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I recently found Locker Gnome and I'm curious whether they're ripping off Stack Exchange, or are part of the Stack Exchange network?

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marked as duplicate by ChrisF, Time Traveling Bobby, jonsca, Sathya, Tim Post Sep 22 '11 at 18:05

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

LockerGnome is a site powered by OSQA. –  Sathya Sep 22 '11 at 9:41
Perhaps we ought to direct people with Stack Exchange off-topic questions to Locker Gnome? Seems like a win-win to me. –  Gilbert Le Blanc Sep 22 '11 at 15:02
For anyone interested, one of our FAVORITE users from SO has apparently been active in OSQA for a month or so: meta.osqa.net/users/1763/genesis –  JNK Sep 23 '11 at 16:17

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It's running on OSQA, which is GPL'd, Django-based Q&A software, which appears to have very closely followed the design of the Stack Exchange sites.

It isn't affiliated with Stack Exchange (nor does it claim to be), and it doesn't mention Stack Exchange at all that I can see.

They even have a site at http://meta.osqa.net so if you want to ask them directly that would be the place.

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Thanks for the OSQA link, and I thought as much concerning whether it was owned by StackExchange. I suppose the sincerest form of flattery is imitation, here. –  Bojangles Sep 22 '11 at 9:42
… and it's great to see how that site is really failing on the "quality" part. Just take a look at the content there. –  slhck Sep 22 '11 at 9:44
Which is why SO is the best place to be :D –  Bojangles Sep 22 '11 at 10:17
"Very closely"? It's almost identical! –  Lightning Racis in Obrit Sep 22 '11 at 10:19
@TomalakGeret'kal - I was trying to write a neutral answer so people could follow the link and draw their own conclusions :). –  agf Sep 22 '11 at 10:24
@agf: Meh. Neutrality is overrated ;) –  Lightning Racis in Obrit Sep 22 '11 at 10:27
They have a pretty hilarious attitude, too. They completely ripped off SE and then say they "don't care about Stack Exchange". –  JNK Sep 22 '11 at 13:07
Also, wonderful example question from Locker Gnome for the quality evaluation: lockergnome.net/questions/165933/what-are-your-problems –  JNK Sep 22 '11 at 13:08
@JNK Where do they say that? And that 'question'... Yeah... –  Bojangles Sep 22 '11 at 15:23
@Jam - answer here: meta.osqa.net/questions/149/… –  JNK Sep 22 '11 at 15:34
@Jam exact quote is: one thing StackOverflow and StackExchange aficionados will need to realize pretty quickly is that we don't care very much about StackOverflow and StackExchange. –  JNK Sep 22 '11 at 15:35
Well I suppose that's fair enough! This is highly a topic of personal opinion, but I don't mind SO being closed source; it's a great resource of information with an equally great community. –  Bojangles Sep 22 '11 at 16:00

OSQA — which powers LockerGnome — basically started off as an attempt to fork Stack Exchange when Joel and Jeff blindsided everybody with the 2.0 announcements last year. The idea was, as much as they'd deny it, to provide a refuge for anyone disenfranchised by Joel and Jeff's way of doing things. Their remit has since changed but this does explain the virtually identical layout and text.

Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with OSQA, and didn't even know that it existed until about ten minutes ago. I just read this post.

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Thanks for some of the behind the scenes stuff, Tomalak. There's too much competition and too many people saying "what you use is crap because I don't use it" in this world. OSS is about choice! –  Bojangles Sep 22 '11 at 16:03
Actually it's about freedom, but okay. –  Lightning Racis in Obrit Mar 20 '14 at 16:17

Ahhh yes, I came across that site a few days ago. It does appear to be a direct rip-off of Stack Exchange. Including even the messages that come on top of the screen.

So the answer to your question is: Yes, someone is ripping off Stack Exchange.

The question really is: Is it breaking any laws? What is open for use, what isn't? Is there anything we can do about it? Should we want to do anything about it?

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the design is "inspired". Not sure if that's ripping off. –  Sathya Sep 22 '11 at 9:41
To your answer: thank you. To your last paragraph: no, but I don't think StackExchange is short of visitors. As I said in agf's answer, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery :-P –  Bojangles Sep 22 '11 at 9:43
+1 for Should we want to do anything about it?. I'm a little bit sick of seeing people go all you damn thiefs your stealing their copyright on FLOSS clones of proprietary projects. If those clones succeed, it means they are better, it's called evolution. So far, Stack Exchange is doing very fine. –  Time Traveling Bobby Sep 22 '11 at 10:30
@Padded I completely agree - I don't mind OSQA being around; we've got SO with a lot of momentum behind it, with piles of great content (and some not-so-great stuff). –  Bojangles Sep 22 '11 at 16:01

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