Goodbye Sourceforge
May 30, 2015 3:34 PM   Subscribe

Sourceforge.com (link omitted due to malware) was once the home of countless open source projects. Now, declining revenue and reduced developer interest has led them to seize idle, but well known projects, and wrap their software in malware-bundling installers.

Goodbye Sourceforge provides a list of alternative sites that provide project hosting.
posted by jenkinsEar (111 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Declining revenue", you say. SourceForge never had any revenue. It used to be run (and paid for) by Red Hat, back when that still existed, and it's always been a corporate charity operation.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:42 PM on May 30, 2015


Just days earlier I said this. Ha!
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:48 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


seize idle, but well known projects, and wrap their software in malware-bundling installers.

Against project lead desires, too. Utterly sleazy.
posted by anemone of the state at 3:48 PM on May 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ten or fifteen years ago, Sourceforge was a site I visited daily, just to see what new, interesting open source software I could play with.

In recent years, if I accidentally click on a Sourceforge link, I quickly close the tab before it auto-downloads malware.
posted by Jimbob at 3:49 PM on May 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


> Red Hat, back when that still existed

Red Hat still exists. Are you trolling or do you know something that their employees don't know?
posted by ardgedee at 3:51 PM on May 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


Didn't really go to seed until Dice Holdings bought it though. The truly incredible thing is that GIMP took their downloads off Sourceforge because of this bullshit.
posted by topynate at 3:52 PM on May 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I went to Slashdot to read what open source nerds thought of this, only to find they haven't posted anything about it on the main site. Pretty suspicious, considering they are owned by the same company as Sourceforge.
posted by almostmanda at 3:53 PM on May 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


"Mirrored projects are sometimes used to deliver easy-to-decline third-party offers, and the original downloads are always available."

Easy to decline.... Hmm.. And if you accidentally accept the offers, how easy are the third-party offers to remove from your system? If the answer is "not very" (yeah, that'll pretty much be the case here), then you are a malware distributor.

Now, it's not only Sourceforge that does this... But just today I was declining a 'would you like to install a bing-bar' dialog box that Microsoft shittily inserted into some dependency of theirs (opt out, always, this shitty shit, not opt-in).

Seriously, who would ever want to install a bing-bar onto their browser? What is the use case? Does any Microsoft employee (other than those testing this shit) have this installed on their computer?

Also see Utorrent... After Bittorrent bought them, they too inserted damned-near-impossible-to-remove software installations.

The problem (in all of these cases) is that the companies involved had built up a capital of trust (snark on Microsoft as you will, and maybe it's possible to uninstall a bing-bar, I will never know), so people... Well, trusted them.

Imagine if you're grandmother had been baking wonderful cookies for as long as you can remember. Then one day she started putting nails into her cookies.

I now assume all cookies contain nails, and generally avoid cookies.
posted by el io at 3:56 PM on May 30, 2015 [21 favorites]


> It used to be run (and paid for) by Red Hat

This is also patently false. It was owned by VA until it was acquired by Dice.

Try again. You're 0 for 2.
posted by ardgedee at 3:57 PM on May 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


> Now, it's not only Sourceforge that does this... But just today I was declining a 'would you like to install a bing-bar' dialog box that Microsoft shittily inserted into some dependency of theirs (opt out, always, this shitty shit, not opt-in).

Another not-hypothetical example: Java downloads/updates, and that fucking Ask.com browser extension.
posted by ardgedee at 3:59 PM on May 30, 2015 [42 favorites]


I went to Slashdot to read what open source nerds thought of this, only to find they haven't posted anything about it on the main site. Pretty suspicious, considering they are owned by the same company as Sourceforge.

randomness: so I used to read slashdot religiously back when I was a deep Linux nerd in the 90s/early 2000s, but haven't really looked at it much in the past decade due to having been seduced away by Apple's user-friendly unix system. I'm starting to dip my toes back into the Linux side again, though, now that Apple's getting overtly sucky. However, I don't really know where the community lives anymore. What site, if any, is to 2015 as slashdot was to 2001?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:00 PM on May 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


I was confusing VA with Red Hat. My apologies.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:02 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Something having too do with GitHub I'd wager. Seems to be the current hotness.
posted by Windopaene at 4:02 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Slashdot has been entirely overrun with libertarians, even worse than ten years ago.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:03 PM on May 30, 2015 [25 favorites]


Also see Utorrent... After Bittorrent bought them, they too inserted damned-near-impossible-to-remove software installations.

Even worse, they recently were caught bundling a stealth Bitcoin miner into Utorrent.
posted by almostmanda at 4:04 PM on May 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


.
posted by gwint at 4:06 PM on May 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hang on, I need to close my browser so that I can run this Adobe Flash update which is thoughtfully bundled with an opt-out McAfee installer.
posted by delfin at 4:12 PM on May 30, 2015 [26 favorites]


Sourceforge and Snap Files is where I discovered cool new software back in the day. Sorry to see Sourceforge go down this road but we got Github now and it kicks all kinds of ass.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:13 PM on May 30, 2015


I only recently realized versiontracker had become a site to avoid because of malware.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 4:13 PM on May 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Goodbye hideous malware-fest.

Pointing regular folk at GitHub for Gimp and the like seems a bit weird though.
posted by Artw at 4:15 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Surfing the web was cool until oh, maybe 01 or 2. Then the money grubbers invaded like a horde of locusts.
posted by notreally at 4:17 PM on May 30, 2015 [39 favorites]


I was just musing about that, notreally; the web I used to be excited about doesn't really exist anymore. I thought we were at the beginning of something amazing, but it's pretty much come and gone; Metafilter is one of the few remaining pieces.
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:19 PM on May 30, 2015 [84 favorites]


Last few times I've looked at Slashdot it's all been fedora wearing libertarian garbage.
posted by Artw at 4:27 PM on May 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


Heh, I downloaded something off SF a few days ago, and found the installer fishy (one of those "you decided to not install, click continue to accept and slow your computer to a crawl because of the shit were duping you to install, or decline to not install"), and decided to skip it. Now I know why.

In what feels like a decade ago (SHUT UP I'M NOT 10 YEARS OLDER THAN I WAS IN 2005) I remember, when people asked me where they could download a program to do X, I always suggested searching SF first in search of some open-source option with recent binaries, as opposed to some top-ranked, adware-filled freeware program from C|NET or whatever was popular then because it was very likely to do the job with little risk.
This is a problem because for a lot of computing casuals, SF is Open Source, and they're tainting it by lowering to the same level as dodgy torrents in terms of risk.
posted by lmfsilva at 4:28 PM on May 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Now, it's not only Sourceforge that does this...

And to be fair, that's why they have to do it (or how they rationalize it--take your pick). Independent software publishers have been wrapped their shit with more shit for decades, well 10-15 years (anyone remember GATOR ... 180Solutions? ... or the best (and maybe first): BonziBUDDY).

Software publishers have been making mint on SF for years; SF has to take a cut and/or stop hosting their software, which then literally decimates the catalog, etc.

SF is Open Source

and that's the real rub. they are also rationalizing these wrappers/installers/garbage by claiming that they adhere to the GPL or whatever open-source license products like GIMP have.

I only recently realized versiontracker had become a site to avoid because of malware.

I LOLed.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:33 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, I downloaded MakeMKV off SourceForge recently, noted the installers, skipped the offers, had no problems.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:33 PM on May 30, 2015


What site, if any, is to 2015 as slashdot was to 2001?

news.yc is a decent start i guess
posted by LogicalDash at 4:34 PM on May 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


lwn.net is a moderated Linux forum with discussions involving people who generally know what they are talking about. As someone with a 3 digit slashdot user id (that I haven't used in well over a decade) I can vouch for it being far better than slashdot ever was or ever dreamed of being. Here's a sample of their paid content dealing with the subject of this posting.
posted by Poldo at 4:41 PM on May 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I only recently realized versiontracker had become a site to avoid because of malware.

I LOLed.


Thank you, thank you. Tip your waiters. I thought notreally was making the same kind of joke.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 4:47 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


For linux-related news and discussion, I've found Phoronix.com to be pretty good.

Nthing others' sadness at the descent of Slashdot and Sourceforge into irrelevance since their heydey in the late 90s/early noughties.
posted by Lesser Spotted Potoroo at 4:49 PM on May 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Seeing three different sites mentioned already as the next slashdot leads me to believe there isn't one.

Neither is there a replacement for sourceforge. The industry has grown up, methinks, to the point where there will likely never again be one central gathering place for its insiders and one for its offerings. But thanks for what you did to get it there, /. and sf!
posted by MoTLD at 5:17 PM on May 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Heh, I downloaded something off SF a few days ago, and found the installer fishy (one of those "you decided to not install, click continue to accept and slow your computer to a crawl because of the shit were duping you to install, or decline to not install"), and decided to skip it. Now I know why."

Yeah, at my old gig, I had a couple days where the cPanel was down just as I was having to teach the intern about backups and making changes to code, so I had to both explain FTP and get him one he could use. I tried to get Filezilla off Sourceforge and it was such a shitty experience I thought I had accidentally confused it with Cnet (which also, once upon a time, was not horrible and shitty).
posted by klangklangston at 5:21 PM on May 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Are you trolling or do you know something that their employees don't know?

Have you considered that he may be simply wrong? Holding a false belief? That's pretty common. Not everything is a "troll" (not even a "concern troll").
posted by thelonius at 5:40 PM on May 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Under the news for nerds type sites, but without any community behind it, I recommend popurls.com, it aggregates from a lot of sites (including MetaFilter, Slashdot, Hacker News and Pinboard plus a bunch of Gawker junk) and the mouseover summaries make it possible to save many a click. Worth logging in so that you can customize the layout. Too bad you can't completely remove some content feeds, I just shuffle the junk to the bottom of the page.
posted by furtive at 6:03 PM on May 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I had noticed not a few posts to Metafilter coming from LongForm that's on my popurls.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 6:08 PM on May 30, 2015


Seeing three different sites mentioned already as the next slashdot leads me to believe there isn't one.

Leads me to believe there are more and better options now, and became convinced this is so after visiting them.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:09 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Slashdot was but a temporary rest stop on the long migration route from Usenet to Reddit.

x-post: alt.net.conspiracy.unix.gnu and /r/metametafilter
posted by i_have_a_computer at 6:21 PM on May 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


LISTEN! You can change a setting in the Java control panel and never see the Ask toolbar install ever again!
posted by leotrotsky at 6:21 PM on May 30, 2015 [25 favorites]


I hear the cool kids are all hanging out at lobste.rs
posted by gwint at 6:28 PM on May 30, 2015


Yeah, I found out the bitter truth just a couple of weeks ago. Bastards. (So what's a good replacement for FileZilla?)
posted by maudlin at 6:35 PM on May 30, 2015


I didn't use Windows for a REALLY LONG TIME and forgot which websites were terrible and accidentally installed a bunch of malware using cnet because I vaguely remembered it not being terrible in, like, the 90s

i appreciate all the links to sites that are not awful because i need them
posted by NoraReed at 6:38 PM on May 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


is ninite.com still good?
posted by Iax at 6:50 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


So, is it like YTD Video Downloader where you can dodge the crap my being smart with buttons and tick-boxes during installation, or are they fucked?

Someone should write a prgram that extracts the actual programs from the installers.
posted by BiggerJ at 6:52 PM on May 30, 2015


If you want something approaching the Slashdot of six-eight years ago (i.e. past its heyday) with a much smaller user base then there's always Soylent News which owes its existence to a bunch of Slashdot users deciding the latest comment-unfriendly redesign was a step too far. Me, I thought Slashdot was done the day I did an HTTP GET and no Futurama quote came back in the headers.

More on topic, the diminishing of SourceForge is a massive shame. Like others have observed, it used to be my first port of call. I found all sorts of useful stuff on there down the years and in many ways the site was my in to what open source was about, even though I was simply grabbing precompiled binaries most of the time.
posted by comealongpole at 7:12 PM on May 30, 2015


is ninite.com still good?

Ninite is still 100% legit. Highly recommended.
posted by neckro23 at 7:14 PM on May 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


neckro23: "is ninite.com still good?

Ninite is still 100% legit. Highly recommended.
"

100% legit?

Only?

Ninite is one of my bestest buddies with all the installs and reinstalls I do for neighbours. Gets me the right wares for the platform, and is idiot easy. So, as I said above, only 100% legit? If I could nominate them for beatification to put them on the road for canonization, I would.
posted by Samizdata at 7:30 PM on May 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


It's definitely sad, count me as one who used SF often 10+ years ago. Package management played a big part in its demise as well, since I no longer needed to browse its pages for software.

Also, thanks for all the post /. era sites. Its expanding my reading beyond HN and MF.
posted by herda05 at 7:42 PM on May 30, 2015


I guess I never cared about SourceForge as a discovery tool, but it sounds like some folks here used it that way. For me, that was Freshmeat (Freecode, now, I guess). SourceForge was where projects and their downloads were hosted, but I always ended up on it from something else pointing to it ... never to go discover stuff.

Somewhat related: My one and only face-to-face meeting with ESR was at a LinuxWorld around the time everyone was completely verklempt over the state of version control for the Linux kernel project, which had not yet adopted BitKeeper (so git wasn't even a gleam in Linus' eye).

I was the editor of one of the larger Linux news sites at the time, and I ran into ESR out on the edge of the show floor. He was on the VA Linux (or VA Software ... I forget what it was called by then, but it owned SourceForge) board of directors. He started pitching me on what an awesome editor's note it would make if I'd lend my voice to the call for Linus to adopt a robust, enterprise-ready source management/versioning solution like, oh ... there are all sorts of choices but maybe SourceForge would rank up there, right?

It was kind of icky, and I think he thought he was being sort of subtle and kingpin-esque. Rather than going back to my room and hacking out 1,000 words on why Linus needed to talk to SourceForge right away, I got on with the serious business of harvesting swag.

That encounter may be why I found SourceForge a hair bit seedy long before it came to this.

Hm. In the darkest timeline, maybe I did write that editor's note, just as ESR suggested, and there's no git because Linus never needed it thanks to CVS-via-SourceForge working great for him.

Or maybe this is the darkest timeline.

That's a function of what you think of git.
posted by mph at 7:54 PM on May 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


100% legit? Only?

Sorry, I typo'd "1000%".
posted by neckro23 at 8:14 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Even worse, they recently were caught bundling a stealth Bitcoin miner into Utorrent.

Ugh. So is there a recommended, non-crappy alternative to μTorrent?
posted by straight at 8:19 PM on May 30, 2015


I went over to Wikipedia to find out whatever happened to VA Linux. As mentioned above, they ended up selling Slashdot, Sourceforge, and Freshmeat/Freecode to Dice Holdings (the company that does that jobs site that's not Monster or Linkedin or Craigslist) in 2012, so I expected the Wikipedia article to start with something like "VA Linux (or whatever they're called now) was a company...". Not so. They still exist as the parent company for Thinkgeek, the online geek tchotchke store. Which, this week, was the subject of a bidding war between Hot Topic and an unnamed mystery third party.

So, there's that.
posted by mhum at 8:27 PM on May 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Good grief, I was calling it 'SourceForget' a dozen years ago, so I'm fairly surprised it's still staggering along. Google Code was the hotness for a minute, before GitHub ate the world.
posted by jimw at 8:29 PM on May 30, 2015


leotrotsky: Don't worry, Sun will change the Java control panel, or the install, soon enough, and find a way to sneak that crap onto your system. They're like Facebook in that way - always adding a new setting or a new prompt, something that will "innocently" make an end run around your careful blocking of whatever they want to force you into.
posted by elizilla at 8:50 PM on May 30, 2015


Ugh. So is there a recommended, non-crappy alternative to μTorrent?

I've been quite happy with qBittorrent after using uTorrent for years.
posted by Harpocrates at 8:58 PM on May 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


Surfing the web was cool until oh, maybe 01 or 2. Then the money grubbers invaded like a horde of locusts.

Yeah I had about the same thought. In 1995. Plus ça change.
posted by scalefree at 9:07 PM on May 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


LogicalDash: news.yc is a decent start i guess

Yeah, I might spend too much time reading Hacker News, but it can be too much sometimes; perhaps the threading annoys me. A recent thread on how Facebook Messenger sends your exact location spawned pages of discussion about precisely how terrible it is to say you're five minutes away from meeting up when you're further away.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:13 PM on May 30, 2015


So is there a recommended, non-crappy alternative to μTorrent?

On preview, seconding qBittorrent. It's stable, actively developed and yet low on feature creep. They distribute binaries on FossHub, which apparently forbids bundled installers. All I know is I ❤ my package manager.
posted by Lorin at 9:24 PM on May 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


However, I don't really know where the community lives anymore. What site, if any, is to 2015 as slashdot was to 2001?

Comedy kuro5hin answer.
(+5, Funny)
posted by entropicamericana at 9:26 PM on May 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


There's an update to the SF blog post: "Since yesterday, SourceForge Gimp-Win mirror downloads only the original software without any offers. We also invite the Gimp-Win developer to take back control of the project if that is his desire, while respectfully asking that he maintain any project updates or allow us to do so."

To paraphrase: "Oh, this has gotten some wtf?! publicity. We'll fix it this one time. Stick with us, and we'll give you the choice of adware bundles. If you don't, we'll do adware bundles anyway."

It's technically a response, in a remarkably missing-the-point, tone-deaf way.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:37 PM on May 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


straight: "Even worse, they recently were caught bundling a stealth Bitcoin miner into Utorrent.

Ugh. So is there a recommended, non-crappy alternative to μTorrent?
"

In my opinion, Tixati. Clean, multiplatform, lean, and it works for me. Even designed with trackerless/DHT support as the primary way of working.
posted by Samizdata at 9:46 PM on May 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Why is it that μTorrent seems 99% identical to the official Bittorrent client?
posted by oceanjesse at 10:37 PM on May 30, 2015


Why is it that μTorrent seems 99% identical to the official Bittorrent client?

Because BitTorrent, Inc. owns μTorrent.
posted by Fongotskilernie at 10:57 PM on May 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


The people who thought it was ruined in '95 were correct. The people who thought it was ruined in '02 or '03 were just too young at the time to realize that it had been already ruined back in the '90s.

I swear if I had a time machine removing this from the timeline would be the first thing I'd do, well, after sorting out the whole Hitler thing I guess.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:07 PM on May 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Doesn't sourceforge still do the "Your download should begin in a few seconds. If it doesn't begin automatically, click here" bullshit? Can anyone explain to me how that's even a thing since about 2003?
posted by 7segment at 11:47 PM on May 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


You can download many programs directly from their own site, e.g., gimp.org, filezilla-project.org, etc.
posted by CCBC at 12:03 AM on May 31, 2015


Github will never go down a similar path, being a for-profit VC-funded company.
posted by benzenedream at 12:11 AM on May 31, 2015 [12 favorites]


"I've been quite happy with qBittorrent after using uTorrent for years."

Yeah, I just switched last week and I'm happy with it. I'd been using μTorrent for so long and so frequently that a switch to anything was a bother, but I finally became fed-up with their BS and although I'm not dancing in ecstasy or anything about qBittorrent, I'm pretty happy with it. (I'd forgotten about Tixati, which I recall using at some point in the past.)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:32 AM on May 31, 2015


Doesn't sourceforge still do the "Your download should begin in a few seconds. If it doesn't begin automatically, click here" bullshit? Can anyone explain to me how that's even a thing since about 2003?

This type of download page (as seen on CNet, etc) is typically doing some sort of load-balancing in real-time and collecting analytics (including how long it takes you to give up on waiting before clicking a direct link) so unless you click the final link, you're relying on JavaScript and a bunch of behind-the-scenes stuff going on, rather than a direct "give me the file from *this* server request." This is typically good faith stuff (wanting to save money on bandwidth and get you to the fastest mirror / CDN without making you pick from a list yourself) and can be obnoxious at the same time, and can either take too damn long sometimes, or fail for at least a couple of reasons:

1) Some web browsers or configurations are hostile towards downloads that are "pushed" to the client through scripting or redirecting from a page that was created dynamically (vs. you performing a final click or "Save Target" as on a specific EXE or ZIP file or whatever) and may block them like a pop-up, or present the user with confusing prompts that make it difficult to obtain the file. IE7 / IE8 had these horrid " DID YOU MEAN TO DOWNLOAD A *FILE*!?!" prompts that required several clicks and a Refresh to get through at one point...

2) Some corporate firewalls or proxy servers can be hostile towards the same approach, acting as if a "drive by" download is being pushed and interjecting with a "YOU CAN'T DOWNLOAD AN EXECUTABLE BRO!" page, but having no trouble with the end user directly downloading an EXE through that direct hyperlink, or in some cases (a combination of #1 and #2 going on) you must right-click and "Save Target As" or you will never get the damn file, and you're thinking "why are you letting me get the file at all if you're so worried about executables" and it kind of feels like it's just a barrier to entry, like if you're smart enough to figure it out you're probably not installing anything stupid, and if you're evil, you're already inside the house anyway.
posted by aydeejones at 1:03 AM on May 31, 2015 [9 favorites]


Easy to decline.... Hmm.. And if you accidentally accept the offers, how easy are the third-party offers to remove from your system? If the answer is "not very" (yeah, that'll pretty much be the case here), then you are a malware distributor.

Not sourceforge, but a similar site that's gone to shit like this(and no one told me) caused me to actually have to format. After i killed the totally normal seeming installer once i noticed malware popping up, it spiraled out of control and was spawning random crap and trojans faster than i could kill it and malwarebytes showed like 95 infections. This was the same day i was setting up a new system, so, nuke. I was actually really mad since i had just finally gotten a system that could properly play games again for the first time in years(290x! 12gb of ram!) and had to spend over and hour completely setting everything up again before i could actually use the damn thing just because some wankers wanted to make 75 cents on clickthrough for a malware install.


I'm also sad about utorrent. qBitorrent bugs me for some reason. I can just never get it quite right, and features like "don't sleep until transfers are done" never seem to work correctly. The interface just feels... clunky somehow. I also tried deluge, and the interface is a gigantic lagfest. Now i'm using halite, but it's so minimal that it lacks features i'd actually use... like the "prevent sleep until done" stuff.

Why did utorrent have to become adware garbage? It's like the old limewire days all over again. I used it for years dammit.

For what it's worth, and i realize this is a Controversial Opinion, i also feel like firefox has become shitware. It's slow, bloated, clunky, and is only not a ram hog compared to chrome. I miss old firefox, just like i miss old chrome. Firefox was so good in the 0.8-7 or something days. I remember installing it and feeling like i had upgraded my CPU and bought another half gig of ram(which of course, was back when 512mb of ram was the equivalent of having 4gb now). And now safari, which could be summed up with "lol" for quite a long time, is faster and more efficient than either of them. IE 11 is also very smooth, fast, and light on resources. Did i really ever think i'd be saying that? hell no.

I will admit that deluge is stupidly stable though. I had it running with a completely ridiculous amount of uptime on my imac before i sold it. Something like, 150 days between reboots or more without any issues ever. Other clients i've used would always end up freezing up or getting weird and stop actually passing traffic. Grr...

So is there a recommended, non-crappy alternative to μTorrent?

This guide lays it out pretty well, if you ignore that it's full of meme language and swear words. It's written by people who know what they're talking about, and covers the current landscape properly.
posted by emptythought at 1:08 AM on May 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


Slashdot has been entirely overrun with libertarians, even worse than ten years ago.

Reddit just got better at being terrible faster than slashdot got terrible. It's like comparing shitty tasting soda from when you were a kid to modern awful tasting sugar free soda with stevia or whatever. The old stuff seems not that bad, but it was always crap, and has probably been reformulated to be even worse than it was then.
posted by emptythought at 1:11 AM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also working in healthcare IT with a variety of creaky and modern tech often involved it's interesting how often I find myself downloading something and Chrome goes "Dude, this file. What is it? Where did you get this? Nobody downloads this file! WTF?" Invariably it's something I very much need to perform some specific function to make something work, and is just so obscure that Chrome is Concerned, and there are tons of these utilities and one-off tools you need over the years and must keep forever, because they get gobbled up or absorbed into other projects or suddenly become very expensive. I'm sure IT folks in every other practical discipline experience the same thing and SourceForge always was somewhat of a resource for those sorts of things, but typically only as a Google search result rather than something I would explore intentionally.
posted by aydeejones at 1:12 AM on May 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


Surfing the web was cool until oh, maybe 01 or 2. Then the money grubbers invaded like a horde of locusts.

Wut. I distinctly remember hordes of ads, buttware, and general annoyance of a very similar variety even in 97-99 or so which is really what i'd still consider early commodification of the internet. Like, my grandma was just getting a computer then, but this kind of garbage already had legs.

Sure it was mostly popups and animated gif banner ads shaking, but there was still trojans and malware and sneaky trojans and malware. It was just that download.com was still a real legitimate site, and other sites were pulling this same crap.

The names change, the game stays the same.
posted by emptythought at 1:16 AM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I actually did find GreenShot (non-SourceForge-link) through SourceForge though, now that I remember. As in, I was looking for an open-source screen capture tool and actually searched SourceForge for it (pre Win-7, but still use it almost daily) because most of the good tools were in the $20-30 closed-source realm and I wanted something I could freely install everywhere.
posted by aydeejones at 1:17 AM on May 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


You can download many programs directly from their own site, e.g., gimp.org, filezilla-project.org, etc.
Not always, in some cases the main site will just link to files back on Sourceforge, for example FileZilla has an 8 page discussion on their forum with people complaining about the malware and the admins still refuse to believe that is a problem!

So what's a good replacement for FileZilla
Cyberduck
posted by Lanark at 1:32 AM on May 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I like winscp

emptythought, I had a sneaking suspicion I should give IE 11 a spin and installed it the other day at home only to promptly forget about it. I suppose it is time.

Chrome seems to have become a CPU hog as of late...I gave up on Firefox twice now and never came back after the second time. I still fondly remember browsing MetaFilter on Firefox 2.0 or something over GPRS EDGE cellular data (as fast as 2 x 56K modems if you were lucky) on a Sony Ericcson candybar phone while waiting for a week or two to get broadband installed years ago and it was amazingly speedy compared to IE.

For a long time there CNet / Download.com was super-legit (and SourceForge would be the utopian gold standard, never would imagine it being tainted with Adware) and was my go-to resource for spyware removal tools and such. Any time you downloaded Ad-Aware or Spybot or whatever (2003!) it was a fresh package with the latest up-to-the-hour definitions. I was so taken aback by the sudden switch to using a "online downloader" complete with Adware so much so that I complained on their facebook page in such a way that it seemed I thought they surely must've just made a mistake and need some feedback from the users...little did I know, in the immortal words of blue_beetle, "if something is free you are not the customer, you are the sawbuck peeing gold. Sheeple!"
posted by aydeejones at 1:39 AM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


not an exact quote
posted by aydeejones at 1:40 AM on May 31, 2015



"Mirrored projects help enable end users to stay current with the latest releases, particularly where SourceForge continues to house historical releases for community benefit," the unidentified spokesperson wrote. "Mirrored projects are sometimes used to deliver easy-to-decline third-party offers, and the original downloads are always available."

Wow. The SourceForge publicity is so utterly disingenuous I can only imagine that it's personally scripted by Harry Frankfurt.
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:49 AM on May 31, 2015


Yikes. Like NoraReed, I hadn't used Windows for decades. Then got a laptop for my new job and had to learn all sorts of new habits. (Office PCs at jobs I've had have all been very well locked-down by admins, as well as having nicely-secure networks behind them.) Thanks for the Ninite rec, good stuff there. Had no idea sourceforge had gone south so badly.

As for web nostalgia, yeah, we humans have a tendency to idealize the past. As soon as I learned how cheap a domain name was, and this was in the early 90s, I told my parents they should get one for their business email (they were freelancers). They did. Also, AOL. How easily we forget.

There never was an ideal web. There were and still are plenty of idealists on the web, just like in real life. Those of us who have idealist views of the web's potential still use it that way. I for one remember avoiding MeFi in the day because it was so boyzone. It's gotten better. A lot of places have. That others have gotten worse, well, we can see in-thread why: their ideals were not valued, but abandoned. It's good to learn from those things, see patterns, and if you don't like something... be the change you want to see in the world. Domain names are still cheap. People still read blogs. I've got an ancient one by web standards that barely even has comments, because I still have an audience like that. Hauls in a few thousand unique visitors a month still, even though I haven't updated in a while (day job). No ad revenue, only book sales and translation gigs, because that's my idealism for ya. Anyone can do the same. I love the web now for how many more creatives are online, thanks to easier accessibility. You can find things you could mostly only imagine apart from a few very rare people online in the past. Knitters, crocheters, sewists, painters, musicians...

We'll be fine so long as we remember we too have power as individuals. Look! Ninite.
posted by fraula at 2:50 AM on May 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


This is a real pain; I have several old projects still hosted on Sourceforge and now I really need to see about moving them somewhere else. Unfortunately all of the alternatives I've found want me to use some kind of complex integrated version control system to manage my code, when all I need is a simple web interface that lets me upload files and put them in folders for other people to download. Sourceforge was great for that.

Anyone know of any other sites that work this way?
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:16 AM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lanark: That FileZilla Forum link is from 2014. The URL I gave goes directly to a download from FileZilla. I'm sure there are exceptions, but most open source programs that I know about can be downloaded directly from the developer.
posted by CCBC at 3:29 AM on May 31, 2015


Lanark: I am sorry. I just tested the link and, yes, it does go to SourceForge. My bad. And FileZilla's.
posted by CCBC at 3:39 AM on May 31, 2015


Re: torrent clients: I've been super happy with Transmission for about a decade now. Simple, configurable, and (as the name would suggest) fast.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:53 AM on May 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'd had good luck with FileHippo but found out maybe past two years they had all kinds of wrappers and little gotcha boxes that if you don't check off you'd get all kinds of shitware on your puter. I won't go there anymore. Too bad, it was good while it lasted.

ninight.com is about the only place I trust nowadays. I read about it on a tech blog I pretty much have fallen in love with in the past six months -- ghacks.net. The guy covers a LOT of ground, and while I am not super-tech guy I can catch some of what he's talking about. A cool site. Anyways, ninight doesn't have *every* bit of software that I might use but they come very, very close, and it's safe.

Firefox maybe is slow (?) -- it doesn't seem so to me but I've got tons of ram and I've not buried it with add-ons. Firefox is and will be my go-to browser for the foreseeable future. While I have not buried it in add-ons I damn sure do love the astounding amount of add-ons that are available. They have pulled just a few skeezy tricks -- yahoo as my search engine -- wtf? It's worse than google. I mostly try to use https://ixquick.com/ though facts must be faced, and google does often get better returns on lots of searches.

I do *not* trust our little "don't be evil" friends at google, I'm cutting away from them as much as I can, I've anonymized myself from them in many ways and more to come. I have an android phone and tablet, it is not possible for me to cut the g-cord completely but I don't give them more than I have to. I'm actually of a mind to go to a WIN 8.1 tablet, as I know the OS so well, and can keep myself pretty damn anonymous on it. Windows phones are, sadly, nowhere near ready for prime-time, and maybe never will be.

I like Opera. They seem to have lost their way but they're on the road back. I still hesitate to use MS IE -- I have a long memory, I remember how they buried Netscape just because they could. They have in recent years been humbled and humiliated, always a good thing for an outfit like them, who knows, maybe if IE has anything going for it I'll use it, though I just can't see it having near the add-ons that even Opera has, much less Firefox.
posted by dancestoblue at 4:07 AM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


This can speed up Firefox load times considerably, though dependent upon what adblock / ghostery / etc you're using you might already have the benefits of it.
posted by dancestoblue at 4:27 AM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


elizilla: "leotrotsky: Don't worry, Sun will change the Java control panel, or the install, soon enough, and find a way to sneak that crap onto your system. They're like Facebook in that way - always adding a new setting or a new prompt, something that will "innocently" make an end run around your careful blocking of whatever they want to force you into."

Sun's been gone (set?) for five years and I think that it was when Oracle bought them that the spam-ware started showing up on Java downloads.
posted by octothorpe at 4:31 AM on May 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Homebrew - the OS X package manager that says it's totes okay to leave /usr/local/bin world-writeable and in your path - claims to have moved away from Sourceforge a few months ago, but it's still blocking with my work firewall. Hmm.
posted by scruss at 4:32 AM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Homebrew - the OS X package manager that says it's totes okay to leave /usr/local/bin world-writeable and in your path - claims to have moved away from Sourceforge a few months ago, but it's still blocking with my work firewall. Hmm.

Homebrew's hosted on Github. Homebrew formulae install from wherever they're hosted, unless you mean they started rejected formulae using Sourceforge.
posted by hoyland at 5:51 AM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


We came close to SourceForge being acquired by Hot Topic along with ThinkGeek. For a long time SourceForge, ThinkGeek, Slashdot, Freshmeat, and NewsForge were all rolled up in to Geeknet, itself born out of the ashes of VA Linux. And last week goth mall fashion business bought Geeknet. But SourceForge had been spun out in 2012 and bought by the awful people at Dice.

I presume it's Dice who decided it would be OK and ethical to add advertising malware to free software. SourceForge has been bad for years now; its decline was a big part of why Google created Google Code in the first place. Now anyone doing real work is on GitHub with the occasional BitBucket hipster.
posted by Nelson at 6:39 AM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


This type of download page (as seen on CNet, etc) is typically doing some sort of load-balancing in real-time and collecting analytics (including how long it takes you to give up on waiting before clicking a direct link) [...] This is typically good faith stuff (wanting to save money on bandwidth and get you to the fastest mirror / CDN without making you pick from a list yourself)

That's not how developers with any clue at all do load balancing, and 95% of the time (at least on the sites I've seen) it's clearly in bad faith: Forcing me to look at ads for 10 seconds during a countdown, and hoping I'll click a very misleading link that looks like the download link but is actually an ad.
posted by jjwiseman at 8:05 AM on May 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


A Thousand Baited Hooks: "This is a real pain; I have several old projects still hosted on Sourceforge and now I really need to see about moving them somewhere else. Unfortunately all of the alternatives I've found want me to use some kind of complex integrated version control system to manage my code, when all I need is a simple web interface that lets me upload files and put them in folders for other people to download. Sourceforge was great for that.

Anyone know of any other sites that work this way?
"


You should try git and github. You'll absolutely love them.*

(* - There's a 50% chance you will hate git and/or github)

Click here to opt out of further communications†

(† - please allow 6-8 weeks to process request‡)

(‡ - not reponsible for lost requests)

posted by double block and bleed at 9:39 AM on May 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


I installed FileZilla years ago and just update it when it wants. Does anyone know it the updates are infested?
posted by BentFranklin at 10:22 AM on May 31, 2015


Homebrew - the OS X package manager that says it's totes okay to leave /usr/local/bin world-writeable and in your path

Wait, what? I'm using Homebrew and my /usr/local/bin permissions are set to 775 (and it's owned by root and the group is set to admin). And this StackOverflow thread says leaving /usr/local/bin at 777 will give you an error from Homebrew.
posted by asterix at 11:01 AM on May 31, 2015


I'm done with CNET. The other day I found that a number of old music files were WMA instead of WAV, I started looking for an easy fix for it and CNET had a recommended converter that has supposedly goof. Within thirty seconds of opening the exe my Webroot protection started screaming bloody murder/malware and offered to kill the file with fire. Yep, I'm done with CNET.

For those experiencing a slowdown with Chrome, this entry from Lifehacker might help. I tried downloading Safari after some frustration with Chrome on a Windows 8 laptop. Safari on Windows 8 is about as big of a clusterfuck on Windows 8.1 as iTunes and that's saying something. I stripped a lot of extensions and addons off Chrome and Firefox. They behave so much better now.
posted by Ber at 12:56 PM on May 31, 2015


Goof/good. I guess that was the perfect spelling error of the week.
posted by Ber at 1:16 PM on May 31, 2015


Ber, Apple discontinued Safari for Windows; the last release was in 2012. If you need another browser, perhaps try Opera.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:22 PM on May 31, 2015


Thanks. I was told by a friend (cough - Apple zealot - cough) that Safari would be my be-all and end-all. I never learn. I'll give Opera a shot.
posted by Ber at 1:47 PM on May 31, 2015


Back in here just to say that there never were any good old days. There were days, same as we have today. Always the net had some garbage and some bad neighborhoods, always the net has been an explosion of beauty and creativity, and experiences of real live human beings.

I just *love* the professional fisherman who saw a swordfish in the water off an island in Hawaii, he wanted it, jumped into the water with a spear gun and sent that speak into that fish and then -- Whoops! The guys body came floating up; the swordfish had run him through, killed him. I'm not going to go so far as to say that I'm glad it happened, just that since it *did* happen, I'm awfully glad I got to read about it, and consider the guys plight, and the fishes plight. I'm sure they both found it interesting.

I am heartbroken about the decision officials in Paris have made to cut off all of those locks on those bridges. I believe in love, though I've not done real well at it, I do know it's beauty and depth and greatness. I have time, I want to set up a ... something, whatever it is that is used to raise money online for cool things -- I want those locks removed by being opened, one after the next (I mean, this isn't rocket science, a guy could learn how to open most all of them within a day) and placed onto A Wall of Love in some beautiful park in Paris, and god knows Paris is *packed* with beautiful parks. Put in a three foot deep by four foot wide foundation, and then a 12" thick concrete wall that has fencing woven into it. Wouldn't that just be the best? I would *not* want it shaped like some horses ass valentines day heart, there are scads of brilliant people who could/would come up with a gorgeous wall, maybe seven foot tall.

I dunno. Just so much world that opens to us here, open a browser and see beauty and pain and joy and sorrow, all of it coming my way because some brilliant people put the whole damn thing together. Imagine -- I can buy a Dell laptop, brand new, in the box, for right at two hundred bucks! Can you believe that shit? Unreal. Sure, you know and I know that it's a garbage can, got a sleazebag WINTEL celeron and needs more RAM but it's 64 bit WIN8.1 machine, it'd do most anything any of us would ever want or need to do.

Sure, I can read about Limbaugh and get all frowny, but I can also read about some spectacular mountaineers, not to mention these completely insane people who jump off the top of mountains and while yes, some of them do smack into a wall and croak, a lot more of them don't. If I ever meet one of those people I'll buy them a hat.

Anyways. These are the good old days. So was yesterday. So is tomorrow.
posted by dancestoblue at 1:51 PM on May 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


Most devs I know stopped using sourceforge somewhere around 2006. Google pulled the plug on google code January. There was a brief moment where berlioz.de (also now defunct) looked like the next thing.

Personally, I always found it incongruous that open source software projects would host their stuff on centralized, proprietary, corporate-controlled platforms. It is especially odd that GitHub, which is not at all free-libre-open-source has become the premier host for FLOSS projects but somehow questioning this is like questioning gospel.

Anyway, hippie internet independence types that I know are into gitlab these days which is fully free-software that you can run on your own server, or you can host your repos with them, knowing that you can always go indie. It's not quite as fancy or popular as github but it's evolving quickly and has that refreshing smell of freedom.
posted by mr.ersatz at 3:08 PM on May 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm glad someone's mentioned download.com, which used to be something I was happy to recommend (alongside SourceForge, /., etc). I know from friends in CNet that download.com jumping the shark overnight came as a big surprise to people on the inside too. Imagine you're someone writing about consumer-level security for a large, high-profile tech site, and you've spent some time trying to educate users and slap down companies over adware, intrusive loaders, deceptive promises, and so on, not to say providing how-to articles and reader help responses on undoing the damage that gets done. Suddenly, you're doing it too!

Running sites like that is expensive, and hard to make money from. I get that. There's a lot of it about. Perhaps sites like that aren't the best way to do that job. Perhaps you can squeeze some cash out of things by wrapperware and shonky tricks. But perhaps, if you're mainly a publisher who rather depends on not shafting users, you quietly flog the site off, cash the cheque and walk away.

Why Oracle does it... I guess it's that it long since learned how to get its users into positions where they get shafted and like it. It's not as if the cash from the ask.com deal can be very great... or is it?
posted by Devonian at 7:29 PM on May 31, 2015


Basically the only reason an end user would want Java on their machine is that they are absolutely forced to by some terrible peice of "enterprise" software, and since they've already got to somehow get hold of IE8 and an old version of flash to make the thing work adding a further peice of crap is not that great a leap.
posted by Artw at 7:42 PM on May 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Basically the only reason an end user would want Java on their machine

Is Minecraft.
posted by Nelson at 6:48 AM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not needed as a seperate install anymore, IIRC.
posted by Artw at 6:56 AM on June 1, 2015


Yeah, I played a little Minecraft recently and it's just a standalone executable now (though it still puts the jar file where it always did).
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:06 AM on June 1, 2015


It did used to be the big exception to the enterprise-crapqare-you-use-only-at-gunpoint rule though.
posted by Artw at 9:09 AM on June 1, 2015


It's only tangentally related, but this seems to be as good a place as any to ask a question I didn't want to burden AxMe with. I've been very used to the comfortable *nix / FOSS world where it's fairly easy to find a quality solution to any computing problem (if it exists). Even though the glory days of Freshmeat and SourceForge being awesome are gone, it's still not too hard.

However, several times recently I've found myself looking for random Windows software, and, well, I'm sure I don't need to elaborate in this community about what a horrible cesspool it is. If you're looking for something that you can't get with Ninite, there seems to be no easy way to find decent, trustworthy reviews and directories of quality software for Windows any more: download.com and cnet have gone to shit, TUCOWS is long dead, and don't even get me started on the "top-ten-reviews" type stealth advertising sites.

This weekend I was trying hard to find a decent gin rummy program for windows, and just gave up because I found nothing that I would trust to install without first sandboxing it and carefully watching what it does. Is there any sort of reliable directory of decent Windows software any more, or is the only solution to download 15 different things, do sandboxed installs (being careful to decline all the "free offers"), find one you like if you're lucky, and burn everything when you're done?
posted by jammer at 10:16 AM on June 1, 2015


I'm wondering if those walled garden app stores I've previously sneered at may actually have a point.
posted by Artw at 11:04 AM on June 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Try the Windows app store.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:10 AM on June 1, 2015


The reason I've avoided the Windows app store is that (to my understanding) it's limited to MetroModern UI apps only, no full-fledged desktop software. The first thing I do on Windows 8 installs is get Classic Shell installed via ninite, then I pretend that Metro doesn't exist at all unless I absolutely have to.

It looks like they'll be opening this up for Windows 10, so maybe I'll just hold my nose and deal with Metro apps for cases where it's otherwise hard to make an informed decision... (Doesn't help folks who've stayed on Windows 7, though.)
posted by jammer at 12:54 PM on June 1, 2015


Basically the only reason an end user would want Java on their machine

Is Minecraft.


Minecraft itself no longer requires Java installation, but there have been a bunch of other small-scale games since then that require Java, probably because everybody already had it because Minecraft. So the above is still sorta true.
posted by straight at 2:06 PM on June 1, 2015


artw: ...they are absolutely forced to by some terrible peice of "enterprise" software, and since they've already got to somehow get hold of IE8...

I'm guessing you work in higher-ed and use Internet Native Banner.
posted by lodurr at 3:19 AM on June 2, 2015


Update from sourceforge:
Third party offers will be presented with Opt-In projects only

In an effort to address a number of concerns we have been hearing from
the media and community at large, we at SourceForge would like to note
that we have stopped presenting third party offers for unmaintained
SourceForge projects.

While we had recently tested presenting easy-to-decline third party
offers with a very small number of unmaintained SourceForge projects,
we discontinued this practice promptly based on negative community
feedback. At this time, we present third party offers only with a few
projects where it is explicitly approved by the project developer, or
if the project is already bundling third party offers.
It's an improvement, but it still sucks that they are intentionally spreading malware on projects with maintainer's permission. Sourceforge is no longer trustworthy.
posted by jenkinsEar at 3:52 AM on June 2, 2015


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