John Chamberlain
Developer Diary
 Developer Diary · You Heard It Here First · Thursday 22 January 2004
To Spy or Not to Spy
To spy or not to spy, that is the question. Usually I am worried about other entities spying on me, but now I am wondering whether I should spy. We have an important distribution of the OPeNDAP Data Connector coming out next week. This distribution will reach a lot of new customers. It is tempting to collect metrics on the program's use. Should we do it?

As a government-funded organization OPeNDAP relies on metrics when applying for grants. Being able to say our program is used by 1000 scientists who have generated over a million plots with the program or whatever would greatly increase the appeal of our grants. On the other hand we would be spying on our customers to collect these statistics. What if we added an (obscure :-) ) configuration option to turn the spying off, would that make it better?

Our software is free. That gives us the right to spy. See, I'm justifying it to myself already. It's just so tempting. It preys on your mind, my precious, we mussst sees whats the customersss is doing, yes we must. Nasty little customers is gettings our softwares for nothing, they is. The least they might do is shares a little information with nice programmers.

What do you think? Vote by emailing me spy at Choices are:

(1) spy away, if you think that will help your pathetic little non-profit
(2) its ok if you notify the lusers and give them a switch to turn it off
(3) spying is evil you grasping megalomaniac

Stay tuned as results will be posted next week.

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