GZStats: A quick rundown

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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby gwHero » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:14 am

Some other thing to consider is that when I post a bug, I sometimes check the 32 bit version to see if it's only 64 bit related or not... Since I always put every GZDoom version in a separate folder, it could give you a false positive that I use the 32 bit while I only used it to test a specific thing.
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby Sgt. Shivers » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:18 am

Other websites/apps collecting data doesn't make me feel more comfortable about a source port for a game I like doing it too, even if it's not as much.

On an unrelated note, who is MancII and his staff?
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby TerminusEst13 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:22 am

Graf Zahl wrote:Oh, and let me add to Kotti's post. Every website you visit, especially when Javascript is active, gets magnitudes more info about you, your computer and your habits just by going there once. Technology has become good and fast enough, that they can do a unique fingerprint of every computer that visits their site, if they are so inclined, without you even noticing that they do. I've also come into contact with some truly pervasive and hostile JS code at work that is dead set on circumventing any security measures a browser can use to reliably reidentify you if you revisit a site from another IP or with cookies deleted. [...]
But at the same time people get angry at obviously harmless information gathering because it is honest and tells up front that it gets done, while they should be far more concerned about the hidden data gathering that happens behind their back. What a weird world...


I don't think "it's the norm on the internet" is at all a reassuring reason to hear as an explanation of this, especially when this sort of thing is exactly the reason why people are so (rightfully) paranoid about their internet privacy nowadays.

Allow me to posit another angle to consider:
Now that GZDoom has gone fully GPL 3.0, people are now using this as an engine for game development rather than straight-up modding. We have Forestale on Steam Greenlight, Adventures of Square in development, I'm working on my own game, and other people are going to be following suit in making things as well.
There isn't really an easy or clean way to explain to people "By the way, this game will collect information about your PC for engine development down the line", especially when they have no interest in GZDoom as something to play Doom on or a modding platform. And they likely aren't going to give super-useful data anyway, given that they'll have the engine for just one product.
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby Kinsie » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:24 am

Sgt. Shivers wrote:On an unrelated note, who is MancII and his staff?
Mancubus II, a longtime (and largely uninvolved nowadays) community member who runs the servers that host DRDTeam, the Doom Wiki, Odamex and one of the idgames mirrors.

EDIT: For relevance, here's how the Dolphin project approaches the issue.
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby Gez » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:34 am

Kotti wrote:So what if Rachael can see if you participated in this survey? What does that tell her that she cannot get from just reading your post history? Let's see what I already know about you from publicly visible data on this forum.

And don't forget about user agents, that any web admin can decide to keep a log of: http://www.whatsmyua.info/
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby dpJudas » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:37 am

TerminusEst13 wrote:There isn't really an easy or clean way to explain to people "By the way, this game will collect information about your PC for engine development down the line", especially when they have no interest in GZDoom as something to play Doom on or a modding platform. And they likely aren't going to give super-useful data anyway, given that they'll have the engine for just one product.

Do you feel that some precious personal information has been given away when you look at this page: http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/ ? Keep in mind the upload about to be done by GZDoom is like 1/10th of what that page displays.

Bottom line, this is all a question about trust. If you don't trust us to use the information as we said we would, then why do you trust running an executable built by us in the first place?
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby Kinsie » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:41 am

dpJudas wrote:Do you feel that some precious personal information has been given away when you look at this page: http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/ ? Keep in mind the upload about to be done by GZDoom is like 1/10th of what that page displays.
Keep in mind the Steam Hardware Survey asks you nicely first, then it asks you a couple of questions about things it can't automatically detect (I think about whether you have a microphone, maybe internet connection speed as well) then goes to a confirmation screen that tells you everything it's going to send. You have to say okay to all of that before it sends anything. GZStats isn't so courteous.
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby dpJudas » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:45 am

Kinsie wrote:Keep in mind the Steam Hardware Survey asks you nicely first, then it asks you a couple of questions about things it can't automatically detect (I think about whether you have a microphone, maybe internet connection speed as well) then goes to a confirmation screen that tells you everything it's going to send. You have to say okay to all of that before it sends anything. GZStats isn't so courteous.

True, but Steam also has a paid team working for them that allows them spend the time required to do that UI. GZDoom on the other hand only got volunteers and need to present the UI on three platforms with incompatible UI toolkits.

Let me put it another way. Without data directly from GZDoom's userbase the only alternative is to use the data from Steam's survey. That means I'll put Windows XP usage numbers at 0.21%. Guess what conclusion that will lead to..
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby Marrub » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:50 am

There are three (four if you're weird) questions in the user's mind that are really more than should even be there in the first place.
- What do I give them? (Simple data.)
- Why do the developers need this data? (Because it's useful for getting rid of parts of the program I don't like getting rid of things that don't need to be here anymore.)
- Why do I have to give it to them? (You don't...)
- What does this effect? (Probably the game acting a bit funny on your first attempt at a multiplayer game.)
It seems like something that would better be resolved by a poll, honestly... It doesn't even have to be on the forum, just automatically collecting this data seems pointless.

dpJudas wrote:Bottom line, this is all a question about trust. If you don't trust us to use the information as we said we would, then why do you trust running an executable built by us in the first place?

For one, I don't, because I have to build GZDoom from source. :P If it's going to send things over the network it better have a good reason, one more than "because the developers really really want to know that I run AMD64 Linux with a 6-core processor (not that they could have just asked, or that their survey actually accounts for 6-core processors)"

Sorry if this post seems kind of bitchy, this really just seems like something that's contributing to the kind of shit I have to deal with on a daily basis that makes me have to spend entire days configuring my browser to not let everyone grab at every damn piece of information about me possible.
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby Kinsie » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:59 am

dpJudas wrote:GZDoom on the other hand only got volunteers and need to present the UI on three platforms with incompatible UI toolkits.
Then it's probably best to hold off on enabling such functionality in release builds until it can be done in a way that doesn't make people uncomfortable.
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby dpJudas » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:03 am

Marrub wrote:There are three (four if you're weird) questions in the user's mind that are really more than should even be there in the first place.
- What do I give them? (Simple data.)
- Why do the developers need this data? (Because it's useful for getting rid of parts of the program I don't like getting rid of things that don't need to be here anymore.)
- Why do I have to give it to them? (You don't...)
- What does this effect? (Probably the game acting a bit funny on your first attempt at a multiplayer game.)
It seems like something that would better be resolved by a poll, honestly... It doesn't even have to be on the forum, just automatically collecting this data seems pointless.

And who do you imagine is going to spend the considerable amount of time coding this UI? Remember, it must work on three platforms and be robust (tested).

Marrub wrote:For one, I don't, because I have to build GZDoom from source. :P

You still do. Or did you REALLY check what our build scripts are doing before you executed them? :)

Marrub wrote:Sorry if this post seems kind of bitchy, this really just seems like something that's contributing to the kind of shit I have to deal with on a daily basis that makes me have to spend entire days configuring my browser to not let everyone grab at every damn piece of information about me possible.

I'm sorry to break it to you. The Internet already know endless things about you despite that you did this. There's this thing called Google Analytics and Google Fonts that fire off requests anywhere you go. Google got nice computers cross-linking this information. Even noscript won't protect you from this. Add on top the ISP that can do packet inspection if they'd like. God save you if you have a phone made the last 10 years - it just gave away your physical location to Google or Apple. Not that they really need it, because they already have a database linking IP ranges to physical locations. Your credit card just told your bank everything you buy, from the last purchase at the supermarket to your computer. Add more stuff here for the paranoid mind. ;)

But in all of this, the thing that seems to bother you is that we get to know how many cores your computer got.

Kinsie wrote:Then it's probably best to hold off on enabling such functionality in release builds until it can be done in a way that doesn't make people uncomfortable.

Hah! No matter what you do in life, it will make someone "uncomfortable" somewhere. But hey, don't get me wrong. I'm all for blocking this attempt at getting real information. The Steam survey fits my agenda nicely, with less than 1% usage numbers for the platforms I don't feel like supporting its exactly what I want. :D
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby Marrub » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:10 am

dpJudas wrote:And who do you imagine is going to spend the considerable amount of time coding this UI? Remember, it must work on three platforms and be robust (tested).

Couldn't you use the in-game menu system?

eqJudas wrote:
Marrub wrote:For one, I don't, because I have to build GZDoom from source. :P

You still do. Or did you REALLY check what our build scripts are doing before you executed them? :)

Yes, I do.

frJudas wrote:I'm sorry to break it to you. The Internet already know endless things about you despite that you did this. There's this thing called Google Analytics and Google Fonts that fire off requests anywhere you go. Google got nice computers cross-linking this information. Even noscript won't protect you from this. Add on top the ISP that can do packet inspection if they'd like. God save you if you have a phone made the last 10 years - it just gave away your physical location to Google or Apple. Not that they really need it, because they already have a database linking IP ranges to physical locations. Your credit card just told your bank everything you buy, from the last purchase at the supermarket to your computer. Add more stuff here for the paranoid mind. ;)

I don't have a phone, I have all of Google's IP range blocked, and I don't have a credit card - I pay in cash. Among many other things I do for the sake of my own privacy.

gsJudas wrote:But in all of this, the thing that seems to bother you is that we get to know how many cores your computer got.

Hey man, 6-core processors are under-represented, I gotta get our voice out. :lol: In all seriousness, I don't mind it, I'd keep it on. I just think it should be an option.
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby Kinsie » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:12 am

dpJudas wrote:And who do you imagine is going to spend the considerable amount of time coding this UI? Remember, it must work on three platforms and be robust (tested).
I'm pretty sure a generic OS confirm dialogue like this one isn't exactly going to break the bank in your time budget:
Image

dpJudas wrote:Hah! No matter what you do in life, it will make someone "uncomfortable" somewhere. But hey, don't get me wrong. I'm all for blocking this attempt at getting real information. The Steam survey fits my agenda nicely, with less than 1% usage numbers for the platforms I don't feel like supporting its exactly what I want. :D
See, this isn't how you message such things. Instead of going all "Hey, it'd be really great if you could send us a tiny bit of usage data to help grow the engine", you've shifted to "Yeah, everyone needs to send us data, and you're a fucking idiot if you say no", which, well, you know the old saying about flies and honey.
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:17 am

Marrub wrote:It seems like something that would better be resolved by a poll, honestly... It doesn't even have to be on the forum, just automatically collecting this data seems pointless.


We did that. Several times. User engagement was minimal to non-existent. The results were worthless.

Marrub" wrote:For one, I don't, because I have to build GZDoom from source. :P If it's going to send things over the network it better have a good reason, one more than "because the developers really really want to know that I run AMD64 Linux with a 6-core processor (not that they could have just asked, or that their survey actually accounts for 6-core processors)"


The things that we check for are important for deciding where to go with the engine. I have no interest whether you own a 4-core, 6-core or 8-core CPU - but when making decisions where to go with multithreading support it is interesting to see if there is any market beyond 4 cores, and if so, how it looks.

Marrub" wrote:Sorry if this post seems kind of bitchy, this really just seems like something that's contributing to the kind of shit I have to deal with on a daily basis that makes me have to spend entire days configuring my browser to not let everyone grab at every damn piece of information about me possible.

[/quote]

dpJudas already mentioned Steam's survey. Currently this is the only source of data we have. Going by that data, though, we could easily decide that we can entirely remove the software 2D rendering, all the legacy hardware support from the D3D 2D rendering part, all of OpenGL 2.0 and make OpenGL 3.3 a requirement to run the engine, and also ditch Windows XP which is a royal pain in the ass to keep active, because it requires linking to an ancient Windows SDK. We could also assume that most users have 4 CPU cores and that we do not have to bother with any kind of legacy hardware because it is virtually non-existent, meaning some aggressive multithreading optimization that might throw more users of old systems under the bus.
THAT'S the current info we got, no poll on the forum gave us any insight - hardly surprising when >95% of all users never come here - and right now the lack of knowledge is seriously stalling our decision making. Do you want us to make any kind of decision based on such spotty data? I am feeling very uncomfortable doing do and would really like to get a better picture of GZDoom's users' hardware. By that I do not mean to know what system any given user owns but an idea how it is distributed among different generations of computers. Because with such data we CAN decide if a certain optimization is worth going or discontinuing support for some class of older systems would be acceptable.
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Re: GZStats: A quick rundown

Postby Chris » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:20 am

Marrub wrote:
eqJudas wrote:
Marrub wrote:For one, I don't, because I have to build GZDoom from source. :P

You still do. Or did you REALLY check what our build scripts are doing before you executed them? :)

Yes, I do.

And did you comb every source file, every function to make sure? Building from source doesn't mean much if the source itself has compromising code obfuscated away in it.
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