Re: [pcgen] SourceForge shenanigans?
- Hi Stefan,
We had this discussion on the BoD list. I'll repost my findings here.
Form what I have found out, it's a program offered by Sourceforge called
devshare which allows people to monetise their installers by including
things like the Ask Toolbar to be installed (which Filezilla has done).
While a lot of people consider toolbars and the like "malware" it's nothing
of the sort.
It's an opt-in program, and no one is forcing projects to do it.
From everything I have read, DICE, who purchased Geeknet which runs
Slashdot, SF and Freenode, will not be interfering in the way these sites
are run, just mot likely leveraging off their views to generate more
From one of the comments at http://labs.stephenou.com/hn/item/6262347
The article gets a few things *very* wrong. First off, there are no
drive-by installers. It's an offer-based installer. Meaning that when you
run it, you get a single offer of an additional product. Second, it's
offering you either trialware (a trial version of a for-sale product that
they hope you buy after trying) or adware (like an Ask.com toolbar to ad to
your browser). The author of this blog post is either outright lying about
it doing drive-by-installers and malware or is clueless about what the
terminology actually means.
The last time this was posted on HN, I did a quick writeup on my
understanding of it (reposted here):
"For the curious, this is an optional program at SourceForge being offered
to developers as a way to monetize their work. The developer needs to
specifically request it. SourceForge gets a cut, so does the developer. The
installer is their first stab at this process and is using the bundling
technology from Ask.com. As offer-based installers go, this one is about as
good as it gets. It makes a single offer and has an Accept and Decline
button with the user selecting whichever one they want (not a pre-checked
box accepting the offer above a Next/Continue button). If accepted, the
installer installs the offered software and it gets a standard entry in
Windows' Add/Remove Programs that works as expected. If declined, the
installer continues. The installer then downloads the originally-requested
The two issues with the current installer are that (1) it is served in
place of the requested file with no indication that a substitution is made
as the user downloads and (2) it requests admin rights before it starts
downloading the software, which can be a security issue. Roberto (who
posted the article) has stated that they are working on #1 in terms of the
text shown on SourceForge as you select to download and download. As for
#2, there may be some ways to rework the installer so this is not an issue.
I'll mention it to him when I speak to him.
SourceForge has one other revenue-share program with developers where you
place the SourceForge-branded download buttons on your own website that
link to your downloads on SourceForge and you get a small cut of the ad
revenue made from the download page.
If I recall correctly, SourceForge has been losing money for a few years
now. Dice Holdings picked up SourceForge and Slashdot while Geek.com kept
ThinkGeek.com, so they are now separate entities. These new experiments are
attempts to get SourceForge to be self-sustaining/profitable. Ad revenue
alone likely won't cut it.
Unfortunately, Google Code, Github and others don't offer the full breadth
of services that SourceForge does for open source projects. Google Code,
Github, and others have all ditched binary downloads, so SourceForge is one
of the only providers to make binary downloads available to Windows and Mac
user at no charge. This is why SourceForge is popular for real apps
(FileZilla, Pidgin, PortableApps.com, etc) and Github is popular for
components (node.js, jquery, rails, etc). The code zips available at other
providers are of no use to end users.
As full disclosure, I run PortableApps.com, one of SourceForge's largest
projects pushing quite a few TBs of downloads through their mirror network.
We make use of the SF-branded download buttons revenue share program but do
not make use of nor have any plans to use the "enhanced" installers.
Everything I've discussed here is already publicly available, I just
thought it would be handy to have in one place."
After that post, it was pointed out to me that Github has added in the
ability to host binaries, but I would wager they wouldn't take kindly to
the kind of bandwidth that the major SF projects like PortableApps.com push
through. I've also been in touch with Roberto who made the mentioned post
on SourceForge about some suggestions and options including doing an open
source installer that the end-user/sysadmin can verify before installing
instead of it being a downloader installer with the offer built in but not
the app you want.
By JohnTHaller 6 hours ago
On 28 August 2013 06:00, Stefan Radermacher <stefan@...> wrote:
> Just read this:
> Does this affect PCGen?
Anestis Kozakis | kenosti@...
- "In Numenera, players are not rewarded for slaying foes in combat, so
using a smart idea to avoid combat and still succeed is just good play.
Likewise, coming up with an idea to defeat a foe without hammering on it
with weapons is encouraged - creativity is not cheating!"
- Numenera Core RuleBook - Page 102
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