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[Slashdot] - Google's Go May Add Telemetry That's On By Default


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Russ Cox, a Google software engineer steering the development of the open source Go programming language, has presented a possible plan to implement telemetry in the Go toolchain. However many in the Go community object because the plan calls for telemetry by default. The Register reports: These alarmed developers would prefer an opt-in rather than an opt-out regime, a position the Go team rejects because it would ensure low adoption and would reduce the amount of telemetry data received to the point it would be of little value. Cox's proposal summarized lengthier documentation in three blog posts. Telemetry, as Cox describes it, involves software sending data from Go software to a server to provide information about which functions are being used and how the software is performing. He argues it is beneficial for open source projects to have that information to guide development. And the absence of telemetry data, he contends, makes it more difficult for project maintainers to understand what's important, what's working, and to prioritize changes, thereby making maintainer burnout more likely. But such is Google's reputation these days that many considering the proposal have doubts, despite the fact that the data collection contemplated involves measuring the usage of language features and language performance. The proposal isn't about the sort of sensitive personal data vacuumed up by Google's ad-focused groups. "Now you guys want to introduce telemetry into your programming language?" IT consultant Jacob Weisz said. "This is how you drive off any person who even considered giving your project a chance despite the warning signs. Please don't do this, and please issue a public apology for even proposing it. Please leave a blast radius around this idea wide enough that nobody even suggests trying to do this again." He added: "Trust in Google's behavior is at an all time low, and moves like this are a choice to shove what's left of it off the edge of a cliff." Meanwhile, former Google cryptographer and current open source maintainer Filippo Valsorda said in a post to Mastodon: "This is a large unconventional design, there are a lot of tradeoffs worth discussing and details to explore," he wrote. "When Russ showed it to me I made at least a dozen suggestions and many got implemented." "Instead: all opt-out telemetry is unethical; Google is evil; this is not needed. No one even argued why publishing any of this data could be a problem."

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