Can we bar these tools?

It was just this week that I was kvetching about crapware being installed, or trying to be installed, with routine software updates. Apparently this is going to be the rule, rather than the exception, from here on out:

When people download software from SourceForge, or any major repository of Open Source software, they expect the software to be trustworthy. (baring unintentional bugs)

They do not expect the software to be a source of “drive by installer” style malware, spyware, adware, or any other unrelated/unintended software.

SourceForge’s new owners, Dice, have consciously and deliberately moved to a model violating this trust.

With their recent changes, users downloading from SourceForge now receive a special closed source installer which attempts to foist unrelated third party software onto them.

In terms of sheer enormity, this is like PBS replacing Charlie Rose with Jerry Springer.

Oh, and guess where OpenOffice sends you to download the suite? Yep. Supposedly this is opt-in — the developer need not submit his package to this kind of wrapping, if he’s willing to forgo the revenue that supposedly would be generated therefrom — but bad downloads eventually crowd out good ones, à la Gresham.







7 comments

  1. McGehee »

    24 August 2013 · 10:06 am

    LibreOffice.

    When I heard so many of OOo’s developers were leaving to develop LibreOffice, I gave LO a try and haven’t looked back.

  2. Bill Peschel »

    24 August 2013 · 11:41 am

    I’m so glad there’s very little I would want in software anymore that would make me go to SourceForge.

  3. CGHill »

    24 August 2013 · 11:49 am

    I may have to follow. The sysadmin said he was looking into LibreOffice, so I’ll see what he has to say.

  4. Scooby214 »

    24 August 2013 · 8:13 pm

    Is LibreOffice able to read my old .sxw files from the early days of OpenOffice.org? Some of my files date back to StarOffice. If it can’t read them natively, I wonder if there is some sort of batch utility that could convert my old files to something more modern.

  5. CGHill »

    24 August 2013 · 8:53 pm

    Here’s what’s in the 4.0 release notes:

    Dropped support for legacy binary StarOffice (version 1.x → 5.x) files.

    Note: the old OpenOffice.org XML file format (.sxw, .sxi etc.) which was used as the default format by StarOffice versions 6 and 7 is still supported.

    Sounds like a yes to me.

  6. McGehee »

    27 August 2013 · 7:41 am

    I strongly advise converting old-format files at the earliest opportunity.

    Don’t ask why unless you want to hear something long, detailed, and likely to make you lose sleep.

  7. McGehee »

    27 August 2013 · 7:41 am

    …for weeks, if not months.

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