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Old 09-30-08, 06:09 PM   #1
Phanx
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Why WowMatrix is bad.

I'm sure many of you use the WoWMatrix program to update your addons. I personally know many people who use it, including my roommate. However, as an addon author, the concept bothers me greatly, and I have actually requested that they stop making my addons available through their program. Why? Here are some things to think about:

1. WoWMatrix doesn't show an addon author's name anywhere. They are making money off of providing access to an addon, and they can't even spare a few pixels of screen space to give its author nominal credit?

2. WoWMatrix doesn't show an addon's real download URL anywhere. This means that users who download an addon through their program have no way to give feedback to the author, or report problems they may encounter.

3. WoWMatrix doesn't show the author's description of an addon anywhere. On a release site, an author can place a big, bold warning at the top of the description stating than an addon is under development, currently in beta status, is not yet complete, and/or may be unstable. Users who find and download an addon through WoWMatrix will never see that warning. They'll just download an addon, deem it broken, and tell their friends that "Addon X sucks, don't use it". While the erstwhile WoWAce suffered from this problem to a lesser degree, it was generally understood that everything on WoWAce should be considered beta. No similar understanding is attached to WoWMatrix.

4. WoWMatrix makes money off of providing access to addons it doesn't host. WoWMatrix doesn't pay the storage bills or the bandwidth bills for the addons you download through its program. If you're downloading an addon that's hosted on WoWInterface, through WoWMatrix, the file is sent to your computer from WoWInterface's servers. Prior to requesting that they remove access to my addons from their service, I inquired as to how their service works, and recieved the following:

The WowMatrix application downloads directly from
the official website of each addon.

For instance, Ace addons such as the ones you've
written are downloaded directly from wowace.com.

We do not run scheduled updates nor do we host
addons on our servers.
Finally, when I requested that they remove access to my addons, citing the first three concerns above as well as the "no redistribution" clause in the license that ships with my addons, they didn't even bother to respond to me to let me know that they'd complied. I had to check their site to see if my addons were still available or not. This, more than anything else, makes me think ill of their site and their application, and - when viewed in light of the fact that they don't credit authors anywhere on their site or in their application - really gives the impression that they hold very little respect for the authors whose work is making them money.
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Old 09-30-08, 06:40 PM   #2
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Old 09-30-08, 06:48 PM   #3
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I fully understand and respect your views as they are very valid. However, I have never been charged a dime to use WoWMatrix and cannot find anywhere on the site where they force anyone to give them cash.

It's advertised as free on the official Apple web site and on CNet Download, which gives them heaps of advertising (I can only imagine how many hits that site gets because of this) and yet they are not charging a dime for the software. I see a subtle donation link on the FAQ page which it cool because it's not shoved in my face from the main page. Hell, I don't even see any huge ads in my face other than the well placed small ads for the leveling/gold making guides.

As for them not answering your emails, lets go back to how much advertising and site hits they get. I can only imagine they get hundreds if not thousands of emails regarding their product, so it doesn't surprise me if they have not answered your emails. Keep trying though and you'll get through eventually.

I cannot find it at the moment, but I got the link for WoWMatrix in the same thread along with the few other non Ace supported addon downloader over on the Ace forums.

Anyone can get the addon authors contact info from right inside of the addon folder, or by checking the About feature in game for whatever addon they are checking on. Personally, I don't need to see the authors name. I am only interested in the version numbers, the name of the addon, and a short description of what it does. Anything other info on the GUI is a waste of time for me, the average user. If I really need the info, it's far too easy to come by.

Opening WoWMatrix right now and comparing the first 5 or 6 addon descriptions from that window and what is on the Ace file site, the addon descriptions are a dead on match word for word. I use almost 100 addons, I'm not gonna compare em all

I suppose the only way anyone can protect their bandwidth is to block WoWMatrix at the server level, or for all addon sites to force account creation in order to download anything from their sites. But, I think that would go over like a fart in a diving helmet lol.

Let me reiterate, I respect and honor your views and opinions as they are valid. But I am allowed to disagree with them and still like ya's
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Old 09-30-08, 08:25 PM   #4
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1. Revenue does not only come from users paying for a service (good or bad) directly.

2. Your post can be summarized with:
"I know it's bad but it's convenient, so who cares".

I'm not trying to be confrontational - although disagreement cannot be entirely devoid of that -
but that's a whole lot of words to say 1 sentence.
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Old 09-30-08, 08:54 PM   #5
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Our stance on WoWMatrix is pretty well summed up in the reasons why we *won't* do stuff with our updater.
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Old 09-30-08, 11:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Silenia View Post
I have never been charged a dime to use WoWMatrix and cannot find anywhere on the site where they force anyone to give them cash.
Monetary profit doesn't have to come directly from the end user paying a fee to use the service. Look at all of the sites you use on a daily basis. How many of them charge you money to use them? How many of them do you think don't make any money, and operate at a loss out of the goodness of their hearts?

As for them not answering your emails, lets go back to how much advertising and site hits they get. I can only imagine they get hundreds if not thousands of emails regarding their product, so it doesn't surprise me if they have not answered your emails. Keep trying though and you'll get through eventually.
My first message, inquiring how their site and service worked, was answered within a few hours. My second message, requesting that they not distribute my addons through their service, was never answered. However, I know it was read, as my addons are no longer listed on their site. In the time it took them to copy and paste my addon names into whatever filtering system they have in place, do you think they couldn't have spared another 30 seconds to type a brief reply to me? I think it's rather telling that they didn't.

Anyone can get the addon authors contact info from right inside of the addon folder, or by checking the About feature in game for whatever addon they are checking on.
The in-game About feature is provided by the Ace2 and Ace3 frameworks, which are not used by all addons. Many users don't even know where addons are installed, let alone that they can find information about the author by looking in the .toc file or a readme file.

How many users do you think will encounter a problem in a beta-test addon that they don't know is a beta-test addon, and go looking in the .toc file for contact information to report the problem to the author? I'd guess that very, very few users would do this, or even think about this. Most users will just delete the addon, and tell their friends that it's broken and shouldn't be used.

Personally, I don't need to see the authors name. I am only interested in the version numbers, the name of the addon, and a short description of what it does. Anything other info on the GUI is a waste of time for me, the average user. If I really need the info, it's far too easy to come by.
Let's say you're a photographer. One day you take some portraits of your cat, and post them on a photography forum for critique. A few months later you're in a bookstore flipping through a book of cat photography. You turn to page 42, and there, lo and behold, is your cat portrait! Your name is mentioned nowhere in the entire book. I'm sure most people reading the book wouldn't ever wonder who took the picture of the cat, but I'm equally sure you would feel some sense of injustice to see your work distributed without your consent and without any credit to you.

Opening WoWMatrix right now and comparing the first 5 or 6 addon descriptions from that window and what is on the Ace file site, the addon descriptions are a dead on match word for word. I use almost 100 addons, I'm not gonna compare em all
WoWMatrix uses the addon's .toc description. This is all well and good for a stable, finished addon. But if my addon is brand new, undergoing public beta testing, and not yet suitable for daily use by the average user, seeing that my addon provides "Easy hunter pet care" isn't very helpful. The .toc description is meant to be a brief phrase or sentence describing the addon's purpose, not a detailed document explaining the addon's current development status or explaining how to use the addon.

Beyond all of those things, the license I release my addons under explicitly forbids any redistribution. That means you can't release MyAwesomeUI if it includes my addon, you can't upload my addon to UI.WorldOfWar, and you can't distribute my addon through a third-party leech site.
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Old 10-01-08, 07:24 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cairenn View Post
Our stance on WoWMatrix is pretty well summed up in the reasons why we *won't* do stuff with our updater.

I've never read that link until now nor had I thought of it quite the way you put it, so I guess I will not be using WoWMatrix anymore.

The reason why I was drawn to WoWMatrix is because the GUI is easy to use and it's pleasing to the eye. Not one single other updater is designed for ease of use, none. WAU started crashing entirely too much so it got deleted, and I tried the updater here at WI and got lost as soon as the thing opened.

I'll manually update all of the addons that I use... until the Ace files get moved to Curse. Then I suppose I will only use the addons from here, and Carbonite.
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Old 10-02-08, 01:54 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Silenia View Post
The reason why I was drawn to WoWMatrix is because the GUI is easy to use and it's pleasing to the eye. Not one single other updater is designed for ease of use, none. WAU started crashing entirely too much so it got deleted, and I tried the updater here at WI and got lost as soon as the thing opened.
WoWMatrix is indeed very user-friendly, especially for the average user who doesn't want to learn any more about addons than "I install it and it works". I don't have a problem with the basic concept of a single application that can pull addons from multiple sources. Indeed, I would likely consent to my addons being distributed through such an application -- if it were on an opt-in basis for authors (rather than opt-out), if it credited authors, and ifit didn't leech off of other sites' disk space and bandwidth.
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Old 10-02-08, 04:17 PM   #9
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I hate WoWMatrix

Not many people care about authors, or care to fill out bug reports. It's sad. If it doesn't work on the first try, it's 'broken' to the person who tried it. They didn't trouble shoot, it didn't work so they ditched it and told every one else that it doesn't work.

Some people's kids...
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Old 10-06-08, 02:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dreadlorde View Post
Not many people care about authors, or care to fill out bug reports. It's sad. If it doesn't work on the first try, it's 'broken' to the person who tried it. They didn't trouble shoot, it didn't work so they ditched it and told every one else that it doesn't work.

Some people's kids...
Well, i do recall that if you find a mod you're searching for, lets say "chat"... it will display every addon that has "chat" in its name... you download the one that suits your needs, you try it out and then you either say its crap or its ****ing unbelievable good.

And then some day, you find a bug. You want it examined and post the error log... what do you do?
You use your friendly site Google.com for the mod and find a site where you can post feedbacks and logs.

I know i do it on the mods im using (except for those that hasnt been updated for a while) and in that case, WoWMatrix is a good way to see what kind of addons there are out there, since many ppl dont wanna go on multiple sites, just to find that specific addon to update or find.

So in that mean, i'd say both the authors and those that hosts WoWMatrix is getting benefits from the "deal". Even the users gets benefited, since they get a easy way to find the mod they wanna use.

So who cares if they make a little money of it, no one forces them to host it.
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Old 10-06-08, 03:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by richerich View Post
Well, i do recall that if you find a mod you're searching for, lets say "chat"... it will display every addon that has "chat" in its name... you download the one that suits your needs, you try it out and then you either say its crap or its ****ing unbelievable good.

And then some day, you find a bug. You want it examined and post the error log... what do you do?
You use your friendly site Google.com for the mod and find a site where you can post feedbacks and logs.

I know i do it on the mods im using (except for those that hasnt been updated for a while) and in that case, WoWMatrix is a good way to see what kind of addons there are out there, since many ppl dont wanna go on multiple sites, just to find that specific addon to update or find.

So in that mean, i'd say both the authors and those that hosts WoWMatrix is getting benefits from the "deal". Even the users gets benefited, since they get a easy way to find the mod they wanna use.

So who cares if they make a little money of it, no one forces them to host it.

The point is (A) redistributing these without the original authors permission is illegal. Period. It doesn't matter that they remove it at the authors request, providing it on their service in the first place WAS illegal. (B) Using other sites bandwidth is EXTREMELY bad netiquette. I don't know if there are laws about it or not, but all the same its a major no no. Sites like WoWI get the money to pay for their bandwidth through advertising. When tools like WoWMatrix use that bandwidth without showing the ADs, they are LITERALLY stealing money from the legit site.
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Old 10-06-08, 04:09 PM   #12
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Not to mention that when an effort is made to circumvent their theft, they find another brute force way to haxxor in and steal it.
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Old 10-06-08, 06:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by richerich View Post
Well, i do recall that if you find a mod you're searching for, lets say "chat"... it will display every addon that has "chat" in its name... you download the one that suits your needs, you try it out and then you either say its crap or its ****ing unbelievable good.

And then some day, you find a bug. You want it examined and post the error log... what do you do?
You use your friendly site Google.com for the mod and find a site where you can post feedbacks and logs.

I know i do it on the mods im using (except for those that hasnt been updated for a while) and in that case, WoWMatrix is a good way to see what kind of addons there are out there, since many ppl dont wanna go on multiple sites, just to find that specific addon to update or find.

So in that mean, i'd say both the authors and those that hosts WoWMatrix is getting benefits from the "deal". Even the users gets benefited, since they get a easy way to find the mod they wanna use.

So who cares if they make a little money of it, no one forces them to host it.
I have to disagree, with the first part. Most users if they don't know where an addon came from are not going to go through the trouble of finding where it is to offer feedback.

Most will delete the addon and download another similar one from WoWMatrix, bypassing any help to the author.

And as others have stated, offering them without permission initially and using the bandwidth from other sites, is wrong.

And for those users that donate to addon authors, the authors are robbed of that by bypassing the addon home (or where it's based), but WoWMatrix not only has ads (which will pay them while not having to pay for bandwidth, hosting, etc.) but they have a donation button on it, which again takes away from the authors, as people would then donate to the program and not the authors.
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Old 10-06-08, 11:25 PM   #14
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Well, I've demanded they remove the mods I author from their site, still no action.
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Old 10-07-08, 03:01 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by VincentSDSH View Post
Well, I've demanded they remove the mods I author from their site, still no action.
It took them about two weeks after I requested mine removed, and they didn't bother sending me any response. I just kept checking their site until my addons weren't listed there anymore. I didn't download the client to make sure they weren't available there either, though.
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Old 10-07-08, 06:20 AM   #16
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None of my addons are on that site, thank god. I'd rather see my addons on WoWUI and curse, because at least they don't use underhanded tactics.

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Old 10-07-08, 09:12 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Fashionabull View Post
And as others have stated, offering them without permission initially and using the bandwidth from other sites, is wrong.
That is actually a reason why its good, since then we get always-up-to-date addons, since they probably don't have time to download every single update in a time and let's the authors update inconsistently of the client.

And as far as i know, there is no other updater that still works like this. WAU could only update ace-addons, WoWUI can only update what the authors are hosting here, Curse can only provide with what authors are updating on their sites and so on...

WoWMatrix collects every of those sites and that's what's makes it a good way, even tho they are "taking" the copyrights... I don't think there will come a similar updater like this that DOESN'T break any rules, so atm, this is still the best...

Although, i can agree that they aint hosting the author's name anywhere is bad, but what can you do to stop it, except to sue them?
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Old 10-07-08, 09:19 AM   #18
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There are other cross-site updaters which are more reputable and respectful than wowmatrix.
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Old 10-07-08, 11:51 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by richerich View Post
That is actually a reason why its good, since then we get always-up-to-date addons, since they probably don't have time to download every single update in a time and let's the authors update inconsistently of the client.

And as far as i know, there is no other updater that still works like this. WAU could only update ace-addons, WoWUI can only update what the authors are hosting here, Curse can only provide with what authors are updating on their sites and so on...

WoWMatrix collects every of those sites and that's what's makes it a good way, even tho they are "taking" the copyrights... I don't think there will come a similar updater like this that DOESN'T break any rules, so atm, this is still the best...

Although, i can agree that they aint hosting the author's name anywhere is bad, but what can you do to stop it, except to sue them?
Ok first you say that them using another sites bandwidth is good. NO! IT IS STEALING! I explained why above. STEALING IS NEVER GOOD!

You also say how can we stop them except sue them... well you are correct, we can't. But the fact that we can't stop them most certainly does not make it GOOD.
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Old 10-07-08, 12:13 PM   #20
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I couldn't agree more. WoWMatrix can be prejudicial both to WoWInterface and addons' authors.
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