Reply To: Major Geeks latest payload.

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I’m thinking of when there’s a scroll bar and the main options are shown but you have to scroll down to see the check boxes for the add-on software. Maybe most aren’t like that. It’s admittedly been a long time since I installed one. The way you describe it sounds clear enough, but why are all these people installing this stuff? I’ve got to think that they somehow thought it was required or enhanced the main program, or was something that was useful. I still say if an installer’s default options aren’t what most people would actually want, that’s a problem.

Maybe not all the add-ons are bad such as the Chrome browser you mentioned. If someone really wanted one of those programs though, wouldn’t they choose to download it directly? Isn’t it unwanted by definition when it’s bundled? I could see an exception if the add-on somehow enhances or works with the main program.

When programs rely on these add-ons for funding, obviously some percentage of people need to install the add-ons, otherwise the funding wouldn’t exist. So anyone who thinks this is a good business model ought to support it by installing the bundled software. I just don’t see how you can support the business model while not installing the add-ons.

I wish there was a better term I could use since not all freeware is funded/distributed this way. Those that aren’t tend to be free software which is a different beast entirely. If you see terms like “open source” or “GPL” then you’re dealing with free software (not freeware). Chrome & Java are both free software.

Instead of making money per copy, free software projects rely on corporate sponsorship, donations, selling support, and often people writing software in their free time just for fun or fame. I happen to think it’s a more efficient development model. Rather than having to write a program from scratch just because you want a new feature, you can modify an existing one. That was the case with Adblock by the way. It changed hands three times before it’s current maintainer took over. Before you criticize Adblock Edge, realize that the current maintainer of Adblock Plus did the same thing, took an existing program and tweaked it. In the free software community, if there’s something you don’t like, it’s normal and expected that someone will create a fork. It’s a tradeoff. You can take an existing piece of software and make it yours, but there’s a zero tolerance policy for anti-features.