Feature request: Adware tag

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vevy
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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#16 Post by vevy » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:22 am

Midas wrote:
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.
I understand, but usage sometimes forces itself. By the nature of things, this site serves more people than just its core members, and those people, more often than not, are not aware of that local usage.

We can add a help hover text (like the one next to stealth) or like Sofpedia explaining the reasoning behind the label.

There is still a grey area. Will you, for example, call replace.exe (download link) adware? I take that example back. It tries to open a sponsored site in-browser with each run. Use it as a hypothetical example for now: a couple of static hard-coded sponsored sites before the output.
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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#17 Post by Midas » Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:22 pm

My answer to that last question will always be yes.

If it serves ads, its adware, hard-coded or not. I will not be splitting hairs over that.

It's precisely because of the more unaware members of our audience that the issue needs to be crystal clear.

It's a slippery slope here and the very first step is that unwarranted advertising guy's foot in your PC.

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#18 Post by vevy » Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:39 am

OK. I can see the logic in that.

Where would you draw the line though? What if the ads are promos for the paid version? Would you consider EssentialPIM adware?
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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#19 Post by Midas » Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:21 am

Regarding possible exceptions like EssentialPIM, there are no lines, only compromises.

If the community thinks the functionality is worth making an exception, then so be it.

It won't make it less of a fit in the category.

We've had this discussion before, BTW -- prompted by even lesser things such as ad banners/buttons...

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#20 Post by vevy » Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:59 am

Midas wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:21 am
Regarding possible exceptions like EssentialPIM, there are no lines, only compromises.
Generally agree.
It doesn't make it less of a fit in the category.
See, if the category is so wide as to include extremes that shouldn't be given the same label before a general audience (the regular users), then that is a problem worth addressing. I understand that you view the term "adware" as technically sound, and I agree, but it is charged beyond repair that it causes harm to benign software when there are less charged alternatives. That is the main point in my opinion.
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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#21 Post by Midas » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:19 am

What's benign is in the eye of the beholder. But I rest my case. Let other voices be heard.

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#22 Post by bitcoin » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:46 am

Andrew Lee wrote:
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.
ahh ok, there it is - thanks

imo it still would be useful to have that rocker switch

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#23 Post by Special » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:22 am

This is some SJW level shit but regarding software...

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#24 Post by vevy » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:50 am

Special wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:22 am
This is some SJW level shit but regarding software...
Please don't pigeonhole!

Nagware might annoy some, but it is descriptive and when you say it, the meaning is clear in the mind of the listener.

That is not the case with "adware". It is used for malware and it is used for Foxit Reader. It just doesn't do a good job as a term.

Keep "adware" for PUP. Use "ad-supported" for WP (wanted programmes).
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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#25 Post by Andrew Lee » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:15 pm

Sorry for being late to the party..

My opinion is that "nagware" and "adware" were terms developed by and for the community. We have no intention of serving the needs of anyone other than ourselves. I am personally neutral to "ad-supported", because to me they mean the same thing. If I didn't care about ads, the tag is neutral. If I did, the tag is negative in my search.

But I think that's a rather flimsy reason for a change because it's more a subjective "feeling" rather than some objective measure. As webfork mentioned, "nagware" could also invoke some negative feeling, and others might request a change to eg. "registration-ware". I feel unless the community as a whole feels strongly against it, the change is unwarranted if it already serves its functional purpose.

Just my 2c. I'm stepping off the soap box now...

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#26 Post by vevy » Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:08 am

Andrew Lee wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:15 pm
We have no intention of serving the needs of anyone other than ourselves.
Well then!🤷‍♂️
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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#27 Post by webfork » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:18 pm

First, I think a lot of this discussion comes down to the fact that this site was very anti-ads when I first started and then a few programs like Foxit and Opera added low-key ads. Both were great programs that probably would have been ignored if they had started out that way, but all this trouble went into adding them so I think the "adware" tag was just a way of coping with that.

Second, the database may one day add a way to sort entries by their license type. If so, we'd want to keep everything under one term. Ad-supported and adware would need to come with an additional explanation to explain the difference, which is something that should be rare in a website interface. This unfortunately means more discussions like this one concerning what exactly represents open source, freeware, etc.

Third, I worry about the term getting watered down. In the mobile space for example, most free programs includes some kind of advertisement banner. I have a great flashlight and timer program that all have banner ads in them and that's just normal now -- freeware on iOS is almost always adware. They even avoid any of the terms that have come up in this thread because Apple doesn't want anyone to clarify how much of their OS is dependent upon ad revenue. One of my favorite mobile programs for example "Overcast" doesn't mention adware or ad-supported either on the home page or on Apple's site. It's "free with in-app purchases" (you can pay to disable the ads) or "supported by small visual ads to promote podcasts" (things you might like).
vevy wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:29 am
These are multiple different types of software that are referred to as adware in different contexts...
That's a very good analysis and I'll likely reference that in the future. It also leads into my next point ...
vevy wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:46 am
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.
I've run into some cases of nagware having variations. There was a download manager that would prompt users to donate after ~100 downloads / 10 gigs. The idea here being that nags were comiserate to usage - if you're not using the program much, I have no business bothering you. If very frequently, I should get to ask you for some $. Using the same reasoning, if it's super rare, do we call it nag-supported or maybe popupware if it's too frequent?

The question is - (as I think Midas was saying) at what where you'd draw the line? Also, is it possible that popupware has a positive connotation and nag-supported actually sounds worse?

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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#28 Post by SYSTEM » Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:34 pm

webfork wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:18 pm
They even avoid any of the terms that have come up in this thread because Apple doesn't want anyone to clarify how much of their OS is dependent upon ad revenue. One of my favorite mobile programs for example "Overcast" doesn't mention adware or ad-supported either on the home page or on Apple's site. It's "free with in-app purchases" (you can pay to disable the ads) or "supported by small visual ads to promote podcasts" (things you might like).
Huh? That's surprising. Google Play does mention when an app has ads, saying "Contains Ads". Example.
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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#29 Post by vevy » Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:50 am

@webfork. Very good points.
webfork wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:18 pm
I've run into some cases of nagware having variations. There was a download manager that would prompt users to donate after ~100 downloads / 10 gigs. The idea here being that nags were comiserate to usage - if you're not using the program much, I have no business bothering you. If very frequently, I should get to ask you for some $. Using the same reasoning, if it's super rare, do we call it nag-supported or maybe popupware if it's too frequent?

The question is - (as I think Midas was saying) at what where you'd draw the line? Also, is it possible that popupware has a positive connotation and nag-supported actually sounds worse?
My main concern was that the term (at least in the wide internet) has overlap with malware. I meant by "negative connotation" and "unfair/unkind to some apps" that it might mislead a casual user, not that it just "offends the ear"!

All this is kind of moot now, but a good discussion!
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Re: Feature request: Adware tag

#30 Post by webfork » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:08 pm

Special wrote:
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.
I've been overloaded with other work here on the site but I did want to come back to this ...

First, I like the idea a lot and did a bit about Checking Freeware Connections about a month ago. It would mean that not only does our database track software you can take with you, it also looks at software that doesn't connect to *anything*.  That would be a strong draw.  It reminds me of the old "nonags" freeware site in some ways -- getting things from portablefreeware.com means you can get software that doesn't talk to *anyone*.

I'm not sure it makes sense as a Tag at the top of the entry like Update/New/Adware, but maybe as an element in the entry?

Whatever form it takes, making it happen is something I'm stuck on:
  • It's non-standard - Baas made that a part of his regular testing process, and I'm (slowly) making it part of my own.  But as it stands, it's very rare.  Also, since roughly half the programs I've tested lately seem to have some kind of update checker, I assume the "calls home" tag would be fairly common and therefore not very informative.  
  • Not useful for "Internet" category items - Much of the database connects to the Internet as part of it's function.  They all connect to something, and it requires a some skill to figure out if that's a DNS server (normal) or the home website (e.g. check for updates).
  • Late checks - There's also the problem of how some programs don't initially connect to the Internet, but trigger after weeks or months (as Midas pointed out in the other thread).  I don't have a way to test that without a lot of legwork.
Alternatively, we could put up that a recommendation that suggests disallowing any connections, unless you specifically need the program to connect to the Internet.  That's just good system security, after all.
Last edited by webfork on Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: (better wording)

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