alternativeTo.net – massive similar software directory

alternativeto_icon I vaguely remember visiting the site while back, but it really got my attention by chance yesterday. I was googling Ketarin (because site was down as I noticed in Ketarin, very meta) and was quite impressed with its profile at alternativeTo – application directory that primarily aims to offer alternatives to software titles (much likes osalt but with more broad focus).

What it does

Basically site is a software directory – place where many software apps have profile pages with information. Where it goes slightly different is that instead focus on info about app itself it places spotlight on similar apps, that might serve as replacement.

alternativeto_interface

Everything can be filtered by platform. Apps are properly tagged and it is always visible if they are free and what platform(s) they run on.

Strong features

One of the simplest core metrics of software directory is how much of software it has and is it balanced against quality of selection and information. It is somewhat subjective metric, formed by gut feeling and years of messing with software.

Well, alternativeTo scores pretty high for me. There are a lot of titles, relevance of suggestions is quite good and really solid stuff seems to float to top.

Extras

Site gives that warm fuzzy feeling of fellow geeks doing what they love. It is packed full of integration with social services (such as Twitter) and nice extras if you want to do something with it yourself:

  • numerous RSS feeds,
  • JS widgets;
  • WordPress plugin;
  • JSON API.

Downsides

My only gripe with site that a lot of information ends up being cluttered. Too much going on page, too many similar links and in many places font size it too small to be comfortable in such design.

Overall

I barely scratched surface there, this is one of those sites that allows some real digging (that often ends up in discovering some real gems of a software).

API option also sparked my thoughts for whole different purpose and is going into bookmarks for my next big project (now that I am done with new theme).

Link http://alternativeto.net/

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5 Comments

  • Wow, I just was using that page for looking a free alternative to AutoPlay right now, to shame that I didn’t find something like that, anyways is a really good place for looking for other software. Rarst, if you know some free soft to make a launcher or a menu for a software collection pls let me know :)

  • @Chocobito

    Launchers are tough topic… On desktop I use oldish SmartStartMenu. It’s not perfect, but best balance of flexibility and ease of use I found so far.

    Unfortunately it’s built as completely non-portable. That makes life on the go much harder. I couldn’t really find portable launcher I was content with.

    Currently I have weak hope that I will like upcoming stable release of new PortableApps launcher, because it will have auto-update of their apps (which will be major benefit to use it).

  • I use it from time to time, it is certainly one more interesting way to discover new software.

  • @Sandrina

    I think trend in file portals definitely shifts from simply amassing a lot of software to helping actually find something that you need from the mass.

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