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I really hate those open source software websites. You know, those kind of sites with this really crappy design, where everything looks like it was made in the 90s, with pixelated images, clashing colors, and Comic Sans fonts. Those sites that make you wonder if they are still maintained, or if they are just relics of a bygone era of coding. Those sites that make you question the quality and security of the software they offer, and if they are worth your time and bandwidth.
Gotcha. I’m actually talking about these professional websites usually made by corporations that grew out of former open source projects and now need to gobble up data for some reason only known to them and the scammers they definitely don’t ever sell your data to.
One example that immediately springs to my mind is the Sonatype Nexus website. “Download for free” is plastered all over this disgusting waste of memory but you can’t get to the link until you’ve given out your personal information. So much for the free download. Thanks.
You can even ask their chatbot for the download link and it will refuse to help you until you’ve given it your work mail address, and if you keep refusing just quits the chat with a “helpful” link where you can “learn more about Sonatype”, “if you’re interested”.
Hell, I don’t even want to use that software anymore if it comes from the same people which built that sorry excuse of a “website” that proudly states that they’re “#1 Ranked on PeerSpot” while it refuses to actually give you that “free” software for free.
I don’t understand why they make it so hard to download their software. It’s like they don’t want us to use it at all. Every time I want to get the latest version, I have to fill out a form with my name, email, phone number, blood type, favorite color, and the name of my first pet. Okay, maybe not the last three, but you get the idea. It’s annoying and intrusive.
What are they doing with all that data anyway? Are they planning to spam me with ads and newsletters? Are they going to sell it to some shady third-party company? Are they going to use it to create a clone army of me and take over the world? Is it because they have a fetish for personal information and like to read it in their spare time?
And why do they need it for every download? Do they think I’m going to forget who I am after the first one? Do they think I’m going to change my identity every time I use their software? Do they think I’m going to share it with my friends and family and deprive them of their precious data?
It makes no sense to me. It’s not like their software is so unique and amazing that I can’t live without it. There are plenty of alternatives out there that don’t require me to give up my privacy and dignity. And it’s not like their website is so attractive and inviting that I enjoy spending time on it. It’s bland and boring and looks like it was designed by a blind monkey.
They are hurting themselves more than anyone else. They are alienating their potential customers and damaging their reputation. They are making themselves look desperate and greedy and clueless. They are wasting their time and resources on something that doesn’t benefit them or anyone else.
They should focus on improving their software instead of harassing their users. They should make it easy and convenient to download and install. They should respect their users’ privacy and preferences. They should create a website that reflects their values and vision.
They should do all these things if they want to succeed and grow. I hope they realize that soon. Because I really like their software. I just really hate downloading it, because of the website.
So please, (corporate) open source software websites, stop being so awful. Stop being so annoying. Stop being so corporate-y. Do you really want to be the next Oracle?
Instead maybe make your websites simple, elegant, and honest. Make your websites reflect the quality and integrity of your software, instead of putting it in a bad light before the potential user even had a chance to use it.
Thanks for reading ths rant.