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Curse and WoWInterface working together to help protect our authors and other site-users

Posted by Kaelten Apr 13, 2009 at 19:24 UTC

Recently Curse and WoWInterface got together to come up with a solution for an ongoing problem. The problem in question is WowMatrix. The reasons they are a problem are many:

  • WowMatrix violates author copyright and intellectual property rights:
    • They redistribute addons without authors' permissions;
    • When they first started they would scrape the legimate sites for addons then upload them to their own site in addition to deep-linking from the sites;
    • They edited authors' files to remove donation requests and links to their home sites, etc.; and
    • They have failed on many occasions to honour authors' requests to remove addons from their application;
  • In a lot of cases the files served to users have been many versions out of date. This leads to authors having users complain about bugs, bugs that were fixed days or weeks ago in versions that are available on the legitimate sites, causing problems for both the authors and for the end-users;
  • Until the community raised a hue and cry, WowMatrix didn't even supply the authors' names as to who wrote the addon, let alone provide a link to where the addon was legitimately hosted;
  • WowMatrix leeches from the legitimate hosting sites without permission, let alone compensation. Originally, they scraped our sites so they could upload addons to their own site without permission, in addition to deeplinking from our sites. They have finally stopped hosting the addons on their own site, but they still deeplink from our sites, using our resources to run their program. Curse and WoWInterface use a lot of bandwidth every month which costs a lot of money. The way we pay our bills is through site ads, which are directly dependent on users viewing them, and premium memberships. WowMatrix bypasses our download pages, and, as a result, people are not viewing the ads. Of course, this means the ads aren't generating any revenue to pay for the bandwidth. At the rate they were going, if they were allowed to continue using our resources without any compensation, they were going to drive us right out of business. Not only are they stealing our bandwidth and preventing us from being able to recoup that loss, they also have their own ads all over their site and application. They are directly profiting from the stolen bandwidth; and
  • Due to the massive resource drains they put on our sites, we have all experienced heightened loads and weaker performance, especially on patch days. During those days they download so much from our sites that sometimes we have a hard time keeping up to the demands; thus causing legitimate users to experience problems accessing our sites. That's just flat out unacceptable.

For months now, both sites and multiple authors have been trying to come up with solutions to the problems caused by WowMatrix. However, WowMatrix just keeps ignoring authors' requests to remove their addons from their application, working around the protections we have put in place, and proving repeatedly that they have no intention of ever becoming responsible, legitimate members of the community. Instead, they choose to continue to leech off the community. Well we, Curse and WowInterface, have gotten together and between us we believe we may have found a solution to prevent them from pulling authors' addons from our sites to redistribute without permission and stealing our bandwidth any longer. Unfortunately we cannot release details on the solution, so as to keep it viable.

"Yeah yeah yeah, blah blah, get to the important question: What does this mean for me, your sites' user?" For the majority of users it should be completely transparent, you should not notice any difference whatsoever, other than improved site responsiveness during patch days. We hope that we will be able to revert the changes made to our sites eventually, if WowMatrix ever stops violating authors' copyright and ceases stealing our bandwidth and other resources.

If you were previously using WowMatrix to keep your addons updated, please use our official updaters (Curse, WoWInterface). You may also mark addons as favorites on both WoWInterface and Curse in order to be alerted when they are updated.

Kaelten
Administrator, Curse & WowAce

Cairenn
Administrator, WoWInterface

  1. 156 comments

CurseForge, WowAce, and the future

Posted by ckknight Mar 27, 2009 at 20:52 UTC

Hello friends, ckknight here.

Some of you may be wondering what the next step for CurseForge/WowAce might be. You may have seen the piles of tickets that the CurseForge project has and it can be disheartening.

So, I'd like to let you know that development absolutely has not stopped. We have limited resources with regards to manpower, as it has been essentially just one person (me, ckknight) doing nearly all the work on the site itself. Kaelten has been working furiously on the Curse Client, and I think we can all agree that it has blossomed under his guidance.

I've been working on the upcoming Author Rewards Program and Author Store, for when we launch Curse Premium and the Author Rewards Program soon.

The current gameplan is to completely overhaul the HTML and CSS on the website. While we previously had a frontend developer working with us, that is no longer the case and hasn't been for about a year, causing general bad practices to leak into our display code. This will lead to an overall greater polish for both WowAce and CurseForge. Things will also be very easy to change and add to in the future.

As it stands, if we want to add any new features, wrestling with the CSS has become a case of the Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, where anything we do can cause a ripple effect, leading to slower development and an overall lack of polish.

Once this is finished, the website should act a lot more consistently, provide a better user experience, and allow further extensibility in the future. Also, we'll be able to call ourselves "Web 2.0" if we have rounded corners and gradients, right? ;-)

For an idea of some of the future ideas we have, so you know that we actually have future ideas:

  • User-submitted guides
  • Web-based repository browser
  • Ticket enhancements
  • Various bugfixes and small features.

If you have any ideas, we're more than willing to hear them through CurseForge's ticket system. Also, if you see a good idea, feel free to vote it up. That's a big reason on how we prioritize the next thing to do.

  1. 5 comments

Curse Client 3.0 Release & New Mac Beta

Posted by Kaelten Mar 23, 2009 at 19:43 UTC

Curse Client 3.0 Release

I just wanted to take out a few moments and let everyone know that friday we released the 3.0 client to our entire userbase. It's been a long time coming, but I feel it fixes the majority of issues people have raised.

Some of the highlights:

  • Redesigned User Interface
  • More accurate addon identification
  • Revaluated Defaults settings
  • More features (including whether or not to use embedded libraries)
  • Numerous bug fixes and stability improvements

Not only that but....

Mac Client 3.0 Beta Release!

We managed to get you a mac client beta out on Friday as well! This was a personal victory for me as I'm now actively working on the code for the mac client. In addition to the above changes we are happy to announce that updates are now done through Sparkle (same update mechanism used by Adium, Textmate and many other mac apps).

We are still in beta here as wxWidgets' implementations can drastically differ on mac vs pc, as a result we're working hard to iron out issues, and will be putting out updates all this week until we're at a more stable point.

However, there are a few...

Known Issues

Upload mistakes

Over the last week we've had a few authors mistakenly upload either the wrong file or files with invalid layouts that have caused the client's fingerprinting to mistake people's folders for the wrong addon.

Two known examples of this are Ace3 and Auctioneer getting flagged as Tournament Realm Spy and epgp. We've fixed it server side however the client won't just 'forget'. You'll need to remove the false match and in some cases reinstall the new correct match.

Mac Issues

  • A crash that can happen on load in the sort routine
  • A soft crash where the client stops displaying data and buttons fail to do anything
  • Menu options being decidedly 'unmacish'

Reporting Issues & Discussion

Windows

Mac

General

  1. 12 comments

Curse Client 2.1 RC1 Release!

Posted by Kaelten Feb 04, 2009 at 00:52 UTC

I know it's been a while since I posted my last status update for the project. I apologize for the silence, but we're nearing payday!

So now, after several months of intensive development I want to bring to you guys the first release candidate for the 2.1 line.

What's New‽

Well, almost everything! Well, almost.

What were the issues again?

Here is a brief recap of what I posted in my last announcement as some of the major issues.

   * Ignoring manual deletions
   * Installing over addons
   * Downgrading addons
   * UI feedback failures
   * Poorly worded options and button text
   * Too much automation in some places, too little automation in others
   * Lack of features that are considered defacto standards
   * General reliability 

Now let's talk about what we did about them.

What we did about them!

UI Changes

The UI has gone through some major overhauls. Hrm, how can I explain this......

The old client

The new client

There are more changes than can be seen in that screenshot, but I think it gives a rough idea.

New Features

Well we didn't get everything I talked about in the last message done. Here's the list. I've struck through things we've finished. Things that are works in progress I'm marking with italics.

   * Alternate Packages - It's back!
   * Dependency Resolution
   * Manual Deletion Detection
   * Alpha Support
   * Multiple Game Support - Even over network drives!
   * Version Pinning
   * Submodule support 
   * Saved Variable Scrubber - It's not 100% tested and polished yet.
   * Automated and Manual Backups 
   * Real Configuration Box - The game manager takes the place of most options.
   * Deletion before upgrade
   * Uninstalled Package Listing - It's the unknown addon listing.

We'll be finishing things up as soon as possible.

Changed Behaviors & Methods

Discovery and Detection of versions
If anything we're too conservative now. We've gone through extraordinary pains to make sure that we know exactly which version of the addon you're using. If we don't know, we don't touch it. It can still get a little confused sometimes, mainly if an addon is shared by more than one project. We'll be working out a tweak for that situation shortly.
Changes to Defaults
Yep they got changed. You may not like some of them, but you shouldn't find them offensive!
Popup Questions
Well, 99% of the time you'll never see a popup question. Unless you're doing something that you can't undo. Like deleting an addon. We don't want a misclick to make you a sad panda...

The Mac Version

Do you want the good or the bad news first?

I'll start with the bad. It's not here.

The good news is, we're now actively getting it ready for it's first night out. I can't promise exactly when just yet, but Soon has never been so close. I hope to start leaking alphas out next week, but again I can promise nothing!

Conclusion

The one thing I don't think anyone can argue with is that this client is hands down superior to it's predecessor. There is not a doubt in my mind regarding that.

Is it perfect? Of course not. Are there bugs? Sadly, yes I'm sure there are. However, there was no way we could justify continuing to hold back this update and letting people continue to use the old version.

We're looking for feedback as we're getting ready to put this out there to all 700k+ users in the next few weeks. Please use the ticket tracker I'm going to link below to report any feedback. But please, try and see if the ticket already exists.

I also want to apologize to all you guys who've been struggling with the 2.0.0.14 client for so long. Support on it has been weak to non existent, I'm going to be keeping a tabs on things much much closer with the new client in order to ensure that the same backlog doesn't happen with this one.

So guys, last thing I'm going to tell you is how to get the new client. So make sure to check the link section below!

  • 2.1 Installer: Use this link to get the latest client installer.
  • Feedback Tracker: Please try not to put up a bunch of repeats!
  • Forum Thread: I'm keeping the old thread, also linking to the current page. not the first one.
  1. 32 comments

Check out our basic FAQ!

Posted by ckknight May 21, 2008 at 10:55 UTC

We've created a basic FAQ that might have the answer(s) to your question(s). Check it out!

We'll be adding a link to it on the site soon(tm).

You might also want to check out the following two articles:

  1. 1 comment