back to article Notepad++ dev slams Google-clogging notepad.plus 'parasite'

The developer of popular text editor Notepad++ is warning users to beware of a "parasite website" that he says has dubious intentions. Programmer Don Ho told users this month about a site with the domain notepad.plus that he said showed up near the top of Google search results for the open source app. The Register was able to …

  1. sarusa Silver badge
    Devil

    Typical Google

    Google actively promotes the crappiest, obviously worst results, to push more ads.

    Switch to Kagi. Or at least DDG. DDG is now better than Google, not because DDG got much better but because Google has been getting amazingly worse.

    1. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Typical Google

      A look around the site reveals a bare-bones domain with little in the way of content."

      Because Google's claim of relevant search results based on content

      https://www.google.com/search/howsearchworks/our-approach/

      was working perfectly and honestly.

      Silly me for thinking of Google doing otherwise. Google always does the right thing! [/s]

    2. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: Typical Google

      Nice shout out about Kagi, I might have to try that.

      Fed up with Google as their search has become idealistic. For example previously if you searched for "best source of iron in diet" it would come up with a list of vegetables and no meat. This is just an example. If you are also living in the silicon valley bubble then you might not have a problem with this, but I'd prefer the straight facts without someone else's idealistic filter.

      I tried DDG a few years ago, and found the results were not great. Will re-visit.

      1. Captain Hogwash

        Re: DDG

        Try Brave.

        1. Steve Button Silver badge

          Re: DDG

          Will do, cheers.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Typical Google

        "would come up with a list of vegetables and no meat"

        A farmer friend told me last night that some people, over the Easter break, had trampled through one of his crops about 5 meters from the clearly marked footpath.

        In a non-aggressive way he pointed out that these crops were his livelihood and that they were costing him money.

        The conversation took a slightly bizarre turn when the said they were vegans and his cows just ate vegetables, farted a lot and would be better off dead.

        He claims his instant reply was that "the same applies to vegans"!

        Brave user here.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: vegans

          The problem isn't being vegan. The *problem* are the nuevo-vegans who are so used to announcing their every bowel movement on their Instagram and Facebook accounts that their recent change-over to veganism has to be virtue-signaled across the entire planet just as loudly.

          I've been a strict vegetarian for 36 years. My mate of 19 years was a carnivore...and I did most of the cooking. Same with any friends coming over, I would serve them what *they* expected and if that was meat, no problem, it was my 'duty' as the host. How did I manage? I...got used to it. It is has not, and has NEVER been, my place to force my decisions on anyone else. Hundreds of millions of Hindus are vegetarians and do they push their virtue signaling on anyone they meet on the street? No.

          This is a self-righteous Western issue, the belief that "My choice MUST be right so I'm going to announce and push it on everyone!". These recently-vegan loudmouths just ruin it for the billions of people throughout the world who practice vegetarianism or veganism quietly, respectfully and without guile. Often people around me do become interested in vegetarianism because (a) I let them try my food (which thoroughly surprises them) and (b) they look at my physical condition (at my age) and are often quite stunned. Yes, it's a healthier lifestyle but it is not my place to push it on them; if they are interested, I try to give them pointers on, at least, how to consider trying it without making yourself unhappy or feeling 'deprived'.

          Anyway tl;dr, please don't hold those loudmouths against the hundreds of millions of us who eat like them...but you'll never know, because we keep it to ourselves.

          1. Helcat

            Re: vegans

            "Yes, it's a healthier lifestyle"

            that's the point where you let the mask slip: you have expressed judgement on others based on your own experiences and views.

            Yes, for some, a vegan diet is the right choice. But for some: It's not.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: for some, it's not

              Very sound point, no issue with that. It *can* be healthier because it allows you to make better choices (you add fats to a vegetarian diet, rather than constantly trying to control it down, for example) but that doesn't mean that people know how to deal with it properly. I once came upon a young woman who was recently vegetarian and, as I was talking to her and trying to get an understanding of her diet, she said "Thank god for French fries". o_O French fries! A diet isn't French fries! Same with salads - a vegetarian really shouldn't be eating salads too often, they have a low nutritional density and when you're a strict vegetarian every calories & gram of vitamins count. But these new converts just change without doing any research on actually doing the switch - they do it, broadcast it, virtue signal it...and then can't last because they don't know how to properly balance and maintain the diet.

              Oh well. They come, they go, their Instagram accounts will move on to their more recent trendiness :p

              1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

                Re: for some, it's not

                "you add fats to a vegetarian diet, rather than constantly trying to control it down, for example"

                Speak for yourself – I'm not trying to reduce fats in my diet. Fats are not the problem: refined carbohydrates/sugars cause more trouble. Plus, most vegetarians I know seem to make many things almost entirely from cheese. And I'm not complaining about that at all.

            2. JoeCool Silver badge

              Re: vegans

              Clearly veg*ism is a healthier choice, at least for all that choose it based on reasons of healthy nutrition.

              Such as the author of the post.

              " ... Yes, it's a healthier lifestyle ... "

              I don't see how that statement is a "judgement on others"

              Isn't it obvious from the other several hundred words in the post that that statement is in the context of personal circumstance ?

              But going even further, it is generally true (even if not wholly true) that at the gross level of "diet with meat" vs "diet without meat" without meat is the better (healthier) choice.

              There is solid science on that.

              1. Steve Button Silver badge

                Re: vegans

                Kind of not really the point. I don't happen to agree with you and I tried veggie for about three years. Hated it and got really ill + fatter. I don't think there's "solid science" I believe it's mostly conflating people who eat meat also tend to do other things like drink or smoke. I think a Paleo / Ancestral style of living is healthier than vegan, and that vegan is healthier than SAD (Standard American Diet).

                But like I say, not really the point. Let's just disagree about meat. The point is I don't want Google to lie to me and tell me that the best source of iron is from Kale or Spinach, when it's clearly liver. Likewise I don't want them to lie to me about the amount of land that renewables take up compared to nuclear. Or a hundred other things that they constantly lie about. Just give me the facts that I'm looking for, and let me decide how to interpret that.

                1. Cav Bronze badge

                  Re: vegans

                  "I don't think there's "solid science"

                  Your ignorance has no effect on science. It is a fact.

                  1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge
                    1. Phones Sheridan Silver badge
                      Trollface

                      Re: vegans

                      Your belief in science does not change the empirical fact that science is wrong, most of the time.

              2. Cliffwilliams44 Silver badge

                Re: vegans

                The science is not solid, not at all!

                Most of the "science" on this front is funded by the grain industry! An industry that has, over the decades, caused the deaths of millions of people due to cardiovascular disease and diabetes! The notorious advice to "stop eating butter and replace it with Margerine" alone cause the deaths of 100s of thousands of people from trans-fats clogging up their arteries! This, along with the proliferation of seed oils to replace olive oil and animal fat oils and replacing sugar with high fructose corn syrups has significantly contributed to the overall poor health of many, especially in America.

                As the original poster stated, there is nothing wrong with a vegetarian diet if you know what you are doing and take measures to replace the proteins and beneficial fats you get from meat. It is by no means any healthier than a rounded diet that contains meat. You can get just as fat, and just as sick, on a vegetarian diet that contains large amounts of grain based foods, seed oils and HFCS. The person who eats vegan and also downs a six pack of soda a day is doing far more damage to their health than someone who eats meat and avoids HFCS.

                The nonsense that meat, even red meat, will kill you is just that, nonsense. Sure, large amounts of meat with little to no fiber in your diet is not healthy at all, but that is an extreme situation. That's another problem in America, we have people who eat diets with little to no vegetables. The young man who eats at Burger King every day is on path to death. People do not understand the importance of fiber. Fiber slows the bodies intake of sugars along with many other benefits.

                One doesn't need a scientific study to figure this out. You only need to look outside the US. Other countries, i.e. Mexico, have diets that on the surface look very unhealthy based in the "so called" experts, Yet, they do not have the rates of heart disease and diabetes that Americans do. Why? They don't use HFCS, they don't eat a lot of processed grain foods, they don't use a lot of seed oils.

                The French should all be dead by 40 yet they are not! Again, because they have not succumbed to the American grain lobby!

            3. Cav Bronze badge

              Re: vegans

              "a vegan diet is the right choice"

              It is. Anyone can be vegan. If someone becomes ill on a vegan diet, it's due to ignorance.

              Olympic athletes, boxers, runners etc all have members who are vegan.

              Saying that a vegan diet is not healthy for everyone, because some idiot lives on hyper-processed vegan food and stuffs themselves stupid, is as ridiculous as saying that all meat is lethal.

          2. Joe Drunk

            Re: vegans

            Yes, all social media is nothing but a cesspool for scammers and those desperate for attention.

            https://www.cnn.com/style/vietnam-farms-jack-latham-beggars-honey/index.html

            1. Steve Button Silver badge

              Re: vegans

              That's pretty shocking. How can we know if anything we see on this internet is true?

              I'm taking from this that my many downvotes in these forums (fora?) on controversial topics are mostly from click farms in Vietnam.

              It makes me feel like we should have 2 internets. One where it's the wild west (like now), and another where you have to provide your true identity and real name. You could switch between either depending on what you are trying to achieve. Although that would kind of discourage whistle blowers I guess. And how can you tell a whistle blower from a fake click farm?

              1. Cav Bronze badge

                Re: vegans

                "I'm taking from this that my many downvotes in these forums"

                Or most people just think you are wrong. Not everything is a conspiracy.

                1. Steve Button Silver badge
                  Joke

                  Re: vegans

                  It was a joke. Forgot the icon. Didn't think I needed to spell it out.

          3. Cav Bronze badge

            Re: vegans

            Veganism is the correct choice, both for the planet and animal welfare. It is our place to point that out.

            Some meat producers are ethical and concerned with the welfare of their animals. Mass producers are not.

            Meat production consumes vast amounts of fresh water and land. And before the idiots come back with the usual "more land is used to grow soy", yes, it is - for animal feed - poultry being the biggest consumers. 90% of soy produced is used in feed in the US. Soy oil is used in products used by both meat-eaters and vegans. Those figures come directly from the American Soybean Association:

            https://soygrowers.com/key-issues-initiatives/key-issues/other/animal-ag/

            Globally, 97% of Soy production, and the land used to produce it, goes to animal feed.

            The planet cannot support current levels and methods of meat production. As for animal welfare, anyone who cosumes mass produced, "factory-farmed" animal products is part of the problem.

            It is not virtue signalling to point out the facts.

            1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

              Re: vegans

              "Veganism is the correct choice, both for the planet and animal welfare. It is our place to point that out."

              I strongly suspect that self-satisfied vegan evangelism has more of a negative than a positive effect. It certainly puts me off. Telling people they're "wrong" is not a good way to make them change their minds.

              1. LionelB Silver badge

                Re: vegans

                > Telling people they're "wrong" is not a good way to make them change their minds.

                You're probably correct, but what then is a good way to change people's minds, given that the fact you're motivated to do so rather implies you actually do believe that they're "wrong"?

                I don't really have an answer to this. You might think that presenting people dispassionately with evidence that they're wrong might get you some leeway, but apparently this riles people up even more, and they start throwing about words like "smug", "self-satisfied" and "virtue-signalling". So do we (unlike the post which put you off) need to be dishonest and mimsy about an issue to get people onboard with seeing the error of their ways? I'd have to say that that riles me up, personally.

          4. LionelB Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: vegans

            > The problem isn't being vegan. The *problem* are the nuevo-vegans who are so used to announcing their every bowel movement on their Instagram and Facebook accounts that their recent change-over to veganism has to be virtue-signaled across the entire planet just as loudly.

            The *problem*, it seems to me, is little you over there getting yourself all riled up by Instagram and Facebook nonsense from a mildly ridiculous minority. Which then twists your perspective on vegans and vegetarians.

            > These recently-vegan loudmouths just ruin it for the billions of people throughout the world who practice vegetarianism or veganism quietly, respectfully and without guile.

            No they don't, unless those fine folk take any notice whatsoever of Instagram and Facebook nonsense from a mildly ridiculous minority. And why would they do that?

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: vegans

              The issue is in the OP's post where a vegan had to proselytize their choice, in this case to wish the death of an animal (ironic, that, being vegan) because they didn't like the farting (and being food, of course).

              My point being: everyone makes choices. Being a vegetarian or vegan is yet just another choice, but one that doesn't give you a soapbox to stand on. The problem with these people is that, like the farmer's response shows, you end up alienating a population that grows intolerant of anyone else that shows the same characteristics. In other words, as I said, they ruin it for everyone else (like me).

              Militant vegan, woke, white nationalist, ultra-fundamentalist - can't we just keep some things to ourselves, respect that others have their choice as well, and all get along??!

              1. LionelB Silver badge

                Re: vegans

                > The issue is in the OP's post where a vegan had to proselytize their choice

                They most certainly didn't have to proselytise their choice. The fact that they did so (idiotically) just makes them idiots - to which the farmer responded appropriately.

                > My point being: everyone makes choices. Being a vegetarian or vegan is yet just another choice, but one that doesn't give you a soapbox to stand on.

                My point too...

                > The problem with these people is that, like the farmer's response shows, you end up alienating a population that grows intolerant of anyone else that shows the same characteristics.

                By the sounds of it, the farmer just took them to be morons, and humoured them. How does that become "alienating a population"?

                > In other words, as I said, they ruin it for everyone else (like me).

                For everyone? Because you allowed yourself to be triggered by idiots?

                Look - there are, always have been, and always will be morons banging on about some piffling nonsense. It's part of the human condition. Most people learn to deal with that - shrug and walk away or point, laugh and ridicule. Fair enough, social media amplifies those morons and gives them platforms with broad reach, but I think the appropriate response (or lack thereof) remains the same.

                > Militant vegan, woke, white nationalist, ultra-fundamentalist ...

                Whoa, hang on - those last two are hardly in the same ballpark! That's genuinely scary shit - those people may actually want to kill me or you, and/or encourage others to do so. As for "woke"... simply by using that term in the way you did, you successfully aligned yourself with just the kind of idiocy you decry (I'm just going to point and laugh).

                > - can't we just keep some things to ourselves, respect that others have their choice as well, and all get along??!

                That would be lovely, but fat chance. Coping mechanisms are mandatory; huffing doesn't strike me as a particularly good one.

          5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: vegans

            "My mate of 19 years was a carnivore..."

            Did you mean omnivore? Or did he take a lot of vitemin supplement pills or become very ill?

      3. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Typical Google

        "but I'd prefer the straight facts without someone else's idealistic filter"

        Idealistic? Screw rabbit food, a chunk of dead animal lightly warmed and gently peppered is my ideal.

        1. LionelB Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Typical Google

          Pah. There you go foisting your anti-idealism ideals on us and virtue-signalling your impeccable anti-virtue signalling credentials.

      4. Just Enough

        Re: Typical Google

        When will people realise that GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS ARE PERSONALISED? Sorry, I'm not shouting, I'm spelling it out.

        If Google is giving you a list of vegetables as sources of iron, then that is as much a reflection of you (Or at least your browser activity and your IP) as Google. Your search results are not universal propaganda fed to everyone.

        When I search on the exact same words, top of my results is a NHS list that starts with liver and red meat.

        1. Steve Button Silver badge

          Re: Typical Google

          This was pointed out to me by someone else, as an example of Google manipulating results, and I tried it and got the same result (Spinach/Kale), about a year ago. I also tried the same in Incogneto mode. I've noticed that they have "fixed" it since (probably because people were noticing). Hence the important word "previously"

          Another example was if you searched for "great barrington declaration" in 2020 the first page of results were all criticism of the GBD and not the actual page. Now I wasn't searching for "criticism of ..." I was looking for the actual thing, but Google had decided that the criticism was what I wanted. I think many would agree that this was the wrong thing to do. Many would now agree that GBD might actually have been a better way to tackle things (most ordinary folk I speak to agree - and they aren't nutters, I'm talking about people at yoga class, in shops or trustees of local charity, etc.). So, was Google right to suppress that idea?

          They do this a lot. I could go on. They should just give me the information that I search for. By all means customised for my interests (unless I switch that off), but without adding THEIR ideological bent.

          1. claimed Silver badge

            Re: Typical Google

            Hard to overstate how complex google ranking is nowadays. It’s not just your history, IP, it’s trending searches, it’s advertising revenue optimization, it takes into account national holidays and local events… shit is wild. What is “what you searched for” across a million websites. If they just bring back row 1 you’ll not be happy, pretty sure result page manipulation is what got them the entire market!

        2. Bill Gray

          Re: Typical Google

          Interesting point. I just Googled "best source of iron in diet". I almost always use DDG, so Google probably has less info on me than on the average bear.

          I get a grid of nine images, three meat (beef, sardines, oysters) and six plants (soybeans, lentils, dandelion greens, nuts, apricots, spinach), followed by a sponsored link saying that "The best sources of iron are animal-based foods like meat and eggs", but then adding that some plant-based sources are okay too. Seems like a reasonable generic reply if you don't know much about the initial biases of the person making the search.

    3. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      Re: Typical Google

      Same with Facebook. It infuriates me that no-one there actively checks the scams advertisers put up on the platform. There's like 70.000 people working at Facebook yet none of them can be bothered to check the uploaded advertisements?!

    4. redwine

      Re: DDG

      Weren't DDG fingered for sharing your info with Microsoft?

      They readily admit to using Bing in their search results.

  2. may_i
    Thumb Up

    Hurrah for Notepad++

    I have lost count of how many years it has been since Notepad++ became one of the first programs that get installed on any Windows machine that I have to work with. It's just great.

    This article reminded me of this and the fact that I don't think I've ever donated to Don for his wonderful editor. So I went over to https://notepad-plus-plus.org/ and donated some money to Don to say thanks.

    Maybe you might also realise how long you have taken this great program for granted. If you do, be a good person and send Don some cash, he deserves it.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Hurrah for Notepad++

      I second that. Anytime I have to deal with a new Windows install (God how I am tired with that), Notepad++ is on my shortlist of things to install post-haste, in order to get the best tools at my fingertips.

      I am glad to see that this leech has been dealt with.

  3. captain veg Silver badge

    Meh

    I've used Notepad++, and it's OK.

    I've used it simply because a colleague installed it on some Windows web servers and made it the default program for editing webby files.

    Speaking personally, for that purpose it doesn't offer much more than the Microsoft-shipped Notepad program. Your mileage may vary. My experience certainly didn't induce me to install it on my workstation. My workstation runs Linux Mint. I don't lack choice of text editor.

    On Windows the existence of Notepad, and even Wordpad, establishes a baseline that you really have to know about. A bit like vi on unix-y systems. You can't rely on Notepad++, or any other kind of enhanced text editor existing on the systems that you have to maintain, so learning how to use it seems a bit niche.

    If you need a capable text editor on Windows, and one which is genuinely cross-platform, the pragmatic choice is, I respectfully suggest, VS Code. Yes, I feel a little bit sick.

    -A.

    1. cyberdemon Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Meh

      I respectfully suggest Kate

      Yes, you can use it on Windows, if you must

      1. chololennon
        Linux

        Re: Meh

        > I respectfully suggest Kate

        I was going to write the same. I am a Linux guy, but at my current job I have to use Windows. In the past I used to used Notepadd++ (which I still love), but nowadays Kate is my editor of choice on Windows (on Linux it always has been). Intergrated terminal and LSP support among other nice features are a must for me.

      2. LionelB Silver badge

        Re: Meh

        Kate's okay, but I'm going to suggest Geany, which for me hits a sweet spot between editor and IDE, is extendable via plugins, rock solid, intuitive, and springs no surprises. It's been my workhorse for a decade and a half. Also available on Windows.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh

      > You can't rely on Notepad++, or any other kind of enhanced text editor existing on the systems that you have to maintain

      That rather depends upon whether you are maintaining them because they are part of the fleet deployed from your professionally organised IT department (in which case, yes, you can rely on it being present, if that suits you - and if the user got rid of then it is going back on again, pronto).

      Or whether you are "maintaining" whatever lump Joe Public drops onto your desk at the back of Currys (in which case, no, not unless you have a portable copy on a USB stick that you'll wipe clean before using on another customer's box).

      1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Re: Meh

        -- a USB stick that you'll wipe clean before using on another customer's box) --

        or better still a stick with a switch that genuinely prevents writing to it

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Meh

          "a stick with a switch that genuinely prevents writing to it"

          An endangered species!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh

      "it doesn't offer much more than the Microsoft-shipped Notepad program."

      You mean like syntax highlighting, code folding, and being able to handle HUGE files gracefully, with the option of add-ons for other, more specific tasks?

      I use both on a daily basis - Notepad++ for code and xml and Notepad for... taking notes.

      1. Sceptic Tank Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Meh

        I work with Notepad++ all the time and it's awesome. But handle HUGE files gracefully? Define HUGE. Define gracefully. I've certainly had times when the editor seemed to hang on me when working on large files. And search isn't exactly snappy either.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Meh

          "At all" is a start...

          Though to be fair, the newest Notepad (with tabs) has greatly increased capacity.

          I'd also add "without AI and without the threat of adding AI" to the list.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Meh

          Try a 300 MB text file. Notepad just hangs for 30 seconds, but eventually loads, and search is surprisingly fast. Notepad++ loads almost instantly, but search has a slight delay.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Meh

            Just out of curiosity, under what use case are people opening up multi-100's of MB plain text files? Is that a common or fairly specialised use case? 4KB is generally regarded as a standard A4 (or US Letter) text file, so 300MB is about 75,000 pages :-)

        3. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: Meh

          > But handle HUGE files gracefully. Define HUGE.

          2GB plus (got it up to a 6GB binary just for a chuckle once - don't have anything larger on hand and *creating* that file took plenty of time)

          > Define gracefully

          Not crashing.

          > I've certainly had times when the editor seemed to hang on me when working on large files.

          Yeah, it could do with a progress bar when loading a huge file; but Task Manager shows it reassuringly chewing away.

      2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Meh

        The big feature for me is regex search and replace. Yes, I could do that with sed, perl, etc, but when I'm on Windows and making other changes it is very useful.

      3. My-Handle

        Re: Meh

        The way it handles multiple files in tabs and keeps open tabs saved as temp files is the main reason why I use it.

        Day to day, I'll use it for making notes on code tasks I'm working on, confident in the knowledge that I'll not lose them if the machine chooses to reset overnight.

      4. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Meh

        "You mean like"

        ...not to mention not wetting itself should you dare try to look at something that doesn't have the officially sanctioned CRLF line ending.

        (I understand Notepad can cope these days, it's about thirty years late...)

      5. Cliffwilliams44 Silver badge

        Re: Meh

        That's what Visual Studio code is for.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: Meh

          That is also what Emacs, CodeWright, VIM, Eclipse are also all for.

          Given nothing that comes as default with Windows can do those tasks, isn't it good that we have options and can choose the one that fits our preferences.

          But given TFA is about Notepad++ it is not surprising that that'll be getting the attention today.

    4. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Meh

      for that purpose it doesn't offer much more than the Microsoft-shipped Notepad program

      Column / vertical select is the one thing that I might use that Notepad-- doesn't have.

      But as someone suggested, Kate offers any popular platform and also linux.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Meh

        Kate offers any popular platform and also linux.

        That's a back handed compliment if I ever saw one, especially considering it originally came as part of KDE on Linux :-)

    5. fg_swe Bronze badge

      FALSE

      Notepad is dangerous, because it will allow you to accidently insert "invisible" characters. That can massively mess up your program/script.

      Notepad++ will display these characters. Vastly better.

      Notepad is vile, Notepad++ is what you want to edit source code.

    6. seven of five

      Re: Meh

      > [...] it doesn't offer much more than the Microsoft-shipped Notepad program.

      Columns.

    7. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Meh

      I just install EMACS.

      It doesn't shit its pants at having to search and edit some 3GB XML that some other tool has crapped out. It'll say "it's a really big file, are you sure?" but that's the only speed bump.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
    8. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Meh

      Line numbers. I'm surprised no one else has mentioned them yet, but being able to find line 22, pos 29, quickly saves me a lot of time.

      I find the full regex search/replace function saves me a lot of time too

  4. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff

    Google is the epitome of enshittification.

  5. ldo

    Always Download Directly From Source?

    Actually, all the source site has to do is publish hashes of the legitimate downloads (e.g. using sha256sum). Then, wherever you get the file from, it’s easy enough to verify that it matches the official hash, and therefore is genuine. Or that it doesn’t, and therefore should be dumped.

    Don’t you think vendors like Microsoft could learn to do this sort of thing as well?

    1. Paul Smith

      Re: Always Download Directly From Source?

      How many people do you think are going to go to the original site to get a hash so that they can manually check the legitimacy of a download they got from somewhere other then the original site? Even the people who upvoted your answer won't do that.

      1. Giles C Silver badge

        Re: Always Download Directly From Source?

        A sha256 only proves the file matches what is was run against.

        Nothing will prevent a bad actor putting a malicious version of a file with a sha256 next to it.

        In fact that is probably one of the ways to get people to install the program

        If you are transferring files to yourself it is great as you can check they are correct otherwise you are trusting someone else.

        1. PB90210 Bronze badge

          Re: Always Download Directly From Source?

          How long before your chosen version of hash goes the way of MD5 and they can insert malicious code and tweak the rest of the file to come up with the 'correct' hash

          1. ldo

            Re: How long before your chosen version of hash goes the way of MD5

            Quite long, actually. Remember SHA-2 was supposed to be an interim thing while SHA-3 was developed and published. We have SHA-3 now, but no significant weaknesses have yet been found in SHA-2, so people are quite happy to continue using that.

        2. ldo

          Re: Nothing will prevent a bad actor putting a malicious version of a file with a sha256 next to it.

          That’s why you need to get the hash from the original site.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Nothing will prevent a bad actor putting a malicious version of a file with a sha256 next to it.

            "That’s why you need to get the hash from the original site."

            The point being, of course, if you are going to visit the original site the get the hash, why are you downloading the file from a 3rd party site in the first place? Go the original site and get the file AND the hash at the same time seems to be the most logical and efficient course of action.

            1. ldo

              Re: why are you downloading the file from a 3rd party site in the first place?

              Because you don’t want to burden the original site with all that traffic. That’s why mirror sites exist.

      2. ldo

        Re: How many people do you think are going to go to the original site to get a hash

        That’s how we do things routinely in the open-source world. Those secondary sites are called “mirror” sites. They’re there to take the bulk of file-transfer traffic off the original site, while the hash itself is a tiny thing that it is no bother for the original site to provide.

  6. Dinanziame Silver badge

    To be honest, there's always been a lot of websites which have many ads and not much content. The fact this is even a story seems to me a rather positive sign — I'd love to be in a world where you have articles about one single person killed in the middle east.

  7. fg_swe Bronze badge

    "They Said"

    Woke Insanity.

    1. Dinanziame Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: "They Said"

      Yet I bet that you find it completely normal to say that somebody forgot their umbrella...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: "They Said"

      You heard it here first folks, level B1 English is woke insanity.

    3. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: "They Said"

      Singular 'they' (þei) dates back to 1375 in the written record, so is certainly much older in usage.

      https://www.oed.com/discover/a-brief-history-of-singular-they

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: "They Said"

        1375 is, in fact, within the date range usually described as "Middle English", known to squillions of school-children through being force-fed Chaucer as part of their "English" curriculum. Singular 'they' is, therefore, arguably older than English. Not quite as old as 'it', however, since that appears to have been invented in the 1100s as a way of avoiding being gender-specific for inanimate objects. Using 'it' to avoid mis-genering nouns is, of course, medieval woke shit and therefore OK.

    4. Cav Bronze badge

      Re: "They Said"

      You can't seriously be that much of an ignoramous?

      It's the perfectly correct English grammar to use when you don't know the gender of a person to whom you are referring.

    5. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: "They Said"

      @fg

      If you're going to be a dick, at least learn what the origin of the modern use of "woke" means, not just what the orange one and his knuckle dragging followers *think* it means.

  8. fg_swe Bronze badge

    Similar: Skype / Softonic

    They offer an adware/malware? laced download of Skype.

    Has been at the top of Google results some time ago.

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: Similar: Skype / Softonic

      "They offer" - I thought that was woke insanity?

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Similar: Skype / Softonic

        @ Androgynous Cupboard

        You've won the Internet for this week.

  9. Andy Non Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I got hit with something similar

    A decade ago I was selling some French language / translation software via my website which I'd developed. One day I stumbled across a review saying it had malware in it, which it did not. After a little digging around I found a site (based in China as I recall) that had cloned my website and put their own installation wrapper around my software installer but given it the same name as mine. After the dodgy wrapper installed the malware it went on to run my software's installer. More alarmingly the dodgy cloned site was appearing high in Google's search results for anyone looking for my software. I found it impossible at the time to resolve the issue with Google.

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: I got hit with something similar

      I'll just add that they didn't clone the hash code for my software... they gave it a new one to match their "offering"! I suspect most folks don't check hash codes anyway, and those that do also need to be sharp enough to see that they are not on a legitimate website in the first place, despite being sent there by Google. I'm guessing that the cloned site used SEO techniques to push the ranking of their site high in Google search.

      In the end my reputation took a hit as folks kept going to the cloned site. As the software was more a labour of love rather than serious income, I quit and stopped selling it, pulling it from my site. I noticed the clone/scam site was still up and offering malware versions for years afterwards.

  10. Mike007 Bronze badge

    Notepad++ used to be an essential program that would be installed on any windows computer of mine shortly after a reinstall. This is no longer the case with the new notepad from Microsoft.

    There are people who complain about how microsofts notepad is no longer "a basic simple text editor", I know, it is now actually useful enough that you don't have to install a third party program to do anything...

    Notepad++ does still have features missing from notepad, but the basic failings that used to make replacing notepad essential have finally been fixed.

    1. Calum Morrison

      A niche case I'll admit, but try scanning a barcode into new Notepad with a handheld bluetooth scanner (e.g. indistry standard Symbol) and ... w a i t as it inserts letter ... by ... letter.

      Not sure what's gone wrong, but it's completely crippled now. Strange.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Probably the AI

  11. Alan Bourke

    Google is increasingly useless

    Increasingly noise to signal, even with Personal Blocklist et al.

  12. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    "all adverts were vetted by the Google AdSense platform before being used"

    That makes me feel so much happier and secure.

    [Today appears to be a day for sarcasm and cynicism about the way technology is used. But then again, every day is a day for sarcasm and cynicism about the way technology is used.]

  13. FIA Silver badge

    Honourable mentions

    Windows: Editplus - Bought this years ago as we found something about Notepad++ we didn't like that EP did well. (Can't remember now, it was 20+ years ago), but EP is a decent little text editor

    Not windows: micro - Actually made me switch away from vi for terminal stuff. (Disclaimer: when muscle memory doesn't kick in that is...)

    1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      Re: Honourable mentions

      Why pay when you can get something for free?

      Also, Notepad++ is open-source which makes it "eternal." How many people have been burned by software that stopped being supported or the company going bust? Never again for me.

      1. FIA Silver badge

        Re: Honourable mentions

        Why pay when you can get something for free?

        Because we thought it was a better product.

        I liked it enough to buy a personal licence too. (I wish I could remember what it did that NP++ didn't at the time.. but it escapes me).

        It's crazy, I know, but I thought 'Someone has put a lot of work into this, maybe they should be rewarded'. The cost wasn't great (I've eaten meals that cost more), so didn't bother me too much.

        Also, Notepad++ is open-source which makes it "eternal."

        By eternal you mean 'someone else will put in the effort to keep it going for me'?

        Being open source doesn't imbue it with resistance to code rot. It may be open source, but you still have to be able to build and compile it, which requires effort as tooling and APIs change over time. None of that happens by magic.

        How many people have been burned by software that stopped being supported or the company going bust? Never again for me.

        All tools have a lifespan, be that a text editor or a toothbrush. I'm happy to pay for something if I like it, and if it exists for long enough that I feel I got my moneys worth I don't mind.

        Companies that make a good product that people are happy to pay for don't tend to go bust as often. Open source software suffers from the same issue too, 'free' is great for the consumer, but unappreciated people tend to suffer burnout, then someone goes and sticks a back door in your compression library.

        1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

          Re: Honourable mentions

          There's no such thing as "code rot." That's some term made up by people who're clueless about computers.

          And no, code can last a long, long time. All the while it can grow and support new use cases. It can stagnate for a while and then someone else comes along, picks it up and it starts growing again. It's wonderful!

          The direction Windows 11 is moving in must at some point start to irk users.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Honourable mentions

            Agreed that code doesn't "rot" as such, but an abandoned bit of code can become useless if it can no longe be used because the underlying system as changed. So "code rot" is a reasonable short-hand for old code that may longer work without changes. On the other hand, I have code[*] that still works perfectly well after many many years of being abandoned because it's running on systems and OSs/ROMS that are equally as old :-)

            [*] a TRS-80 clone and an Amiga 1200 :-)

          2. FIA Silver badge

            Re: Honourable mentions

            There's no such thing as "code rot."

            It's a generic term I use to describe the effort required to keep software up to date, apologies if that wasn't clear.

            As an example, the company I worked at moved from SunOS 5.6 to Solaris 9 (I think, many years ago now...), and part of our software used Xerces and Xalan from Apache to handle some XML.

            The interface for Xerces and Xalan had changed between releases, and the release with the interface we'd programmed to wasn't supported on Solaris 9.

            We hadn't changed the code, but it still wouldn't build on the new OS. We had to spend engineering effort to update the code as the interface between it and one of it's libraries had diverged.

            It can stagnate for a while and then someone else comes along, picks it up and it starts growing again. It's wonderful!

            Yes, that's what I meant by: 'someone else will put in the effort to keep it going for me'. ;)

  14. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Multiplatform

    Although I use Notepad++ almost on a daily basis, I hate it for not having been written using a multi-platform library like wxWidgets. These days there's no excuse to make an app like this married to a single monopolistic operating system. I've written several applications in wxWidgets but I can't be bothered to rewrite Notepad++ in it.

    I do understand someone recently had the foresight to write a Notepad++ clone in Qt, which is fine in itself but not as good as wxWidgets (Qt is self-drawn whereas wxWidgets uses the operating system's native widgets).

  15. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    If (BIG if) all the guy is doing is squeezing out a little ad revenue before passing traffic on to the software's home site, I don't see any harm in it. After all, pretty much every IT site, and computer magazines before them, makes ad revenue from product reviews, tutorials, how-to articles etc. Some even supplement the ad revenue with affiliate links. It seems a little disproportionate to complain about someone doing that when the software he's writing about is free - it's not as though he's doing the author out of profits or anything.

    Of course, that doesn't apply if he's sending that traffic to a malware infested download instead of the real site, or passing off his own product as the original etc. all of that is naughty and should attract a brick around the ear. But otherwise, it's harmless and probably doesn't make much money anyway - almost certainly not enough to be worth the effort.

    Hmmm, but if you could make a site which contained articles about lots of different products, it might make a few quid. You could call it The Accumulator - greasing the palm that reads IT

  16. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Shocker!

    Someone's discovered what's on the web today...

  17. ChrisElvidge Bronze badge

    Reaching out

    "We've reached out to Don Ho and the owners of notepad.plus for further comment"

    why not

    "We've asked Don Ho and the owners of notepad.plus for further comment"

    Please stop "reaching out" to people.

    1. FIA Silver badge

      Re: Reaching out

      Why not? They might be there to cherish and care for you, with a love that will see you through.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Reaching out

      "Please stop "reaching out" to people."

      It's almost as bad as "momentarily", which in almost every case has more syllables and takes longer to say than the perfectly cromulent words and phrases it's used to replace.

      Momentarily - 5 syllables.

      In a moment - 3 syllables.

      Shortly - 2 syllables

      Soon - 1 syllable :-)

  18. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Yep Microsoft and Google have top notched AI, just look at the search results they give

  19. Ilgaz

    Let's go paranoid

    While I am not a developer I install notepad++ on every machine. The main authors of the FOSS application are not living in a aquarium as well as they don't care about corporate things. They have opinions about World issues especially about human rights and they aren't afraid to post them down to release names. A particular government isn't happy about it. They're known for state sponsored attacks.

    Be careful with binaries.

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