I have a platform for user created content and applications that can be downloaded from within a launcher for free. I am looking for a term that tells users where they can browse extensions, applications etc.

For me the term shop sounds like something where you have to pay for new content, so I am eager to find a noun which doesn't imply this and emphasizes that the downloads are free; and if possible something that even emphasizes that all downloadable content is free.

Here are some short sample sentences:

Head over to _____ in order to acquire three new holiday maps for your game right now.

There is a new extension available which can be downloaded from the _____.

We have finished some custom game modes which you can access separately via the _____.

  • I assume this isn't a "bricks and mortar" context. Most websites direct you to their download centre/page, which may be bundled together with other stuff under support. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 15:54
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    Why not just the software page? If it's free, we'd sometimes call it freeware or shareware (the latter most often used for free trials of software you were meant to "share" with your mates and later buy, while the former is actual full free software). Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 16:04
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    Generally it's called an "app store", though of course that includes both free and priced apps.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 16:48
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    In U.S. terminology, "downloads [or download] site" is frequently used to designate such an online resource.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 19:00
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    "stash" "repository" "library" "index" "Warez site"
    – The Nate
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 5:28

10 Answers 10


How about repository

(Computing) A central location in which data is stored and managed: the metadata will be aggregated in a repository

Oxford Dictionary Online

  • 2
    It should be noted that in computing circles term "repository" and "repo" have a very strong connection to GNU/Linux and Unix in general. In some cases, using that term, if the model isn't actually related to GNU/Linux repositories could cause confusion.
    – AndrejaKo
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 21:53
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    @AndrejaKo no, not it is not. I am a computer programmer with thousands of commits on GitHub, and repository is not and perhaps never has been Linux specific. I run Windows and program primary for Windows, and have never had an issue with the word.
    – Zombo
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 22:47
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    @StevenPenny The term "repository" in the context of distributing software packages. Yes, version control systems also have repositories, and they are different things. Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 22:50
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    Repository to me connotates a library that is instrumented for automated tools, though those aren't usually required. Apt, yum, svn, github like sites, ckan, nexus mods, app stores, steam workshop, steam itself. I wouldn't call gog.com's old site or humble bundle repos because they are made for manual use.
    – Weaver
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 9:32
  • Reading over things I think repository is half ofthe correct answer: the actual tool you make that lets people choose what files to use would be a (Repo|Plugin|Extension|Addon|Mod) (Manager|Browser)
    – Weaver
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 9:46

Library, perhaps? ("Free library for apps" might be clearer if you're willing to use more words.)

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    Library sounds more like something you already have in your posession/downloaded/installed in terms of software. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 18:18
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    @ChristianIvicevic, that would be "Your library" as opposed to "Our library"; "Library" by itself could be either.
    – Hellion
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 18:32
  • Library sounds the best, but I would suggest to use "Library (of free) apps/maps/extensions/etc". Library is normally place where you go to browse for something and consume it or take it with you, either for free or for a fee. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 19:01
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    Be careful: In software, a library is a piece of software that isn't directly runnable, but enables other applications to function.
    – Kevin
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 2:59
  • @Kevin Context is king. I highly doubt anyone would ever get confused if you said library in this context and think you meant a .lib or something. Saying to be careful of confusion in this situation would be equivalent to me telling you that you can check out books at the school library and you being confused thinking I was somehow talking about a .lib/.dll file somehow.
    – Doc
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 16:28

I think catalog is the best word to use here.

a list or record, as of items for sale or courses at a university, systematically arranged and often including descriptive material

It is often used in this context as well in other software, as exemplified by Microsoft Office Sharepoint and OpenStack.

Source: Dictionary.com

Another option might be to call it the "App Center" or something similar, giving it a proper name rather than describing it with a general noun.


"Store" doesn't carry the same "payment" meaning as "shop", being (a) a place where things are stored, and (b) common in phrases like "App store" where some products are paid, some are free.

There's a slight UK bias to this, as in the US, "store" seems to be used commonly where we'd say "shop" in British English.

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    "App store" is extremely common, for instance. Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 14:08
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    I can confirm, living in the US. "Store" is used in place of "shop" to mean 'a place where one can go to buy things'. "Store" can also be used in the sense of 'a place where things are stored', such as: "Unless help arrives soon, our store(s) will be depleted quickly"; however, this is a much rarer usage. Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 20:00

If you wish to emphasise that this feature is for browsing through software packages, rather than a mere store-house for downloads, you could try gallery:

a room or building in which people look at paintings, sculptures, etc.

  • Yes, many browsers, editors, etc have a portion of their website dedicated as a plugin gallery.
    – Ben Voigt
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 16:15

Perhaps an aggregator?

a Web-based or installed application that aggregates related, frequently updated content from various Internet sources and consolidates it in one place for viewing:

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    Aggregator would only make sense if the things being listed were from various creators and hosted in various places. The closest things i can think of for software aggregators are portableFreeware and alternativeTo
    – Weaver
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 9:38

If it is a place for users to download content created by other users, then maybe you could call it an exchange.

As in Merriam-Webster's definition:

  1. a place where things or services are exchanged: as


    b. a store or shop specializing in merchandise usually of a particular type

    c. a cooperative store or society


One definition of a clearinghouse (or clearing house or clearing-house) is:

a central agency for the collection, classification, and distribution especially of information; broadly : an informal channel for distributing information or assistance

Source: Merriam-Webster

  • I don't really like clearinghouse in this case because it implies that it doesn't contain the actual application that you want, but just a record of the download of the application.
    – Aura
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 18:06

While we're thinking of bricks-and-mortar metaphors, why not use kiosk:


  • a small store in a building or on the street where things (such as newspapers or candy) are sold

  • a small structure that provides information and services on a computer screen

Source: Merriam-Webster

  • Kiosk is so inherently a physical unit/location I could only see this working in some kind of diagetic interface in a virtual setting.
    – Weaver
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 9:40

Agreed with @bib, but there are several other alternatives, too.

In the case of software and applications, Googling reveals us that archive is more common than repository. So, my suggestion is open software/application archive.

It also works for content and documents, since archive means:

a place where books, periodicals, and records are kept for use but not for sale.

And when it comes along with term open may carry your intention.

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