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Am I the only one who wants to be informed about hidden/un-documented functions?

Walting
Walting
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Hello everyone,

i would like to know what is your take on Addons coming with undocumented functions that have little to nothing to do with the purpose you installed the addon for.
I am not talking about harmful stuff of course. I am focusing on things that might be considered as funny and RPish.

I just recently found about LibCustomTitles. This library is included in many popular addons (see below).
What is does is it constantly checks the players you see on your screen and when a match is found it changes the displayed title to a custom one. That happened to me and i was confused. I asked the player where to get the title but got no response. In zone chat someone replied that this is done by an addon.

I check Minion frequently, i read the addon Info pages and their change logs. I wasn't aware of something running on my client that checks and changes titles. I found no explanation about it and no settings to turn it off. I found a bunch of addons in my addon folder that do this.

Personally i don't like this. I want to know what is going on and then make a concious choice. That is my take on any software.

So i posted this on ESOUI.com that users should be informed about stuff like this and get an option to turn it off. I got a lot of responses from addon authors that have included such a function and even the author of LibCustomTitles replied. He basically said he won't change anything about it and hinting that there is much more going on.

Other addon authors raised concerns and said hidden/un-documented functions is are big NO for them.

Even a workaround was provided that you might want to check out:
Disable Custom Titles and
Disable Addon Reminders

Please let me know what you think about the topic. Do you know of more hidden/un-documented functions.

Thanks for taking your time!



List of the most popular addons that have un-documented functions like CustomTitles included:
SkyShard , LoreBooks, Destinations, Harvest Map (new), InventoryGridView, AdvancedFilters, LootDrop, AwesomeGuildStore, AI Research Grid, Dustman, Dolgubon's Lazy Writ Crafter, LUI Extended, pChat, ItemSaver, RaidNotifier

Edited by Walting on October 23, 2017 3:09PM
  • Walting
    Walting
    ✭✭✭
    I agree that transparency should be elementary. Transparency shows that the user is taking seriuously. There is nothing to say against functions that are un-related when users know about and have a choice.
    What i want is to make users and authors sensible on the topic. Just because it can be done the un-documented way does not mean it should.
    Eg. (freeware) software that installs other software like browser addons etc. without any option to not install are widely criticized.

    If you wanna check you have the above mentioned hidden functions installed go to your Addons-folder and search for "LibCustomTitles" and "*Annyo*" (yes, not a typo). You can savely delete these files as i was told on esoui.com.

    Make sure to do this frequently since the functions come back after an update or reinstall.

    If you know about any other hidden functions please let me know so i can disable it myself.

    Thanks!

    Edited by Walting on July 23, 2017 3:09PM
  • Walting
    Walting
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    Just a quick reminder that with the DLC "Horns of the Reach" most addons have been updated frequently and are now pretty stable.

    So now might be a good time to check your addon folders and search for "*CustomTitles* and *Anny*. You can safely delete these folders and files and get rid of these un-documented functions.

    Here is an updated list of the most popular addons that have un-documented functions like CustomTitles included:
    SkyShard , LoreBooks, Destinations, InventoryGridView, AdvancedFilters, LootDrop, AwesomeGuildStore, AI Research Grid, Dustman, Dolgubon's Lazy Writ Crafter, pChat, ItemSaver, RaidNotifier, Inventory Insight, Daily Autoshare.


    The authors of LUI Extended removed "LibCustomTitles" from their addon. Thanks!
    Edited by Walting on September 25, 2017 12:21PM
  • Baertram
    Baertram
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    @Walting
    Imo your fears are nothing than causeless but it's up to you what you post...
    Users decide on their own if they use addons, or if they don't. And there are no "harming" addons out there that I'm aware of.
    Basically users are also free to remove the libraries from the addons, if they dont like them.

    But if you post your fears and "blame addons by name, for not showing what they bring along":
    Where in the world did you see libCustomTitles inside my addon FCOItemSaver?
    You should check your stuff twice before posting your "witch hunt" with wrong information!
    -> Would you please remove this from your post(s).
    Many thanks.

    The library used in FCOItemSaver is "libCustomMenu" and this is a fix for ZOs context menu bugs and needed changes for some addons in order to work correctly.

    Walting wrote: »
    Just a quick reminder that with the DLC "Horns of the Reach" most addons have been updated frequently and are now pretty stable.

    So now might be a good time to check your addon folders and search for "*CustomTitles* and *Anny*. You can safely delete these folders and files and get rid of these un-documented functions.

    Here is an updated list of the most popular addons that have un-documented functions like CustomTitles included:
    SkyShard , LoreBooks, Destinations, InventoryGridView, AdvancedFilters, LootDrop, AwesomeGuildStore, AI Research Grid, Dustman, Dolgubon's Lazy Writ Crafter, FCO ItemSaver, pChat, ItemSaver, RaidNotifier, Inventory Insight, Daily Autoshare.


    The authors of LUI Extended removed "LibCustomTitles" from their addon. Thanks!

    Edited by Baertram on September 24, 2017 3:30PM
  • Walting
    Walting
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    Are you telling users to distrust authors by default and to dig into the code to search for hidden, un-documented and maybe even unwanted functions in addons?
    Functions that have nothing to do with the purpose the user installed the addon for. Functions that are active all the time and have potential to cause troubles. Irritated users may even contact offical ESO support because they don't know what is going on.

    Your statement is bold and to some extend ignorant blaming the users installing addons in good faith.

    Thankfully several authors stated here that they have a different and more responsible point of view on the topic.
    Baertram wrote: »
    Imo your fears are nothing than causeless but it's up to you what you post...
    Users decide on their own if they use addons, or if they don't. And there are no "harming" addons out there that I'm aware of.
    Basically users are also free to remove the libraries from the addons, if they dont like them.
    Edited by Walting on September 25, 2017 12:33PM
  • Baertram
    Baertram
    ✭✭✭
    I'm telling you that there are no libraries or add ons out there that somehow gather information about users or the game or that will harm you or your character own any style.
    You complains are about a library that changes a "shown" name in the game. It's not even changing it in the game database or elsewhere. It's just changing the shown part at your local monitor.

    Devs have added the info about the library at the add-on descriptions afaik and this should be enough for the users to be able to remove the libraries if they want to, and have the same opinion about it like you.
    As most users won't even see the users who have modified "shown names", as they play on different servers, it's up to them to decide.

    I'm free to have my own opinion about it and have not included such libraries into my add ons so far. Call it ignorance. But we are not responsible for what the users do. Most users don't even read the add-on description so maybe one should build some in game messages to bore them with infos about each part of the add-on? Or maybe you should simply pay the add-on devs for their free work and time that they invest and stop complain about things you get for free. If they are not what you want, then simply modify it, delete it, or don't use it.
    Edited by Baertram on September 28, 2017 8:15PM
  • Easily_Lost
    Easily_Lost
    ✭✭✭✭
    Walting wrote: »
    ....
    Even a workaround was provided that you might want to check out:
    Disable Custom Titles and
    Disable Addon Reminders ....

    You may want to check out these 2 addons.
    PC - NA - AD
    PVE & Solo only

    Meet the LOST family: CP 786+
    Easily Lost I - lvl 50 - Sorcerer High Elf
    Easily Lost II - lvl 50 - Sorcerer High Elf
    Easily Lost V - lvl 50 - Sorcerer High Elf
    Easily Lost X - lvl 50 - Warden Nord
    Forever Lost II - lvl 37 - Warden Redguard DC (oops)

    As you can tell I love Sorcerers and High Elves

    Proud user of the add-on NIRN AUCTION HOUSE

    CROWN CRATES: It doesn't affect gameplay, it's not mandatory, it's cosmetic only. If it helps to support the game and ZOS, I support it! Say YES to crown crates.
  • Pele
    Pele
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    OP, thanks for bringing this to light.

    Also, thanks to those in this thread that have posted how to remove addon maintainer epeens.
  • Baertram
    Baertram
    ✭✭✭
    SirAndy wrote: »
    Baertram wrote: »
    I'm free to have my own opinion about it and have not included such libraries into my add ons so far. Call it ignorance.
    "Ignorance" is not quite the correct term, especially since you have a custom title yourself in "LibCustomTitles" ...
    rolleyes.gif
    ["@Baertram"] = { -- Dev / EU. v4
    	ov = true,
    	en = "Ursa Major",
    	fr = "Ursa Major",
    	de = "Ursa Major",
    },
    

    Yes, I'm using libCustomTitles and guess what: It's not destroying the game nor bugging it :wink:
    It's just a little RP helper.

    It's easy to remove this library as it is shown as an extra "addon entry" inside your addon manager ingame since Clockwork city update.
  • Walting
    Walting
    ✭✭✭
    Not the case for me. Tested with LoreBooks, HarvestMap... no entries.

    There is no chance to disable it ingame nor in the addons that come with it (of course not, these libs want to infest as many users as possible. If it would be disabled by default there is no "fun" for the authors, right)
    Baertram wrote: »
    It's easy to remove this library as it is shown as an extra "addon entry" inside your addon manager ingame since Clockwork city update.

  • Solinur
    Solinur
    ✭✭✭
    Disclaimer: I'm a very unprofessional Addon Author too.
    @Solinur Pact EU - PC (Solinur: Templar - Magicka DD, Moves-like-Günther: Sorcerer - Stamina DD, Kinara Sol: Templar - Stamina DD, )
    Addon Author
  • Walting
    Walting
    ✭✭✭
    Hi guys,

    just a quick update that with Summerset Isles a lot of addons have been updated and you will very likely find the libs
    LibCustomTitles and
    LibAnnyoingUpdateNotificationIngame

    on your PC.

    Here is a List of the most popular addons that have un-documented functions like CustomTitles included:
    SkyShards, LoreBooks, Destinations, Harvest Map, InventoryGridView, AdvancedFilters, LootDrop, AwesomeGuildStore, AI Research Grid, Dustman, Dolgubon's Lazy Writ Crafter, pChat, ItemSaver, RaidNotifier, No, thank you! (Continued)

    You can run a windows search in your addon folder to find these libs. It is safe to delete the folders then w/o any loss in functionality.

    Other than that It seems some of the listed addons have not been updated recently and their author(s) might be inactive.

    It would be nice to see some other authors or even new ones to update addons like SkyShards etc and clean it up w/o distributing above mentioned libs to their users.

    Let me know if you find other addons that include these libs. I will update the list :)
  • idk
    idk
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    ovinnik wrote: »
    While I agree that transparency should be elementary, neither you nor me are in any position to put demands on the authors. There are no official agreements, no contracts signed – we basically make use of their hobbies while not offering anything in return.

    There's a general rule with mods, I think: If you want to know what's really going on, you need to open up those folders and check for yourself. Further, if you want a mod to fit your expectations to a T, you will also need to edit it yourself. You've been told how to make the necessary changes. I don't think there's any point in expecting more, unfortunately.

    Yes, it is buyer beware and certainly not something Zos is involved in.

    Heck, some have had fun putting april fools jokes into their addons and such. Some quite clever, but yes, it is up to us to check it out and find these things out or up to us to bring up our questions and concerns to the authors themselves.
    Really, idk
  • Walting
    Walting
    ✭✭✭
    Pele wrote: »
    OP, thanks for bringing this to light.

    Also, thanks to those in this thread that have posted how to remove addon maintainer epeens.

    You are welcome :)

    Since most addon authors don't even notice these libs in their change log and a lot of us are using Minion to update/install addons there is very little chance you know about this stuff.

    There is no standalone addon for cool titles that you can install if you want to. Instead it comes hidden with the most popular addons to spread as much as possible :s
  • WitchyWarrior
    WitchyWarrior
    ✭✭✭✭
    Thank you for this!!
    I never knew that stuff was in there. I normally wouldn't be bothered to check but after reading some of the add-on authors responses & responses of a few others, I immediately searched & deleted that stuff. What power trips these people are on. I will stop there though, because I'm thinking of a few other choice words that would probably get me in trouble of said out loud.
    Pathetic.

    Thanks again for this information!!
  • Walting
    Walting
    ✭✭✭
    Thank you for this!!
    I never knew that stuff was in there. I normally wouldn't be bothered to check but after reading some of the add-on authors responses & responses of a few others, I immediately searched & deleted that stuff. What power trips these people are on. I will stop there though, because I'm thinking of a few other choice words that would probably get me in trouble of said out loud.
    Pathetic.

    Thanks again for this information!!

    @WitchyWarrior Thank you for your feedback, much appreciated :)

    Just make sure to regulary check your Addons folder for these pesky libs, they come back like flies when you update them :#

    Addons from authors like
    AssemblerManiac, Ayantir, Garkin, Kyoma, Manavortex, Randactyl, Shinni, sirinsidiator, SnowmanDK
    have these libs included almost guaranteed.

    Time to delete them and find a replacements eg. Map Pins that is a slim addon with functionality that can replace addons SkyShards, LoreBooks, Crafting Stations, Destinations. Give it a try! :)

    --
    Updated lsit off addons that include LibCustomTitles and/or LibAnnyoingUpdateNotificationInGame
    LoreBooks (AssemblerManiac, Ayantir),
    SkyShards (Kyoma, Ayantir),
    Harvest Map (Shinni),
    Destinations (SnowmanDK),
    AwesomeGuildStore (sirinsidiator),
    AdvancedFilters (Randactyl),
    Crafting Stations (kottsemla, Garkin, sirinsidiator),
    InventoryGridView (Randactyl),
    Dolgubon's Lazy Writ Crafter (Dolgubon),
    Lootdrop, Continued (All in One) (Ayantir),
    AI Research Grid (AssemblerManiac, Ayantir),
    pChat (DesertDwellers, Ayantir),
    ItemSaver (Randactyl),
    RaidNotifier (Kyoma),
    No, thank you! (Continued) (Vostorn),
    Furniture Catalogue (Manavortex)

    [Edited for misinformation]

    Edited by ZOS_MikaS on June 21, 2018 7:48PM
  • starkerealm
    starkerealm
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    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Walting wrote: »
    Hi guys,

    just a quick update that with Summerset Isles a lot of addons have been updated and you will very likely find the libs
    LibCustomTitles and
    LibAnnyoingUpdateNotificationIngame

    Wait, what?

    What is that second library?
    Co-Host of The Tenets: a podcast focused on bringing new players up to speed in ESO.
  • ZOS_MikaS
    ZOS_MikaS
    admin
    We have recently removed some unnecessary back and forth. Please keep this discussion civil. Thanks!
    The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited - ZeniMax Online Studios
    Forum Rules | Code of Conduct | Terms of Service | Home Page | Help Site
    Staff Post
  • manavortex
    manavortex
    ✭✭✭✭
    Yes, I am including these libs. I'm coding these addOns for free in my own time. If you don't agree with the libraries being included (they're listed in the manifest, it's not as if they were undocumented in the first place), I suggest you code your own, or pay me for the effort.
    Stop Zanil Theran's sinister plot to exterminate bank space! Give ESO+ subscribers a virtual Furniture Bag!
  • Walting
    Walting
    ✭✭✭
    manavortex wrote: »
    Yes, I am including these libs. I'm coding these addOns for free in my own time. If you don't agree with the libraries being included (they're listed in the manifest, it's not as if they were undocumented in the first place), I suggest you code your own, or pay me for the effort.

    Paying you for deleting the libs from your addons is the most delusional post so far:dizzy:

    Because you are coding addons in the free time does not grant you the right to include something shady. What if any freeware coder would act the way you do and include shady stuff in their program. You would pay them the lawyer i assume from your statement.

    You want to be part of the cool club to be presented with a custom title and you do it by infesting your addons. That is shady to say the least.

    On a positive note:
    There are a a lot of great addons out there and the vast majority of addon authors have no intentions to absuse their users. I have been donating to those authors in the past and will continue to do so.
  • starkerealm
    starkerealm
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    ✭✭✭✭✭
    manavortex wrote: »
    Yes, I am including these libs. I'm coding these addOns for free in my own time. If you don't agree with the libraries being included (they're listed in the manifest, it's not as if they were undocumented in the first place), I suggest you code your own, or pay me for the effort.

    Pay you not to include a file that changes your title to "Master Wizard?" Yeah, right.
    Edited by starkerealm on June 22, 2018 8:56AM
    Co-Host of The Tenets: a podcast focused on bringing new players up to speed in ESO.
  • Zagnut123Zagnut123
    Zagnut123Zagnut123
    ✭✭✭✭
    I think I'm going to go out of my way to find issues with things too. You no there's real issues in this game and you trivializing over nothing only makes developers less likely to open add-ons to the public. But I guess having a unique issue to complain about might make you feel special.
  • fritzOSU03
    fritzOSU03
    ✭✭✭
    Walting wrote: »
    First of i am glad you are doing addons for the community and not yourself. Secondly i see you are not adding shady stuff into your addons. That is good.

    When you are talking about the best addon authors have included these libs to their addons eg. LibCustomTitles and having Ayantir as the "keyholder" of new titles

    Why do these authors did not create a stand alone addon for customt titles? Why are some of the authors not even mentioning the existance of these libs?

    So you have one guy who made the lib, who decided who does get a title or not (and most authors who include these lib surprinsingly have a title - not goiung into details how (un-) fitting they are) and then these authors decide lets not do a new addon for this but to include to the existing addons.

    So i ask you, what do you make of this and would you do it the same way?

    Let me begin by saying that like you, I too am an add-on user, obviously. These libraries have been included with the add-ons I've been using for quite a long time (shortly after beta) and I was completely unaware. To be perfectly honest, I'm fine with that. I'm fine with it because it made no noticeable and/or negative impact on my experience. It's exactly what I agreed to when I installed them. And even if it did have a negative impact, determining which add-on was causing the problem would have been a matter of shutting them off and re-adding them back incrementally. Divide and conquer + trial and error. No problem.

    Honestly, I'm sure the custom titles library was made purely for fun. That is, after all, why we're here. But consider if you will, in addition to the fun factor for those who write the add-ons, from an add-on developer's perspective, the support benefit of being able to apply a single, recognizable, and visible name for yourself across all of your characters. Our @names do that but they're not directly visible when you look at someone. Honestly, I would put 'Urich' on all of my characters if I could because that identity is tied to my add-ons more so than my @name or my individual alt character names.

    As for making an add-on that is designed around this one function. Right off the bat I can give you one major problem and it comes in the form of a question. How do you maintain all of that information if it's not limited to a few and implemented as a library? The answer is simple but the solution is far from it. Someone would have to purchase and maintain some kind of database to store all of the information and that comes at a cost. In addition to that, you'd have to rely on the users being able to query that information from the database as well as correctly add information to it if they wanted to be added. I'll tell you now, I know real world developers that I wouldn't want on the same property as my servers because of how quickly they would wreak havoc. Sadly, it's just not realistic.

    So, considering the actual impact of this library as well as the financial investment needed to do it the other way, yes, I would do it exactly the same way because the add-ons stay free and nobody has been negatively impacted in any way.
    ┌─────────────────────────────────────────────────┐
    Urich - AD StamDK, Midaves - AD MagDK, Delphine San - AD Magplar
    Dr Roddard Masterton - AD Magplar, Mojeld - AD TankDK, Cecilia Grayal - AD MagSorc
    └─────────────────────────────────────────────────┘
    Add-On Author
    Urich's Skill Point FinderUrich's Craftbag ViewerUrich's Coffer TimerUrich's Hireling Timer
    Not a fan of tinfoil hats...
  • Zagnut123Zagnut123
    Zagnut123Zagnut123
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    Complaining about this is like stepping in dog crap on purpose then complaining about the smell afterwards.
This discussion has been closed.