The Comment

28 Jun 2005

My dearest readers. I love comments, especially on other blogs. It is with great hesitations and a lot of caution that I’m applying comment sections to the posts, from now on. Peer-pressure, ladies and gentlemen, is something not to be underestimated. To those who’ve mailed me or just kept asking it very frequently : Yes. It’s here. No. I don’t like it. Let’s hope this goes right. I just hate wasting time moderating things.

Why this sudden twist? Well. Apparently, John Dowdell from Macromedia Support wanted to leave me a note about the FlashPlayer incident. Here’s what he wrote in Nathan’s comment section :

“I realized ‘CoolZor’ came to that conclusion, but the lack of commenting at his essay made better info difficult to convey.

No, you don’t need Yahoo to run Flash. In fact, the only way you even see an *offer* for Yahoo Toolbar is if you’re in IE/Win and actually visit the Macromedia website for a Flash Player, instead of using that browser’s normal ActiveX installation.

I can’t say this enough: “Bundling is evil.” But if you checked, you would find that there is no third-party software bundled within the Macromedia Flash Player download:

John Dowdell
Macromedia Support”

To which Nathan replied :

“John, I really appreciate you showing up here. That said, Coolz0r is not a computer novice like someone’s grandmother. If he didn’t realize he was installing the Yahoo toolbar when he installed Flash, then clearly not enough has been done to seperate the two. I’m glad to hear you are not bundling, but then this is a simpler, but still annoying case of unclear install instructions and web design. Which page has the offer for the Yahoo Toolbar, and why is Macromedia offering Yahoo’s software, if not for financial gain?”

Dear jOhn (I’m Coolz0r, John)

I know I don’t need a toolbar from Yahoo! to be able to run a FlashPlayer. That’s pretty obvious to me. Yet still, your software has betrayed me. I didn’t want a Yahoo! toolbar, and I’m aware of the tickerbox you’ve added on the macromedia downloads page. But this time, I had no chance to interfere. It was installed automatically, and included the toolbar. If I had known an update was available, be sure I would have gotten it manually in order to disable this wonderful feature.

I’m not against the promotion of another product, but I love this right I think I have, to deny a service I do not want to use.

Let me state clearly, I have nothing against FlashPlayer, although it has a bit of a monopoly on ‘motioned websites’, it’s still a wonderful thing.

I think for some users, an extra toolbar could come in handy too. But not for me. I think Yahoo! has the right to offer a toolbar, just like anyone else, and I do not want to express myself about the quality of the service. The search is super, but I’ll type it myself in my browser if I want to use it.

What I want to point out in your reply is the following :

“[...] if you’re in IE/Win and actually visit the Macromedia website for a Flash Player, instead of using that browser’s normal ActiveX installation.”

If I understand this correctly, any site that has the auto-detection plus auto-fetch-player function installed, serves you a player that includes the toolbar? Hm. This doesn’t sound good. Please to explain to me in what way this benefits any user on the internet, because I can’t see the relation between the need for a Yahoo! toolbar and the urge for a FlashPlayer in order to be able to see the site you were on -that redirected the user to macromedia in the first place.

This sort of turns every site that has auto-dectection to a marketing hotspot for a BUNDLED Yahoo! and Macromedia tool. I think.

Hence the well-chosen title : Toolbar needed to run FlashPlayer

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Posted by Miel Van Opstal in Ethics, Spam & Scam, Thoughts


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