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Overwolf is a POS

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Overwolf is a POS

Postby Zancarius » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:49 pm

Seriously, it is.

Yeah, I understand: Nearly everyone has an overlay fetish these days. It makes things "easy" (for some value of easy) and allows you to do whatever it is the overlay is supposed to do. (If you really want to watch TS while in game, just buy another monitor--it'll come in handy for a wide variety of things, not just TeamSpeak.)

But... some developers are idiots. And the best part is, I know of a couple of you who have been complaining about this new overlay fetish the TS developers have. You're going to love this. Or it'll just upset you further.

Recall for a moment that I don't use Windows all that much (except mostly to play games). There's the rare event that I use it for something productive, but it isn't all that often; hence, I usually let my Windows install languish for months on end between updates, maintenance, and just checking that things work fine. Some time back, I was wondering why about half a GiB of space disappeared on my Windows/boot partition. I didn't think much of it, because I assumed it was just something stupid the OS was doing, and partially because I figured I'd remove whatever the offending application was if it wasn't Windows' fault.

So tonight, I made a curious discovery.

If you've iterated through a few recent TS updates, apparently the installer populates the C:\ProgramData\Overwolf directory (not visible by default; you need show hidden files/folders enabled) with about a half a GiB of Overwolf setup executables, or about 125MiB per file (I had about 4). I don't know whether it decompresses these to install Overwolf as part of the TeamSpeak distribution or whether it downloads these files without prompting (I suspect the former), but it doesn't remove them. At all.

Now, if there's one thing I don't like about software, it's when software does something without explicitly asking for my permission. It gets a bonus negative score if it does something without asking that happens to be insanely stupid. I'm a bit annoyed by this waste of space, but I'm more annoyed that my drive is being populated by random crap I didn't ask for or want that also doesn't get deleted when I uninstall the offending application. Sure, space is cheap. 1-3TiB drives weigh in anywhere south of $150. But if I'm going to waste space, I want to waste space on my own junk.

The developers also didn't win bonus points with the uninstallation process. Not only did this rubbish get put on my system without asking, but they opened a browser tab after the uninstall completed. Seriously, don't ever do this. If I don't want your crap software, forcing me to look at your site, take a survey, or otherwise attempt to salvage whatever hope you had of retaining a user of your product is just going to insult me. By making a conscious decision to uninstall your rubbish, I've already concluded that your product isn't worth my time, my disk space, or my CPU cycles. If you continue to waste my time further by forcing me to wait until my browser loads up before I'm done with you, I'm not going to change my mind. No, sir: I'm going to be seething with fury. I'm going to be wishing that your precious collection of ones and zeros gets sent to the /dev/null collection bin in the sky. I'm probably going to hope that you develop arthritis in every single one of your extremities (yes, including that one), simply on the merit that it might save other users from suffering through the misery you've wrought upon me. I'm going to hope that uncle Vinny doesn't bust your kneecaps, because the last thing this world needs is for you to be sitting at home on leave (or workman's comp) with too much time on your hands. We don't need more crap software. So please, stop now.

Now, I write this with the understanding that some of you may use Overwolf (and like it). That's fine. I'm happy for you. But you need to be aware of what moron developers are doing under the hood.
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Re: Overwolf is a POS

Postby Grimblast » Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:58 am

As neat of a concept as overwolf is, I'm not a fan of overlays. A second monitor isn't a bad solution and they really aren't that expensive. Increased productivity with an extra monitor for sure. It's unfortunate that something like that is eating up that much space and well, I'll have to check my system to see if I've got the same issue. It almost sounds like what most MMO companies have been doing. Past updates/patches end up sitting in some random directory/folder on your hard drive and just waste space. They don't get removed after being downloaded by the client and the update applied. You have to manually remove them.
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Re: Overwolf is a POS

Postby Zancarius » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:09 pm

Problem is that the ProgramData directory is a sort of "catch all" for guaranteed application-level data storage. In other words, it's like the %APPDATA% dir for your user but for applications instead. Worse, since so many developers are sloppy, they don't clean any of the downloaded/cached data from ProgramData and instead let it accumulate. The directory itself was about 1.5GiB on my system, and the only way to clean it out is to go through each directory manually and confirm that what you're about to delete isn't important for the application's function. Avira for instance stores the client key for that computer in ProgramData--if you delete it, it stops updating and you have to reinstall the application.

Windows developers are sloppy. There no other way to put it. I shouldn't really point the finger at the Overwolf devs, but by contributing to the problem, they're certainly not changing the landscape at all.
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