Thread: OpenCandy
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Old 13. Apr 2011, 03:32 AM   #23 (permalink)
Super Simple
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 11

Originally Posted by 26Dolphins View Post

I've been following the discussion here (site & forum) from day one. I've also read through the lengthy thread over at the Donation Coder forum.

Hello 26Dolphins. Over in the Donation Coder forum I'm Renegade. Just so you know.

Originally Posted by 26Dolphins View Post
To me, the issue with OpenCandy is that OpenCandy itself is not opt-in. Oone could argue that by choosing an app that comes bundled with it, you've already opted in, but it's not always that evident (there's the recent example of a game company that bundled their installers with OpenCandy with no sort of info on their site. People felt and were ambushed, so they strongly opposed, forcing the company to discontinue the use of OpenCandy).
By the time I'll see the offer, OpenCandy has already done its thing on my machine, so it's already a few steps too far to care if the offer is opt-in or opt-out.

WinSCP has done a good job of explaining things here:

FL Studio has also tried to make things clear as well:

For my own software, I put some information in the FAQ:

I can understand why a developer wouldn't put any information about OpenCandy on a download page.

In my own preliminary investigations, I determined that it was perfectly harmless, and there was no threat and nothing insidious was going on. So I decided to use it. I figured I should mention it though on the Super Simple site, which I did.

To a developer looking at OpenCandy, there's nothing bad happening, and it's perfectly harmless, so why clutter up the site with distractions?

It's not an attempt to hide anything. It's simply that there's not much to talk about.

For example, why would I mention that I used some particular licensing system? It's not really very interesting, and if anyone is curious, they could probably figure it out anyways.

However, I could probably have done a better job than I did. It just never occured to me that it was worth mentioning any more than I already had in the FAQ. Compare the WinSCP and FL Studio pages to my small mention and you'll see what I mean.

Originally Posted by 26Dolphins View Post
Even if it's stated that the installer comes with OpenCandy, the end user should still have the choice to decide if he/ she wants it to scan their system before it does it and he/ she should have the choice to decline it.
Being able to run the installer using the switch /NOCANDY, is not a straight forward option - one has to know about it to use it and a number of people still won't know how to, not to mention that it may stop working in the near future.

Since it's highly unlikely that any of my desired changes will happen any time soon (if ever), if an app doesn't have a portable version, I'll be looking for an alternative, even if it means to get more than one app to get sth done.
Reading the comments of others, I see I'm not the only one thinking this way.


It's a delicate balance. Since nothing is installed when you decline an offer, the effort to bother with /NOCANDY is much more than simply clicking no. And with no personal information sent, I couldn't be bothered to drop down to the command line.

But here's a slightly different take on that.

To use the IZArc example from the original review...

The compression market is one of the most competitive out there. It's a very hard market. WinZip revenue, last I checked, was falling every year. I know a few people in the market, and they're certainly not getting rich from it.

I've worked in that market and that's how I know. I used to work for ESTsoft, the makers of ALZip.

From the IZArc site on the donations page:

I develop IZArc in my spare time but it takes a lot of it and supporting via emails or by web forum takes even more time. I do all this for nothing. Anyway domain registration and bandwidth cost money that I pay by myself. Your donations will go a long way in helping me improve IZArc and provide you with ever greater features for free.
Donations don't work. People simply don't donate. Yeah... I know... I'm sure there are a few people here who have donated. I have too. We're not the norm. There are some commercial software titles that I've purchased licenses for more than once because they are that valuable to me too. But in general, donations are a lost cause.

Now, he has some ads up there, and they probably make some money as well, but still... he has to pay for things himself. Servers cost money. They're not free. Everytime somebody downloads IZArc, that's money out of his pocket.

That was the background. This is the point...

Rather than looking for an alternative, demanding that he provide an installer without OpenCandy is effectively the same thing as telling the poor fellow that his work isn't worth the time it takes you to click "No thanks" in his installer, and that you're offended by his audacity to presume that he should to anything except offer his software for free on your terms.

You're sending a message that the time it takes you to click "No thanks" is far more valuable than the years of effort that he's put into IZArc.

While that may seem a bit harsh, it's never-the-less the message that a lot of users are sending to developers.

Now, that message may be unintentional, but if you'd put in years of work to create something like IZArc, how would you feel?

I feel sorry for the poor fellow. IZArc has been around for a long time, and a lot of people like it and use it. He's just trying to continue along. I don't know him personally, but I'm willing to bet that if you asked what his major motivation for IZArc was, he'd say that it was because he enjoys it.

Do developers need to be sensitive to the needs of users? Absolutely!

But it's a 2-way street.
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