What is your opinion on "advertising" in library logs?

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Get rid of postinstall message #548

jpike88 avatar
jpike88 commented on May 20, 2019

My installation log isn't for advertising space. If you want donations, please do the right thing and promote yourself in places where appropriate. My logs are long enough as it is without this.

The right thing to do is to remove it.

EDIT: An unmaintained fork is available: core-js-without-ads

What kind of messaging would be "okay", what is totally inappropriate, where do you stand on the issue?

Is it appropriate to ask for support at all in this context? Let's discuss the nuance here.

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No, it's a bad idea, for all the reasons the "it's a bad idea" commenter on GitHub mentions.

Include requests for contributors/contributions in a file like CONTRIBUTING or README if you want. Putting it in something like logs is just spam.

Literally spam.

I get why they think it's ok. I mean, it's not like a constant nagging pop-up, and only the targetted audience (the developer or the admin of the server) will see it.

But it's not ok as far as I'm concerned. Would you like to see adverts for Tomcat in your Apache error logs?


Open source is free, due to countless hours donated by the contributors. If they want to ask for a donation, more power too them. I can't stand when people act like oss contributors are their own personal contractors.


The more I think about it, how are ads in a software package any different from other sources? Why is an ad on a website, program installer (virus protection add-on ads), TV show product placement, commercial break, billboard, podcast, or radio more acceptable? Those are asking for you to buy products or donate, but I do not see uproar about that. It seems like the people doing podcasts are likable and it is hard work, so they get a free pass. A podcast is just an open-source conversation. Open-source software takes hard work as well. Using a product for free, that you did not contribute to, and then making demands/complaints isn't a good look.

I don't mind ads, I just want ethical advertising. No tracking, listening to conversations, etc. Get sponsors that are relevant to your content and display them. I think that is a more effective way to get my business. If I do not agree with the method they are using to advertise, I'm blocking, skipping the ads, or not using that content/service.


How is it different? In a purely capitalist way, it probably isn't. It's the placement though. It's - do you want to get an ad on your navigation when you're driving.

"In 100 meters, turn - BUY OUR NEAT LASER POINTERS."

That's an unsuitable place for an ad, too.


I don't know about you, and its not really your point, but I do get advertisements in my navigation while driving.

The nearest McDonalds, the nearest coffee place... want to buy a new car? It shows me where the nearest BMW dealership is. All while I'm driving on the freeway.


I think it is dangerous (and unsuitable) while driving because it poses a safety risk. A flashy or loud ad catching your attention instead of focusing on the road could lead to an accident. I agree it shouldn't be there while driving.

I do not know if I can make the leap from unsuitable to outright dangerous or wrong. I think all ads are unsuitable to some degree, they interrupt what you are intending to do by showing the ad. For the case of ads injected into packages, I think severity plays a role. If the ad shows after installing the package on a development machine, not a big deal and harmless if it is small and shows once, while still being unsuitable. If they give the option to silence those messages, I think that is a good middle ground and ethical. To equate it to the driving example, I think it would be dangerous if it shows in production logs while debugging, if it prevents the package from working due to an issue with the ads, or if it is a constant annoyance. I think the latter scenario should definitely be avoided.


Personally, I think this comment from the thread summarizes my feelings best:

My preference would be to keep the post-install messages clean; I see them as a good place to advertise recent breaking changes and knowing the size of most node_modules folders, if everyone starts doing it then we're in for a rough ride. But with that being said I respect that it's [Owner of core-js]'s right to use it to ask for a little help. Hell, I'm using hundreds if not thousands of contributors' time so I think I'll survive.

While I would not like to have 'ads' in the post install logs, I acknowledge the time required to maintain open source software. I prefer using something like BuyMeACoffee to give monetary credit where credit is due.

An interesting aside: In that discussion, someone linked to a github seach result saying "well other people do it too".

If you look through the search results it looks like it is almost entirely two libraries: Swiper (which has removed their 'ad') and Framework7, both of which are authored by the same person.


"Other people do it too" is like the worst argument for anything EVAR.


I honestly don’t see why people have such a problem with it. There are people who have spent 10s of hours working on something they’re gonna give to you for free, and chances are that you never thanked them any more than a star on GitHub, if at all, and you’re gonna complain the moment they throw a few extra lines in a log that you’re probably not gonna read for a command that you’re only gonna run very few times per project that uses it?

But you know what? If you don’t think they deserve to even ask if you wanna pay for a coffee in exchange for the hours of work they put in, you can go write your own version and see where that takes you. I’ll bet you that a few terminal lines is a better alternative.


Although I understand being frustrated with it, I think it's completely unreasonable to be angry with a library author for doing this. They put so much work into it to benefit the rets of us that they deserve at least the ability to advertize without drawing hostility.


Hmmm... Good one. I guess I'd have to see the log (I browsed quickly, didn't see a sample), but unless we're talking about something uber repetitive that kind of hides the "legit" (for lack of a better word) log entries, I can't think of it being much of a problem.


Very creative. Strong hustle. Also, my brain would shut down.


Sorry for the long comment -

To get to the local center I use a shortcut which is through someone private barren land, the owner is ok with people using it. I really like it because it saves so much time, but few days back he started to put some advertisement board on the land, actually quite a few and I really don't like it, its distracting and annoying passing all the ad board but I "SUCK IT UP" cause the owner can do whatever **** he wants to do with his land and if I don't like it then I can always use the long public road.

developer install new oss package
package creator: hey, it's free real estate
me: I'm okay with that

P.S: I'm sick so whatever gibberish I'm writing might make no sense .....

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