I was asked to find "some kind of a simple forum" to move from email based support, and Stack Overflow's excellent approach is the closest thing I can find. And I'm thinking to develop such a site.

Why don't I just use Stack Overflow?

It won't be English based. Questions will be asked by end users, so I need fewer places to click, a smaller (and fixed) number of tags, etc. I need to create current support email flow forwarded to questions. I need to track clients using the support.

I realize that's a lot of work that lies behind this kind of a project.

Is there anything legally, or just plain common sense, against me starting such a project?

  • There is nothing illegal about adapting an idea for your own use. Joel Spolsky's firm Fog Creek Software, however, is working on a hosted solution based on SO that you may be interested in as an alternative to building your own -- check out PodCast #52: blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/05/podcast-52
    – tvanfosson
    May 12, 2009 at 11:58
  • UserVoice (used by SO) may be a better solution: uservoice.com
    – tvanfosson
    May 12, 2009 at 11:59
  • @tvanfosson Nope. SO is made on top of Windows/Asp.Net/MVC stack. UserVioce is on Ruby-On-Rails. They do share strange similarity.
    – dmajkic
    May 12, 2009 at 12:52

3 Answers 3


Here is the license agreement for SO. You can also check out this SO clone which I think is still under construcion..

  • Are you saying the source code for SO is available for download?
    – JonnyBoats
    May 12, 2009 at 12:01

SO probably won't work as well for smaller communities. You need a critical mass of active participants to make the voting work. Ymmv.

It definitely won't work for support, because there's nothing to keep questions (tickets) from fading into oblivion if they don't get an answer right away.


Seems to me FogBugz might be a better fit. It has simple forums and good email integration, besides the case tracking. As far as the collaborative aspects go, it's a bit weak on the side of the support recipients (all they get to see is email, email history of cases and the forums), but much better for the support providers (e.g linking of cases, integrated wiki).

  • It's project managment. But nevertheless - I applied for trial.
    – dmajkic
    May 12, 2009 at 14:16
  • I think that you'll find the nicely integrated customer-facing stuff makes it a bit more of a complete support solution than a mere project tracker.
    – timday
    May 12, 2009 at 20:41

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