[Ardour-Users] ardour & "phoning home"

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Thu Aug 5 13:39:13 PDT 2010

i recently committed some changes to ardour3 that will enable it to
"phone home" (contact ardour.org) as it starts up. i wanted to alert
existing users to this, since it will likely be added to ardour 2.X as

Why am I adding this to Ardour?
* better data on how much Ardour is actually used
* better idea of the balance between OS X and Linux platforms
* a way to alert users that new versions are available

How does it work? What does it do? Etc.
* the phone home is implemented via an HTTP POST request to a URL at ardour.org
* it will execute once per instance of ardour, asynchronously (it will
not block startup in any way)
* the phone home will not be enabled in debug builds (i assume there
is mostly testing going on, not real work)
* the phone home will be enabled by default. users or distro package
builders could choose to disable it
* the phone home will pass the following pieces of information to ardour.org:

               * the ardour version
               * the output of uname -srm

* if ardour ever gets a "watermark" system (not planned at this time),
it will also pass the watermark along if such a watermark exists
* no personal information will be transmitted
* no machine-based information will be transmitted, but the IP address
will be recorded on ardour.org
* if a single file exists (e.g. ~/.config/ardour3/.offthehook ?) then
no phone home will be initiated
* no phone home will be initiated if the machine appears to have no
functioning network interface
* there *MAY* be a GUI-accessible way to disable the phone-home mechanism

What If I Don't Like it?
You will have several choices:
  * compile with --phone-home=no
  * create ~/.config/ardour3/.offthehook or ~/.ardour2/.offthehook or
whatever we decide to call the file(s)
  * use ardour on an offline machine
  * edit it out of the code (its just 1 line)
  * if I add the GUI-accessible method, use that to disable the mechanism

If anyone has any serious objections to the scheme I'm describing that
are not addressed in the last section, please speak up. I certainly
don't want to irritate people with this scheme,  but instead want to
be able to better understand the user-base and alert ardour users who
don't watch the website or mailing lists about new releases. We still
have people trying to download Ardour 0.99 (about 50 per month!) and
other evidence suggests that a lot of people simply don't upgrade.
This in turn harms them, and blocks us from getting fixes and
improvements out to users who can benefit from them.

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