Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by DavidIQ » Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:27 pm

Ger wrote:So if Facebook starts to sell private information, it's OK for phpBB as well? And if Google starts to take secretly take pictures with the webcam when using the search engine, phpBB could also do that?
You totally missed the point.
Ger wrote:You both (VSE and DavidIQ) seems to take a defensive standing point. Please don't. As I wrote earlier: I welcome an open discussion. Please withhold the fallacies.
I'm not sure we both agree on what a fallacy is since you've just made one with your previous statement. And this is certainly an open discussion, but if you're taking a stance of attack we are certainly entitled to defend our position by explaining things in various different ways that are both civil and respectful. I also don't see anything in VSE's responses that are out of line nor inaccurate. He is simply stating the facts. The Internet has a funny way of twisting our conversations around to others so it's very difficult to determine the attitude with which something is posted so I understand why you said that.

The plus side to all of this is that we put it in an RC where we can see how you, the community, responds to it so we could adjust accordingly.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Ger » Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:41 pm

DavidIQ wrote:
Ger wrote:So if Facebook starts to sell private information, it's OK for phpBB as well? And if Google starts to take secretly take pictures with the webcam when using the search engine, phpBB could also do that?
You totally missed the point.
Than by all means: elaborate.
Ger wrote:You both (VSE and DavidIQ) seems to take a defensive standing point. Please don't. As I wrote earlier: I welcome an open discussion. Please withhold the fallacies.
I'm not sure we both agree on what a fallacy is since you've just made one with your previous statement.
The fallacy is that phpBB now does something that's generally considered "wrong" (or even "evil" according to some). You say that's OK since Google and FB etc. do it as well. I'm no linguistic expert, but IMO it's a fallacy. In Dutch there's a figure of speech that translates something like:
  • "So you drunk 20 bottles of beer because Joe also did. But when Joe jumps off a building, would you do the same as well?"
I hope it's clear what I mean. Again: if I miss your point, please elaborate.
And this is certainly an open discussion, but if you're taking a stance of attack we are certainly entitled to defend our position by explaining things in various different ways that are both civil and respectful.
My "stance" is here. Where's the attack? I tried to explain my concerns in my best and polite English. You seem offended and are nitpicking my arguments, yet I haven't read any good argument to take the concerns away.
The plus side to all of this is that we put it in an RC where we can see how you, the community, responds to it so we could adjust accordingly.
But why an RC? Adding major changes/features in an RC is very strange IMO.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by DavidIQ » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:11 pm

Ger wrote:I hope it's clear what I mean. Again: if I miss your point, please elaborate.
The point is that, while you've made it out to be some sort of super duper evil thing that some site might be setting a cookie, that this is something that is already happening throughout your entire day. That the EU made cookies out to be some sort of evil thing does not actually make it true in general.
Ger wrote:But why an RC? Adding major changes/features in an RC is very strange IMO.
It was already being worked on before the RCs, but was not ready in time for the first RC due to various unforeseen circumstances and technical challenges. The alternative would have been to put it into 3.3, which is still at least a year away, but probably more realistically at least 2 years.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by RMcGirr83 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:13 pm

Seeing as the extension is now packaged with the core code, it should be disabled by default or placed in the official extensions db and if people want to use it they can install it. That's my .02 on the subject FWIW.

I am sort of confused as to why not all revenue streams are being utilized. At least have a link to donate, if you never get a donation...c'est la vie but you, collectively speaking, aren't even allowing one to donate to begin with.

It's called "maximizing revenues".
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Marshalrusty » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:16 pm

Ger wrote:So if Facebook starts to sell private information, it's OK for phpBB as well? And if Google starts to take secretly take pictures with the webcam when using the search engine, phpBB could also do that?
I'm not sure that making outrageous slippery-slope fallacies is contributing to the discussion, unless you're suggesting that VigLink is somehow even remotely close to secretly taking pictures with a webcam.

If phpBB is to survive in the modern internet, the project cannot be holier-than-everyone by taking a hard-line against something that is essentially ubiquitous on the internet otherwise. We can continue the puritanical approach to all of this, pat ourselves on the back, and then go to Facebook/Google/virtually-any-other-website-on-the-internet where all of this is happening anyway. Personally, I'd rather see phpBB get the lift it needs if the tangible cost is zero sum otherwise. Or do you not have a Facebook/Google/LinkedIn/MSN/Yahoo!/whatever account? Do you complain to these services that they're tracking your data? Why not?

Plus, if you don't like it, don't enable it. It's not being forced on you.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by kinerity » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:18 pm

I actually don't have a problem with this as it's an extension and can be disabled if boards don't want it. I would, however, be interested in a team member answering this bullet point - particularly the bold red portion.
Ger wrote:
  • The whole process feels kind of shady. Viglink has never been discussed as an RFC on Area51, nor has a blog post been made or has it been on any feature/change list. You can't really argue about the fact that inclusion of third-party software that really invades the resulting product has quite some impact. Why wasn't this discussed before adding it? And why is this suddenly pushed in a second release candidate? Such changes are usually not added in RC stage, let alone a second RC.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by david63 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:24 pm

Marshalrusty wrote:Plus, if you don't like it, don't enable it. It's not being forced on you.
Currently it is as it is enabled by default.
DavidIQ wrote:that some site might be setting a cookie,
VigLink does set cookies when it is enabled on a board.
DavidIQ wrote:That the EU made cookies out to be some sort of evil thing does not actually make it true in general.
It matter not one iota what you, I or anybody else thinks about what the EU believe about cookies - there is a law in the EU which if this extension is enabled will mean that that law will be being broken unless the necessary procedures have been adhered to and core phpBB does not have those procedures in place.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by DavidIQ » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:33 pm

david63 wrote:It matter not one iota what you, I or anybody else thinks about what the EU believe about cookies - there is a law in the EU which if this extension is enabled will mean that that law will be being broken unless the necessary procedures have been adhered to and core phpBB does not have those procedures in place.
As far as I understand this cookie law, since it's VigLink setting the cookie and not the board it shouldn't matter to the board owner.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Ger » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:34 pm

Marshalrusty wrote:
david63 wrote:But you only get redirected if you are logged in as an Admin when you do the update/upgrade.

And the process is an "opt out" not an "opt in" as is being implied by both Marc and Marshalrusty.
The intended behavior is to require the administrator to make an affirmative decision, so this is just a bug.
I just updated to RC2. I got the page with the "enable" checkbox. I unchecked it and got confirmation. But now I'm at a loss: Where are the settings?
In ACP->Costumise->Extensions->VigLink, it still says it's enabled. I could disable it there, but decided to keep it enabled and look for futher settings.
But those are nowhere to be found. Not in the extensions tab, not in Board settings, not in Post settings. Where should it be?

[edit]Hey, I suddenly notice it now, under General -> Board configuration. That's weird, since I did a Ctfl=F to "vigl" which only found the log entries that were triggered by the update process.
Anyway: this seems like a bug to me: the Viglink extension IS enabled, only within the extension, Viglink is disabled. That's kind of confusing.
[/edit]

Marshalrusty wrote:I'm not sure that making outrageous slippery-slope fallacies is contributing to the discussion, unless you're suggesting that VigLink is somehow even remotely close to secretly taking pictures with a webcam.
Let's just skip those remarks of both DavidIQ and me. Useless comments, not helpful for the discussion.
Marshalrusty wrote:If phpBB is to survive in the modern internet, the project cannot be holier-than-everyone by taking a hard-line against something that is essentially ubiquitous on the internet otherwise. We can continue the puritanical approach to all of this, pat ourselves on the back, and then go to Facebook/Google/virtually-any-other-website-on-the-internet where all of this is happening anyway. Personally, I'd rather see phpBB get the lift it needs if the tangible cost is zero sum otherwise. Or do you not have a Facebook/Google/LinkedIn/MSN/Yahoo!/whatever account?
Just Google, actually. But it's not about me. It's about phpBB and all the end-users, being both board administrators and board visitors.

Look, I understand phpBB needs money. And I'm well aware of the current advertisement market. It's collapsed in the past 2 years. But like I said: the whole tracking stuff feels shady, the process of incorporating it in phpBB feels shady and it's bloat that IMO devalues phpBB.
There are several options earn funds, one of which would be a donate button. It's been asked for several times. Why not add a donate button in the installation and update process? Heck, just add it to the ACP homepage.

I'm NOT saying phpBB shouldn't make money. I care about the project and have invested hundreds -if not thousands- of hours in supporting phpBB in several ways. But like I have explained: I think phpBB is taking a wrong turn here.
Last edited by Ger on Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Marshalrusty » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:34 pm

kinerity wrote:I actually don't have a problem with this as it's an extension and can be disabled if boards don't want it. I would, however, be interested in a team member answering this bullet point - particularly the bold red portion.
Ger wrote:
  • The whole process feels kind of shady. Viglink has never been discussed as an RFC on Area51, nor has a blog post been made or has it been on any feature/change list. You can't really argue about the fact that inclusion of third-party software that really invades the resulting product has quite some impact. Why wasn't this discussed before adding it? And why is this suddenly pushed in a second release candidate? Such changes are usually not added in RC stage, let alone a second RC.
The purpose of an RFC is to request community input on the best implementation of a feature, so knowledgeable people can provide input, and we can arrive at the best possible outcome. VigLink is not a "feature" in the sense of something that is going to change the user experience. It's a purely financial consideration that will in the long-term improve the financial standing of the phpBB project and allow us to improve the product. If you enable in on your site, you're not doing it because it adds something to your community, but rather as a selfless act to contribute to phpBB. As for the timing, there's been a public PR for this on git since... a very long time ago. It was merged when it was deemed stable. If anyone was trying to hide anything, it wouldn't have been a public PR, and we probably wouldn't have made a blog post about it.
RMcGirr83 wrote:SI am sort of confused as to why not all revenue streams are being utilized. At least have a link to donate, if you never get a donation...c'est la vie but you, collectively speaking, aren't even allowing one to donate to begin with.
The legal/financial framework for accepting donations is not in place. That would need to be done first before donations would actually be considered donations in the eyes of the government.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by Ger » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:39 pm

DavidIQ wrote:
david63 wrote:It matter not one iota what you, I or anybody else thinks about what the EU believe about cookies - there is a law in the EU which if this extension is enabled will mean that that law will be being broken unless the necessary procedures have been adhered to and core phpBB does not have those procedures in place.
As far as I understand this cookie law, since it's VigLink setting the cookie and not the board it shouldn't matter to the board owner.
There is a simple rule in The Netherlands: a website owner is fully responsible for the website content in every way. That includes user generated content, advertisements and services. Several lawsuits have pointed that out. Our judges based their ruling on previous German lawsuits.

Now IANAL, but this generally means it's de facto EU rule. Besides that: the Dutch implementation of the "cookie law" states specifically that tracking cookies should NOT be placed before explicit permission of the visitor.
Every EU member country should implement this directive in their own way, but generally speaking the basic rule should serve the same purpose.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by kinerity » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:44 pm

Marshalrusty wrote:there's been a public PR for this on git since... a very long time ago. It was merged when it was deemed stable
You don't happen to have a link to that would you (purely for reference purposes)? I quick searched and came up empty.
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by DavidIQ » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:47 pm

kinerity wrote:You don't happen to have a link to that would you (purely for reference purposes)? I quick searched and came up empty.
These had been around since February:
https://github.com/phpbb/phpbb/pull/4189
https://tracker.phpbb.com/browse/PHPBB3-14492
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by kinerity » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:51 pm

Thanks David!
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Re: Discuss: phpBB to ship with VigLink extension

Post by VSE » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:56 pm

Ger wrote:Your are semantically correct. As I understand it, the links aren't changed in the HTML directly and the average Joe won't notice a thing However, Viglink does change the resulting page and does track your user's behaviour. They have to, it's the whole point of Viglink's business. It's not like there's a magician at work there, they're probably using some kind of cookie or fingerprint or something like that.
They do not change the resulting page. Where did you get that from?

As I understand it when a user clicks on an outbound link to an affiliated merchant, VigLink creates and hands off a unique id to the merchant. At that point while the user is on the merchants site, if they make a purchase, then VigLink knows that user originated from your site. VigLink will be tracking visitors on these merchant sites anyways, regardless of whether they came from any other site. There's nothing nefarious here nor obtrusive to the user's experience.
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