Listing instances of tools on the OGP Toolbox

Problem: Self-hosting open source software is difficult. In many cases it’s not necessary when free and mutualized instances exist. But how to find them?

Solution: With the OGP Toolbox, find the open source software you need, on its page click “Use it” to get a list of instances/services running the code. Choose one and just use it. Voilà!

Instances could be stored as URLs, using a new “instance” field for ‘software’ items (tested here, under “Additional information”).

This solution is not perfect:

  • Some instances can be more popular than the software they’re based on (e.g. Framasoft services). With this solution, services based on open source software wouldn’t have their own page on the OGP Toolbox. They wouldn’t exist as “tools” but as instances of a tool. Users will not be able to find them, causing frustration and confusion.
  • Sometimes the difference between “use case” and “instance” will be unclear.

How do you think we should go about this?

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On the difference between a “use case” and an “instance”, I made this little diagram a while ago. For what it’s worth…

Example 1

Software: uMap (code on GitHub)
Platform: Framacarte (instance hosted by Framasoft)
Final usage: World map of Nuit debout

Example 2

Software: Loomio (code on GitHub)
Final usage: Loomio Podemos

Example 3

Software: -
Platform: Cap collectif
Final usage: Projet de loi pour une république numérique

Example 4

Software: LibreOffice
Final usage: Use of LO by the French gendarmerie