Thoughts on the new "Gold" menu in 2.1.5



  • I upgraded my 2.1.4 release up to 2.1.5 as a lot of people are recently, and was a bit 
    surprised to discover this new "Gold" menu sitting squarely in the middle of the navbar. I 
    looked over the changelog, and didn't see any mention of it, so naturally I poked around a bit 
    to find out where it came from.

    Here was the first clue I found as to the origins of this mysterious new menu:

    https://github.com/pfsense/pfsense/pull/1254

    I both agree and disagree with this GIT commit. I really don't find that the message in the 
    initial configuration wizard is any real reason for concern at all. If you're a new user to 
    the platform, or you're doing a fresh install, a little one-time self promotion of your paid 
    service is fine. I'm either interested, and will click through and purchase a membership, or 
    I'm not interested and simply hit "Next".

    But before I go too far down this road, let me make an aside. I do understand the absolutely 
    colossal amount of time and effort that ESF and the open source community puts into pfsense as 
    a whole, and I'm sure the rest of the user base truly appreciates all of the hard work that 
    goes into it as well. I also understand that while the admiration is nice, it doesn't pay the 
    bills, servers and bandwidth aren't free, and why shouldn't those primarily responsible for 
    the project not receive some tangible compensation for all that they do?

    However, I also agree in that I really don't think that sticking a entire menu, on the already 
    densely packed main navbar, that serves absolutely no other function than to serve as a 
    permanent promotion your paid service is the right way to do things. Also, the proverbial 
    "hand-slap" given to this user for their commit basically stating "We're going to do this, like 
    it or not." is a little concerning as well.

    Why don't we rename the "Gold" menu to "Ads" or "Special Offers", and fill it with links to Gold
    memberships, pfsense hardware vendors stuffed with affiliate codes, and "Click here to win a
    free iPad!".  Ok, so maybe that last bit was a little bit harsh, but the point being is that it's a
    slippery downhill slope when developers are willing to sacrifice a products overall usability in order
    to try to amonetize it. It takes what is an otherwise professional looking and well made piece of software
    and tarnishes its image.

    I would think it best to leave the extra page promoting the Gold service in the config wizard, and
    add the existing link to either the help page (as many have suggested), or maybe a new tab on
    the Backup/Restore page, and remove the new menu entry from the nav bar.

    All that being said, https://github.com/pfsense/pfsense/commit/a03943d203441a87ea9c01f383d451dfc921bdd2
    would appear to give a small preview of the things to come if things continue along the seemingly current plan.

    What is everyone else's opinion on these new promotional sections? Like them, hate them, don't care?
    Maybe I'm being overly sensitive, but something about it just rubs me the wrong way.


  • Banned

    Couldnt agree more. Ads and sales pitches doesnt belong in the menu of a serious security product.

    Stick it under help menu if it needs to be there at all.



  • @Supermule:

    Couldnt agree more. Ads and sales pitches doesnt belong in the menu of a serious security product.

    Stick it under help menu if it needs to be there at all.

    Hopefully this does not signify the end of pfSense as a free, community, product … :(


  • Banned

    It does. This is all about money making and the distribution and user base is now a size that some believe will carry the gold pot into the bank.

    What they dont realize is that people are leaving and its not more than a fork away from beeing run over by people that wants to keep it OS andf transparent…



  • Same here. It really shouldnt be under the main menu. Under help or maybe in the footer would be a good place.



  • @Supermule:

    It does. This is all about money making and the distribution and user base is now a size that some believe will carry the gold pot into the bank.

    You could not be more wrong.

    @Supermule:

    What they dont realize is that people are leaving and its not more than a fork away from beeing run over by people that wants to keep it OS andf transparent…

    Of course, on this, time will tell if people are leaving, or not.  If you (or anyone else) wants to fork pfSense, go ahead.  Forking doesn't bother me.

    (You need to work on your spelling.)



  • In your face "buy me" stuff has always annoyed me.  However, if I can think of a cool way to ask for money, I'll post it here.


  • Banned

    Sorry.

    I am not native to the english language and if I asked you to write any scandinavian language, then spelling could be an issue for you as well.

    Again you tell me that I am wrong…yet again you dont tell me why.

    Listen to what the community wants and do it. But you dont. As has been repeated about 1 million times....

    Update 2.1.5 seems to suck sideways as of now and focus on making that work before you attack me for not beeing 112% fluent in your language.

    @gonzopancho:

    @Supermule:

    It does. This is all about money making and the distribution and user base is now a size that some believe will carry the gold pot into the bank.

    You could not be more wrong.

    @Supermule:

    What they dont realize is that people are leaving and its not more than a fork away from beeing run over by people that wants to keep it OS andf transparent…

    Of course, on this, time will tell if people are leaving, or not.  If you (or anyone else) wants to fork pfSense, go ahead.  Forking doesn't bother me.

    (You need to work on your spelling.)



  • Stick it under help menu if it needs to be there at all.

    This

    (You need to work on your spelling.)

    That was petty and uncalled for.



  • File under: Why I stopped using smoothwall, why I stopped using OpenDNS, why I stopped using Untangle, why I stopped using ClearOS. I don't recall - it's quite possible that one of the latter two never even made it as far as being used, since both were firmly established as "deliberately crippled-ware" but I did use one or the other for a while, at least.

    When "free software" becomes "broken adware for our premium product" it stops being functional software pretty soon thereafter.

    If pfSense goes that way, it will be a shame. But shame is pretty common. While I quite deliberately have not tried all the versions, given that updates often induce new problems, it's telling that my 2.0.3 install is, on the whole, much more stable/reliable than any version of 2.1 I have tried as yet.


  • Banned

    The only reason I had to change to 2.1.4 was the Snort package.

    If that hadnt demanded the shift then I would still be on 2.0.3 as well

    @Ecnerwal:

    File under: Why I stopped using smoothwall, why I stopped using OpenDNS, why I stopped using Untangle, why I stopped using ClearOS. I don't recall - it's quite possible that one of the latter two never even made it as far as being used, since both were firmly established as "deliberately crippled-ware" but I did use one or the other for a while, at least.

    When "free software" becomes "broken adware for our premium product" it stops being functional software pretty soon thereafter.

    If pfSense goes that way, it will be a shame. But shame is pretty common. While I quite deliberately have not tried all the versions, given that updates often induce new problems, it's telling that my 2.0.3 install is, on the whole, much more stable/reliable than any version of 2.1 I have tried as yet.



  • What gets me is it broke the menu. Now the menu wraps and I have to play games with fonts to be able to get to the system menu.

    Add that the new update broke the serial console AGAIN, this is getting annoying.

    I was considering donating, but the last two updates have me considering other options.



  • I don't see any intentional breakage of pfsense here.  No disabled "premium" features.
    I'm going to say that all they did is put a little button on the menu that says if you like the product and have the means, giving a little would be nice.

    As long as thats where it ends, I see nothing wrong.

    I think it was purely unintentional if some bugs cropped up.



  • I haven't even seen it myself yet - got the update email, dropped back into the forums, saw various difficulties in place, left my machines at 2.0.3 and 2.1.3  for the moment. But this debacle certainly has me asking myself what I'd have to do to shift over to m0n0wall from which pfSense came, IIRC (which evidently has a nice easy traffic sharing button that I wish pfSense did, particularly since the shaper keeps blowing up and killing all my traffic when I try to get it to do what I want.)

    Best guess for my use (without extensive delving and/or testing yet) is that I'd need a separate box (probably the current one, as most of its horsepower is specifically there for Squid) to do Squid on, and otherwise it might do everything I do with pfSense at present.



  • @shenion:

    What gets me is it broke the menu. Now the menu wraps and I have to play games with fonts to be able to get to the system menu.

    It didn't break the menu per se, your browser is caching the older .css file… clear your cache and you should be good to go...



  • @Supermule:

    The only reason I had to change to 2.1.4 was the Snort package.

    If that hadnt demanded the shift then I would still be on 2.0.3 as well

    That's…. interesting.  Above you were moaning about security, and the number of security fixes between 2.0.3 and 2.1.5 is ... likely sufficient for you to have upgraded anyway.



  • @kejianshi:

    In your face "buy me" stuff has always annoyed me.  However, if I can think of a cool way to ask for money, I'll post it here.

    someone pointed out that it's a placeholder.  There will be services offered under the menu (right now it's just a link.)

    Nobody is forcing anyone to buy anything.



  • @coolspot:

    @Supermule:

    Couldnt agree more. Ads and sales pitches doesnt belong in the menu of a serious security product.

    Stick it under help menu if it needs to be there at all.

    Hopefully this does not signify the end of pfSense as a free, community, product … :(

    Why would the presence of a menu signal the end of pfSense as 'free'?


  • Banned

    Why would cheap vs expensive signal bad vs good quality??



  • @Supermule:

    Sorry.

    I am not native to the english language and if I asked you to write any scandinavian language, then spelling could be an issue for you as well.

    Again you tell me that I am wrong…yet again you dont tell me why.

    Listen to what the community wants and do it. But you dont. As has been repeated about 1 million times....

    Update 2.1.5 seems to suck sideways as of now and focus on making that work before you attack me for not beeing 112% fluent in your language.

    @gonzopancho:

    @Supermule:

    It does. This is all about money making and the distribution and user base is now a size that some believe will carry the gold pot into the bank.

    You could not be more wrong.

    @Supermule:

    What they dont realize is that people are leaving and its not more than a fork away from beeing run over by people that wants to keep it OS andf transparent…

    Of course, on this, time will tell if people are leaving, or not.  If you (or anyone else) wants to fork pfSense, go ahead.  Forking doesn't bother me.

    (You need to work on your spelling.)

    You're not getting an explanation.  You're one of the people on the forum with whom I choose to not engage.  I don't consider you a friend of the project, and, in-general, I find you to be overly negative.  Negativity in the community leads to situations such as just occurred at Chef (Opscode).

    https://sethvargo.com/leaving-chef/

    http://www.getchef.com/blog/2014/08/27/behaving-responsibly-in-the-chef-community/

    Improve your attitude, and I'll strongly consider re-engaging with you.  (And yes, I am aware that I am as grumpy as anyone here.)

    As for your "about 1 million times", I doubt there are even one million posts on the forum.  From what I can dig out of SMF, it's only about half that total, and not all of those are posts telling me what the community wants.  Hyperbole doesn't win the debate.

    That said, I do listen to the community, (so do jdillard, cmb, jimp, ermal, billm, epeolatry, etc.) but the community doesn't make all the decisions.  The community is important, but so are the customers and the company.

    If you consider my assertion that you need to work on your spelling an 'attack', then it says a lot about your frame of mind.  It was not an attack.  You're likely upset that your "threat of fork" fell on deaf ears.  I considered forking pfSense instead of acquiring the company behind it.  pfSense is about much more than the source code.

    (Point in-fact, were you able to fork, then a change to a web menu would not enrage you.  You would simply fix your problem.)

    If I wanted to "monetize pfSense" in the short-term, you'd be getting downloads of AV software and the Ask toolbar.  (Let's be perfectly clear, that isn't happening.)



  • @Supermule:

    Why would cheap vs expensive signal bad vs good quality??

    it does not.

    What was your point?


  • Banned

    For what its worth, people that know me in here and whom I have had the privilige to talk to outside the forum, is not considering me negative at all.

    Maybe I ask the wrong questions and maybe have the experience to see whats down the road when you treat people like this??



  • @Supermule:

    For what its worth, people that know me in here and whom I have had the privilige to talk to outside the forum, is not considering me negative at all.

    Maybe I ask the wrong questions and maybe have the experience to see whats down the road when you treat people like this??

    Better!

    As I've stated elsewhere, the "Gold" menu is a placeholder.  Other services (some free, some not) will eventually 'fill in' under same.

    But, sure as heck, the minute anything changes, so many people run to the tops of buildings to shout, "pfSense isn't free!" when, in reality, nothing has changed.

    Nothing.

    You're not being charged for the software.
    The software isn't crippled.
    You are still free to fork.  The license for same is really simple.  (Cue: doktornotor and all of his negative bile.)

    I think pfSense is getting better.  You don't.  Everyone has an opinion.



  • Knowing full well I'm probably in the minority, I'm going to speak up.
    Aside from some theme/font formatting issues, the addition of the "Gold" menu doesn't bother me. It's not telling me to "Buy Gold," rather it's just "Gold" as a menu for where I might find paid features. pfSense has had a commercial support offering with some extra features for as long as I can remember, and this feels no worse.

    Quite the opposite. I love the $99/yr subscription, it brings project support  and previously commercial-only features (AutoConfigBackup) within my budgetary reach. So in at least one instance, the "Gold" menu will pay off for pfSense, and I'm happy to do it.



  • @brycec:

    Knowing full well I'm probably in the minority, I'm going to speak up.
    Aside from some theme/font formatting issues, the addition of the "Gold" menu doesn't bother me. It's not telling me to "Buy Gold," rather it's just "Gold" as a menu for where I might find paid features. pfSense has had a commercial support offering with some extra features for as long as I can remember, and this feels no worse.

    Quite the opposite. I love the $99/yr subscription, it brings project support  and previously commercial-only features (AutoConfigBackup) within my budgetary reach. So in at least one instance, the "Gold" menu will pay off for pfSense, and I'm happy to do it.

    I'm actually considering bundling ACB into pfSense.  You would still need a (free or higher) portal account to use it (because that's how it works), but it would be free to use.

    Thanks for your comment.

    And yes, the formatting issues are … a bit tragic.  We'll work out the issues, and the menu will get populated with services that people who run pfSense can take or not take.



  • @techmoto:

    What is everyone else's opinion on these new promotional sections? Like them, hate them, don't care?
    Maybe I'm being overly sensitive, but something about it just rubs me the wrong way.

    Personally I think it's fine. By analogy, if you compare pfSense's model to Redhat/Centos then exchanging a menu slot for the hassle of having to manually fork every single update is a small price indeed.

    Donationware isn't anything new under the sun and IMHO far better than shareware or crippleware. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donationware

    That said, I do understand your aesthetic objection. I've got a touch of OCD m'self. If it really bugs you so much, just PM me and I'll help walk you through the steps to take it out of your menu. ;)



  • @gonzopancho:

    […]  get populated with services that people who run pfSense can take or not take.

    That's the point, you can but you don't must.
    I like to donate to a project (like I does to pfsense) if I can and how much I can.



  • @Cino:

    @shenion:

    What gets me is it broke the menu. Now the menu wraps and I have to play games with fonts to be able to get to the system menu.

    It didn't break the menu per se, your browser is caching the older .css file… clear your cache and you should be good to go...

    I don't think so, I have 1 notebook (opensuse, firefox 31)-> no way to get it work, a number of workstations/notebooks (Win7/openSUSE, firefox 31) -> doing fine

    strange…



  • @chemlud:

    I don't think so, I have 1 notebook (opensuse, firefox 31)-> no way to get it work, a number of workstations/notebooks (Win7/openSUSE, firefox 31) -> doing fine
    strange…

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=81073.15



  • I tried the cache and font-thing without success. Not going to edit files for accessing my routers, not feasible under real-life conditions



  • Cleared the cache on mine and it still hides the Help menu under the System menu rendering the System menu unusable just to add in the "Gold" menu. This is kinda bad guys, really.




  • I'm glad its a placeholder for more things to come… I can live with that... If it was just going to be there with a link, then the footer or under Help would had made more sense IMHO.. One of these days I will will purchase a gold membership but stupid crap keeps popping up that takes my extras fund away... Damn you house and responsibilities... But for the most part, I myself have donated to pfsense over the years....

    Stephen



  • @Cino:

    I'm glad its a placeholder for more things to come… I can live with that... If it was just going to be there with a link, then the footer or under Help would had made more sense IMHO.. One of these days I will will purchase a gold membership but stupid crap keeps popping up that takes my extras fund away... Damn you house and responsibilities... But for the most part, I myself have donated to pfsense over the years....

    Stephen

    If it was just a link, then, yes, it would have been stupid and obnoxious.

    Money is nice, but it's not just about money.  Giving back can happen in any number of ways; forum posts (especially solid answers), pull requests (patches), documentation, etc.



  • I just want to add that it's specifically the broken UI that I have a major problem with.  The Gold idea in general is kinda against what I took pfSense to be about where the software is free and on point with the commercial support being the paid for part.  Please don't turn into a sonicwall.



  • @gonzopancho:

    Money is nice, but it's not just about money.  Giving back can happen in any number of ways; forum posts (especially solid answers), pull requests (patches), documentation, etc.

    I do try to assist other forum members as I can… I have helped a lot with testing of packages thru out the years to iron out bugs... I like to break things  ::)


  • Galactic Empire Netgate Administrator

    @Supermule:

    It does. This is all about money making and the distribution and user base is now a size that some believe will carry the gold pot into the bank.

    What they dont realize is that people are leaving and its not more than a fork away from beeing run over by people that wants to keep it OS andf transparent…

    And I suppose you have quantifiable metrics to show "people are leaving" as opposed to anecdotal feelings that the world is coming to an end because a change was made that you don't agree with?

    You're looking at the picture that's 6" in front of you. What you don't see is that in time, Gold will be more integrated with the product and become an extension of pfSense in ways that don't exist today.  How are you contributing to the project?



  • I'm running 2.2 alpha, I fired up a ESXI VM of 2.1.4, cleared all temporary downloads and caches. I then shut that down and fired up 2.2 again. Wallah, I reproduced your problem… Clear the catch again, delete temp files. It will fix the problem.

    As to the <gold>menu. It is exactly what you said, $100 gets you better documentation in the updated books ie. lowest level of "commercial support".. Adding that <gold>menu to highlight the "Commercial Support" doesn't hurt a single thing.

    I just paid my $100 to support the project and for the documentation. It costs lots of /gold>s for the servers and bandwidth, besides the time to manage the development. I get the same exact software you do.  :)

    Note to the development team, I hope you were kidding about the "Ask Toolbar"…. LMAO...

    @shadowwolf225:

    I just want to add that it's specifically the broken UI that I have a major problem with.  The Gold idea in general is kinda against what I took pfSense to be about where the software is free and on point with the commercial support being the paid for part.  Please don't turn into a sonicwall.</gold></gold>



  • @wcrowder:

    Note to the development team, I hope you were kidding about the "Ask Toolbar"…. LMAO...

    Oh, it's coming… right after we re-write pfSense in Java.



  • @gonzopancho:

    @wcrowder:

    Note to the development team, I hope you were kidding about the "Ask Toolbar"…. LMAO...

    Oh, it's coming… right after we re-write pfSense in Java.

    Really, that is not even funny, shudder ;)

    I would like to find more ways to help, I am off to sign up for gold though, then I need to figure out where I can help out…


  • Netgate Administrator

    Watchguard re-wrote their web interface for smaller boxes in Flash. You have to try hard to beat that.  ;D

    I have no problem with the 'Gold' menu heading as long as it's a place holder for future offerings. I did expect to find the auto-config-backup there but if that's being considered for general availability anyway I can see why it's not. It seems fairly unobtrusive to me.

    Steve


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