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GIMP, Citing Ad Policies, Moves to FTP Rather Than SourceForge Downloads 336

Dangerous_Minds writes "GIMP, a free and open source alternative to image manipulation software like Photoshop, recently announced that it will no longer be distributing their program through SourceForge. Citing some of the ads as reasons, they say that the tipping point was 'the introduction of their own SourceForge Installer software, which bundles third-party offers with Free Software packages. We do not want to support this kind of behavior, and have thus decided to abandon SourceForge.' The policy changes were reported back in August by Gluster. GIMP is now distributing their software via their own FTP page instead." Note: SourceForge and Slashdot share a corporate parent.
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GIMP, Citing Ad Policies, Moves to FTP Rather Than SourceForge Downloads

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  • BT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:33PM (#45362361)

    Get a torrent up, many of us will seed for the community.

    • Re:BT (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ottothecow ( 600101 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:14PM (#45362733) Homepage
      What's funny about this, is that part of what *sucks* about sourceforge's download pages is that they are littered with the same kind of ads that bittorrent sites have (I know, I know, they can host the torrent from their own tracker, not some pirate thing)

      You get to a download page and there are ads that scream things like "DOWNLOAD NOW", "CLICK HERE TO INSTALL", etc.

      Frequent/savvy users are able to figure this out, but when you tell your parents that they can get this free photo editor, they end up with the same damn crapware on their computer as they would have had if they just went ahead and tried to pirate photoshop. The same thing is true about Paint.Net's download page...on their page, I see two giant colorful "Download" buttons that are actually ads. The actual download link is a standard text link that says "Paint.NET v3.5.11" which takes you to another page that has another giant colorful "Download" button. On that page, the real download links look like fake links...the button says "Download Now DotPDN LLC" which doesn't sound at all like what you want.

      Sourceforge isn't quite as bad...the ads aren't always there, and often they show up on the post download ad-page (the one that says "your download will start shortly" so there if you click them, you often end up with both the file you want *and* the crapware...leaving a 50/50 chance the user will get the right file.

      I get why the pirate sites have these misleading ads (and it probably helps discourage people from software piracy since they try it, get some weird downloader and ad-toolbar instead of the software they were looking for, and then give up)...but when respectable free alternatives resort to the same shady ads? wtf?

      • Re:BT (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:48PM (#45363133) Homepage
        Sourceforge has been on a download slide for a while. I tried downloading FileZilla, via Sourceforge, their primary link, and instead of just using the regular installer, it uses a special Sourceforge installer that tries to get you to install other junk you don't need on your computer. If you click around a bit on the FileZilla site, you can fine the link to the bare-bones install.

        That kind of junk you talk about with Paint.Net is exactly why I don't use it.

        I very much support GIMP in using their own FTP server. Of course, nothing stops them from hosting their own bittorent tracker though. Using bit-torrent doesn't mean the torrent files has to go through the pirate bay or other torrent sites.
        • Re:BT (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @09:29PM (#45363581)

          I very much support GIMP in using their own FTP server. Of course, nothing stops them from hosting their own bittorent tracker though. Using bit-torrent doesn't mean the torrent files has to go through the pirate bay or other torrent sites.

          They don't even need to host their own tracker. There are some industrial strength public trackers out there:

          PublicBitTorrent [publicbt.com]
          OpenBitTorrent [openbittorrent.com]
          Demonii [demonii.com]

          They don't host torrents or anything else, they just provider tracker service. The gimp project would only need to generate a torrent file with one or more of those listed as trackers and then stick the torrent file on their ftp site.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by selbie ( 643095 )
        Funny you mention Paint.Net. Two years ago, I made a very similar comment on the Paint.Net forums about misleading ads as download links. The ad in question was a link for downloading GIMP (bundled with crapware). The support forum volunteers just made fun of me and called me idiot names. Rick Brewster politely explained that he didn't want to lose money on ad revenue and needed the ads positioned very prominently. Search for (in quotes) "Ads on the website" to see the beating I took. So I have to appla
        • Re:BT (Score:4, Informative)

          by arashi no garou ( 699761 ) on Friday November 08, 2013 @07:48AM (#45366651)

          I didn't see you being made fun of, I see a newcomer to a forum expressing a valid but ultimately unaccepted point, being told (yes, a bit harshly by one person who then apologized) that that's the way the developer wants it on his website, and in the end, there were no hard feelings expressed from anyone on the site.

          If that's what you consider a beat-down, how have you survived the wild west of Slashdot??

        • Re:BT (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Dahan ( 130247 ) <khym@azeotrope.org> on Friday November 08, 2013 @08:56PM (#45374171)
          People had been complaining about misleading "download" ads on TortoiseSVN's download page for years, and the maintainer, Stefan Küng, refused to do anything about it, basically saying he develops TSVN for free, so he's entitled to as much ad money as he can get. Even reasonable suggestions such as putting a border around the ad that said "Advertisement" were rejected. I had even offered [svn.haxx.se] to donate to the project if he put a labeled border around the ads. While I don't have any problems with him getting ad revenue, I did have a problem with him relying on deception to get it. So, I suggested [svn.haxx.se] that anyone who found the ad placement misleading file a policy violation report with Google ("The site makes it difficult to distinguish ads from content."). In response, he killfiled me [svn.haxx.se] and banned me from the tortoisesvn-users list. Talk about butthurt :P. But perhaps the reports had an effect, since he did add the border as had been suggested. And I donated 150 euros to the project. And I still think Stefan Küng is an asshole (which I mentioned in my Paypal note to him :)
  • good move (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:33PM (#45362365)

    Haven't been impressed by SourceForge's recent policy of late- especially when I unclick the 'free software' offers attached to each download, yet they install anyway!

    • Re:good move (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:51PM (#45362557)

      Corporations, fucking everything for short-term profit .

    • Re:good move (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:43PM (#45363077)

      Haven't been impressed by SourceForge's recent policy of late- especially when I unclick the 'free software' offers attached to each download, yet they install anyway!

      Gee, that happens to you too? And here I was thinking that it was just Operator Error on my part.

    • Re:good move (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:05AM (#45365775) Homepage

      I can't say i've ever downloaded an "installer" from sourceforge, usually i just download actual source code...

      On the other hand i always hated how the download link goes to another page which then performs the download in the background on a timer, i have always hated pages like this and its especially bad for something like sourceforge.

      I want a link i can cut+paste into wget, i DO NOT want anything to start downloading in my browser unless i explicitly tell it to. Given the nature of sourceforge, many users of the site will be downloading something not to their local box where their browser is running but to a server of some kind. And i would much rather download a file direct to a gigabit colocated box than first download it to my workstation over DSL and then upload it back to the colo box using the pitiful upstream connection we have here.

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sean ( 422 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:33PM (#45362369)

    Sourceforge is garbage now.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sconeu ( 64226 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:00PM (#45362643) Homepage Journal

      Indeed. Good on the GIMP guys. Freaked me out the first time I got that on SF.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CitizenCain ( 1209428 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:02PM (#45362651)

      How to destroy a powerful brand in 1 easy steps! (SourceForge, not GIMP.)

      And yeah, while SourceForge has been declining for a while now, this is something entirely different from a slow decline... they may as well have taken it out back and shot it. Be quicker, and probably cheaper in the long run too.

      • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday November 07, 2013 @09:53PM (#45363861) Homepage Journal

        they may as well have taken it out back and shot it. Be quicker, and probably cheaper in the long run too.

        If they did this, they'd just catch a bunch of nerd range. This way, they hack together a cheap and craptacular installer, and then the nerds demand it be shut down. Parent company closes down a money-losing business with the users' blessing.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

      by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:07PM (#45362685)

      It's easy enough for me to click the Decline button instead of Accept (I'm one of the minority of users who reads things like that), but the installer doesn't even work that well. I was using Windows Remote Desktop to connect with a client's server, and the connection was pretty spotty. The server desktop was more like a slideshow. So instead of trying to edit code directly, I decided to upload all of their code to an FTP server, edit it locally, and then download the changes. So, I go to install Filezilla on the remote server. The entire SourceForge site is a mess. My remote desktop connection is already a slideshow and then SF is showing me Flash ads on every page, including the download pages, and when I finally punch through that mess and get the installer which I know is coming, I run the thing and it tells me I don't have an internet connection. Which is interesting, since I'm running the installer via remote desktop. Maybe it uses a port that was blocked on the network. After a few futile attempts to find a non-installer link on SF, I jumped back to my local PC and found a usable URL that I pasted into the remote desktop session to download. At least Filezilla is hosted on download.filezilla-project.org, but I'm sure there are a lot of projects hosted on SF that don't have a great alternative place to download.

      Dice completely ruined the reputation of SourceForge. Slashdot isn't completely in the shitter yet, but I feel like it's inevitable. Well, we had a good run, anyway.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:09PM (#45362699)

      "Sourceforge is garbage now."

      So is Slashdot. Neither are an unbiased, open community anymore and as such no longer serve their intended purpose. Perhaps that was the goal all along.

      Here is another bit of information that needs to be thrown in the mix.

      From the Dice Holdings Inc. Third Quarter 2013 Results posted here:


      "For the quarter ended September 30, 2013, Tech & Clearance segment revenues increased 12% year-over-year to $37.0 million, or 70% of Dice Holdings' consolidated revenues. Slashdot Media contributed $3.7 million to revenues in the third quarter of 2013, as compared to $0.8 million in the same period a year ago, while The IT Job Board® added $1.1 million to Tech & Clearance revenues in the quarter after writing down $0.4 million of acquired revenue. Third quarter revenues in our Dice.com service increased slightly compared to the prior year's third quarter, while ClearanceJobs.com posted a 5% year-over-year decline in revenues due to sequestration..."

      When growth in all other sectors remained relatively minimal, revenue from Slashdot increased roughly four-fold. How, in the last year alone, has Slashdot managed to bring in that much more revenue? Who handed over nearly 3 million dollars this last year?

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

        by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:16PM (#45362773)

        Maybe Slashdot offer a service where a company pays a fee to guarantee a story makes it to the front page.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        There was probably also a four-fold increase in ads and slashvertisements drawing ad impressions.

      • Re:Good (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:48PM (#45363125) Homepage

        Advertisers. /. runs a business model in a similar manner to Google. Put up the content for no direct charge, and sell advertising space.

        A business model I happen to like*, since I'd rather not pay a subscription fee for a website's bandwidth, hosting, etc.

        * So long as the ads remain in their predictable spaces, and are not intrusive. As soon as obnoxious, flashing, "Download HERE!!!", ads start showing up I will start using adblock.

    • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Deathlizard ( 115856 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:20PM (#45362817) Homepage Journal

      Just about all download sites are garbage anymore. The only one I find that has no Adware garbage on it is nonags.com, but it's woefully out of date.

      When I got to tell our customers "Don't Download Anything, Anywhere, Anytime" because I can't trust any download site Including the Windows 8 Store, There's an epidemic going on.

      Until AV Programs start getting a pair and flag anything that installs as bundleware malicious, this will not stop, Although you'll never see it because Big Names like Google and Microsoft Both bundle their apps with software.

  • by themushroom ( 197365 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:33PM (#45362371) Homepage

    then certainly the open source community would appreciate bundled bullshit too!

  • shovelware? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:34PM (#45362385) Journal
    I can't get enough iLivid installs! That and another Ask! toolbar! Sign me up!
  • unacceptable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:36PM (#45362419)

    This whole installer hi-jacking is unacceptable. "OpenSource" just loose serious credibility.

    • Re:unacceptable (Score:4, Informative)

      by Deathlizard ( 115856 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:34PM (#45362969) Homepage Journal

      It Gets worse.

      Just about every popular Open Source program out there is Drive by Kidnapped. Just search for any Open source program on google and bing and see what I mean.

      VLC media player, 7Zip and firefox seem to be the popular drive-by bait and switch downlaods I seen. There's even a chromium browser ripoff that impersonates google chrome, albeit with a square chrome logo instead of a round one.

  • Good! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:39PM (#45362455) Homepage

    As a fellow SourceForge user, I was also outraged when I noticed this. SourceForge used to be the go-to place if you had an Open Source project you wanted hosted. They've lacked focus for some time, making all sorts of failed changes that only bloated their surface area without bringing any actual benefit. Perhaps the screws are to them to become profitable. Slashdot's semi-recent foray into HTML5 randomness and video-ads-as-articles shows similar direction.

    They've lost a lot of their user base, are bleeding what they've still got, and potential new users are almost universally going to GitHub and the like. It's a bit depressing.

  • bring back the gopher! I might have to host a Gopher server just to put Gimp on there.
  • Lol, note. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:43PM (#45362499)

    Note: SourceForge and Slashdot share a corporate parent.

    Good to know I can blame the decline of two great sites on the same company.

  • Yeah.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tteddo ( 543485 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:46PM (#45362525) Homepage
    Just saw this today. Guess SourceForge has gone to the dark side. Sad Really.
  • Just... bravo.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:52PM (#45362567)

    ...unless you're running an iron-clad adblocker. It's like Vegas on every page and especially for downloads.

    This is why people have been migrating to GitHub and bigger projects have been consolidating into major OSS players that can afford their own servers/presence (ex: Apache, Mozilla, etc). I'm surprised so few established projects use BT as their primary distribution channel considering all you need to do is run a BT daemon on your server to seed it. In the worst case, you use the same amount of bandwidth, while in the best others reduce your load.

    All web companies that act as intermediaries eventually become the ad-infested hell-holes that they replaced as they try to turn greater and greater profits out of their properties. Tucows and most gaming news sites from the late 90s are prime examples.

    • True, Linux distributions and OpenOffice/LibreOffice appear to be the biggest users of torrent among free software projects. I can guess three reasons for this. First, not all free software projects have releases as big as those, and torrent isn't really optimized for small files. Second, people not already using a torrent client or a GNU/Linux distribution that preinstalls a torrent client would have to download both a torrent client and the project. Third, a lot of organizations block torrent but not regu
    • I'm surprised so few established projects use BT as their primary distribution channel considering all you need to do is run a BT daemon on your server to seed it

      Well, first you need to have the majority of your clients download a BT client, from a similar collection of shady sites with DOWNLOAD NOW arrows pointing everywhere. Of course you can host a copy of a small BT client on your server, but which one? The tiny one with obvious pirate search ads at the top, or the one wrapped in a similar bloatware wrapper? Will the BT installer get past the file-download-proxy-scanner at your office? Maybe.

      Then, likely, you need to have all of your corporate customers wait

  • Alternate host? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @07:55PM (#45362595) Homepage

    sf.net was the only project host which still offered release downloads. Not every project can afford a deviated download solutions for all their releases.
    Now that sf.net has been compromised, what alternative are there?

    It's quite ridiculous considering that the sf.net download mirrors are sponsored.

  • Not. Acceptable. (Score:5, Informative)

    by BaldingByMicrosoft ( 585534 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:01PM (#45362649)

    Please inform your "corporate parent" that installer hijacking is a dick move.

  • ... if you were downloading source code?

    Do they have separate installers for every conceivable operating system or something?

  • I have a project on Sourceforge and it just uses it's own installer (Nullsoft). So, I would assume that you have a choice to use the adware installer, or not if you don't want to.

    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      If its anything like some of the other spyware installers I have seen, its simply a wrapper around the user-provided installer.
      So you run their installer which does all the spyware stuff and then runs the real installer exe.

    • by MtHuurne ( 602934 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @09:25PM (#45363541) Homepage

      This post [ycombinator.com] (found in the comments of TFA) contains more details. The bundling only happens if the project owner requests it. And the user can reject installing anything other than the application they came for.

      I still think it's a bad idea though: apparently some projects did accept this (they get a cut of the revenue) and as a result users might become wary of downloading things from SourceForge. Trust is easier lost than gained. In fact, some users are so paranoid about installers that we've been releasing our Windows build of openMSX as a ZIP file in addition to an installer for several years now.

  • by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @08:28PM (#45362907)

    Am I the only one who noticed that while once upon a time, SourceForge were great, that it's declining popularity (no thanks to Google Code and Github) and falling website hits forced them to put up more, spammier, scammier ads?

    Then about a year or so ago, they went full-AOL, and the standards of the ads dropped dramatically, with misleading 'download button' ads leading to dodgy downloads; their hits must've dropped further, necessitating even more, even scammier ads.

    Looks pretty much like a tailspin to me. Too bad, because Sourceforge was one of the first and best Open Source hosting platforms at one stage.

    If I were in charge of it, I'd just take it out behind the shed and put it out of its misery.

  • That bundling of crapware really pissed me off badly. Open source things are not supposed to be doing that.

  • by augustz ( 18082 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @09:20PM (#45363465) Homepage

    I was user 341 at Sourceforge, 14 years ago.
    I always liked the SF.net idea. This is kinda sad to see happening.

    But enough crying over spilt milk.

    * Don't use Dice, don't hire folks using Dice.
    * Move your own projects off sourceforge.
    * If you need a project from sourceforge email them and ask them to avoid the download jacking by moving their project if possible
    * Support other providers who play fair.
    * If you use a website reputation tool, mark sf appropriately.

  • You should be ashamed. An installer? Unfreekin believable.

    An abomination.

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @10:23PM (#45364089) Journal

    I agree with most of what has been said.

    As nasty as that is, I'm pleasantly surprised Slashdot (Dice) ran this. Somebody has character to approve this story. I hope it doesn't get them fired for telling the truth.

  • by tota ( 139982 ) on Friday November 08, 2013 @12:15AM (#45364841) Homepage
    Sourceforge was meant to help open-source software, not hinder its use! What happened?

    I like to post detailed instructions on how to do things that include cut&pasteable commands (if anything, for my own sake), and since sourceforge removed direct download links to source files I have had to mirror them on my own servers just so that the instructions can be used. Sad. How many projects are now wasting their valuable time working around sourceforge's decisions?
  • by Tekoneiric ( 590239 ) on Friday November 08, 2013 @04:18AM (#45365843) Journal
    Source Forge used to be good but I stopped trusting the site when I got a virus from one of it's downloads. When a site becomes more about selling ads rather than the tech it's time to move to something different.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling