It’s no news to anyone who downloads software. Most download sites are awful. Misleading practices. Over-indulgence in advertising.
It’s all over the board. One can barely find a good download site anymore.
The best place to find a trustworthy download is directly from the developer. And even that is fraught with peril, since many developers use, well, download sites to propagate their software.
In response, many developers are using Github to provide downloads. But Github, at least for inexperienced users, is daunting.
But the most depressing is SourceForge. Made all the more pathetic by its once-proud past, SourceForge has become a sad and pitiable site. Apparently pushed mercilessly by its parent company, Dice Holdings, to make quarterly targets, the company has lost its way and is now the butt of jokes.
As Simon Phipps points out:
Once the darling of open source, SourceForge has been eclipsed by GitHub and package managers, leaving it with a long, thin tail of (mostly consumer) software. It has used increasingly desperate measures to monetize the service through questionable advertising, SEO, and adware injectors.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
And Google seems to agree, as I tried to download Ccleaner portable today:
And then there’s the confusing advertising. What button do I click?
So, let’s walk through an install of FileZilla. Now, before you say “oh, FileZilla is cool, it’s the evil SourceForge”, FileZilla is getting paid for SourceForge’s bundling. Shame.
First, we are mislead. “An ad-supported installer” which “might provide you with an ad during the install process”.
Oh well, then we have to get through this warning screen. Ooops!
Anyway, we finally get to the installer and this is what you get (you are defaulted to “Quick (Recommended) which will change your default search to Yahoo). The “Internet Browser” is Chromium, defaulted to search to Yahoo, and defaulted as your primary browser. Irritating.
Of course, Yahoo is safe, but there has been all kinds of crapware installed in the past.
And then it continues. At least you’re opted-out of this software:
Whatever. The problems of SourceForge are well documented and it’s not worth getting into in more detail.
It’s enough to say: stay the hell away from this joke of a site.