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Successful Software

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Jonathan Matthews
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BreezeTree Software

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Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

"This app is not commonly downloaded"

I'm seriously thinking of making my next product available via private download instead of a public link, so I can sue companies that make such a slanderous claim.  After all, (1) they won't have any actual proof of the number of downloads, and (2) they don't get to dictate what is a "common" number anyway.

And yes, providing downloads via non-public links is easy, without compromising user privacy in any way or making the download more inconvenient.  Just use your noggin.
Harry Phace Send private email
Saturday, April 13, 2013
 
 
Sorry, in a bad mood tonight.  Quotes by browsers like that piss me off.
Harry Phace Send private email
Saturday, April 13, 2013
 
 
I don't get what you mean by private download. How will that stop the warning?
Jonathan Matthews Send private email
Saturday, April 13, 2013
 
 
I'd love to hear how you are going to do that without alienating the vast majority of your potential customers. People expect to be able to download software via their browsers.  Are you thinking of torrents or ftp? How else are you going to get the software to them?

Genuinely interested to know!
Andrew Gibson Send private email
Saturday, April 13, 2013
 
 
I believe what Harry is referring to is the message users get when downloading some software using Google Chrome.

I also believe when Harry says 'private' he just means behind an HTML form; so they wouldn't be seen by web crawlers, for example.

Anyway, this is a gripe of mine too - users get this when downloading my niche security software from Google Chrome. My software is behind a form. Only one user has mentioned being put off by the message so far, but who knows how many it has put off.

Apparently if you sign up for Google Webmaster tools, *and* your download is publically available, then the message goes away - I don't know if that is the case, just something I recall reading somewhere.

Google must track download stats for different files (presumably based on a hash of each file), and if it doesn't appear often enough in their stats, *or* you have not signed up for Google Webmaster tools and have a publically available download, then users get this message :-/
Cocowalla Send private email
Saturday, April 13, 2013
 
 
FTP, torrents, private non-spidered link; the list goes on.  Even email can be offered as a download if you reward the user for allowing it; perhaps give them a free upgrade to the next version for getting it by email.

My point is, no browser should be able to dictate what is common.  It's slanderous.  I might've given 1000 copies away by email for all the browser knows, but it's telling people that it's not common and possibly dangerous?  Yep, gonna be dangerous for that company if I decide to test the law and sue.
Harry Phace Send private email
Sunday, April 14, 2013
 
 
This is a prime example of cutting off your nose to spite your face.  The days of selling software with classified ads in the Computer Shopper and mailing floppies are long gone.  If you expect users to use FTP to get your program, you should offer Kermit and ZModem as well.

This isn't just a Chrome issue, IE 9+ will generate the same warning.  Instead of SafeBrowsing, it's called SmartScreen.  Signing the executable, not using zip files, reporting your site to Google and Microsoft and patience all help make this warning go away. 

Email presents more problems for distributing software than web pages.  Users are acclimatized to online security warnings, but flagged email often doesn't get delivered.  Most users don't even type URLs in the address bar, so if the download link isn't picked up by the #1 search engine, you don't exist.
Howard Ness Send private email
Sunday, April 14, 2013
 
 
In most cases you will not get around the fact that users use the browser to download anything, even if you deliver the link using email.

Just deliver a code-signed .exe file and the warnings will go away :-)

(Signing the Setup has given me a ~30% boost in completed installs in the past, so it's well worth it).
Daniel Herken Send private email
Monday, April 15, 2013
 
 
@Daniel - was it a statistically significant increase? That's the first time I've ever heard anyone use real figures to support signing. I strongly suspect it's worth the investment for many developers, but have never had any numbers to back it up.
Jonathan Matthews Send private email
Monday, April 15, 2013
 
 
Do you have to sign the setup.exe, or just the installed app.exe, or both?
Harry Phace Send private email
Monday, April 15, 2013
 
 
I don't sign the exe for any other reason other than it gets rid of the "omg do you really trust this guy" message box. When the user gets an official-looking icon + company name as opposed to "AHHH WTF IS THIS", it probably makes a difference in their perception.
Bring back anon Send private email
Monday, April 15, 2013
 
 
I am pretty sure telling the truth is protection from slander claims.  Given the phrasing unless 50% of the internet has downloaded your software, it seems to me that it isn't too common.

This isn't a chrome issue. IE does the same thing. It is something that as a developer you need to work around. Yes it sucks to do this type of work but that is the way the game is played these days. And it is only going to get worse as security tightens up.
Foobar Send private email
Monday, April 15, 2013
 
 
"that is the way the game is played these days"

Sad, but true.  And it's why I'm in a slump right now and not doing anything.  I used to love coding, but the industry seems to have gone to the dogs now.  Back in the day I wrote (and sold) apps for the Psion 3c, Series 5mx, Amiga, and Windows.  It was all so simple so sell and write stuff with no security paranoia.

These days, I'm less motivated.  Got a hard drive with dozens of half-finished projects due to the lack of will to sign everything just to artifically mark them as "safe".  Not to mention PAY for the "privilege"!  It's bloody extortion.

Sorry for the rant.  I'm just facing the realisation that I'm over it (coding) and it's probably time to change my life.  Unless anyone has any suggestions for when lack of motivation overcomes you?  Throw me a lifeline with any tales.  :)
Harry Phace Send private email
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
 
 
Dude, that's the dumbest reason to stop coding. Signing is a 2 line addition to a batch file. Yes, it's a tax. Do you complain about taxes too? Do you stop working because you don't want to pay taxes?

You're just making excuses. That's like saying you don't want to have indiscriminate sex because it doesn't feel the same with a condom.
Bring back anon Send private email
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
 
 
I always install the software for new customers via remote desktop.
At one time I used to see this message but not anymore.
I don't know why it has gone away because I don't sign my exes and the software 'is not commonly downloaded'.
Drummer Send private email
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
 
 
It's not just signing that's put me off coding; it's the overall way things are done these days.  You have to install the app here, and write its files there, or the app is "bad".  I miss the good old days of portable apps where everything is written to the same folder as the exe.

And then virus scanners falsely mark your exe as infected, when it's not.  So you have a cat-and-mouse game of trying to fix that.

And then your website doesn't use HTML5 and Ajax so it could turn people off.

And then if you don't have a Facebook and Twitter page, you're out of touch and to be avoided.

And then if your don't have a mobile app, your product is lame.

I could go on and on... coding these days ain't what it used to be.
Harry Phace Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
@Jonahtan
Just checked the numbers. There were ~500 installs / week against 660 install / week after release of the signed setup.exe.

I've signed the setup.exe and the main executable...
Daniel Herken Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
@Daniel - Interesting, thanks for reporting back. Do you have those numbers adjusted for download count?
Jonathan Matthews Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 

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