Ad Aware dead?
December 27, 2002 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Is the Ad Aware project dead? Luckily the SpyBot application is still being updated and its still free.
posted by skallas (24 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

they dont seem to think they are dead...
According to the post I linked to above, they realized that the 5.x branch couldn't handle what they needed to do, so they are working on a 6.x version.

That would explain the 3 month delay. Damn them for not reworking their free product faster! Sorry, I'm reacting to how obnoxious the poster is, he's clearly just got sour grapes over some deleted posts. I'd delete his melodramatic crap too.
posted by malphigian at 8:29 AM on December 27, 2002

Damn it... and I just emailed all my co-workers and friends about this article.
posted by Witty at 8:36 AM on December 27, 2002

thanks for pointing out spyboy though. I ran ad aware before I tried it and spybot found 82 things that ad aware had missed.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:39 AM on December 27, 2002

...the single worst strategic mistake that any software company can make:

They decided to rewrite the code from scratch.

posted by perplexed at 9:24 AM on December 27, 2002

Damn them for not reworking their free product faster!

That's a pretty silly reaction. A product like this is predicated upon being frequently updated. If they choose not to do so, then they have to expect to be abandoned in favor of another product that does. The comparison to an anti-virus program is apt.
posted by rushmc at 10:05 AM on December 27, 2002

Man, perplexed's link was even better than the original one. I just had a decade of computer user common sense ("What they REALLY need to do is throw out the old code!") thrown in my face. Terrific.
posted by tweebiscuit at 10:33 AM on December 27, 2002

rushmc: As I mentioned in my post, I was responding to the axe-grinding of the poster on spywareinfo. Ad Aware's ref files are helpfully dated in several places -- and 3 months and some delays does not mean it has been "abandonend". I guess it might if your trying to get users for your affiliated products, tho.

re: preplexed link: interesting stuff, I know all about the tendency to want to throw everything out and start over.

However, the writers primary example, Netscape, is just plain wrong. That was written in 2000, so you can't really blame him. Anyone looking at Mozilla now, and knowing about the horrifying hacks and bugs in the netscape 4 codebase (TTYLE attribute anyone?), can see that tossing the old code was anything but a mistake.
posted by malphigian at 11:40 AM on December 27, 2002

malphigan, If I may continue the thread hijack, I'd have to say that Netscape is a great example of why it's bad to throw out everything and start from scratch. Mozilla took an ungodly amount of time to complete, damning itself to near insignificance. There were parts of Netscape that were just fine, and it would have been much quicker to make small changes, throw out the parts that were bad, and keep what worked. A project's entire architecture can change this way, with far less time spent bughunting than if it were rewritten from scratch.

Also, the rendering part of Mozilla finished ahead of interface. It would have been better to plug the renderer into the old interface, release v5.0 so that 4.0 could finally die. I can't really imagine what was gained by throwing it all out at once.
posted by Llama-Lime at 2:04 PM on December 27, 2002

the notion of "it's bad to throw out old code" stems from the equally bad decision to design a program in a low-level and quite error-prone programming language, such as C or C++. (Mozilla is written in C++; Netscape 5 and earlier were written in C, to my knowledge.) the move of rewriting a program doesn't have to be so insurmountably bad in the right environment.
posted by moz at 2:07 PM on December 27, 2002

The person who posted at spywareinfo DOES seem to be grouchy about the whole affair. Eh. I'm eagerly waiting for AAW6, but in the meantime, Spybot'll have to do.
posted by sailoreagle at 3:13 PM on December 27, 2002

Ad Aware's ref files are helpfully dated in several places -- and 3 months and some delays does not mean it has been "abandonend".

So you would have no problem using an antivirus program with 3-month-old definition files?
posted by rushmc at 3:20 PM on December 27, 2002

i think we need to wait to see whether mozilla justifies the rewrite or not - it has potential, but it's not beating ie yet (will there be a xul killer app?).

making global statements about development is a nice way to make a living, but i'm not sure it's that useful. it would be nice if every program was written by excellent engineers using appropriate technology - unfortunately it doesn't always happen that way, especially in small start-ups where the initial idea is crucial and solid engineering not given the greatest priority. writing code that ages gracefully can be done, but i'm sure i'm not the only person out there who is glad not to have to maintain the code i wrote before i started to learn how...
posted by andrew cooke at 4:07 PM on December 27, 2002

I was wondering what happened to adaware updates.... Thanks for the heads up! I´m actually digging Spybot, very very flexible. Check out this to see how to use it correctly or just go to the forums.

Still waiting for adaware 6 but Spybot may be a winner.
posted by sic at 5:35 PM on December 27, 2002

the notion of "it's bad to throw out old code" stems from the equally bad decision to design a program in a low-level and quite error-prone programming language, such as C or C++.

Oh puhleeeze....
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:36 PM on December 27, 2002

Spybot gave me so much pertinent information . . . allowed me to make decisions that AdAware didn't even address, let alone discuss.
200+ entries removed five minutes after AdAware ran and found only Alexa, for god's sake (granted most were cookies, but isn't that one of the points?).
posted by elmaddog at 8:59 PM on December 27, 2002

i think we need to wait to see whether mozilla justifies the rewrite or not - it has potential, but it's not beating ie yet

I wish people would actually use Mozilla before making statements like this. I'm currently using Phoenix, which is based on the current Moz codebase and I have a really tough time seeing where Moz deosn't beat IE.

1) It's fully w3c compliant.
2) it's noticably faster on almost every page I go to.
3) It's not tied directly into my OS (and it's cross platform to boot, like you'll EVER see that with IE).
4) It includes some great features out of the box, like pop-up blocking, and others that can be plugged in using XUL that really make browsing useful again.

So what does IE do that the other's don't? Um.. ActiveX? Think again.

Ok, now that I'm done with that rant, while I really hate spybot's UI, it's gonna have to do until AA release version 6. I've been a big fan of LavaSoft and I'll wait patientlly for the new version. It IS a shame that they haven't updated the defs for AA5 in the meantime though.
posted by dotComrade at 5:47 AM on December 28, 2002

Poor skallas... the Fark goons have you. You have no chance to survive make your time.
posted by RylandDotNet at 9:03 AM on December 28, 2002

I'm using Chimera - a mac-variant of Mozilla, right now. Probably the best browser for mac ever released. Mozilla good, IE bad. However, even though the end product was good...

Netscape is dead. Bye-Bye marketshare. Mozilla's still not "completed." Microsoft ate Netscape's lunch. Even though the new browser is BETTER... Proportionally speaking, MANY more people use IE than Mozilla as of now, whereas before Netscape had pretty much cornered the market, to the point where they were actually MAKING MONEY...

But regardless of all that crap:

"C++ is an error-prone, low level languages"
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA, I love this new generation of programmers, they kill me. Goddamn, C/C++ error-prone? You ever write a program entirely in assembly in your life? Say one thing about C, if you know what you're doing the project comes out right.

However, sometimes it's a GOOD thing to rewrite programs from scratch. Whenever I'm trying to develop a program in a new language and/or on a new platform, the first thing I do is write a graphical black-jack program. It's a habit of mine - gauges pretty much how quickly I can throw a program together. I was doing it this time on the Palm-Pilot using Pocket-C, and I made the mistake of doing it while stoned. Bad, bad idea. The program worked great, but there where places where I had two pages of @$%^ing around with dynamic arrays and such - and I couldn't understand what the hell I'd done at all. If I wanted to release that program, I'd basically have to rewrite it from scratch, because though the code looks cool, it's almost impossible to read. But I can't see that happening in a commercial environment - that kind of code would never be approved for use in a final release project. If a project gets so out of control that the programmers even think about rewriting it, it probably means that upper management is committing such atrocities as changing the objectives for projects WHILE THEY'RE BEING WRITTEN, and such, and is symptomatic of a company that's going down the drain anyway.
posted by Veritron at 9:48 AM on December 28, 2002

For all those griping about the lack of updates -- it's a free program. Sheesh. They don't owe you. Of course it's a bad idea to stick with outdated software, but it's not like you're getting ripped off. I'd buy the argument that a responsible software vendor should be very honest about the limitations of their application, but that's as far as I think their responsibility goes.

Spyware is evil, and programmers who donate their time in order to combat it deserve thanks. They're doing you a favor, for crying out loud.

That said, I'm glad that these limitations are getting publicity. Knowing your system's weaknesses is never a bad thing. As far as system security goes, a little paranoia is a very good thing -- especially when dealing with commercial or closed source products.
posted by amery at 8:34 PM on December 28, 2002

So what does IE do that the other's don't?

I have dozens of context-menu extensions that can't easily be duplicated in XUL on my IE install, in addition to bookmarklets that don't work well enough for me to switch to Phoenix. Also, the Google Toolbar clone for Mozilla is hella ugly and unstable under all Moz variants, but especially Phoenix.

Sticking with IE isn't just due to ignorance.
posted by anildash at 10:10 PM on December 28, 2002

I have to agree with Joel on this one. It is never a good idea to sacrifice your revenue stream to code replacement. Replacing one module at a time is fine, so long as you can either finish the new code in one release cycle or keep shipping the old code until the replacement is ready. But once your rewrite project starts hurting your ability to keep shipping, you are screwed. It's always possible to get from whatever mess you have to whatever beautiful piece of software dreamery you want via refactoring instead of replacement. It may take longer, but it means you can keep shipping product. Unless you're lucky enough not to have any competition, kicking fresh new boxes out the door is pretty important!
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:29 PM on December 28, 2002

A few months ago, one of my domains started getting a lot of hate mail from people who were confusing it with, a spyware manufacturer. I advised anyone who emailed me to use AdAware to deal with the issue....and learned that AdAware simply didn't work. Search-Explorer's shady tool bar was unscathed by it. SpyBot, meanwhile, cleans it right up. I've made the switch, and recommend to anyone who asks that they do, too.
posted by arielmeadow at 4:22 PM on December 29, 2002

I knew someone would start the mozilla/ie debate.

As a web developer (I know, half of you probably are too) I can say that mozilla is a pain in the arse.

99.6 % of our visitors use IE in one flavour or another. Netscape 4.x takes second place. Yet we have ditched ns4.x support and taken up ns 6 support.

It's CSS is shakey on positioning, borders and margins. It lies about some (some) font attributes and is a right royal pain in the arse.

It's slower to load too (although I accept that that is a code integration matter due to the demons at redmond).

It may be better for people who have a deep love of the internet and a great deal of experience with things computer, but for your average luser it's a waste of time. Something that makes my life a hell of a lot more difficult...

Oh, and if someone can tell me how to get rid of that damned annoying netscape download agent I'd appriciate it...
posted by twine42 at 7:07 AM on December 30, 2002

twine, i think you're confusing mozilla with Netscape's shoddy 6.x and 7.x browsers based on Mozilla. Moz 1.2 (or, much better, Chimera and Phoenix) are terrific browsers. Especially from a dev perspective, where they're the only browsers that consistently get the CSS box model correct.

I have no idea what font problems you're describing. I'm betting, though, that your assumptions about Moz are at least out of date, at worst incorrect.
posted by anildash at 9:19 AM on December 30, 2002

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