Hacker News Re-Imagined

Zendesk pretends to be open source?

  • 270 points
  • 8 days ago

  • @tailspin2019
  • Created a post

Zendesk pretends to be open source?


@yawaworht1978 8 days

Replying to @tailspin2019 🎙

I have seen this often recently, sass providers claiming they are open source because they have free trials, can be rented or worst, because they have an API.

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@firloop 8 days

> Zendesk is an open API ticket system which means third-party developers can build new integrations on our platform

Clever segue from "open source", to open.

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@gregd 8 days

Um providing an API endpoint to a closed, proprietary system, does not make one open source.

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I think the Zendesk article forgot us, take a look at a truly open source solution for CRM with live chat, knowledge base, video calls, API integrations, product tours, newsletters and more. https://github.com/chaskiq/chaskiq

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@franciscop 8 days

Yes, they are pretending to be open source for SEO purposes and that is not okay. They do get the definition of OSS right:

> "Open source support ticket systems are unique in that anyone is free to inspect, modify, and enhance the underlying code that’s used to build the ticketing system."

But then somehow they include Zendesk in the "Top 10 open source helpdesk ticketing systems". Can I see the code used to build Zendesk? Obviously not. Now suddenly the definition of Zendesk is this, which is different from the Open Source definition they themselves quoted:

> Zendesk is an open API ticket system which means third-party developers can build new integrations on our platform. Unlike other open source ticketing systems, Zendesk software offers all the advantages of open source ticketing without your team having to build a system from scratch. Zendesk’s open API ticketing system software gives your team all the tools they need to build as much—or as little—as they want.

Open API !== Open Source ticket system

PS, archived:

https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.zendesk.co.uk/help-...

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@tailspin2019 8 days

From this page:

> Top 10 open source helpdesk ticketing systems

> 1. Zendesk

> 2. etc

Followed by:

> Zendesk is an open API ticket system which means third-party developers can build new integrations on our platform. Unlike other open source ticketing systems, Zendesk software offers all the advantages of open source ticketing without your team having to build a system from scratch.

And at the top:

> Best Open Source Ticketing System

> Open source help desk for a smarter, more agile customer service operation.

> Start free trial

EDIT: Here's some actual open source help desk software. Anyone got any further recommendations?

https://github.com/awesome-selfhosted/awesome-selfhosted#tic...

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@capableweb 8 days

Zendesk seems to have their own definition of what "open source" means, contrary to everyone else:

> An open source ticketing system is software that service teams use to document customer issues. The system helps these teams correctly route, resolve, and track all their customers’ problems and requests.

But then go on to state:

> Open source support ticket systems are unique in that anyone is free to inspect, modify, and enhance the underlying code that’s used to build the ticketing system. [including a link to https://opensource.com/resources/what-open-source]

I'm interested to see where I can "inspect, modify, and enhance the underlying code" for Zendesk? I've used it sometimes in the past, but never seen any of the underlying code for it.

Edit: seems to contradict themselves a couple of more times in the article too. Here is another passage under "Cons of an open source help desk ticketing system":

> With a help desk like Zendesk’s, all it takes is a plan upgrade to access a whole bevy of new features. But with fully open source systems, modifying the code can take multiple days—or weeks if your developers are busy.

Seems they are saying here that Zendesk is not a "fully open source system", judging by that?

More:

> [...] if you have a strong development team ready to go, an open source ticket system could be for you.

> On the other hand, if you have a lean team, or if you want a full feature set that’s ready to go, Zendesk is your best option.

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@forgotmyoldacc 8 days

I've noticed this in a different context as well. Searching for "Free X" where X is some niche software, a website will list themselves as #1, even though their product is paid, albeit with a 30 days free trial. It's the new generation of SEO hacking.

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@vmception 8 days

Open source has an archaic definition of "open content" that does match what they're saying. Zendesk then appends the word "software" to it. They know what they are doing.

But the mere fact that you can read some of the tickets without signing up makes it "open source".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_(disambiguation)

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@mataug 8 days

I'm sure its "open source" to employees at Zendesk

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@ericlamb89 8 days

My team uses zendesk and they don't hate it, but this is enough to make me consider the other options on their "top 10" list.

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@xerxes901 8 days

Heh, yeah this doesn't look like it makes a lot of sense... I'll go shake a few trees internally and point this out.

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@monodot 8 days

They’re not the only company to do this. “InVideo” (a totally not open source SaaS product) also does the same.

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@merrvk 8 days

When the marketing team has a bit too much free-reign

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@howdydoo 8 days

When a company lies in their advertising, typically you can take them to court and get relief.

If a car dealer advertises "free floormat with purchase", and they don't give you a floormat, you sue them. If it makes it all the way to the courtroom, it's an open-and-shut case.

Based on this advertising, I bet someone with the right lawyer could compel ZenDesk to release their source. In fact I hope this happens, then maybe companies will think twice before making false claims like this

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@mrits 8 days

Reminds me how Comodo said they open sourced their EDR but in reality it is just some code thrown around commercial libraries and github comments about no one able to get it to compile.

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@Moto7451 8 days

Based on the URL structure and the content I will venture a guess that this is SEO keyword driven content. They likely have a list of top keywords they’re looking to rank well on and this is one such keyword.

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@riantogo 8 days

Somewhat related, last time when I posted about my forums platform[1] that I'm trying to get off the ground, someone here asked if it is open source so they can contribute. Now, I would love for it to be open source and have the community enhance the features (or even clone it for themselves), but I don't know how to set up an open source project. I'm guessing it is more than just zipping up the source files and making it available for download. Any pointers on how best to go about doing it? Any best practices?

[1] https://discoflip.com

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@rplnt 8 days

Is this post another SEO attempt to make them rank higher in OSS ticketing systems?

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@rackjack 8 days

I think the question mark can be removed from the title.

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@jasonhansel 8 days

This is the sort of article you expect to find on a "best reviews" website full of Amazon affiliate links.

edit: As intended, when you Google "best open source helpdesk 2021," Google now just shows the following excerpt:

> Top 10 open source helpdesk ticketing systems

> • Zendesk.

> • FreeScout.

> • osTicket.

> [...]

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@jrm4 8 days

So cliche, but nonetheless true:

Stallman was right.

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@n0n0n4t0r 8 days

And they didn't even include iTop! I guess the revamp of the 3.0 afraid them this much!

Disclaimer: I contributed to iTop, but I seriously consider it as a better solution than Zendesk, especially since it is more customizable and has an integrated cmdb.

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@harunurhan 8 days

I bumped into this just yesterday, it's sad that the page ranks very high for "open source ticketing" :(

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@tentacleuno 8 days

I'm not really surprised. Personally, I tend to avoid these 'comparisons' from websites that are somehow biased in promoting their own solutions, e.g. I wouldn't go to a website selling a text editor to find out the best text editors.

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@_jal 8 days

Wow, this is really gross. I used to know some people there, and thought they were fairly decent. I'd ask "what happened", but that's just redundant.

What's especially sad is I can't imagine this does them any good - the Venn diagram of people who would be fooled by this nonsense and sort of person who cares about open source seems pretty thin, so I have trouble imagining that pissing on the floor like this even helps them.

But I would encourage everyone to post the results of asking them where to download their source code.

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