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Dear PDFForge Team,
I just have installer PDFCreator on my new PC and saw that it comes with an unwanted installation.
By installing your product, another one called "BabylonToolbar" was installed. There was *no* obvious dialog which asked me whether I want it, or even told me about it. I just noticed because Firefox asked me whether I wanted to install the BabylonToolbar Addon. But the stuff is already sitting in my Program Files and IE :(
(Of course, I did not read the user license agreement, it was probably somewhere in there, but that's not what I would call obvious.)
Please, please, please, drop these bundles. It is not a honest way of marketing. It does unwanted things with your users' equipment.
I know the idea is tempting, I am developing a quite popular piece of OS software myself and have seen offers for installer bundles, too. We decided not to do it, as we do not want to have our reputation damaged (just search for bablyon toolbar and you'll see about it's reputation).
It just really is not nice to install unwanted things and this damages not only your, but the reputation of open source in general.
Thanks for your time, best regards,
By the way: I got the installer from this website, which openend a download from sourceforge.net.
Are you sure that Sourceforge's terms and conditions allow hosting third-party software (which is probably not open source) on their systems? I do not know for sure, but I doubt.
I also just noticed that the evil Babylon Toolbar changed my browser's homepage and added fiddled with my search providers. This is really annoying, I am quite frustrated now. Who knows what else it did. Definitely malware.
Thanks and best regards,
Norman strongly recommends not to install your latest version, as it claims it does contain a trojan:
Is this related to the request posted by Peter to refrain from unwanted bundled software?
I am developing a quite popular piece of OS software myself and have seen offers for installer bundles, too
Well... sometimes no answer is an answer too :(
I suggest everyone should express their feelings/opinion here:http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/reviews/Maybe even there:http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/report_inappropriate
It really is a pity, I used to recommend PDFCreator :(
pdfforge, just wanted to let you know I'm tired of the malware you bundle with your great software so guess what? I've uninstalled both Creator and Architect off my computer, will be taking both off of the computers at work, will take it off of our approved software at work and will be going for a reliable pdf converter that, gues what - has no malmare included.
Thanks a lot for making another great argument for the non-use of open source software. Sometimes it is true - you get what you pay for. No thanks for wasting my time.
Anyone notice how no people responsible for PDFCreator are responding to the complaints abou the crap they're instaling. I'm on 0.9.7 and will stay there forever if this garbage continues.
@Terabyte: is this version the latest without any toolbars or bundled installers? Thanks for the hint :)
I really don't understand the complaints. These folks give away great software. It is really great. It is the only program that I have ever seen (and I have looked) that allows one to que prints across multiple applications and then save them all as a single pdf.
How did you people miss the option to not install the toolbar? The "are you sure?" check is even more obvious in this version than the the 1.2x series. Pay attention for f@#&! sake!
It really amazes me that people bitch and moan because these guys try to recoup (not make) money for providing this great software and its associated overhead (their time, web hosting, etc). And, they only do so by giving you the option to opt out.
Dear Pdfforge, since some vocal citizens of the net are incapable of following simple instructions, I suggest you offer a paid version, guaranteed to be ad/toolbar free. PDFSam offers an enhanced version with a choose-what-you-want donation. In fact, it would be cool if you could team up with PDFSam because the new Architect program has some similar functions. http://www.pdfsam.org/
Thanks again for the great software.
@longtimeuser: I think the bundled install is not always the same - I have tried a second time and the installer tried to install something else than Babylon Toolbar. (Some instant messenger, don't remember its name.)
But, in both cases, it was not obvious that it would do so. The only thing that should have probably made me hesitate in the first place was that there were two end user lincenses to agree with. However, the windows were not titled "Babylon Toolbar License Agreement" or similar, and - admittedly, as most users - if have not read the license agreement and thus do not know that I have obviously accepted an agreement with Babylon stuff.
Furthermore, at least Babylon is designed to stick in your system wherever it can, without offering an easy option to uninstall it again completely. This is definitely malware behavior, and should not be suppported, not even in order to support a good thing (as qualitative open source software, which we are definitely talking about).
We are *not* complaining about seeing ads, we are *not* complaining about nag features, we are *not* complaining about being asked for donations. We *are* complaining that malware comes with what we think is trustworthy, in a way that cannot really be called obvious.
As stated above, I give away open source software for free, too. I am also not excited about the fact that there are so few people willing to support a good piece of open source software. And the donations not even nearly cover the costs we have to develop it, even though it is downloaded several thousand times per day. But installing malware is not an option for us. If it was really really obvious, and if there was a complete uninstaller for the bundled software... yes, it *might* be an option, but still it's really an ugly thing that the user allows administrative access for the software installer, which in turn passes it to a third party company.
There are other ways to make money with OSS, probably not as much as with bundled installers. But if you pack really unpopular things in your software, you have to accept that you are criticized for doing so.
The problem is that many people is too used to choose "Typical installation" everywhere, everytime.
I always choose Custom / Advanced, or whatever that’s available. When setup reaches the point when asks me to install toolbars, search engines or other silly things, then I just uncheck all marks and press the "No" button to decline license terms. I never had any problem with this. I recently installed latest version, same procedure, no toolbars... so, what’s the complaint?
I chose Custom / Advanced installation and unclicked the areas for a new default browser page, Browser Helper Object, etc. They were installed anyway. This is clearly grounds for calling this software inappropriate.
Hi!Regarding this issue I'd like to add my experience of installing PDFCreator v. 1.3.2 which I downloaded from http://netcologne.dl.sourceforge.net/project/pdfcreator/PDFCreator/PDFCreator 1.3.2/PDFCreator-1_3_2_setup.exe(The exe has the following MD5 hash: 6d4c8dad2aca3981ed28b603cfdfaa4a)I've done installations on several PCs with (Windows XP or Windows 7). I always choose custom installation. Sometimes the installer asks about installing the Nitro PDF Reader and it is possible to avoid it -- see this picture.
But in about 50% of cases the installer tries to download something from www.mickyfastdl.com which gets blocked by Eset NOD32 antivirus -- see this picture.Luckily, at this point it is possible to click next and continue the installation without installing the crap.I would really prefer not to have crapware installed together with PDFCreator.
"The problem is that many people is too used to choose "Typical installation" everywhere, everytime."
Yes, that's a problem. But whoever wants to be at least a little bit trustworthy would not trick these people into installing unwanted third party software (which is not even under control of the developers of this software project). That's the complaint.
Just because many people are too used to ignore red traffic lights does not mean it is okay to run them over.
After uninstalling PDFCreator, I downloaded it again. When it came time to install it, I read ALL the boilerplate with due dilligence. When it tried to install the unwanted toolbar, I first unclicked the blocks and started to click "Agree." My thinking was that the toolbar would not be installed. But after reading the boilerplate, I realized that "Agree" meant I would accept installation of the toolbar and that the check-boxes were not revelant. I think the people who wrote the software for the toolbar did this deliberately knowing that unless the person read the boilerplate in detail, they would be tricked into clicking "Agree." So I clicked "Decline" and the tool bar was not installed. It seems that many purveyers of "spy and annoy" software are doing this. When you try to download software today, notice how many "Download Now" buttons are on the screen. Generally only one button is the correct one. The other buttons are there to fool a reader into installing "spy and annoy" software. They are carefully crafted to look virtually identical to the correct button, and they are placed on the screen in plaaces where one would expect the correct "Download Now" button to be. Notice ham many "Free Download" buttons are on the PDFCreator web page on Sourceforge. If you have Internet Explorer, pass your cursor over these - but don't click. At the bottom of the IE screen, the real link is displayed. I wonder where the link: http://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/aclk?sa=l&ai=BtJs7TS2GT7nBCuiEgAKPm4CAAbGwlo8CkZCh5zehzYbEaMCLERABGAEg4eabAjgAULfrm5b4_____wFgyd65jNik4BGgAYf9zeEDsgEPc291cmNlZm9yZ2UubmV0ugERMzAweDI1MF9wYXNfYWJnbmPIAQLaAStodHRwOi8vc291cmNlZm9yZ2UubmV0L3Byb2plY3RzL3BkZmNyZWF0b3Iv4AEC-AEBwAIJyAKxjr0dqAMB6AMg6APACPUDAAQAhPUDAAAAEKAGAg&num=1&sig=AOD64_3pjvd4IFxyLw5RDyz4XiiksKL_HQ&client=ca-ostg_js&adurl=http://www.coolpdfcreator.com/gb/si/?adnm=14881423993&i=s&grid=A&lg=EN&cc=US&clg=en&c=1&d=1&cid=_35595907&kw=&mn=sourceforge.net&Network=D&expr=&agid=_3345669343 takes you? I try to avoid anything from DOUBLECLICK.NET as standard practice. Notice the site http://www.coolpdfcreator.com, and look at what you might be agreeing to if you click it. This is worse than a fast talking used car salesman! It is not illegal, but it certainly is misleading. I personally consider it immoral (speaking as a devout agnostic!. ☺). So PDFCreator is not really at fault here. The download of unwanted toolbars was due to my being fooled into clicking "Acept" where I should have clicked "Decline." Please accept my apology. Barry
first of all, I want to say sorry for the delayed response. We have been on easter holiday and are now trying to catch up with all the threads here while still trying to develop software ;-)
There are some topics mixed here which I will try to seperate:
Software Offers in the installer
We are currently testing two different providers and both of them have different offers, so there can be potentially many different offers that are shown to a user. This can be a bit confusing, I have to admit. All of the offers are designed to be more obvious than the old system we had with the Yahoo! toolbar. There is always a choice of Accept / Decline or a similar thing and it is not hidden in the user license, but on a seperate screen.
But we are still trying to work with the providers to improve the offer screens to be obvious to the user, though it of course is harder with more offers as it is now.
Fake download buttons
This is a big problem. We are using AdSense on the homepage and there are many companies trying to trick the user into downloading their software. We usually are rather fast in detecting that, but hints are welcome on that. We are also in good contact with sourceforge, but it regularly takes them longer to remove the displays.
We were thinking of that as well. Maybe we will do that in near future to have a minimalistic donation (like $1) to allow access to the Ad-free download. We will discuss that in the team.
We are ignoring this topic
I hope that this post will prove the opposite, though it may take some time to get an answer, specially during holidays.
Philipe,instead of misleading users into installing various additional software to raise funds for the project it would be better to promote direct users' donations. E.g. after installing the PDFCreator the installer could open the web page about making donations.There is a link for making donations to the project on http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/Another one is http://www.pdfforge.org/supportFree and open source software developers must make the users aware that creating and distributing the software is not costless and should invite them to make donations according to the value that each of the applications has for them.Have you tried to go this way in the past?-- rpr.
> "E.g. after installing the PDFCreator the installer could open the web page about making donations. "
That would break a silent install.
Of course, the silent install will not open a web page.
The program could also display a message about donations after user starts a version for the first time.
Philip, thanks for your feedback on this topic.
I've never seen the Yahoo toolbar integration in your installer, but those that I saw where not at all obvious.
I'd rather suggest a nag-feature, maybe every 10th created PDF a browser window opens, displaying your donations page and ads. This nag-feature could be deactivated with a key the developers can give to any user for a small donation.
I strongly disagree that you made it more obvious to opt out of the malware installation than the Yahoo toolbar. I have installed pdfcreator many times and always deselect yahoo toolbar because it is not appropriate.
if there was any opportunity to opt out of Babylon products, it was in no way obvious.
Furthermore, regardless of the answers you give after Babylon takes over the computer, it does what it wants. It does not uninstall with the uninstaller and it makes changes to the browsing behavior that are likely in the registry. I will check that out later but just wanted to get my 2 cents in here before people start believing this public relations comment you have posted.
Maybe you have changed the installer since I downloaded and installed so that it is more obvious but on mine there was zero opportunity to opt out as far as I am concerned.
As for money, don't put on a mask and rob it from the pockets of users who are then forced to suffer time consuming ill effects of your eagerness to accept a penny or two here and there by making deals with unscrupulous companies.
yes, you are right that the Babylon offer was not obvious. Our offer partner changed the screen and did remove the "Decline" button. You would not have received the Babylon offer if you had unchecked all check boxes, but we have complained about this already and are now showing different and obvious offers from a different partner, starting with PDFCreator 1.4.0 .
Please accept our apologies for the way the offer was presented.
I have just updated to v 1.4.0. I found if I run the installer when the previous version is still installed I do not get any obvious warning that Babylon is being installed. However if I uninstall the previous version before installing 1.4.0 I do get a prompt and can decline the offer of Babylon.
I have to echo the dissatisfaction expressed with the bundled software in the installer. My experience had my search provider changed on IE and Chrome and installation of Weatherbug even though I unchecked the option. I will have to find a different product to use for this purpose.
There is a big "decline" button, maybe it is a bit confusing for some, because it´s an entire screen and not only a checkbox.
After repeatedly being prompted to upgrade to PDF Creator version 1.4, I did this morning. During the install, I unchecked the option to install WeatherBug, but it installed it anyway. It also reset the home page on both Internet Explorer and Firefox to mystart.incredibar.com, as well as adding tool bars for its search engine. I did not ask for any of this. It was very annoying to have to spend time cleaning the junk off of my pc. I know this is a free product, but I had begun to trust sourceforge.net for what it offers.
I chose Custom Install, carefully selected/deselected options, and never saw any mention of Babylon Toolbar.
And yet, it was installed automatically, and hijacked my Search Provider and Homepage settings in both Crome and IE.
I've been a long-time PDFCreator user and advocate, but... no more. I may consider trying it again if/when they have an ad/malware-free (paid/donation) version. Until then, though, I'd rather pay for Adobe Acrobat for all my users than have to clean up the junk this (otherwise unbelievably great) software comes with.
It's a sad day....
Is the code example you have published here a "script" to install PDFCreator.? I am looking for a way of installing the product silently. Can you please advise. Would also appreciate input from others regarding any appropriate technique to silently install as part of a larger software package install.
To suspend6, no, it's not a script, it's a batch file. You can run batch files in system login scripts on networks.
Command-line switches to install PDFCreator are here:
You might be able to change the "/silent" switches in the batch file to "/verysilent" so the install is invisible to end users. A reboot will not be necessary if you follow the steps in the batch file, but forcing a new install to overwrite an existing install will most likely require a reboot, and "/VerySilent" will trigger an automatic reboot according to the page above.
WKPG has a page which may help:
I deliberately created an account, so I could post and state my complete disgust and those people in this forum who obtain something for gratis, then still expect level 1 support from the developers when they see something they don't like.
Well bugger off and buy your alternatives, but don't come here whinging; you're not qualified.
note: I am not a spokesman for the developers, nor do the developers endorse my opinion.
If this were truly 'gratis' people would not be complaining. Should not be complaining.
But when malware (very hard to uninstall software/mal-configuration) is bundled, and the installation installs that malware by default, and the process is designed to make any decline option confusing... well, this deserves the complaint in the strongest terms.
I am of a mind that Mozilla ought to block installation of this Babylon crapware to save us all the bother of those occasional mistakes... but PDFcreator makers should not be relying on such crapware for making a few cents... yes! request voluntary or compulsory donations -- I cannot believe that that Babylon is paying much per installation, and the software is definitely worth a dollar or two if that is what it takes to keep it free.
Now, what shall I do with all my clients using this good PDF creation software? They will make mistakes when upgrading it, and it is unethical for me to leave them to the mercies of such crapware only to charge them for support when they call me, or, worse, find that they stop using the internet because of the crapware... the knock on effects of such crapware should not be under-estimated... bundling this is a large step backwards to those horrid days when crapware was hidden in most 'free' software.
Can I remove this crapware Babylon without turning the air blue with curses? about:config edit edit edit ... lots of lines ... what a bore? What a waste of time? what a worriesome set of hurdles for making a simple mistake with a decline options tucked in halfway through the PDFCreator installation wizard. Lots of curses here - get rid of malware, it has no place in legitimate software.
After a few hours of search and tries, I finally got rid of Babylon. From now on, I will not upgrade your software any more. (PDF Creator)
How I got rid of Babylon? I did a « Windows restauration ».
When your software will cease functioning, I will have no other choice but to uninstall it.
Thank you for making a near perfect software, but you have taken the wrong approach to distribute it.3-rivieres
Ditto: Avoid Installing PDF Creator! I used to use it for years and installed it last night on a new PC only to discover to my horror that it now comes bundled with spyware/malware called "Babylon" which remains imbedded in your browsers even after uninstalling 2 components from the programs list. I am very disappointed to see the PDF Creators resort to this tactic so I am done using them and will now recommend against it for anyone else (the old "word of mouth" thing can help or not).
we have talked to the advertiser about this and got this resolved. The uninstallation process just now is improved and can be easily done through the windows system control panel.
Your latest malware selection of snap.do is even worse than babylon toolbar. What realy upsets me as this was an update not a new install. snap.do has hijacked all the browsers. IE, Firefox, Chrome. I have spent two days removing this crap from my computer. Even after unintalling the snap.do tool bar it presistis throught the browers. in firefox it disables the ablity to remove it as a search engine. if you removing it it locks the "Ok" key which leaves you the only option of clicking "Cancel" The software changed the keyword.url within the about:config settings which hijacks the browser if you mistype a url or do a simple search in firefox. Its time for you to growup, make your money through ligitamate channels and not on the backs of your users by making it a defualt to install 3rd party malware. You better be making a Sh%&# load of money from these 3rd parties because your are loosing your core users because of them.
Wow, reading all these comments makes me laugh. Especially about all the people crying about "it wasn't obvious". Guys it is very simple to read the few sentences an installer has in it. You might save yourself the troubles of geting unwanted software. I mean come on; a whole page on the installer dedicated to "Babylon Toolbar" asking to accept or decline a licence agreement for them. I feel that should be sufficient enough; i mean what do you want them to do? Put a big ole Green button on it that says "if you click this you will install this toolbar" and another big ole red one that says "if you click this you wont install this toolbar". This just goes to show how many people just "click" on through an installer to see how fast they can install the software. Insted of reading where it is being saved and what extras will be installed.
What isn't obvious about this page:
PDFCreator developers, you guys are doing an awesome job. The only people that seem to be dissatisfied are the ones who cannot operate a computer very well; so in that note they have no right to complain. Maybe they should take a computer class or somthing.
PS: If its malware, then the free version of Malwarebytes would take care of any "taking over, and not having control of your computer" instances. Do some research beforing going to forums and complaining.
#1 Cause of problems/errors involving computers,
Thanks for reading,
Replying to an old post I found, but just in case no one noticed, the sourceforge reviews have been disabled by the project admins there:"This project does not allow reviews to be posted."https://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/reviews/