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I'm developing my own FOSS application. Its code will be publicly hosted in gitlab.

Is it OK to recommend it in the comments, in a context where a user needs what my application provides?

If so, there are some details I need to take into consideration?

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Yes, it's absolutely fine. You can also post it as an answer. You just need to make sure of two things:

  1. Your tool can be used to do what the question is asking for.
  2. You clearly mention that you are the author of the tool.

The 2nd is really, really important if you don't want to be taken for a spammer. You can read some more details here: How not to be a spammer. For example, this would be a bad, spammy answer:

This FOSS tool is great and does exactly what you need!

While this one would be OK:

I have written this FOSS tool which is great and does exactly what you need!

Or, simply:

This FOSS tool is great and does exactly what you need!

Note: I am the author of this tool.

Basically, as long as you clearly disclose your affiliation, posting answers to questions which your tool can answer absolutely fine.

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  • 8
    I would just like to emphasize using the Answer box to answer questions, instead of comments.
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Sep 28 '20 at 15:44
  • 9
    Three things: 3. You clearly explain how to use your tool to do what the question is asking for. (This is essential for a good answer anyway, but even more so in cases of self-promotion)
    – muru
    Sep 28 '20 at 16:08
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    So the best form of the example answers would be something like: "This great FOSS tool that I wrote can be used to do exactly what you need, like so: ..."
    – muru
    Sep 28 '20 at 16:10
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    @muru yes, very true. I figured I should focus on the things that are needed specifically for self-promotion answers, which is why I didn't mention it, but you're absolutely right: it's even more important to show how the tool would be used when it's your tool.
    – terdon Mod
    Sep 28 '20 at 16:15
  • "it's even more important to show how the tool would be used when it's your tool". Yes indeed. I didn't want to jump to "answers" yet if even in comments would be wrong. Thanks for taking the time to answer! Sep 28 '20 at 21:51
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    I'd add something else to this. As I mentioned at unix.meta.stackexchange.com/a/5624/5132 the important thing here is the audience. Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is for users (including superusers) not for programmers. So if you write a tool, don't just dump readers at raw source code in a git repository browser. Point them at a user manual.
    – JdeBP
    Oct 2 '20 at 7:14
  • @JdeBP I unnecessarely stressed about FOSS and gitlab, but was not my intention to imply that I would send the users to read the code. As you say, I would, if appropriate, mention a manual. I find very interesting the point of view of the answer you link, food fo thought. Oct 2 '20 at 15:46

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