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Alf.io: open-source ticket reservation system (alf.io)
234 points by robbya 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 40 comments

That landing page needs a brief description of what this actually does, and links to more detailed technical docs -- features, requirements, use cases, etc.

Knowing that it's all fluffy happy Open Source is Nice to Know, but shouldn't be the First And Most Significant Selling Point.

Post based on one of my popular early HN comments:

"Please Forward to Marketing: How to present your products to customers (or would-be customers)"


Lead dev here, thanks for the feedback. The new website is WIP, it will contain more info and a comprehensive user doc. Preview: https://alfio.netlify.com/ Any feedback would be highly appreciated.

Much better. These two paragraphs tell me much of what I need to know, and whether or not I'm interested in the product:

Alf.io is a free and open source event attendance management system, developed for event organizers who care about privacy, security and fair pricing policy for their customers.

It features an ecosystem of tools to cover the lifecycle of an event from ticket distribution, to event management, to reporting.

It's difficult when you're deeply immersed in a project or product, but "ticket" can have many meanings, from issue tracking to events to traffic citations to various inter-process communications tools.

Interesting project.

The site alfio.netflify.com needs some responsive breakpoints set for mobile as some of the text section widths > 100% on mobile.

Let me know if you need some help :)

that would be fantastic! We do need all the help we can get.

The website is generated using hugo, you can find the code along with some basic instructions here: https://github.com/alfio-event/alf.io/tree/master/website

looking forward to your PR :)

By the way I noticed the demo page says to enter an email address and password. I assume that means any email and password should work. But it fails with an unknown user error.

On mobile it has horizontal scroll to read text to the right (after the leading banner/header stops), but to the left it's cropped with no way to view the text there.

https://alfio.netlify.com/ Looks and breaks fine on ipad — portrait and landscape.

To be fair, Alf appears to be the open-source backend of a commercial service with a more marketing-focused website - https://swicket.io/

I spent at least sixty seconds on the page and still have no idea what a ticket reservation system is. Is it some sort of RPC handler? A ticketmaster for small non-profit venues? An embedded device OS for barbershops?

Every open source project _needs_ an elevator pitch on it. It's a big source of frustration that so many projects just expect you to know what they are and at worst use unnecessarily specific terminology (or worse, acronyms) unique to their field. There's times I'm convinced I've missed incredibly useful libraries because I lack a level of familiarity with a particular specialism to even be aware that the software is perfect for my needs.

From quick look most of these are frontend/client features?

If you are interested in this because you are organizing a conference you might like frab [1]. It is a free and open source conference management system that is primarily used by the Chaos Computer Club for Chaos Communication Congress and other conferences.

[1] https://github.com/frab/frab/wiki

I am in the event ticketing business. It currently feels like a new provider appears every other day as the entry bar is very low. The tricky parts start when you realize how diverse event organizers‘ needs actually are.

Nonetheless, as a result there are many user-friendly alternatives to the few big names available nowadays. But it‘s a slow moving market and it will take some more time for them to win the trust of large organizers. I am sure, though, the change _will_ come.

If the big names weren't so predatory, invasive, and abusive maybe there would be less pressure to avoid them?

If you want to make a dent in the ticket market, come up with a solution that Burning Man will adopt. Their system almost never performs correctly. Every year something new goes wrong and thousands of people take to online forums to complain about bugs such as being kicked out of queues or not having their preregistration links work at all. If someone can earn BM's business, then they'll likely get a ton of business from their regional network of smaller events.

Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

Alternatively, this is what ccc has been using for their events, like the congress, for a while now.


The enterprise pricing is way out of reach for the African market

Hopefully someone "disrupts" the events and ticketing industry. Buying a ticket to anything has been hell lately. Terrible UX and 10/20$ of added random fees (Ticketmaster, Live nation, etc ...).

I sadly bet that this is more a business issue than a technical issue.

You'd want to take a deep dive on how arena entertainment works. Here's the headline:

Live Music is a loss leader for alcohol sales.

95% of the gate goes to the acts, and some of the alcohol depending on whether you are jimmy buffet or not.

Like 3rd party insurance, no one is really in a position to care about the ticket experience or expense.

The artist cares about getting the right venues and the right tour routing.

The venue cares about getting the right artists with the right age groups.

And thanks to vertical integration a company that owns the largest ticket service, manages acts, manages tours and owns festivals, nightclubs AND arena venues... well, ticketing is doing just fine.

There's no one really to leverage a new solutions. source: friend was former ceo of tickets.com

Thanks for the good overview. It's exactly what I thought: a mix and match of different incentives that makes it pretty much impossible to change the current system.

It's well known that these companies pad the ticket price and share it with the production team. It's how ticket prices can increase without customers feeling it is, and the ticket company gets to be the bad guy, not the musician.

I believe they also make exclusive deals with venues such that the venues get paid for signing. And after TicketMaster's merger with LiveNation, the same company owns both venues and ticketing, making it even harder for anybody to compete.

Followed the link expecting to see an open source support ticket solution. I quickly remembered that there are other types of tickets...

The try it now asks for an email and password with no way to know what to put in there or sign up for anything.

I believe it accepts anything. I used test@example.com with example.

relevant: https://pretix.eu/about/en/ , which is used e.g. by the 36C3

I like the concept and it looks like an interesting project, however still AngularJS + Bower for the frontend? You could probably benefit a lot from switching to Angular > 8, I have done it for several projects and it's totally worth it. If you need help let me know.


You are right about angular. We already have done 50% of the work, as we have the "customer" facing part done in angular 8 (https://github.com/alfio-event/alf.io-public-frontend).

In the next release (M3) we will convert the "admin" part too (we are targeting a new frontend built with angular material) :)

Awesome! Didn't notice the client frontend, great job!

Congrats on show ! Why should i use this instead of free eventbrite ?

if you're happy with their terms&conditions and privacy policy, and you don't need to print badges on-site, then there's no reason to change. Otherwise, we offer you an alternative :)

PostgreSQL database with 25k Java/Spring codebase locked into Stripe APIs.

I guess it will fit some people's use cases, but my impression of Java is that refactoring anything, like changing from Stripe to some other payment provider, will take months.

It supports PayPal: https://github.com/alfio-event/alf.io/blob/master/src/main/j...

And Revolut's business API: https://github.com/alfio-event/alf.io/blob/master/src/main/j...

So adding new payment methods can't be that difficult

Paypal took from May 12 to July 28 (https://github.com/alfio-event/alf.io/issues/77), and Revolut took from March 18 to April 8 (https://github.com/alfio-event/alf.io/pull/622). Maybe "a few weeks" is a better estimate for the difficulty, but it's certainly not a weekend project.

Hi, one of the devs here. I would like to clarify that this project has been developed as a side-project, it's not (at least, during that timeframe) our main work.

So don't take the time to develop a feature as a 100% full time work :)

Why do you think this is the case? They have a PaymentProvider interface and multiple implementations for PayPal and Stripe. Should not be that much work to add another provider.

Less about Java and more about the code pattern around it.

Yeah, I've written a lot of Java, and I'd be happy to inherit a well-tested, well-factored Java code base. The language is more of a pain, but automated tools like IntelliJ's refactoring tools (which depend on Java's explicitness) make up for a fair bit of that. But as you say, the patterns encouraged in the "enterprise" space are often terrible, so I'm automatically suspicious of anything like that.

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