back to article GIMP flees SourceForge over dodgy ads and installer

The Gnu Image Manipulation Program, a popular and free Photoshop alternative that glories in the name “The GIMP”, has decided it can no longer permit itself to be downloaded from SourceForge. The application's developers announced their decision here, arguing that SourceForge provides a user experience it can no longer support …

COMMENTS

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  1. Rafael L

    Amazing! I wish all app developers would do this.

    1. Parax

      hear hear..

      I whole-heartedly support this action.

      and about time too.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd second that!

    3. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      And every other dodgy Download site!

      I'm not sure if it's switch and bait to the programmers, as most of the software I see is real honest hard work, and even if it has "add support" it's kept as a banner (webpage style). But as said, that's the software direct from the programmer, but the download sites add so much bloat/male/adware that it's criminal. As an example, Even Java wants to install stuff these days. Not to mention the Download sites that add "download here" adds, so you cannot tell which is an add, and which is the real download button (unless like me you have addblock).

      My advice to others is don't use the sites. If you know how to circumvent these cons (imitation adds, multiple content installers, bundled packs etc) you would not have needed to ask me where to download from in the first place.

      PS, I'm only talking about legal downloads too, as in hobby craft made, homebrew and CC/opensource stuff. That download sites treat kind minded people offering a free service that way is criminal!

    4. Tom 13

      @Rafael

      Although I concur and gave you an upvote, there is a fundamental problem that still needs to be resolved. It came up in a different context just a few days ago:

      How do you pay for the stuff we put on the web?

      Right now it's mostly done by ads, which is where Google's real monopoly power and danger to us lies. If you require even small payment, users run away. Hell we even reference it with the derogatory term "paywall."

      I've gotten to the point where I'm nervous on almost any download site these days. I find that even being careful I have trouble differentiating real links from ads. Click on a really bad link and you might not have to do anything else to compromise a Windows PC.

      I liked the good old days when banner ads were considered annoying but paid for stuff. I even clicked few on a few links on occasion to make sure a good site earned a couple extra pennies.

      1. Rafael L

        Re: @Rafael

        I have nothing against ad-supported software but when sites host someone else's app and insert these kinds of download buttons it's not fair.

    5. yossarianuk

      They do ...

      They do on Linux.

      You only get bundled spy/ad/crap ware on Windows applications in my experience.

      Never with the Linux version.

      Don't have a clue about Mac and will never care.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm no FLOSS nut, but Sourceforge's propensity for displaying sleazeball ads has irked me for a while, to the point where I triple-check before I click on anything there. I recall seeing the ad selection a while ago and thinking, "Hang on, I thought Sourceforge was a reputable site - this is odd..."

    If enough high-profile projects dump them, just maybe the economics will tip back in the balance of not being bottom-feeding scumsuckers, so hey, to those ends, I'm for it. Good on ya, GIMP people.

    1. vagabondo

      FLOSS nutter

      If you were, you would get your binary software from a trusted repository, and your OSs download/installation software would automatically check the signature. downloads from the likes of Sourceforge, Github, etc. are for obtaining source code. The problem is for users of propritary OSs. The message for Sourceforge, and its advertisers, is that if they abuse their visitors everyone will be driven to use adblocking and they will have no ad income.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: FLOSS nutter

        Okay vagabondo, is it possible you might have the cart before the horse here?

        If Open Source programs for Windows are annoying to install (or result in a lacklustre experience in other ways) it can have a detrimental effect on the adoption of Linux as people's desktop OS.

        If a Windows user (more likely to be lay computer user) has a good experience with things like The GIMP or Libre Office, they are more likely to try a Linux distro.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: FLOSS nutter

          @David 126 - *DING* *DING* Winner!

        2. Roo

          Re: FLOSS nutter

          "If a Windows user (more likely to be lay computer user) has a good experience with things like The GIMP or Libre Office, they are more likely to try a Linux distro."

          It's possible that might happen, but I doubt many people would choose Linux because their favourite Windows app happens to be open source - because many of them will think it is easier to carry on running OpenSource apps on their current OS than to migrate to a new OS.

          I agree with your argument to a certain extent though... I think it's fair to say they may be more open to moving to a Linux distro having had good experiences with stuff like GIMP & Libre Office.

          1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

            Re: FLOSS nutter

            "It's possible that might happen, but I doubt many people would choose Linux because their favourite Windows app happens to be open source"

            Your certain the £80 upgrade of Windows is not also an incentive?

            If Photoshop was Linux compatible (not even FLOSS), if my games were cross platform I'd jump over now.

            I can't think of a single program that actually prevents me right now, except for the games (I already use Gimp not PS). So yes, if the software works on Windows I'll migrate to Linus. Because I'd never have known Gimp was any good or Firefox (Linux has equivalents) or Blender or many others. :)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @TechnicalBen - Re: FLOSS nutter

              Those 80 quids you mention are nothing but the last round in users perpetual voluntary contribution to Microsoft welfare. Linux has been pretty much functional and available for about a decade now but largely ignored. I personally believe all those who were interested in Linux are already using it, there are no converts moving out of Windows.

            2. Rick Giles
              Coat

              Re: FLOSS nutter @TechnicalBen

              "... if my games were cross platform..."

              I stopped wishing for that and, at the same time, I've stopped buying games that run on Windows. I also make it a point to tell the reps of the major game dev houses that when ever the change occurs.

              I also try not to buy games that hae just been released for consoles either. I wait til they either hit the bargin bin or get them used.

              It's all about using your wallet as your voice.

              -- mines the one with the fat wallet in it.

        3. vagabondo

          Re: FLOSS nutter -- @Dave 126

          I'm sorry, but I do not appear to have made my points clear. I was trying to say:

          1. If David W. had been a "FLOSS nut" he would have been less likely to see the noxious ads.

          2. These toxic ads are counter-productive. By driving away desirable content (GIMP from Sourceforge), and provoking visitors to block ads, they lead to a loss of ,rather than an increase in, revenue.

          I never thought that this issue would be a factor in promoting Linux. I thought that it was a demonstration of the futility of abusive advertising.

          1. Roo

            Re: FLOSS nutter -- @Dave 126

            Fair play to you vagabondo. :)

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Dave 126 - Re: FLOSS nutter

          Nope! Users are not interested in Linux, all they want is free (as in beer) Windows.

          1. tracyanne

            Re: @Dave 126 - FLOSS nutter

            Of course they are not interested in Linux, they aren't interested in Windows either, or Mac for that matter. With the exception of fanboy geeks no one is interested in Linux, Mac or Windows. They want something that works. In my experience, that can just as easily be a linux based operating system, when it's made easily accessible, as it is Mac or Windows. I've seen enough non geek users embrace Ubuntu or Linux Mint, in preference to the Windows install that came with their computer... because it works better for them.

        5. MCG

          Re: FLOSS nutter

          "If a Windows user (more likely to be lay computer user) has a good experience with things like The GIMP or Libre Office, they are more likely to try a Linux distro."

          I suppose it's _possible_ someone might have a good experience with the GIMP or LibreOffice but I'm having trouble imagining what possible arrangement of contrived circumstances could possibly lead to such an event....

  3. Number6

    Not visible here

    I just went and had a look at the Filezilla download and it appears that Adblock Plus is doing a grand job of keeping all the crud away from my browser screen. I didn't see any of the dodgy stuff.

    I recently had to use a PC that didn't have it installed and the amount of unwanted clutter on webpages made it pretty much unusable. It was definitely necessary to exercise caution as to which links were wanted ones and which were done up to look like wanted ones.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Not visible here

      But the INSTALLER offers to install Crudware nothing to do with Filezilla.

      This has happened elsewhere (Cnet, Irfanview etc). It's disgraceful, taking advantage of users propensity to click "next" and never "decline" on dialogs. Especially ones designed to mislead!.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: Not visible here

        Yeah, I tried it and the installer wanted to install "DriveHive" - a paid driver updater, and "PalTalk" - which was my big chance to "chat online with millions of users".

        All while trying to install free and opensource Filezilla.

        I'd say that's a big-time fail for Sourceforge.

        1. ender
          FAIL

          Re: Not visible here

          > All while trying to install free and opensource Filezilla.

          > I'd say that's a big-time fail for Sourceforge.

          It's at least as big fail for FileZilla, too - SourceForge didn't just decide and put that drive-by installer up, the owner of FileZilla project had to give explicit consent.

      2. Number6

        Re: Not visible here

        But the INSTALLER offers to install Crudware nothing to do with Filezilla.

        Ah yes, I missed that bit. However, for my OS, I download the .bz2 file and install from there so no dodgy installer to deal with.

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Not visible here

        I'm sure both the Java and Flash updater's periodically intentionally force the user to use the crudware installer rather than the background patch updater.

  4. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Find a mirror with ftp access

    The naming convention is easy to understand. Searching and downloading via ftp is far simpler than with the user hostile http site - and that was before people started complaining about the ads.

  5. M Gale

    About time too.

    Also, .torrent files might be nice.

  6. Sir Barry

    Well done GIMP peeps, I wish more outfits would take a stance against this cloaked spam crap.

  7. Mikel

    Ch Ch Ch Changes

    DICE hasn't ruined /. yet but I'm looking for it.

    1. NinjasFTW

      Re: Ch Ch Ch Changes

      when was the last time you were on ./ So many promotions badly disguised as stories.

      Its not ruined yet but certainly spend a lot less time there than I did

      1. PhilBuk
        Thumb Down

        Re: Ch Ch Ch Changes

        ... and it's slow as treacle these days.

        Phil.

  8. Rich 2

    Sourceforge

    I dunno if it has changed recently but I've always struggled to download ANYTHING from Sourceforge; most of the time I just can't find the "download" page!

    I fully accept that I'm probably being thick, but it just isn't obvious to me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sourceforge

      Thought I knew what you meant, and went to the site to check again, and maybe offer a few pointers how to find the download link. Unfortunately, when i get there, the home page has various suggested downloads, and every one of them has a green rectangular "Download" button

      Searching for something specific (eg, "filezilla") brings up a similar "Download now" button.

      Don't think it's always been like that, but I think you'd struggle to not figure out how to download something from Sourceforge these days.

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: Sourceforge

        "Don't think it's always been like that, but I think you'd struggle to not figure out how to download something from Sourceforge these days."

        Um, you sure those "download" buttons are actual buttons and not adds that take you to dating sites right? Or are you browsing with addblock?

        PS, just checked, there are at least 2 adds on each download page, twice as big as the real download button, colourd/designed exactly the same that link to other (could be anything, I'm not clicking it) software/sites.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sourceforge

          Sorry, I am blocking with AdBlock, maybe that's why it's more obvious to me now than it used to.

          To be clear, I meant it used to be worse than it is now, I don't think the green download buttons (which are the real download links, not ads) used to be there. So it was harder before.

          Why would you not use ad blocking software in your browser? Genuine question.

          1. stratofish

            Re: Sourceforge

            > Why would you not use ad blocking software in your browser? Genuine question.

            Why would I? Ads pay for the sites to run and for contributors to keep contributing. No ads, no free sites (talking content-driven sites here, like The Register, YouTube, etc, not Aunt Flo's blog). I find them an acceptable but occasionally annoying way for me to get things done. If I used an adblocker it wouldn't be from some delusional angle that I'm helping to stamp out advertising. It would be because I would be selfish enough to expect somebody else to pay for my entertainment/information.

            The vast majority of ads are of no interest to me and I have no trouble tuning them out. The few that I might be interested in serve to inform me but I wouldn't click them. Sometimes knowing that high street shop X has offer Y on is good to know or if some new product is out. If I buy something, guess what? The advertising worked and worked well for both sides!

            Also, the more people that use adblockers the more money gets poured into techniques to circumvent adblockers. This has a very negative outcome for everybody.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sourceforge

              "Why would I?"

              You might want to read up on how ad networks are used to build a profile of your browsing habits, and consider whether you want an advertising network to have access to that kind of detailed info on you. No matter how much you like paying for someone's web hosting, their business expenses are actually not your (or my) responsibility, in the same way mine aren't theirs.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sourceforge

              Walk me through how you displaying website advertising on screen, but not clicking on those adverts generates revenue for that website.... ?

              If you're not going to click through the adverts, to support the free websites you want to support, they get no revenue from you showing the ads on screen.

              So are you telling me you browse the register, then spend ten minutes clicking various ads on the site, to support the reg by giving them some advertising revenue? Because I don't believe you, if that's what you claim you do, for every free site you enjoy.

              And if you're not going to do that, why would you not use an ad blocker? Genuine question.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Sourceforge

                Walk me through how you displaying website advertising on screen, but not clicking on those adverts generates revenue for that website.... ?

                ummm... it is called "views"... they get paid so many parts of a cent/peso/centavo/whatever for each view they get of the ad... they get some more for "click through" when someone clicks on an ad... finally they get even more when someone actually purchases from an ad...

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Sourceforge

      I fully accept that I'm probably being thick, but it just isn't obvious to me.

      No, you're not thick, it IS that bad, and deliberately so. Hitting the RIGHT button doesn't bring profit, after all.

    3. Tom 13

      Re: Sourceforge

      Ditto CNet's Download thingie. They use to be one of my goto sites. Not anymore.

  9. Nya
    Thumb Up

    Nice

    Good on them.

    Trying to talk Joe Public through downloading anything off these sites is a nightmare these days. Usually they end up without what they needed and with half a dozen pieces of crapware instead.

    1. iniudan

      Re: Nice

      I now send them to Ninite, install/update multiple software without the crapware from a single executable. Basically it what came closest to a 3rd party Linux repository for Windows.

      1. Clive Galway

        Re: Nice

        Thanks for this one - not a site I knew about.

        From now on I will be directing all the family and friends I support to ninite, should save me having to go over or remote in to be sure they do not get junk they don't want.

        IMHO there needs to be legislation. It should be against the law to have boxes ticked by default that install extra software. All it would take is for one or two of the bigger markets (eg UK, US, EU) to lead the way, and many of the distribution channels (SourceForge, CNET etc) would need to fall into line else have a compliance nightmare on their hands.

  10. wolfetone Silver badge

    Good, I'm glad. I don't know what's happened to SourceForge but it really, REALLY, pissed me off when I used their installer to download/install FileZilla the other day. It allows you to install two or three more pieces of software that are, really, useless. If they were that good there'd be no need to advertise them on an installer for an FTP client.

    I hope more developers follow suit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @wolfetone: Good, I'm glad. I don't know what's happened to SourceForge but it really, REALLY, pissed me off when I used their installer to download/install FileZilla the other day.

      where have you been? did you not see the big news some months (a year?) back about SF being taken over^W^W^Wwelcoming new owners? it is well known that they are more about financial greed than truly supporting developers with a hosting site for their source code and applications...

  11. kevjs
    Unhappy

    Not just sourceforge - trying to download Paint.NET is a right pain - even though I know how bad it is it's far too easy to end up clicking on the wrong Download link or ending up at the Mirror's homepage - put's me off recommending what is an otherwise decent piece of software to others. :(

    1. ashdav

      Paint.Net download here http://www.dotpdn.com/downloads/pdn.html

      Link is at top right of the page.

      Quite easy to find.

  12. NomNomNom

    What if you run an auto-clicker on the ads?

    Will that make google think click fraud is going on and get the advertiser banned by google adsense?

    1. Soruk
      FAIL

      No, that'll cause Sourceforge's adsense account to be banned, not the advertiser's account.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        You say that as if it's a bad thing...

  13. Haku
    Flame

    Installer wrappers - just say no.

    I hate those damn things, they try every trick in the book to make you accept and install some piece of crap toolbar or wotnot, like using double negatives etc., a favourite of theirs is hiding it under the Typical option when really you need to select the Custom option so you can untick the "Yes I want my browser hijacked by some shitty search engine toolbar".

    1. darklordsid

      Re: Installer wrappers - just say no.

      Sir, GIMP installer does not have any wrapper.

      The problem is right on download pages, well before you can start the real download, showing GOOGLE ads containing large flashing download buttons that tricks inexperienced users in downloading unrelated software from scammers using GOOGLE advertising platform (software that quite obviously is crapware most of the times).

      And unlike in-installer bundle that are loaded only when you start the installer, GOOGLE ads are loaded as soon as you open the download page, you have not even started the download (you can also quickly run away and close the page!) but you are already profiled and served a tricky ad!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Installer wrappers - just say no.

        Unless you use Adblock, or a similar advert blocker, when you're not.

      2. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: Installer wrappers - just say no.

        Not sure, as I'm no expert and have no way to test, but these sites seem to be ADDING wrappers to the downloads.

        Or, an even trickier method, adding a download manager to access the link/download. To get GIMP from SF, you now have to go through 3-4 pages (of the download manager from SF) of adds/maleware/addware promotions (with misleading doublespeak/doublenegatives and tiny opt out boxes) before you even get the link for Gimp. :(

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Installer wrappers - just say no.

          Not sure, as I'm no expert and have no way to test, but these sites seem to be ADDING wrappers to the downloads.

          that is exactly what is happening... evidently, though, there is some option the project manager(s) have to (un)tic to prevent this action from being done...

  14. DrXym Silver badge

    Lots of download sites do this

    File download sites seem to be engaged in some a race to the bottom to outsleaze each other in how they rip off people trying to obtain files. They all put artificial delays into the download to encourage people to pay for the "premium" (i.e. uncrippled) service, they all plaster the page with misleading links and ads in order to confuse people into clicking on the wrong things, many of them make users wade through at least a few page clicks (to increase page impressions and retention stats), some of them even bundle up the file in an installer which tries to inflict crapware or ads on the user.

    It's all very sleazy.

    I realise Sourceforge is trying to make money and is providing a valuable service by hosting open source and free projects. But it's got a reputation to think about too. If it starts doing things like this the big projects will move somewhere else (e.g. GitHub) and they'll be left with dross. I already sense that a lot of projects have begun moving away from it, and things like this are hardly likely to stop the rot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lots of download sites do this

      And yet, having sat through the delay to access your fav game with parody artwork you're likely to find it no longer available because of a takedown order.

      Yeah, I'm starting to hate the bastards.

  15. darklordsid

    How fun they put all the blame on SourceForge, while the scam ads are from Google Ads!

    Not that Sourceforge is not part of the problem, but the problem is wider: it starts from scammers and goes through Google's poor control of advertisers, and ends in Sourceforge or any other website partner of Google Ads (like ElReg...) being flooded by poor quality ads - yes Google Ads claim partners website can blacklist unwanted ads, but the scam/cr4p/low quality ads flood is simply too much and facts are that such filters are not efficient unless Google do proper screening on advertisers before letting them go through Google Ads network.

    Bottom line what Gimp staff did is choosing the easier option

    1) "if we put the blame on scammers, it will be a sort of useless Captain Obvious statement"

    2) "if we put the blame on Big G, it will be a sort of painful way to suicide, as they can make us irrelevant on the www in a nanosecond"

    3) "if we put the blame on Sourceforge, we will have some free good PR"

    and they obviously went with the last one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Funny that you don't see similar design ads on other sites served by Google Ads, isn't it?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Comment here!

        If it's a download site, it's full of 'Download Now!' adverts because you want to download something now. Context-driven advertising at its finest.

        I'm sure SourceForge would like the choice, but the chances of other ads being served up on their site are infinitesimally small.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Comment here!

          You're right, the now part is ridiculous. I'not going to click on a button that says "Download next week".

      2. darklordsid

        No fun nor magic, it is profiling.

        Ads are served to be relevant to end users (you and me) depending on the website (what are you looking at/for) and, what's more invasive, on the history (what had you looked at//for) of your searches, visited websites, clicked ads, probably hot keywords on your gmail etc...

        On a download website you get a lot of download ads.

        On ElReg you get a lot of tech ads, and on hardware pages, you get a lot of devices ads.

        On sports sites you get a lot of sport events or performance enhancing drugs ads.

        It is how GOOGLE ads works.

  16. CompuGuide

    Don't get distracted when downloading or installing software

    Sourceforge is not the only offender, CNET [Download.com] is also a prime culprit in this respect.

    I provide support for many residential customers and really have to keep my wits about me when installing something - especially while maintaining a polite conversation with the customer about their problems with their vet, dentist, school etc.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ads? what ads.

    My Firefox currently has Adblock Plus, NoScript, Ghostery, BetterPrivacy, RefControl and Collusion (Lightbeam) add-ons. If I visit the Daily Mail, for example, none of the videos will play but as they have nicked them from YouTube I can watch them there if I feel the need. I can still read the news. Sorry Reg but your ads are just as crap or irrelevant and are blocked.

    I also do not have a TV because the ads were so infuriating I began to shout at it.

    All junk mail that I receive goes straight into the bin.

    The truth is that if a company spend millions on advertising their product is going to be overpriced and probably no better than a cheaper alternative.

    It's time to think up a new business model that does not push out unwanted crap.

    Signed: A.Freetard

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Fatman Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Ads? what ads.

        My Firefox currently has Adblock Plus, NoScript, Ghostery, BetterPrivacy, RefControl and Collusion (Lightbeam) add-ons.

        Another one who has seen the light.

        If I visit the Daily Mail, for example, You sound like a smart guy ... why would you visit the Daily Mail?

        For amusement purposes.

    2. WylieCoyoteUK

      Re: Ads? what ads.

      I block and ignore ads where I can as well.

      In fact if an ad is particularly irritating, I make a mental note never to even think about buying that product.

      A bit like Spam, I think "Really? despite me installing spam filters in my firewall, setting junk filters in my mail program, you manage to get past them and expect me to even hesitate before hitting delete?"

      Advertising does work with some people, but not me.

      I do have a TV, but I never watch anything in real time, I always record it so that I can skip the ads.

      (I used to use MythTV's Auto ad skip, but the channels do everything they can to block that, so I just use the skip forward button).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ads? what ads.

      The Internet model does seem to be ad based. Far from just funding websites it has made Google filthy rich, while they have given a few crumbs to website owners to help with their costs.

      Even when you pay for site you can still get adverts.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Ads? what ads.

        "The Internet model does seem to be ad based."

        I wonder if there is any good evidence that this (or any) advertising works. When I say "good", I'm thinking "would convince someone with scientific training" rather than "would convince the marketing exec who has a budget to spend and can blame the sales exec in the next office if the company doesn't actually sell anything".

  18. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Boffin

    Browser hijacking addons in installation packages, vulgarly called toolsbars, in fact turn the installation package into a trojan horse. I think we really need to get AV software to treat them accordingly ... when Oracle Java Windows installer will be flagged as a trojan horse, you will see how fast Larry will get off his arse ...

  19. BeBeBoBo
    Unhappy

    Sourceforge! Meh! Try downloading minecraft mods!

    Most downloads are via Mediafire or something similar which include malware in the the adverts. :(

  20. RonaldRaygun

    I don't see the problem

    The Ask toolbar / paltalk or whatever is more useful than Linux anyway. Personally the sooner Microsoft has the balls to drop the desktop altogether and Metro becomes the default interface for 90% of users, then they can display adverts throughout software, and thus cut the cost of it all.

    Websites have to pay charges, the add free alternative would be no free software, and having to pay big money just for simple utilities.

    1. darklordsid

      Re: I don't see the problem

      I see what you are saying there.

      As soon as most users will be on the "web of apps" rather the "web of websites", in site ads market will crumble and in apps ads market will skyrocket, much more invasive than any googleads-filled page or bundled installer.

      I already see this happening on most free Andorid and iOS apps, and MS Store is heading this way... not too fast, it seems, but only as people don't really like what is happening, and consumerization is a big drawback for corporate users; anyway it is where IT is heading to.

      But if it is not good news for traditional - legacy :P - websites, I think it is not a good thing for apps developers too, as Store-centic distribution effectively transform a indie developer in a marketing research drone for the Store owner.

      Is your app successful? Does your app threaten one of my apps (Office, IE...)? Ok, now you can do business solely from MY store, so be ready to be flooded by one stars, being placed in second page, the key API you use to be deprecated, or your software to be outright banned.

      Plain and simple.

      This means software will be less free as in freedom, and less "business" to.

      1. RonaldRaygun

        Re: I don't see the problem

        The apps paradigm will find itself firmly on all devices sooner or later. Windows 8 is the future for PCs regardless of whether power users like it or not, and eventually the desktop will be phased out, and with those apps will come adverts.

        Business should have the option to pay for them to be removed, but consumers will be far more free with this model. Who says everyone hate adverts anyway, the number of Facebook fan groups set up for various things such as T-Mobile dances or whatever, shows that the public actually relate to them. Good news for everyone, other than a few purists. I am sure the open source purists will jump on this and claim that it isn't true freedom, but hand the average person a free Facebook app with adverts, or the source to the Linux kernel, and see which is more useful to them...

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: I don't see the problem @RonaldRaygun

          >Windows 8 is the future for PCs regardless of whether power users like it or not, and eventually the desktop will be phased out

          No Windows 8, like iOS 7 and Unity are just fashionable eye candy and presentation themes/skins; it wouldn't surprise me for Win 9, iOS 8 etc. to embed different UI paradigms.

          >Business should have the option to pay for them to be removed

          No all should have the option for them to be removed, for many app's I have a choice either I use the ad-supported version or I pay some money to get rid of the ad's. In fact I suggest a developer who only produces an ad-supported version of their product is missing a revenue opportunity.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: I don't see the problem

      "The ad-free alternative would be no free software, and having to pay big money just for simple utilities."

      Ah yes. Those first GNU offerings, and the early Linuxes, and the Windows Internals tools, and ..., were all hellishly expensive. Thank god RMS saw the light and hitched his wagon to the advertisers.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: I don't see the problem

        >Those first GNU offerings, and the early Linuxes, and the Windows Internals tools, and ..., were all hellishly expensive

        But for many these tools weren't free, they had to pay for the wrapper which consisted of several hundred sheets of glossy paper covered in ad's and content... Mind you many people pay just to flip through the wrapper - now what to do with several archive boxes of cover discs and CD/DVDs dating back to WfWG...

  21. The New Turtle
    FAIL

    Ads have become a REAL problem, and are no longer an innocent way of funding bandwidth etc. Sourceforge has been like this quite a while, and as suggested, other 'legitimate' companies are now bundling crapware along with the stuff you want (Adobe - looking at you).

    There's a forum I use regularly (harmonycentral.com) that runs syndicated ads, and recently there was one that a) spawned a new page within seconds of arriving b) started playing audio automatically and c) spawned a new page every 30sec with the audio out of sync with the first. Within a few minutes the site became unusable without ad blockers working.

    I always took the view that ads funded the 'free' sites many of us enjoyed, but this was madness. I mentioned it to the forum admins, but they were not aware of the ads being run (syndicated out, choices made elsewhere). There have been problems on other sites with flash-based ads too, although none as severe as this. So now I just run with ad blockers on all the time. It's not good, because I'm sure it's denying a revenue stream, but it's either that or stop browsing many otherwise useful parts of the net.

    I can see the golden goose laying in the corner, throat cut.

  22. Dylan Fahey

    I actually donate to my FLOSS developers.

    I actually donate to my FLOSS developers and wish everyone would. I use Freemake, GIMP, LibreOffice etc. I donate when I find it has saved my bacon.

    I do not donate to OpenOffice/LibreOffice as they've not fixed a terrible problem with their spell checker on upgrades.

    The lack of donations to FLOSS devs does show the general low level humanity is at. We praise helping out the general public with social programs (health, transportation, etc), but look at the results. NO ONE DONATES. How can we function as a civilized society if we don't support the things that HELP everyone.

    I just donated $50 to the philippines for the typhoon fund. How many of you have?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: I actually donate to my FLOSS developers.

      I have no problems with donations. Donating quite a bit myself. My boss is stingy though.

      > health, transportation

      Not social programs. Bureaucratic gildening and vote chasing. Social program is when hospitals or transportation company decides to implement something on their own, not when tax guy from government comes in and tells people what one charge for this or that - or the converse, starts to subsidize services (using the information comments of a lobby naturally), leading to price distortions and resource misallocations. But I digress.

      > NO ONE DONATES

      Not sure about that. This also just means that the marketing needs to be better.

  23. JW 1

    Watch out with these and using Chrome

    My son was downloading Himachi vpn client. I glanced and saw it's part of logmein and read up on it. Seemed harmless and a better way for him to share Mindcraft worlds with friends and not open a hole in the firewall. Anyway, even after repeated 'read what you're clicking' warnings from me, he clicked the big "download now" button. It installed some "Download helper" toolbar. And, here's the crazy Chrome part. Since he had done all this with Chrome the same damn tool was installed on his Android phone almost immediately.

    That's going too far. What's a good open source phone?

    JW

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Watch out with these and using Chrome

      "That's going too far. What's a good open source phone?"

      The only open source phone I'm aware of is the Ubuntu one, but I don't know if you'd call it "good" yet and the only supported handsets seem to be the Nexus ones so you'd still be sort of supporting Google.

      (Can one put Debian Wheezy on a phone, anyone?)

  24. Daniel A

    I used to like ZDNet Downloads, until i downloaded something in a rush, forgot to unclick a "bonus offer" and had to spend hours cleaning all the crap that got installed. Shame.

  25. tracyanne

    I never have any problems with malware or adware when I install software, I always use the Software Centre (or App Store) that comes with my Linux Operating System.

    Good on the GIMP team for doing this though

  26. mittfh

    Perhaps...

    ...one day, someone could design a browser with a more sneaky form of ad blocking. Since most people are on fairly high bandwidth connections nowadays, how about a browser that doesn't display the ads, but invisibly loads the scripts in a sandbox, follows the link to the target site, then closes that connection: the result being for a small performance hit and a bit of extra bandwidth, you don't see the ads, but the ad provider still thinks you've seen and clicked on them so the host site still gets paid...

    Of course, that doesn't solve the problem of bundled software (I wonder what proportion of Windows machines running Java also have the Ask toolbar installed?) and it does nothing to persuade ad networks to vet the ad images used. Ideally, the download sites would be aware of the fake download buttons and users' annoyance with them, so would be more careful about the positioning of ads (i.e. making sure they're nowhere near genuine download buttons).

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Perhaps...

      "Since most people are on fairly high bandwidth connections nowadays"

      Only on the home/fixed broadband, but visiting many 'general public' and you'll find they tend to be on the basic packages, hence limited to circa 10GB pcm. Also whilst mobile broadband bandwidth is improving, it is still quite limited and expensive.

      As many websites either tend to not have a usable mobile site or just serve the normal website to Android/iOS devices, I've found it more important to have crud blocking add-ins on both the smartphone/tablet and on the laptop (mobile broadband).

      Mind you one of the most effective free 'add-ins' seems to be Chrome's "Click to play" setting for Plug-ins. It rather nicely blocks the auto download of flash content, so video and audio ad's no longer auto play - rather useful when you have multiple browser sessions running and you only want to hear/see stuff in one session.

  27. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Happy

    Wot? No longer able to bring out the Gimp?

    Tragedy.

  28. Brian Allan

    I totally agree. The site puts all the adverts in prominent buttons AND the actual download is barely visible and quite often impossible to find. I've totally given up on downloads from the site...

  29. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Anyone remember Tucows?

    I stopped using Tucows for downloads when one day I found the download links stopped working for me. They had re-directed all the downloads via the ad server which was already in my block list for spamming my screen with flashing GIFs.

    My choices were unblock their ad server or never use there site again. Do they still exist? Were they subsumed by CNet? It's all so long ago now.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hate the sin, the sinner too...

    But with SourceForge striving to be the "worst toilet", what's the best alternative for hosting projects (source and binaries). Preferably also free-as-in-beer :-)

  31. JamesSmith

    Well Done

    Good job, GIMP people. I used to depend upon SourceForge, too. No longer. I won't even go there. When they start allowing garbage apps, how long before they contain Malware apps?

  32. tom dial Silver badge

    I had no clue about this until momentarily disabling Adblock Plus. Amazing.

  33. paulc

    GPL?

    Surely this bundling is against the terms of the GPL...

  34. gr1nch

    Hats off to the GIMP devs

    Looks like they made a good job of it, setting up an alternative and explaining why. GIMP is important enough to be serious about their requirements and align with their user's interests more than their partner's. Pity about Sourceforge, they've really lost their way. A long time ago it used to be fun spending time on there.

  35. EPurpl3

    Omg, good job gimp, we need them more than ever, now that Adobe have become devil itself, and they do not disappoint. I think I will install Gimp also on Windows.

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