The sad state of constructive criticism

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The sad state of constructive criticism

Post by ssj100 on 3/5/2010, 11:57

It's not new anymore. In fact, it's getting old. Old and absurd. In fact, it's getting out of control.

Just a few facts to start off. Take the product "Online Armor". I personally used the free version myself for over a year (around 2007-08 period), and it served me well. Sure, it slowed down my boot-up considerably (and the latest version still does), but I lived with it. Anyway, that's besides the point haha. Take a look at this:
http://download.cnet.com/Online-Armor/3000-10435_4-10831167.html

From Tall Emu :

Online Armor Personal Firewall--the first free firewall to pass 100% of leak tests out of the box.

So why have I asked you to read a link to an "ancient" version of Online Armor? Well, the above comment by Tall Emu (creators of Online Armor) referred to achieving a "100%" pass rate here:
http://www.matousec.com/projects/proactive-security-challenge/

Yes, they were referring to getting 100% on the (in)famous Matousec tests! In fact, they weren't just referring...they were using it to directly advertise their product!

One last thing about Matousec - they were criticised for a long time at naming their tests as "Firewall" related, when in fact, a lot of their tests weren't anything to do with a "Firewall", but rather more to do with a "HIPS" (hence why Online Armor did so well - they started off as a "HIPS" and only later incorporated their "Firewall"). And so they renamed their set of tests to "Proactive Security Challenge". This, in my opinion, is a good change, and makes the Matousec tests valid as a theoretical comparison of how different products would do against various malware.

Finally, I've also personally used Comodo Firewall and Comodo Internet Security Suite for a period of around 2 years, and it served me very well.

Anyway, apologies for the long preamble, but it is very important for what I am about to discuss. Read the following links with my commentary:

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1670750&postcount=31
Classic stuff really. The comment by this user is in reference to Matousec tests being useless as a test for "Firewalls". However, as I stated above, the Matousec tests are not (really) testing the "Firewall" components - they are testing the HIPS components of various products. Regardless, constructive criticism is lacking here.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1670790&postcount=37
Galling really, since we should know that Classical HIPS (including Comodo's Defense+, Online Armor's HIPS component and Malware Defender) are only as "dumb" as the user who is controlling it.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1670889&postcount=47
An interesting observation. And unfortunately, from my observations, there is little constructive criticism in the "bashing".

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1670898&postcount=48
Another interesting observation.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1670903&postcount=49
Why should anyone care indeed! However, as is the theme of my post, constructive criticism is lacking here

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1670961&postcount=53
Sounds like bitterness to me, and nothing more. There are no (recurrent) examples of what he is referring to.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1670082&postcount=3
An Online Armor forum administrator's and Wilders forum Global Moderator's comment about Comodo getting 100%. Rather surprising, and dare I say, highly unprofessional. Of course, what makes it even more galling is that Online Armor themselves used these tests to directly advertise their product only 2 years ago.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1670145&postcount=8
An Outpost "Moderator-Beta Tester" with the same highly unprofessional reply. Also once more, emphasising the sad state of constructive crticism.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1670183&postcount=12
A respected poster who posts something off topic, clearly implying his wish to diminish, belittle and mock Comodo's achievement of 100%.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1670196&postcount=14
A rather unfortunate post implying insult to the original poster of that thread. The sad state of constructive criticism indeed! Furthermore, this is highly galling, considering a lot of people have computer security as a genuine hobby.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1670212&postcount=15
One of those classic 2 line negative reviews of a product that you often see across the internet. Again, the classical HIPS is only as "dumb" as the user who is controlling it.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1670261&postcount=22
I don't really need to make comment on this type of post anymore...do I?

Anyway, those posts have taken place over the last few days. There have been hundreds more posts over the last 2 years or so that have gone along the same theme. It's rather unfortunate.

The Comodo forums are generally very helpful and supportive. Sure, Melih (Comodo's CEO) is a bit eccentric at times, and many people seem to find him as repulsive as some of the more "hated" politicians. The fact is that (in my opinion) constructive criticism of Comodo software should not involve these emotions of "hate". Constructive criticism should only involve the software itself, and how it performs on your system and in your hands. Sure, further insight based on this information is welcome.

But as you can see, there is a definite sad state of constructive criticism in our internet world!

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