[Ardour-Users] ardour & "phoning home"

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net
Sat Aug 7 05:18:30 PDT 2010

On Sat, 2010-08-07 at 12:34 +0100, John Emmas wrote:
> I come from the Windows world where this kind of activity is
> commonplace (in fact, "rife" would be a better description).  Under
> Windows, it's depressingly common for software vendors to assume that
> when you install their software onto your PC, it somehow becomes their
> PC too.  As if you've entered into some kind of joint agreement with
> them - or as if they've inherited some kind of "right" to use any data
> they can find (or extract) from your machine.  And as if you've
> granted them carte blanche to pester you with upgrade offers from that
> day forward.  I can (almost) forgive this interference if it's
> designed to deter software piracy but that is hardly a valid argument
> in the world of FOSS.
> There has to be an underlying assumption that people should be free to
> use software in complete privacy if that's what they wish.  Yet I'd
> also question the wisdom of asking people to opt in (or out) of any
> ongoing arrangement at first usage.  From personal experience I
> suspect that too many people will choose to opt out - thereby
> rendering the collected data to be unrepresentative.  I'd suggest that
> users be allowed to opt in to a scheme which advises them about
> version updates (because most users will realise that this is in their
> own interests).  But instead of collecting usage data on an ongoing
> basis, collect it (say) once a year.  So if a particular version
> update was due out in September, send out the usual notification in
> August but add something to ask users if they upgrade during
> September, would they mind participating in an (automated?) annual
> usage survey.  In my view this is much more likely to be successful
> than any scheme which requires users to provide volunt
>  ary information before they've even tried the s/ware - because the
> majority of users will probably decline.
> John

Your idea is very smart. 1. I 'usually never ever register even after I
bought software or allow to get data from my computer', btw. I'm not
running music apps parallel to an Internet connection all the time. I
never read my emails while playing guitar at the same time. 2. I come
from the Linux world (resp. from C64 and Atari ST, but not from Windows,
anyway I used Win and Apple) where this kind of activity starts to
become commonplace (in fact, "rife" would be a better description).

Ubuntu ask you if they are allowed to check your computer behaviour,
Opera browser (you might call it an Windows app, I'm using it with
Linux) didn't ask me, but spams me by 'moderate intervals :)' to get the
current version. Perhaps the outdated version fit completely to my
needs, but nobody is interested to hear about this?

I don't like trackers, especially Google Analytics on web sides, but I
like the 'criminal' search engine from Google anyway, because there's no
politically correct search engine able to help me, when searching for
issues regarding to Linux.

"So if a particular version update was due out in September, send out
the usual notification in August but add something to ask users if they
upgrade during September"

This is a very, very, very smart compromise.

WOW! An easy but good idea.

Collecting data all the time would result in very abstract results for
the analysis. I guess there are more Linux users who take care about
data protection, than Windows and MacOS users do.

For Windows this statistics are good for marketing, because they be be
representative. Nearly no Windows user even changes the colour of a
window border, far less the averaged Windows user takes care about data

Linux users seems to be a little bit more interested in such issues.

IMHO an open request with preannouncement for selected reasons, to
selected times, seems to be a very good idea, but
data-collecting-madness or! never to ask for data.

I guess Linux is missing some statistic information, OTOH please no
watermarks or Google Analytics like overkill.



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