Articles / Welcome to freshmeat.net 3.0

Welcome to freshmeat.net 3.0

The database migration of the old data set has just finished. Welcome to the brand new freshmeat.net.

We still have a few open loops to close, but we wanted to bring the site back up first.

Read on for a few brief comments on the current site status.

First of all, we’re not done yet. What you’re looking at right now is a 90% import of the old site, with most of the data being present and available to you.

We did our best to map the former trove categorization into a meaningful set of tags for each project and release. I am confident that this will not have worked in every case. But I am just as confident that with every submission we process in the new system we will nudge the metadata of the entries and I also trust you as project maintainers to make sure your project’s record here on freshmeat.net is shaping up nicely.

What’s missing right now is the statistics component. Yes, we had statistics per project reaching back 60 days, but that just isn’t enough anymore. We also need to refine our metrics for measuring popularity and vitality. All of this will be tackled in the next few days, since implementing this solely on the drawing board without the interaction of the real site is rarely a good idea.

Also coming in the next few days is the revamped API to interface with both project data and user data (including your subscriptions and filters). With the site itself out of the door now we can focus on polishing that component up for release.

In case you’re wondering, the first newsletter originating from the new system will be sent out on Monday.

As noted in our little placeholder page during the migration, status updates regarding further code pushes will be sent to our Twitter account with more detailed articles coming as time and features permit.

We fully expect to spend a couple of days ironing out the kinks that have not surfaced during the beta test and without the full set of data. Please bear with us and use our help system should you be in need of assistance.

Please remember that we opened the new site for beta testing at the beginning of February and reminded you about it in five articles detailing what we were doing and why. Try to limit your comments to things you couldn’t have told us over the last six weeks.

Sorry for keeping this note a little brief. The past weeks were exhausting.

RSS Recent comments

15 Mar 2009 04:18 Avatar sharljimhtsin Thumbs up

great

15 Mar 2009 04:21 mlemos

Is the project XML metadata going to be available in the new site with the same URLs?

15 Mar 2009 04:28 jeffcovey

mlemos: This is under development; see help.freshmeat.net/dis...

Sincerely,
Jeff

15 Mar 2009 06:55 billposer

What's with the fixed width pages? I hate being forced either to scroll horizontally or use a really wide window.

15 Mar 2009 07:04 gwen hastings

ah,
this new layout simply doesnt work(ie no home or download links etc
anyone notice?
gwen
firefox 3.07-osx 10.5.6

15 Mar 2009 07:41 morsedl

Where has the RSS feed for general announcements of new / updated projects gone to?

15 Mar 2009 08:19 Hessiess Thumbs down

Where has the optional dark theme gone? white, Yuck!

15 Mar 2009 10:56 camh

Has the "yesterday" URL gone for good? (freshmeat.net/yesterday)

15 Mar 2009 11:06 haary

Where can I filter for specific categories now? E. g. I search for "Web browser" and want to set a filter for all browser using GTK.
In FM II it was a filter for "Environment:X11 Applications:GTK". Now, there even isn't a tag named "GTK" or "X11 Applications".

15 Mar 2009 11:45 scdbackup

That "shaping up nicely" will probably need some more guidance. :)

Currently most mis-shaped in my project records is the yelling fat "System" tag
and the nearly invisible "backup". How would i get a size balance that reflects my
view on the tag weights ?
(Shall size reflect the tag weights of the project at all ?
If not: what else shall it mean ?)

Since the screenshots appear on the front page now:
What image shall a console program show where the output always
exceeds the size of a terminal window ? Is there a style guide ?

15 Mar 2009 11:46 juedau

I miss the old layout/style which looks pretty nice in browsers like dillo or elinks. IMHO a big regression :-(

15 Mar 2009 11:59 OllyBetts

Hmm, I came here to add a new release and discovered I no longer seem to own the project record - I guess the import discarded this information. It also seems to have lost project dependencies and my subscriptions.

Is this data going to reappear, or are users expected to recreate it all?

15 Mar 2009 13:19 rrt

A few bits of feedback, since I imagine it's too late to sign up for a beta account:

1. If there's no screenshot, why not simply omit it, rather than have the "no screenshot" icon? Many projects will never have screenshots and don't need them.

2. Since the most interesting bit of Freshmeat announcements is what has changed, it's confusing that the project description is more prominent than the changes. (They used to have equal prominence.)

3. It took me a while to work out that I had to click on an article header to see the comments rather than the comments icon. It would be logical if the comments icon and number were links to the first comment.

15 Mar 2009 14:03 chiphead

The layout is horrendous, the classic theme was far more useful, "search filters" with meta tag ala web 2.x crap is just that, crap. If it ain't broke, don't fix it guys. thanks for forcing it on and killing the old, useful frontend/backend.

Good luck with finishing up the site, its less useful for random browsing now. this new layout is also crud for nonstandard browsers. I'll try like hell to adjust.

15 Mar 2009 14:14 fugsmog

Hate it. Where's the links? Why does it jump to the top every time I "filter" a project? Hate. It.

15 Mar 2009 14:17 blanu

How do you get the condensed list (title and one line description) of new releases/projects since last visit? That's my favorite feature of the site. I use it every day to keep up with what's going on.

15 Mar 2009 15:32 elanthis

The project view page needs to make the Website thing WAAAAY more prominent. It's like the most important piece of info their is. The project title in the page should be a link to the Website if one is set, or a download if one is not set.

When logging in the user should be redirected to the page they were on. It's pretty annoying for example when I wanted to comment, clicked login, and end back up on the home page instead of the page I was trying to comment on.

Otherwise, looks great. Congratulations on the release of 3.0!

15 Mar 2009 17:01 Avatar hammingweight Thumbs up

It looks pretty promising to me.

15 Mar 2009 17:30 Avatar izzysoft

Yes - the design looks great. And we have to get used to it (I liked the 2nd "Link-Bar" at the top of the page, which contained the administration links, much more - no I have to scroll to find the links). But hey, someone is always there to complain for something. The missing things will come within the next days, as scoop already pointed out.
One thing missing at the "broken" list: One cannot delete a screenshot (at least not the migrated ones). The according link just displays it, but doesn't remove anything.

15 Mar 2009 17:53 jeffcovey

morsedl: The RSS feeds should be automatically discovered by most modern browsers. We're also going to make explicit links to them, as people are failing to notice.

Thanks,
Jeff

15 Mar 2009 19:58 rel Thumbs down

Where's the list of updated projects that used to be on the right hand side?

15 Mar 2009 20:28 maddler Thumbs down

Still not decided/understood wether I like FM3 or not. But, for sure I'm missing the home/download/etc bar.
I see the download/floppy icon it's not always enabled, and I'm supposed to enter the project page and configure the default download location from the admin menu... please give me back the quick download icon! :)

15 Mar 2009 22:15 jmcoursi

Alas, I hate the design. Some projects never say what their license is, nor the language ? Where's the "yesterday" link ? Do I have to page to find the latest project I remember having seen ? As for the fixed width, it fills about 65% of my screen with whitespace. Big loss of functionality...

15 Mar 2009 22:39 lcd047

The links in the RSS feeds no longer include a hostname, and my reader is not smart enough to infer it from the feeds' URLs. As far as I can tell, Freshmeat 3.0 is the only site that does that. Can we please have back the links as full URLs?

15 Mar 2009 23:26 jeffcovey

lcd047: Should be fixed now. Thanks!

16 Mar 2009 00:47 alemagno

Are the listings by date coming back?

16 Mar 2009 00:48 wjaguar

The new layout is a waste of screen space. And much less useful too - no visible links, no list of related projects, no visible statistics - no nothing, except useless bells and whistles.
You people have just killed a good site for no reason. R.I.P. freshmeat.net

16 Mar 2009 01:04 alexbeyn

I have two major gripes with the new site layout: number of actions required to get to information, and hidden URLs.

The new site layout requires me to click and scroll a lot more than the old one did. Clicking on a project takes me to the middle of the project page, to the particular release. This means all the information I usually care about (the description, the programming language, the supported platforms, etc) require scrolling. When I do scroll up, I have to click two or three times to see all of that information, since it's all listed on different tabs.

I have two suggestions to improve this. First, when listing projects, split the link into two parts. When clicking on the project name, the user should be taken to the top of the project page. When clicking on the version next to the project name, the user should be taken to the release anchor. Second, since the amount of information in the tabs will always be small (How many projects use a dozen programming languages, have twenty licenses, and run on ten specific unixes and three versions of Windows?), all of that information should be combined into a single box.

The other major gripe I have are the hidden URLs. In the old site layout I could see most, if not all, of the URL immediately. With the new site layout, I only have the option of seeing the host, and only after I stop and hover the mouse over the link. The second or so it takes for the tool tip to come up may not seem like much, but it's annoying and breaks the flow of browsing. I suggest either going back to using the actual URL as the link text, or adding it to the end of the link URL, so it shows up in the Status bar when hovering over the link (for example: freshmeat.net/urls/c37...).

16 Mar 2009 02:23 gskijj

It takes three clicks to view the screenshot from the main page. That's too much.

This colorless theme is lacking contrast. It looks like some basic theme with came with some second class PHP software. Not good.

I am sorry, but so far I haven't been able to find and positive changes at the consumer end.

16 Mar 2009 03:01 pnelson

This is a first impression, so I might have missed a lot, but I sort of hate the front page. In terms of utility for the way I use the site (skimming through new software as quickly as possible), it doesn't look like an improvement. I would say the site is, overall, far more stylish, but not as fast. Sort of fits in with the times, I guess. Style before substance- everyone is doing it. You practically can't help getting pulled in that direction. You probably would have to clean room your programming team from all of contemporary culture not to.

16 Mar 2009 03:11 Morris

Three quick comments:
1. Oh no, my most-used feature is missing! How can I get to a project's website in one click? I usually scroll down the page and open a dozen or so project websites, so the lack of a direct link is very inconvenient. Argh!!!

2. Why not just pop-up the main screenshot when it's clicked on? This has already been suggested by others and it's not hard to see why.

3. The current 'Project Spolight' at the bottom of this page is the 'Java FTP API.' It does not have a screenshot and somehow I doubt it ever will. Let's just drop the placeholder screenshot image and forget about all this 'No Screenshot Provided' nonsense:-)

16 Mar 2009 06:45 cad

I am also afraid I have missed a lot, but first impressions are that the new interface are not all positive.

1) I am getting some page distortion, text in the side panel is unreadable, when using Firefox in windows

2) Not having the simple day submissions list on the side is a retro step. This was a very useful way of checking new submissions quickly. I do not monitor it every day, but just being able to check the last day or so was excellent

3) Having to click on the icons, together with seeming non-uniform ordering e.g. license type seems to jump around in the bar, is slow and more difficult to assess. On my linux laptop the license icon is a different colour
in windows it is barely different

4) Overall the update rate seems slower across my relatively slow broadband line

5) The jumping of the screenshot icon, and the subsequent text realignment, when the mouse goes over an entry is VERY annoying

6) Text is fast to transfer, is there a need to have the (more)/(less) commands when often it is only adding 10-20 more words. Moving the mouse to click (and then having the text move - see5) is very time consuming and frustrating,

7) Please bring back the single click to get a large version of the screenshot

8) Why not keep the simple text access to the license/languages/operating systems info. I am often wanting cross platform software and this will just add significant time to scanning options

I am sorry to be so negative when someone has put so much effort in, but in 10s of minutes I have got less information out of the website that I would have in a couple of minutes with the previous interface.

16 Mar 2009 09:06 aelmahmoudy

There is a problem with the RSS feed, it only displays that last 20 entries. There are more than 20 new software releases that enter daily in freshmeat (something like 50 or 60 is the average)

16 Mar 2009 09:44 rdawes

For those who use the filter extensively (like me - typically 94% of entries on a page are filtered), having a round trip for every project that I add to my filter is just too much.

Please bring back the option to select all projects that should be filtered before actually making a submission to the server?

16 Mar 2009 09:50 Avatar izzysoft

I have to correct my above statement concerning the Screenshot deletion - the new design just introduced a new JavaScript dependency I had to explicitly permit in NoScript.

But allow another question: Do you think it is a good idea to have the License, OS, Programming Language, and Translations as "free text" inputs? Sure, all changes require approval from the FM team. But selecting from a pre-defined list saves from spelling errors, and thus saves your team additional work. Sure, with free-text a new category is easier to achieve - but that may end up with two new categories for the same thing, just with different spellings. And after a while, this may be a real mess. Not to speak about filtering, which is already a mess (compared to FM II): It is no longer grouped into "by OS", "by License", etc., and thus at least a bit confusing. Instead of the "a-h", "i-p", and "q-z" tabs, I'd much more prefer the categories to be shown.

16 Mar 2009 09:53 wschlich

With fm3, on the start page, I can no longer see which ones of the projects listed I am already subscribed to - I have to move the mouse over each and every project/release to see the 'subscribe' or 'unsubscribe' button pop up. That really sucks. Can't you just add some visual element/style to make the users able to distinguish between subscribed/unsubscribed projects at first sight?
Also, a very important feature is still missing: being able to do a fulltext search *only* within my subscribed projects. At least the subscriptions list is now divided into multiple pages, that's the only improvement I can see for myself. Right now I am still missing fm2 :(

16 Mar 2009 11:39 Rob1n

Can the project tags be added into the announcements RSS feed? At the moment there's no way to tell what the project licenses are from the feed.

16 Mar 2009 12:44 lollipop

please, pretty please, bring back the homepage link, without that link it takes twice as much time to digest the new posts every morning

16 Mar 2009 14:39 ri_thomas

sigh i like the old homepage interface a whole lot more than the new one. It was easier/faster to determine if i would be interested a piece of software. The license type and home page link was right there on the front page.

The license only shows up for some now. I hope these little issues will sort it self out over time

16 Mar 2009 14:59 Avatar lakshmipathi

Looks and feel is pretty good.- I love it :)
Homepage link needs to be more visible.
Where is subscribers count and ranking ? -- i need them.

16 Mar 2009 15:02 z2y9576pzk95kmzk

Unfortunately it's been a few months since I was able to visit the site (travel, mostly) and in the hopes of getting back to daily visits, I came back today. I thought the site had been hijacked by some high school student practicing "web 2.0". But no, the URL is correct, so I pushed on.

The interface is prettier. I don't think it's better, but then as someone who's interested purely in what Open Source applications have been updated and/or created in the past x days/weeks/months, I'm very biased.

I appreciate all the effort that has gone into the site. However, /my is gone. Now, if I want to see all the projects that have been updated or created, there is apparently no way to do this. Oh, sure, I could go to tagged articles and manually click through several dozen/hundred tags, hoping I might see what has recently been updated/created? maybe? kinda sorta but not really? How far back can I go?

I understand the desire for progress and change, especially if some aspects of an organically grown application have become unwieldy. But this... this appears to be change for the sake of change and that missing 10% better fix everything that's missing.

Just give me back my personal filters and searches by date. If they're on this site now, I can't find them after 15 minutes of concerted effort. Yes, I may be defective and the problem may be a pebkac, but after using a computer every day for 30 years, my inclination is not to blame myself first in these matters.

You'll also note the irony in the most recent "How to use Freshmeat.net" article pointing primarily to /my/.

16 Mar 2009 18:14 LaneLester Thumbs down

I regret that I didn't evaluate the beta, because I'm afraid I'm going to lose one of my favorite sites. It was so easy every morning to scan the latest projects and right-click the project's home icon to visit the site for further information. Now I can't even figure out how to see the latest releases.

I wonder if there's another site that does the same thing as freshmeat. Before now, I didn't care.

16 Mar 2009 19:30 fjrm Thumbs down

Add me to the list of people who do not like the new look and functionality of the site. Unfortunately seems FM is the latest site to loose a highly functional format for wanting to move to a web 2.0 eye candy format. Time to start looking for an alternative.

16 Mar 2009 19:31 satyr_xr4ti Thumbs down

What happened to the list of software releases on the right side of the page? The one that just had the project name and version and spanned several days? That was THE feature on the main page I found the most useful by far! The new site doesn't have that, nor seems to have any way to recreate that after logging in.

On top of that it appears to not be possible to even filter projects on basic properties such as the programming language(s) they are written in, i.e. can't say "show projects that use C++" or "don't show projects using Java" like you could with the old fm 2.0 project trove. All in all, I'd have to say the usability of the site has plummeted from pretty nice to utter crap!

I'd have to agree with some of the other commenters that it if some of the large amount of missing functionality doesn't show up very soon, it'll be time to find a site to fill the role that freshmeat is now incapable of filling--a convenient method for seeing what software projects have new versions out.

17 Mar 2009 04:51 manus_eiffel

Will you provide a page which lists all the missing functionality and when it will be either implemented if not yet implemented, a check otherwise?

17 Mar 2009 08:40 acoul Thumbs down

search is broken or at least does not have the power and functionality of the old one. bring up the old site too as a choice at least. newer is not always better.

I really dearly miss the old freshmeat. it was something like a Sacred monument to the community!

17 Mar 2009 09:04 acoul Thumbs down

it's not that bad after all. multiple choice on the show/hide menu will save couple of extra clicks and page refreshes. I still miss the search sort options especially the last Date Revised one.

17 Mar 2009 11:18 aecon79 Thumbs down

I believe the old look was more easy for the eye to catch-up

17 Mar 2009 12:23 richlv

1. there's a problem with login - if i try to log into my account and fill in myopenid field as well, it fails with "Openid identifier did not match any users in our database, have you set up your account to use OpenID?", even if i click on the upper 'log in' button. quite confusing.

2. previosuly, i was subscribed to new releases (unix) rss feed.i can't find anything comparable now - there seems to be no unix tag, though it might be replaced by posix - which doesn't appear in "projects by tag" page. even if i find that tag and try to subscribe to it's feed, i only get (as mentioned) 20 entries and haven't seen new entries since then.
where could i get to a feed like that ?

3. is there anywhere a customised rss feed functionality, so that i could mark projects to be excluded from the feed for me ?

17 Mar 2009 21:44 jeffcovey

Thanks to everyone for your comments. Again, please go to help.freshmeat.net/ if you have questions, suggestions, or problems. We're not going to conduct support and issue tracking by posting comments under an article.

Sincerely,
Jeff

18 Mar 2009 04:21 ScienceMan Thumbs down

I *really* dislike the fixed width of the new layout. It wastes space, and this is made worse by the default double-spacing (or 1 1/2-line spacing) of the lines. At least let this be set by preference!!! Or bring back the previous full-width-of-page layout.

18 Mar 2009 09:30 Avatar datanucleus

Mouseover on a project and the whole window resizes/shifts (on Firefox 2.0); ugly.
What percentage of projects will have a screenshot ? < 30% so make that "screenshot" (that your admins won't allow to be a logo) something that doesn't appear unless specified.
Where is the "My Projects" ? I have to go and search for My projects ? please

18 Mar 2009 10:59 Avatar izzysoft

@datanucleus: "My projects" is just one click on your account name in the top navigation bar ("Welcome, datanucleus" - click on "datanucleus").

@ScienceMan: Check userstyles.org for FM III stylesheet adaptions removing "obsolete spaces".

19 Mar 2009 00:08 razzarphenix

How do I do re-order my searches by say last modified date?

19 Mar 2009 00:09 razzarphenix

Nevermind!

19 Mar 2009 11:40 Avatar binro

What fonts are being used? They look very ugly in both firefox and konqueror on my systems, as if there is no anti-aliasing.

19 Mar 2009 16:45 jrfreshmeat

For scoop (Patrick Lenz if I recall?)

Please allow me to elaborate a bit / sum it up:

1. new interface does not count with text browsers of *any* kind (lynx, links, etc.), being too graphics-oriented. This is a SERIOUS REGRESSION that needs fixing. Note that more than anywhere else, open/free source community people will want to use text browsers to browse freshmeat, be that from a router shell or programatically. I personally use Lynx and am missing old interface layout heavily. Please try any text-oriented browser yourself to see how bad it is there.
Also note that many people have built scripts around old layout. New interface effectively renders them useless (and I'm not talking about forcing everyone to use XML here).
PLEASE PUT AT LEAST BACK A *CHOICE* TO SELECT TEXT BROWSER-FRIENDLY INTERFACE.

2. giving 1 month from first announcing a total layout rewrite to final switching to it, is a WAY SHORT TIME, especially considering for how long the old one was there. I am just an occasional searcher so I have not visited FM last month. I believe a lot of people behaves the same way and will feel upset about these changes as I am, and there sure is a lot of those who would have substantial feedback if they'd only knew about such a planned change (myself being typical example).
PLEASE ANNOUNCE CHANGES AT LEAST SEVERAL MONTHS AHEAD, IF THEY MEAN DRASTIC CHANGES IN UI.
ALSO, ONLY-FOR-REGISTERED FEEDBACK PERIOD OF 1 MONTH TIME PERIOD IS TOO SHORT AND NEEDS TO BE LONGER.

3. New interface, or at least project detail, seems to miss a lot of what was in the old one. For example, license classification, status of search match (exact match or more matches), Author (!!!), to name a few. Or I'm just blind. AGAIN A SERIOUS REGRESSION.
Indeed there are some newly introduced entries I guess (downloading via BitTorrent?), but to me, they dont seem to outweigh lost ones.
PLEASE FIX.

4. Not everyone is keen on iconifying text item description. For example, now one has to remember what icon means what: this one is meant for downloading entries, that for original website access, etc. [tried in Firefox]. I believe the older approach has been cleaner in that everyone can immediately what a given entry in project detail means, based on how it is named. Now one has to remember icons. Also see (1).
PLEASE FIX.

5. It would be wise to include links to the 6 articles you refer to in your text in whose you claim to have explained whereabouts and reasons for layout changes. It is not really making life of casual viewer easier as they need to search for them.

Thanks for your time & patience.

-JR

19 Mar 2009 17:13 fugsmog

I've been trying to understand this new layout for a week. Maybe I'm stupid, but I can't see how to get it to work like the old FM. As it is now, it is non-functional for me. So, farewell FM, it was nice while it lasted.

20 Mar 2009 05:23 eddief2

Freshmeat 3.0 - brought to you by the same design team that brought you Windows ME and Vista.

Really, I don't like 3.0 at all.

BRING BACK 2.0 or make 3.0 look like 2.0!

20 Mar 2009 06:35 annodomini

I like the new Freshmeat. I find the new interface a lot cleaner and easier to understand (thought I did just see it today and I understand that a few tweaks have been made since it first opened). It took me a little while to find a few features, but overall, the new design is a drastic improvement.

One minor issue is that I don't like the fact that tags, licences, operating systems, and programming languages are presented in a tabbing interface. They should all be visible as soon as you go to the page, not hidden behind tabs. And the tags don't need to resize in a "tag cloud" style; I'm not sure that really contributes much.

Anyhow, nice job on the redesign, and I hope you keep enhancing the site.

20 Mar 2009 09:24 fawlty

What I really miss is statistics. Do you have an ETA when will we have it back?

21 Mar 2009 12:13 Avatar drjava

Yeah, I want statistics back too.

22 Mar 2009 17:56 geometer

My vote is for statistics too.

22 Mar 2009 19:30 annodomini

Oh, I forgot to ask, what is the status of the API? Does the old API still work, or is there a new API, or is that still in progress? I just recently wrote a script to automate my Freshmeat submissions (as well as the various email announcements and all the other announcements that I send out for a new release), and would hate to have to go back to manual submissions again.

23 Mar 2009 16:07 akatosh

The search result layout shifts when I hover my mouse over a title bar. Hover over search title makes the subscribe button appear to the left of the date, and also makes the text and screenshot relocate itself to the left of the subscribe button, squishing against the left hand side of the box. So that makes the whole page layout shift downward. Neither the html or css validates using the w3.org validator. I miss the popularity and rating statistics. Those were very important I think. I search for 'cms' and get over 9000 results, most crap with a handful of good ones. The statistics were the only way to find the gems. Course I can't click on anything because it keeps moving.

23 Mar 2009 17:21 sloaring

Order by popularity, gone. Order by vitality, gone. Useful information on the project pages beyond the initial description, gone. User comments, gone.

Individual search results take up a massive amount of vertical space and contain less information than before. Everything is dog-slow compared to 2.0.

Freshmeat has served me very well since the late '90s. Now it is dead. RIP, old friend.

24 Mar 2009 09:02 LodeRunner

The new site looks good. Got a little confused at first but I managed to find everything I looked for (except for stats, which you mentioned in your post -- will wait patiently for the new statistics component). Just wanted to post a message of encouragement: nice to see freshmeat still alive and kickin'. Keep up the great work and thank you for being such an invaluable resource for all these years, here's to many to come -- cheers!

24 Mar 2009 10:20 MoonMind

I'm sorry, but though some of the new stuff really looks good, it doesn't serve me as well as the former version - by far. I'm really dismayed about this.

The best thing about Freshmeat was filtering - I was able to get essential information about a project at a glance and then decide whether to filter it out or not (or subscribe, of course), and I could do this for all projects listed on one page, which was really convenient. Now if I try to filter something, I'm taken to the filtered projects page - now wait: Why am I filtering projects? Because I'm *NOT* interested in looking at them any further. Now when I do filter something, I'm taken to the list of things I don't want to see?! That's as counter-intuitive as it gets.

And what happened to the project abstracts? Why do I have to click on a project in order to see the most basic information? The old version had it all in one place, including links to websites - it was absolutely great as a starting point, now it just eats time I could be using for evaluation.

I used to be a regular reader/user, and I greatly appreciated your service (I apologize for not taking part in beta testing - I simply trusted you to do things right, that's what I was used to!), but now I simply can't do what I need most, and I don't have the time to jump back and forth for hours, so I'll have to stop using the site, at least regularily; I might come back if I have a precise search to do, but then, I can do this in other ways... All this is really, really sad, I found so many useful pieces of software here over the years.

Style ain't everything. Modernity ain't, either. Usability counts! All those changes may be in the spirit of Web2.0 as much as you like, but they're not helpful. Why things may not stay simple in a no-nonsense, straightforward way if they're working and useful will elude me forever. But I'll stop whining now (as you may perceive it); all that remains is to wish you all the best. I'll have to find other ways to get tips for new software.

24 Mar 2009 18:01 florinandrei

It's nice, but the contrast is too low. All those entries kind of "bleed" into each other and it's hard to peruse the list from top to bottom quickly. A lot of visual effort is needed to figure out the border between two successive entries.

The previous theme made it much more clear what each entry was, and what its different elements were. The current theme is too vague and misty.

25 Mar 2009 14:03 jokerski Thumbs down

new freshmeat look is a nightmare
results of searching looks bad, others too.

27 Mar 2009 09:33 Avatar rgerhards

I have to admit that I am also more than disappointed. Order by vitality/popularity is really missing as are the stats. More importantly, I find it very hard to describe the various branches of my project with the new "many links without structure" setting. Formerly, it was nice and clean, but now I have just a set of links that look really distracting to visitors. While I really value freshmeat, I think this mirgration is a move into the wrong direction. Not everything is bad because it is not xml ;)

28 Mar 2009 03:33 Avatar plunix

wow... this is awful. So much less information on a project, so much harder to navigate and read. For one example of many, the information about when the project was first posted and when it was last updated appears to be gone completely. The Tags view takes a lot more effort to read (clicking on 5 different links!) and some of the tags are absurd (I just saw a project with " Unix Windows Windows Windows Windows " as its OS ...). Then there's the obscene freshmeat.net/urls/8cb... -style links. Are you really so desperate for tidbits of usage data that you would sacrifice so much in the way of usability? No longer can we copy/paste URLs into another text file for reference without visiting the actual page. No longer can we even access a homepage or download a project if freshmeat's URL-forwarding happens to fail (which has happened in the past).

Other posters on this page have mentioned other significant usability problems with the new freshmeat site, and I won't repeat all of those here, but they are important.

Please guys, you've really hurt yourselves here, not to mention the free software community as a whole. Please make freshmeat usable again.

30 Mar 2009 16:17 fugsmog

@jeffcovey - Guess what? help.freshmeat.net/ doesn't work either. Site not found.

30 Mar 2009 18:56 hughbrown

I'm struggling to come up with something positive to say. Scratch that; I'm struggling to come up with something non-ranting to say.

a) Why does the filtering depend on JavaScript? I regularly browse with JavaScript disabled, using either NoScript or lynx/w3m, and found the same thing as MoonMind: the result of filtering was a list of projects you *wanted filtered* -- ie, wanted excluded from your results. Javascript on (including Googleapis.com *why?*), and suddenly it works.

b) I regularly used Freshmeat to search for Free-as-in-Freedom software -- GPL, BSD, Apache license, what have you. The search results used to include this, and now they don't; instead, I have to search for stuff tagged with a particular license. (And too bad if I'm happy with GPL *or* BSD *or* Apache...nope, there's no way I can see to search for tags matching "foo AND (gpl OR BSD OR apache)".)

c) Why does the display of *license* on the project page depend on JavaScript? This is just one of the many tabs that are hidden from view if Javascript is turned off.

d) Why the obfuscated URLs linking to project pages? This is irritating at best, and makes me want to just Google the damn home page myself to avoid tracking. (Yes, the irony of escaping tracking by going to Google is not lost on me.)

e) Why is "help.freshmeat.net" not working? I take your point about not tracking issues with blog comments, but I can't submit bug reports to a site that's down.

I like Freshmeat, I really do. I'm not that fussed about how it looks (seems fine to me), but the usability is very, very important...I hadn't realized just how important until I tried using the new site. It's a big regression, and it's very frustrating to have such a valuable resource become nigh-unusable. At the very least, *please* make the license more visible from the search results page and *please* make features fail back gracefully if there's no JavaScript.

30 Mar 2009 19:12 exaexa Thumbs up

Several thoughts after several days on new freshmeat. Sorry for being critical, I will try to be constructive too ;)

After initial "OH GOD" phase of automatically refusing any change to my internets, new design seems good, and well just modern-enough for site of such importance.

Problem here is that after styling the (displayed information)/(area) ratio got just too low, you have to scroll too much and click to get information that could be viewed without clicking with no performance nor area loss. For example the tag groups at projects' sites could be displayed all at once, not in tabs; so the release listing has too much white space between entries (it would be better somehow tabular, with name&tags on left and description on right).

Biggest problem now is the bad formatting of links - I mean project website&package links, which now appear as buttons in top right of the project view. This area is usually used for some local-view-modificating stuff (the big X which always closed the window from '95 times comes to mind). As this content is a link, it would be semantically better to have it styled and shown as a link in the place where it belongs (to project space, not above its header). This was good and particularly useful in old freshmeat, please don't destroy it.

Thought about scoring - people usually don't give negative "thumb downs" here, because they basically don't browse pages of the software that they don't like. Nevertheless, I can't think of better (simpler) scoring system, maybe adding more ranks would be good. (it is true that original 10 from the old fresmeat was _too_ much. 4 would be just ok)

Also, I'm looking forward to see how stats come out. Vitality and popularity was one of best things from old freshmeat, I guess you are bringing it back in no time. (same for graphs, there's already a nonworking clickety everywhere isn't it. color is good.)

Last thing - the big 'fm' in favicon looks like freshmeat is a radio station. No it isn't, and I regularly mistake it for last.fm. If you had any better, go for it. Old logo was original and good to remember.

(and the absolutely last thing - sorry if I look like a narrow-minded oldtimer, but old freshmeat was great, don't destroy it.)

Cheers
exa

31 Mar 2009 02:57 briaman Thumbs down

I visited the Freshmeat site to find a stable wiki for a linux system licensed under the GPL. With FMII this would be a doddle. With FMIII its not as easy as it sounds.

First, I typed 'wiki' in the search field : 14 pages of projects are returned.
Next I filtered on 'Linux (33)' : This pruned the project list to just two pages.
Then I filtered on 'GPL (13)' : The project list grew to 7 pages.

To be fair, the tag selection column title does say 'Only show projects with one of these tags'. Likewise there is an option to 'Don't show projects with any of these tags'. But how can we use the filter to show only projects that match ALL of our chosen tags?

And what is the significance of the number in parenthesis after each tag? The number changes dependant on the previously chosen tags so presumably if lists only the projects that are in the union of that tag and the current filter. But selecting it doesn't function that way.

Another curious feature is the overwhelming number of GPL tags. These are :
GPL 43 projects
GPL 26831 projects
GPL v2 1 project
GPL v3 2 projects
GPL2 1 project
GPL3 1 project
GPLv2 914 projects
GPLv2 or later 2 projects
GPLv2+ 15 projects
GPLv3 821 projects
GPLv3+ 16 projects

Personally, I think the new site is broken.

02 Apr 2009 22:19 mike70i

Well, this "new design" sucks. Can anyone suggest a site similar to the old FM (no Softpedia please!)

03 Apr 2009 07:06 Mikaku

This site is really far to be readable and I don't think it will never reach the same functionality as the old FM.

I will never understand why some people want to change things even when they are working finely!
Maybe I missed a poll here where everybody claimed a big change on the FM site?

I'm stuck very often with this link lately:
web.archive.org/web/20...

03 Apr 2009 22:17 ckester

There are many glaring omissions in the available tags. One that really gripes me, as a diehard textmode fan, is that there are no tags for "console" or "ncurses".

With the previous FM, it was possible to get a list of all ncurses-based projects. I've yet to figure out how to do that with the new design.

Oh, and dittos on the complaints about the Javascript requirement and obfuscated urls!

03 Apr 2009 22:49 ckester

I dug a little deeper and discovered that the "console" and "ncurses" tags are in fact there.

But only eleven projects are tagged with "console" and only one (!!!) with "ncurses". That's simply not acceptable.

06 Apr 2009 03:26 richardmoffitt Thumbs up

I like this new theme of this site. Nice pretty site.

07 Apr 2009 20:26 thope

Any plans to add the SlashDot and Linux.com headlines/links back? This was an exteemely useful function - allow one to go to a single site and get most of the info needed.

08 Apr 2009 17:19 nictamer

There are good things and bad things.
Well congrats on the look, it's really slick. That's the only plus I can think of.
On the "bad" side ... well the site is basically useless to me. I can't find anything I need.
The tag column in the search results is broken, or I just don't get it. You have to scroll up and down for dozen of screenfuls just to add/exclude tags. I get tags beginning with "A" when I click on "i-q".
The urls are kinda cryptic, tags are referred to by id# while one of the beauty of tags is that you can use them as a key.
There's dozens of redundant tags.
The interface for choosing between hide/show for tags is simply /wrong/.
Search results are not very helpful.
Still no search plugin automagically offered.
And using "tabs" to hide information in the project page is *really* bad user interface, I hope I'm not hurting your feelings, but seriously, why do I have to click to see what licence a project is under? Why not just scale the text down and keep all that info on one page? If I have to scroll a little it's no big deal: I, just like 99% of your users, have a scroll wheel, and I just need to hover over my browser window to use it. To use your tabs, I have to click on an area 1/100th the size!

08 Apr 2009 18:21 tomduck

Add me to the list of people very disappointed by FM3. Much of the old functionality which made FM useful is gone or obscured.

13 Apr 2009 14:28 ckester

It might be true that "no one asked for this or complained about that during the beta", but lots of people are sure speaking up now. The question is, will the people behind FM3 acknowledge and respond? Or will they continue to act as if only the beta feedback was worthwhile?

13 Apr 2009 17:44 briaman Thumbs down

Where I work, every change we make has to go through a change management process. No changes are permitted unless we first produce a Request For Change that sets out the proposed change, possible consequences of the change, criteria for determining success or failure and a route-plan for getting back to the old system if the change is found to be a failure. Even changes requested by the CEO and the Director of IT go through this process.

Did the Freshmeat Team go through a similar process? Assuming they did, what are the criteria for deciding whether or not the change is a success or a failure. And if they decide it is a failure, can they get back to the old system.

13 Apr 2009 19:19 Avatar CorvusVCorax

Why oh why does everyone nowadays use these "tag cloud" thing.

For some reason a couple of managers seem to have decided that its "kewl" because everyone uses it now so we have to, too, since it looks so web 2.0 ishly.

The result usually is half a million different tag-spelling for the same thing (with dash, without, small, capital, etc) not even counting synonymes or different terms that describe the same, so the user has no chance finding the thing he really wants -
- instead the tag clouds shove big and ugly tags in his face - like INTERNET - or SOFTWARE-DEVELOPMENT - that apply to half a million results and are equally useless as a filter just because they fit abslutely everything. While one never knows wether filtering by that would just filter out that one project they were really interested in, since the project admin tagged it with somethign just so slightly different.

Project admins on the other hand now have to search the tag cloud every time before they tag a release to see which of the half way popular tags might or might not fit their project - and then pray to god they write it correctly, or they end up creating just another tag that noone will ever click on.

This gets especially tiresome since freshmet doesnt allow easy editing or previewing - even less than before the layout change. That way i just tagged something under the new tag
"major-feature-enhancements-2" - that probably never ever will be used by anyone else.

If one could at least select tags from previously used ones - both project internally and gobally - instead of having to make a wild guess as of the syntax of the tagging input form (are they space separated? or comma separated? or can u give only one tag at all?) it might be at least working - while the usefullness is still questionable. Well at least the management would be happy wouldnt they?

If one really wanting to put effort in, the tagging could be enhanced by natural language equalisation, - auto detecting synonyms and spelling-differences and handling those and near-synonyms in an intelligent way - fixing most of the problems with it. But that gets difficult:
(imagine the tags "internet", "web" and "spiderweb" - web and spiderweb are obviously synonyms, so are internet and web - but in a different context. in no case should a click on "spiderweb" reveal everything tagged with "internet")

Currently using tag clouds the way freshmeat has is just one thing:

Annoying as hell.

14 Apr 2009 14:32 dakol

rollback !

14 Apr 2009 22:46 nrvate

This used to be a handy site. Now it's basically useless.

Good job. Did you go corporate?

15 Apr 2009 17:30 undisclosed

I DEARLY miss the old layout/style which always looked great, and browsed fast. As it stands now, pages take 5 - 7 times longer to load - bummer.
Also, where did everything go? OK I realize that v.3 is still "under construction", but I can't find anything. The new organization scheme appears like spaghetti. Why tags? Version 2 had a sensible filter at the top, and finding things was lightning fast. No offense, but it appears to me SF has taken 2 steps backward. Thanks for trying though.

15 Apr 2009 20:32 Beders Thumbs down

Guys, I now have less information on the homepage and more eye-candy and need to click more to find the interesting stuff.
How is this progress?
Please get rid of this horrible fm 3.0 and move on to 4.0

20 Apr 2009 10:09 wavexx Thumbs down

*GOD*, I *HATE* FM3. It can't be any worse, and that's almost on par with "softpedia". FM2 was the only decent resource for OSS.

20 Apr 2009 15:28 rvinyard

Unfortunately, I have to side with those that dislike the new FM3. The interface is much less useful.

22 Apr 2009 08:29 TiggsPanther

I like the style. I like the layout.
But I used to pretty much rely on the browse-by-category-heirarchy method of navigation. I used to use it for when searching wasn't the best way of tracking something down.

Please at least consider bringing back the trove categories. The new look I can live with. But the trove was how and *why* I used FM to track down F/OSS software.

27 Apr 2009 17:48 briaman Thumbs down

Hey! I know what you could do to improve the page. You could slap a whopping great google-ad into the middle of the search resu.. No, wait! You've already done that!

Sod it. Just delete my account. I'm done with you.

14 May 2009 10:13 Avatar drjava

Statistics seem to be coming back, slowly. Very slowly that is. It's still only a fraction of the functionality we used to have.

I still can't see how many total hits my project had. How hard can it be to implement that?

Sorry to be that blunt, but: FM3 sucks, from A to Z.

The update brought NOTHING of any value while taking away almost everything that made sense.

14 May 2009 22:10 mikek2

drjava wrote:
> The update brought NOTHING of any value while taking away
> almost everything that made sense.

Gotta agree 100%. Not only from the developer point of view, but also from a leech like myself. The new site is awful.

Scoop: I know it's not you; you're just the messenger. So please take no offense when I say *IT FUCKING SUCKS*.

21 May 2009 12:29 TiggsPanther

One positive thing I will say is that the recent tweaks have solved a lot of the aesthetic issues I had. Like a project's page no longer having the tabbed view and showing all of its info-tags at once. It certainly makes the project pages a whole lot more readable.

I still think that the switch from trove to tags is a major issue, though. I'm at the point where I can use the tags to gain some semblance of the functionality that I used to get, but I still miss the real ability to drill-down search within the old heirarchy.
Most other tag-using sites I frequent use both tags and (sub)categories. And I always use the categories. Either ignoring the tags entirely, or merely using them as a method of further narrowing down my choice within the "true" structure.

And, much as FM3 is improving over its initial introduction, I'm not sure "almost as usable as the old site" is really a ringing endorsement. But that's about the best I can rate it so far.

27 May 2009 15:34 pr0be

Can not make filters work as I want. Don't know if it's a design decision or if it's just too dificcult to understand.
Anyway it makes the site unusable for searching.

31 May 2009 15:01 tetra

It's time for a FM replacement folks - this place is done.

01 Jun 2009 19:43 mikek2

tetra:
> It's time for a FM replacement folks - this place is done.

Sadly true. Oh, how I wish you guys would swallow your pride & revert to FM2. This new UI is utterly horrific.

04 Jun 2009 06:44 TiggsPanther

I have to agree. I'm trying to like it. I'm certainly getting used to it.

But every single time I try to search for something (and I mean *every* single time), I just find myself thinking how much quicker I could narrow down on it in the old trove.

I've said it before, but the trove was the reason I used FM when trying to find F/OSS applications. More than that, to me the trove *was* Freshmeat. It was certainly why I used this site as opposed to others.

I'm sure there are people who like the change and find it better. (Complainers are always the more vocal)
But, personally, the new site has basically taken a good hard look at exactly that made FM usable for some of us and flat-out abandoned it.

There have been times on other sites where people have complained about changes and I've wished that they'd shut up and appreciate that the core of the old site was still there - despite primarily-aesthetic changes. In this case, however, I cannot do that as the core of the old site is gone. It simply does not work the same. It just isn't what it as. Isn't what it needs to be. And despite teh best efforts of the FM staff to get us to be able to get the new site to work better for us, for some of us if it's the new site it never will.

Sorry.

I'm sticking around. But only because this place is the best of a bad bunch. It used to be top of the class.

09 Jul 2009 22:12 mikek2

There were 105 comments in this thread yesterday. Today there are only 103. Is this another Freshmeat feature upon which we can rely?

21 Sep 2009 15:55 jpuddy Thumbs up

The site is fantastic. I'd love love love a source code release, so we can build off your engine.

19 Nov 2009 17:16 bob6

Now I find the looks pretty cool. However the tag cloud thing is horrible, imo software will soon be quite hard to find unless there's some tag editing going on.

20 Nov 2009 03:09 jeffcovey

@bob6: Let us know at help.freshmeat.net/ if you have any specific suggestions.

Thanks.

24 Jun 2010 09:17 Avatar drjava

Sorry to be persistent, but:

Will we ever get a display of the number of total project hits/URL hits again?

This is such a simple feature, and so useful. Why can you not bring it back...?

I'll be frank with you - Freshmeat has two things going for it:

a. The audience. Front-page exposure for my projects. 100's of visitors to my site.

b. The editing job. My submissions don't need any editing, but linguistic accuracy is something I find fairly sexy and the editors do have a good grasp of language. (They could be a little more relaxed though.)

But FM3.0? Nah. That is not an advantage. It's just not progress. It's kinda like Python 3000: Needlessly break stuff people love and claim that that is "the new way".

25 Jun 2010 13:15 TiggsPanther

*shrugs*
I still miss the Trove. It allowed me to search the way I think. The new system is certainly better than it was at implementation, but will never be as good as the Trove was for what I needed.

I used to trawl for new software just for fun, and would find some gems. Now I dread having to search for stuff, as it's just not how I search.

Fifteen months on and I still want the old site back.

Maybe it's a case of me not wanting to "move on". But the simple fact of teh amtter is that the Trove worked for me. This system still just feels like an inferior knockoff of the Freshmeat of old.

30 Jun 2010 05:35 Avatar hurtta

| The database migration of the old data set has just finished. Welcome to the brand new
| freshmeat.net.

There is apparently some conversion errors. For example on change log freshmeat.net/projects... (Version 2.5 PLalpha18 of Elm Millennium Edition) I think that '>' character is replaces with html entity (gt).

02 Sep 2010 14:01 ahtor Thumbs up

The links in the RSS feeds no longer include a hostname, and my reader is not smart enough to infer it from the feeds' URLs. As far as I can tell, Freshmeat 3.0 is the only site that does that. Can we please have back the links as full URLs?

26 Sep 2010 23:16 Avatar drjava

Well well... I am happy to report that I finally feel fairly more or less reconciled with FM 3.0.

The missing statistics don't really bother me anymore. I can get a rough hits estimate from the traffic graph, that's fine actually.

Freshmeat is just great to have. I do love the site as a reliable way of exposing new projects to a pretty wide audience.

And yeah, FM 3's looks are sleek. No argument there.

Cheers and everyone be sure to check out my new project, it's really cool :p

27 Sep 2010 00:09 Avatar drjava

One afterthought to the praising comment above:

I am, however, still puzzled by how resistant the FM team seems to be towards user input. Do you not care? Do you consider yourself distinct from the user base? In that case, it seems certain that eventually that user base will break away.

Because users, all over the world, are moving away from being ruled by external forces - and towards ruling themselves. It's a new era, and it's beginning just now.

10 Mar 2011 03:47 laytonb

no more blog updates?

17 Mar 2011 11:50 Avatar sproketboy

How many people does "chuck" have to blow to get 7 projects listed on the slashdot frontpage? Just curious.

31 Jul 2011 19:05 jonard Thumbs up

I would say go and find the best way solution in order to improve your project. I know it so hard for you but if you'll going to do what is inside in your heart do it for the benefit of the other.

09 Aug 2011 15:26 jonard Thumbs up

Nice! I like your job; you’re always making my PC be updated to the latest software, released.

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