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From times to times, I need to solve a problem and I find it faster for me to create an application for the specific problem instead of searching all over the Internet for it. Most of the times it is an application created in .NET framework but there are also times that I create apps for linux.

My question is:

Is there a website where I can upload my free apps? I know that I can obviously upload everything to my personal website, but since I'm not very popular I'm afraid that most users that need my apps will not be able to find them if they are in my website.

Keep in mind that I'm not talking about releasing my source code (just the binaries and the documentation) and I'm not talking about huge applications. To give you a better idea, in most cases the applications that I'm talking about will not even have an installation procedure: just a couple of executables and a config/data file.

Thanks in advance.

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Unless I can read (and compile) the source I would never download an executable from an unknown/untrusted source. Sorry nobody is going to download your executable. –  Loki Astari Aug 19 '11 at 22:39
    
@Martin: while perfectly understandable and a good piece of advice for your system's security, this is widely untrue for the vast majority of users out there. Our type of community will be very reluctant to test things without checking (and still, I'd assume even a lot of people P.SE don't verify checksum, or rebuild from source, or do a thorough review of the source of everything their re-build). But the laymen will obviously not care. They need their application X to perform task Y on the moment, and it doesn't matter what dark virtual back alley it comes from, as consequences seem remote. –  haylem Aug 19 '11 at 23:00
    
Try download.com –  Job Aug 20 '11 at 1:04
    
There are many open source repositories that can have binary downloads if you want to publish your code as well, such as github, bitbucket, google code, codeplex etc. –  Spoike Aug 20 '11 at 7:57
    
F1234k - Is there any particular reason why you don't want to release your source code? –  Shauna Aug 20 '11 at 14:39
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can publish your executable pretty much anywhere you want, and then promote it on places where it makes sense (but don't spam!).

Some websites are dedicated to this sort of things. You can have a look at:

Some of these used to be pretty popular. However, since the rise of Free Software and the elevation of the average user's conscience, more and more users are more careful about what they download and prefer to get it from the source: the vendor or developer. Or from their operating system's distribution's packagement system or software center.

As mentioned by others, people may not trust you. I won't say that nobody will download your program, but I actually would hope nobody would. The ones who do are careless, and that's currently the state of mind that a lot people are in when they try new software. They don't pay attention where it comes from.

If your software is open-source:

  1. put it out there,
  2. put a binary package as well (for instance on Google Code Project Hosting, which offers you a source and revision control system, wiki, issue tracker and also a download area for binary packages of your finished product),
  3. have it reviewed by SoftPedia or other sites to build confidence.

Word of caution: SoftPedia-like sites will often claim that a software is bug-free and virus-free when I really doubt they were thoroughly checked at all. They most likely throw a virus scanner at it and maybe do an overall review of the source code, but nothing extremely precise and that would ensure a binary doesn't contain any form of malware.

Trust is a fickle thing...

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"The ones who do are careless, and that's currently the state of mind that a lot people are in when they try new software." - strong generalization, but sadly it does classify a populated audience. Take a savvy user, though, and they could decompile to check it out. Not saying that would find everything, but it should be evident from the code that it should do what it says it does. –  IAbstract Aug 19 '11 at 23:10
    
@IAbstract: It's a generalization, indeed, but I don't say that all users do this. However there's no doubt that most non-techies will not care to look past a few trusted URLs to download files, and will trust these sites to have done the leg-work for them. –  haylem Aug 19 '11 at 23:54
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@IAbstract: regarding decompilation, what percentage of the P.SE population do you think have a close look at the source of the programs they compile, or at the decompiled binaries they download? It's trivial to analyze a small program, like a something intended to be a relatively small command-line app. It's not when it gets bigger, and it takes only a few lines of code to do much harm. IT is in many ways more a matter of trust than of absolute security. –  haylem Aug 19 '11 at 23:56
    
I agree, what I suggested isn't really that practical except for some very small apps. And, while there is a large number of users who will download apps to their PC as rapidly as lemmings falling off a cliff, I would hope that intelligence prevails and those users are educated in the pitfalls. –  IAbstract Aug 20 '11 at 11:07
    
@IAbstract: I like lemmings and the cliff metaphor :) Unfortunately, regarding your last sentence, I'm sure you can find around you plenty of people who would qualify as highly educated, with top degrees and abilities that would qualify them to be performing very well in specific areas of expertise. Yet they would still be downloading with the Lemming approach, or sharing private and business tid-bits on a non-secured network, or leaving their computers unattended and unlocked. All this takes training, and we, as programmers, (really should) have this mindset. It's not a given for the others. –  haylem Aug 20 '11 at 13:30
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To give you a better idea, in most cases the applications that I'm talking about will not even have an installation procedure: just a couple of executables and a config/data file.

How the users are supposed to trust these kind of programs? What if it was a Trojan or a Virus?
I'm not talking about you of course but consider yourself a user, would you trust such programs? Personally, I don't.

Since you mentioned .NET, I read that with the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft is going to launch their App Store (or whatever they will name it). This will be a good place to publish your applications.

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How can anyone trust anything over the Internet (if it's not released by well-known software companies like Adobe)? Developers could give a link of their personal website, and everything could work with reputation for developers based on user feedback for their applications. That's just an idea of how it could work... –  F1234k Aug 19 '11 at 22:17
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Things get trusted because the source gets peer reviewed. People trust firefox/apache because millions of people have looked over every inch of that code base. Any malicious stuff could be routed out by the sheer volume of eyes that look at the code. –  Loki Astari Aug 19 '11 at 22:41
    
@Martin I know but F1234k doesn't considering releasing the source code of his programs. –  Chiron Aug 19 '11 at 22:44
    
Users cannot see the source code of paid programs but they still trust them and are also paying money to acquire the programs. If I sell my applications (for a small fee like 3 dollars) instead of giving them away for free, will users trust me? –  F1234k Aug 19 '11 at 22:50
    
@F123k I don't know and can't know but I don't think so. This is the beauty of AppStores however. –  Chiron Aug 19 '11 at 23:22
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Microsoft has a site for useful programs at:

http://www.codeplex.com/

I assume that your application will have to be serious though and does a useful function.

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-1. Could you provide a link which shows that a closed-source project may be hosted on CodePlex? Could you provide a link which shows that the application has to be serious enough, and explains how the seriousness is checked and enforced? –  MainMa Aug 20 '11 at 0:45
    
As for your first request, I don't know the rules for source code. As for seriousness, this is an advice not a statement of the projects published. –  Emmad Kareem Aug 20 '11 at 0:50
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