Build it, and they will come. But maybe it's already built?
November 18, 2010 5:00 PM   Subscribe

Is there a search engine for finding open source "clones" of various web services and software? For instance, I know there are open source projects (like Diaspora) that aim to mimic Facebook, and other open source projects that mimic Twitter... But how do I find out if there's an open source project that is trying to mimic the Meebo/Wibiya toolbar? Or some open source project that's trying to create a Groupon-like website?

Perhaps what I'm thinking of doesn't exist, but I think it'd be nice to be able to easily find all the open source projects that are trying to "clone" other software. I know exists, but it doesn't quite seem like a very exhaustive search for open source projects... Or maybe I'm just under the mistaken impression that there are a lot of open source projects that are trying to do what other commercial software already does.
posted by mhh5 to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Just search Github for "[app name] clone".
posted by mkultra at 5:16 PM on November 18, 2010

OSalt does a half-assed job of this for desktop progs.

Wiki has a huge open source program page but doesn't really address the "web service" aspect. Perhaps you should create a new category and see how fast it fills up.
posted by benzenedream at 6:13 PM on November 18, 2010 is another such site, and it includes some websites.
posted by whatnotever at 6:53 PM on November 18, 2010

google's codesearch searches source code. You have to be persistent and creative when choosing your search keywords but you can generally find source that deals with a specific topic. From there you can bounce to the project's website and follow the links there.
posted by rdr at 8:20 PM on November 18, 2010 can be handy for this. Just search on the more widely known title and you'll often find hits for functional equivalents you haven't heard of (both proprietary and open source).
posted by wheat at 12:32 AM on November 19, 2010

posted by london302 at 4:50 AM on November 19, 2010

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