complete profile of all their FOSS code contributions.

Ohloh is not a forge — it does not host projects and code. Ohloh is a directory, a community, and analytics and search services. By connecting to project source code repositories, analyzing both the code’s history and ongoing updates, and attributing those updates to specific contributors, Ohloh can provide reports about the composition and activity of project code bases, and aggregate this data to track the changing demographics of the FOSS world.

what a shame (Score: 3, Informative)

by pete@pipedot.org on 2014-06-19 23:50 (#26S)

well, heres to hoping this closure cost Dice dearly


-i also noticed that the article links to http://www.freecode.com, which seems to 404, whereas http://freecode.com still shows the frozen site