Feature request: Adware tag

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lintalist
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Feature request: Adware tag

#1 Post by lintalist » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:00 pm

We have the < updated ] and < new ] tags after the program name and version number.

As some programs change to adware over time usually a note is added in the description highlighting it is adware but you still have to read/see it.

I wonder if a new tag < adware ] which would be shown on the same line as name + version and in combination with 'updated' and 'new' - would be useful to make sure you can't miss it.

µTorrent is a good example I think - note is in the text but a tag would jump out:
adware.png

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Andrew Lee
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#2 Post by Andrew Lee » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:48 am

lintalist wrote:I wonder if a new tag < adware ] which would be shown on the same line as name + version and in combination with 'updated' and 'new' - would be useful to make sure you can't miss it.
Should be a moderately simple feature to implement. I will let you guys know once it's done.

Thanks for the suggestion!

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#3 Post by webfork » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:55 pm

Andrew Lee wrote:Thanks for the suggestion!
Agreed. Great idea.

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#4 Post by vevy » Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:07 pm

Suggestion: Re-word it as ad-supported:
  • This is more neutral and descriptive. Adware invokes malware in the mind.
  • This is already common in similar sites like Softpedia and MajorGeeks.
  • I think this was, at least partially, the trigger for Rudy5's behavior. A disagreement over whether a tool was "adware" as in ad-supported (worthy of adding to the DB) or "adware" as a low-quality may-be-dangerous PUP. Although "ad-supported" label may not have solved the issue, this illustrates the confusion over the term "adware".
  • Some tools are fully functional but advertise sibling tools from the same dev (built-in ads without internet connection) like this CLI tool (Edit: see post #16). It is not exactly fair to call it freeware either.
  • Some apps even advertise subtly within a dead space like Foxit Reader and EssentialPIM, usually for the paid version.
Last edited by vevy on Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Special
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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#5 Post by Special » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:07 am

I see no need for this, it's change for the sake of change. Adware is a well known term and goes back a looooong way, no different then Shareware or any of the other XXXX-ware words when describing software, might as well change the sites name too then from "Freeware" because the "ware" makes me think this site is MALicious... LOL.

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#6 Post by webfork » Sun Apr 12, 2020 9:54 am

vevy wrote:
Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:07 pm
Suggestion: Re-word it as ad-supported
I have some thoughts on this, but if I was coming at this problem fresh, as in I didn't know anything about the topic, I'd ask two things:

  1. That you to define both terms. I'm very reluctant to just reword the same thing on the off chance that it may be associated negatively or confuse some visitors. It's a distinction without a difference like "used" vs. "pre-owned cars."

    For example you seem to think "adware" is too close to malware, which makes me picture big, aggressive advertisements, popups, nag screens, etc? Maybe "ad-supported" conjures a Joe Computer trying to keep his small business afloat?
    _
  2. That you spell out exactly what this change would solve. I'm a little blurry on the value here. Maybe something like "some visitors seeing 'ad supported' will think more positively about the included programs".
Also, on a related note, we had a similar discussion some years back about Servea concerning the "nagware" designation, which the author thought was tantamount to "crapware." I'm linking to the specific post that I wrote up that I think is the most germane. but the whole thread might give some insight.

---

See also: Adware policy discussion and the Leeloosoft incident

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#7 Post by bitcoin » Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:49 am

what about a DOT NET tag?

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#8 Post by webfork » Sun Apr 12, 2020 1:01 pm

bitcoin wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:49 am
what about a DOT NET tag?
We have two categories present to help people view programs for both dotnet and java dependencies:

https://www.portablefreeware.com/index.php?sc=267
https://www.portablefreeware.com/index.php?sc2=261

The nice part is that these can be used to search for only those programs.

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#9 Post by Special » Sun Apr 12, 2020 9:20 pm

Another tag worth considering if one doesn't already exist for it would be "telemetry" or "dials home" or similar wording, in this day and age everyone seems to want to collect "something" from you, calling it telemetry as if that makes it okay... No thanks.

But this is less of a problem for portable programs, and I can't think of anything off hand on this site that does this.

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#10 Post by vevy » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:29 am

@Special

I am not talking about any "-ware", but adware has multiple meaning and, thus, is confusing. Its age doesn't necessarily help since the scene has changed drastically.


These are multiple different types of software that are referred to as adware in different contexts:

1. Malware that serve ads to gain the bad actor revenue abusing non-consenting non-benefiting users.
2. Software that perform a real function but serve online, tracked ads. Like uTorrent. There is a grey area between 1 and 2. For example: "optimizers" and "registry cleaners".
3. Software from the same dev that cross-promote each other showing popups or space-consuming promotions. Sometimes these are local, not online.
5. Nagware, i.e. "Ads" for the paid version. Also, fixed-space upsell (like the old Opera upgrade bar).
6. Dead space upsells. Like EssentialPIM and Foxit Reader. I don't mind them much but some users are upset if there is any "desecration" of the UI. These are ads to them, especially if they are flashy.

----------------------

Some definitions (note that they use advertisement-supported software as an origin term of ad- and -ware. I think this is rather different from how it is used and received today; see my examples in the previous post):
Spoiler!   
Norton:
Adware, or advertising supported software, is software that displays unwanted advertisements on your computer. Adware programs will tend to serve you pop-up ads, can change your browser’s homepage, add spyware and just bombard your device with advertisements.
Malwarebytes:
Adware generates revenue for its developer by automatically displaying online advertisements in the user interface of the software or on a screen that pops up in the user’s face during the installation process.
AVG (notice the definition):
Adware is probably the one kind of malware (malicious software) that everyone knows when they see it. Hard not to when it’s causing pop-ups to take up most of your screen. Adware, meaning “advertising malware,” presents unwanted advertisements using intrusive and potentially dangerous methods.
Avast:
it’s software that hijacks your browser or other parts of your system in order to blast you with unwanted ads.
Kaspersky:
Adware is the name given to programs that are designed to display advertisements on your computer, redirect your search requests to advertising websites and collect marketing-type data about you – for example, the types of websites that you visit – so that customized adverts can be displayed.
----------------------


All I am asking is for a way to label programs like the following one:


Free version of replace.exe displays our sponsor websites, you may buy Bestcode File Utilities for no-advertisement version of replace.exe (Source)

It is a static list of sponsor sites hard-coded in the executable. No internet connection.
No tracking. The tool is fully functional.
Is this tool adware (like the malware definitions given above)?
Is the term not muddled?


Edit: Bad example. See post #16.
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Attachments
adware.jpeg
epim.png
Last edited by vevy on Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
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bitcoin
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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#11 Post by bitcoin » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:46 pm

webfork wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 1:01 pm
bitcoin wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:49 am
what about a DOT NET tag?
We have two categories present to help people view programs for both dotnet and java dependencies:

https://www.portablefreeware.com/index.php?sc=267
https://www.portablefreeware.com/index.php?sc2=261

The nice part is that these can be used to search for only those programs.
i dont see how to get that dot NET section from the All Programs page - i see Java is listed in "Other" but imo it should be listed in its own main category at the bottom as should dot NET. The search function on here doesnt generally work too well so i find it untrustworthy. Btw seeing a bright red tag with "Dot NET" at the top of the listing is a lot more useful to me than seeing "New" or "Update"

Also the "Updated" tag doesnt really mean much to me because it seems like 99% that make the "Latest" list show that tag instead of new.

Also would be good if there was an easy way to split out actual new program additions on the "Latest" page instead of having all the updates lumped in. Maybe its there and i'm just unaware though. Maybe a right-left click button or rocker switch with "All" on one side and "New" on the other. Or maybe three positions - All, New, Updates

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#12 Post by Andrew Lee » Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:21 pm

Also would be good if there was an easy way to split out actual new program additions on the "Latest" page instead of having all the updates lumped in. Maybe its there and i'm just unaware though. Maybe a right-left click button or rocker switch with "All" on one side and "New" on the other. Or maybe three positions - All, New, Updates
Top
If you select "Detailed Search" at the top-right, then select "New only" under "Results Type", you will see all new entries ordered by most recent first.

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#13 Post by vevy » Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:09 am

webfork wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 9:54 am
That you to define both terms.
Adware is too loose a term and often has a negative connotation to it (beyond just "I hate any talking me into buying things!"). It is frequently used to describe software that abuse/frustrate the user with ads (see the AV definitions).

I would, personally, draw (or smear) a fuzzy acceptance line at whether the ads are online (privacy concern) and whether they eat away a chunk of the UX/UI: fixed space, popups, images, distraction (on purpose or not). Maybe also frequency.

Adware is unkind to something like Swiss File Knife (which promotes the book and the full version in the help or with certain commands) or replace.exe which I described in the last post Edit: Bad example. See post #16.

Ad-supported may be too kind to software that use OpenCandy, for example.
That you spell out exactly what this change would solve. I'm a little blurry on the value here. Maybe something like "some visitors seeing 'ad supported' will think more positively about the included programs".
When I suggested ad-supported instead of adware, I was mainly concerned with being fair to the "good" apps. I wasn't concerned much with being too kind to online-ad-retrieving ones. How would you solve that? Two terms?

I would be OK to call online-ad-retrieving apps adware (simply because I won't care to use them so I won't really mind if they got lumped with malware-adware under one umbrella term. Maybe it will discourage them from doing ads this way, for all I care! :|

------------------------


I'm very reluctant to just reword the same thing on the off chance that it may be associated negatively or confuse some visitors. It's a distinction without a difference like "used" vs. "pre-owned cars."
It may be like calling any older car a "beater", even it works fine and is well-maintained? Just an example.
you seem to think "adware" is too close to malware.
Not necessarily, see above.
which makes me picture big, aggressive advertisements, popups, nag screens, etc? Maybe "ad-supported" conjures a Joe Computer trying to keep his small business afloat?
Joe Computer can be abusive and aggressive in his monetization efforts. What matters is the behavior.
Last edited by vevy on Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#14 Post by vevy » Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:46 am

webfork wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 9:54 am
Also, on a related note, we had a similar discussion some years back about Servea concerning the "nagware" designation, which the author thought was tantamount to "crapware." I'm linking to the specific post that I wrote up that I think is the most germane. but the whole thread might give some insight.

---

See also: Adware policy discussion and the Leeloosoft incident
Thanks for linking these topics. Lets take nagware:
  • I agree with you. Nagware is a description. Nag is a negative word, indeed, but if you change it to something like "reminder-ware", this term will acquire similar negativity with time. The negativity comes mainly from the behavior.

    Adware's negativity goes beyond just ads. It has a solid overlap with malware. There is no Nag-Aware or NagCleaner. Adware is definitely not a fairly-neutral descriptive term.
  • Nagware has no commonly-used alternative term. Adware has (ad-supported).
  • Nagware have one main form. A window (with varying timing and frequency) in the way of what you are doing, asking you to cough up. "Adware" have many across multiple scales. See the previous posts.
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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#15 Post by Midas » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:23 am

vevy wrote: Adware is definitely not a fairly-neutral descriptive term.

Sorry to say, but I very much disagree with that.

Working by analogy, Malware is malfeasant software, Nagware is software that nags. Likewise, Adware is software that serves ads. It might be arguable as it is, but it follows our decade long local use.

Our portability concept is anything but universal, nor does it follow the Computer Science definition, but it is the main reason for the site's existence.

Promoting such semantic debates in the end will only result in weakening our time tested community based culture.

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