Say a user wants to download an app (e.g: tutanota) with some anti-features. To know about what non-free services is the app communicating with, the user has to go through all of the following:
First, “Anti-features” link must be clicked, which redirects to Anti-Features | F-Droid - Free and Open Source Android App Repository, then click again on the list: https://monitor.f-droid.org/anti-feature/NonFreeAdd and then in the huge list of +450 apps, the user must search for the app there, clicks on “metadata” to be redirected into a yaml file of 2380 lines of code.
Wouldn’t it be simpler to just list the non-free URLs or just add a brief description?
That would mean even more work, also, who keeps this up to date? Who checks every server? IP? New domain? For each update? What if they change their DNS entries?
Also, the description is maintained by the developer, ask them to add it here: tutanota/full-description.txt at master · tutao/tutanota · GitHub
In the “modern web” servers come and go as needed, you either trust the developer, read their code, compile yourself, use a firewall (Netguard lists the contacted domains etc).
How is the anti-feature label added to the F-Droid entries for that app? I presume a human has to evaluate whether or not something counts as an anti-feature, and what kind, and manually add the label? If so, could not they not also write a quick comment summarizing why they chose to apply the label? This could then be included in the app description, below the anti-feature label.
In some cases I’m strongly inclined to think the labels are inaccurate. For example, the entry for SchildiChat claims that;
"This app promotes or depends entirely on a non-free network service
It’s a matrix app. What’s the non-free network service it supposedly promotes or depends on? There’s no easy way to find out.
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