Update-notifications/internet-connectivity/complexity critique



  • I've been using .flux for a long time, and have watched as it has grown significantly more feature-packed over the years. The problem is that I don't have any use for most of these features: I pretty much just leave it set around 1200-2000k and disable it in full-screen apps, and that's it. I don't bother with the day-night cycle stuff, and actually find those features a bit annoying. I'm also generally pretty wary of apps that connect to the internet, whether it be to check for updates or to "optimize" the user experience by gathering user-data. I've noticed that .flux does these things (I wasn't even aware of the data-collection until today, which I promptly turned off). If the app doesn't technically need to use the internet to function, then I don't want it to.

    I guess this is where it comes down to design philosophy. I know a lot of app development these days revolves around a "rolling release" or "perpetual beta" format, and while I appreciate the things that that form of development can achieve I also think there is a lot to be said for the older "service pack" style that is no longer in vogue. As long as a program is working, I generally don't see a need to update to the latest version just to stay on the bleeding-edge. I also like programs that don't include built-in update checking or downloading capabilities: I like the idea of my apps running in a vacuum and requiring my impetus or initiative to be installed, updated (i.e., manually visiting the .flux site to download a newer version), or removed.

    Now, I know that most of the settings I'm bringing up are optional and can be toggled off, but the thing that drove me to create an account here and post in the first place was a notification that popped up on my screen announcing that there was a new version of .flux available for download. I found that disconcerting enough to mention here. Again, I just feel that an app like .flux (which isn't a "critical" service process or driver) shouldn't be pestering me with requests to update to newer versions. Likewise, I feel like I shouldn't have to go in and change a setting to make sure that .flux isn't sending my user data off to be examined. It's an app that changes the color of your screen: how much "optimizing" of the "user experience" can it possibly need?

    So yeah, those are my thoughts. I really appreciate the .flux app and can't imagine using my computer without it, so thanks for that. I do feel, though, that this app has gradually started to become more complex and "needy" (for lack of a better term) than it really needs to be. If anyone has any thoughts about this I'd like to hear them.