Last night Chia Network announced that they had released a new version of their 1.3 beta Chia client. This is the 3rd release in a short period of time, and really shows a dedication to producing usable software for the community. I am quite pleased with how the release management process is going. But of course I do still have some complaints, I am me after all, so let’s talk about the installer and consent.
On Windows if you open the Chia installer, any version, it immediately kicks off and installs Chia into all the default folders without a single prompt. There doesn’t even seem to be an installer beyond a funny green animation. This is actually a really bad practice and is not considered particularly neighborly. When someone launches your software installer they haven’t consented to putting your software permanently on their machine nor have they agreed to any terms and conditions. I’m not a lawyer but I think it is possible that Chia is liable for damages to someone’s machine caused by their installer because it runs without interaction or agreement. I wonder if their lawyers even know they are doing that.
From what I can tell this practice is actually illegal in Canada under the CASL, being that it is unlikely that a software installation that communicates with other computers over the internet would be assumed to have implied consent by simply downloading an EXE with no further indication of what it will do.
The reason I am saying this is because I accidentally installed over my Chia installation with the new beta after downloading it because of my own fat fingers. Nothing went wrong, and the update was smooth but once I had accidentally clicked it in my Downloads there was no stopping it. I don’t think it is too much to ask for confirmation of some sort before installing and launching this software. Something to think about as Chia tries to get themselves installed in the enterprise, having a questionably legal installer might not go over well.