[Ardour-Users] ardour & "phoning home"

Noel Darlow mail at mcgruff.plus.com
Fri Aug 6 07:26:13 PDT 2010


> i recently committed some changes to ardour3 that will enable it to
> "phone home" (contact ardour.org) as it starts up.

However innocent it may be I think it'll be a huge PR disaster.
Unconsciously it puts Ardour in the same boat as the kind of intrusive
software we came to Linux to forget. It makes me think of
Windows, adware and other malicious trojans and viruses. These
are all things which may be on my machine but not for my benefit.
An Ardour spy in the computer may be on our side, but trust still takes
a dent by association. 

Even with a good explanation for the changes the fact is you are
going to have do a *lot* of explaining. That won't ever go away -
extra work for you. It's extra work for users too, many of whom will
now feel obliged to examine the small print in fine detail to check what
information is being passed around. Everybody's life gets more

What about asking users on the first run (or three) of the program to
opt in to a mailing list? This would be a low traffic "surveys" list -
not everyone will want to listen to the chatter of
ardour-users at lists.ardour.org. An occasional email survey every few
months or so would potentially allow you to gather much, much more
information than a crude phone home system.

That would feel totally different. Rather than negotiating our way
round a sinister spy in the computer, we're having a nice chat with
a celebrity from the Linux audio world working hard to make Ardour
better for us. When we get the program, we become part of an Ardour
club. That sort of direct contact might be good for subscriptions? 

You could also use the list to send a six-monthly report of Ardour
income and plans. This would be a subtle reminder of the need for user


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