Talk:SRWare Iron

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


My main issue was with the words "privacy violating", which is subjective. The article also accuses Google of being biased towards their own ads in possible adblocking functionality for Chrome, without any evidence to sustain this accusation.

There is a source given. Unapiedra (talk) 14:12, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
It says that there's a speculation Google might be biased in the future, considering thier bussiness model. Not that it is being baised now. --bitbit (pka Nezek) (talk) 22:10, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
The speculation given is from an article written the day of Chrome's public release. This speculation has never been widely shared, and has since been outright contradicted by Google-released documents discussing wanting to implement adblocking; see [1] for example. Reading Google's source code, it is clear that the functionality being designed for adblockers, at [2] , has no Google-specific whitelisting. (talk) 01:55, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Google is not the bad guy here, there are legitimate reasons to use Iron if a user is concerned, but it is not the Encyclopedia's place to make them concerned. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:04, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't see this article making users concerned. If someone reads this article they should get information about how Chromium differs from Iron. And there is no disputing that Chromium and Chrome send information to Google but regarding that the see-also link to #Usage-Tracking is given. I think this is fair. Unapiedra (talk) 14:12, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree, these are flat-out dry facts, not an opinion. --bitbit (pka Nezek) (talk) 22:12, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Keep in mind that there are ways to say things. Like adding "In contrast to Chrome" can be seen as provocative. To me it sounds promotional. I know that in the states ads are allowed to compare with their competitors but most countries it's considered un-ethical (and that maybe why those words stood out for me.) Any product should be able to present themselves without the need to lower others. I haven't read all Wikipedia policies, but I know that they try to stand in 'neutral' cultural international way. This, to explain why I'm going to removed those words. Cy21discuss 20:18, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Why does this article both Criticize srware iron in the opening paragraph then go on again to say the same thing in the Criticism section? It seems redundant and overly stating the points already made above. Why do we need to make comment on what a third party feels an issue is or isn't (twice)? Should we pull counter arguments from third parties and put them in the criticism of the criticism to balance (genuine question), at present it seems warranted. The ending section here reads like a review not an article of factual information, and an entirely pro google chrome section at that. How does the last line add even more controversy for example? When the controversy has been stated not once but four times above. - The only part of the section which describes srware iron is the center paragraph, everything else could do with being condensed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Taien101 (talkcontribs) 09:32, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

There is an update:

citation for "a few seconds after opening the browser, a Google search page automatically loads" -->

Because this function can be called during startup, when kicking off a URL fetch can eat up 20 ms of time, we delay five seconds, which is hopefully long enough to be after startup, but still get results back quickly. Ideally, instead of this timer, we'd do something like "check if the browser is starting up, and if so, come back later", but there is currently no function to do this.

SRWare Iron Browser = Scamware? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:08, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

As before, those are anonymous blogs which as self published and not reliable sources. - Ahunt (talk) 12:20, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

RLZ identifier[edit]

This discussion was moved here from the article space by bitbit (pka Nezek) (talk) 14:49, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

The RLZ identifier can be disabled by removing the {google:RLZ} tag found on the Search Engines preferences, on Chrome's options. I know this last thing, since the website referenced in the mentioning of the RLZ identifier up there, clearly shows that the RLZ identifier is simply the "&rlz=" string shown in the Omnibox when searching on Google. And if you remove the tag I suggest to remove, the RLZ identifier is gone from the searches.

read [3] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bitbit (talkcontribs) 14:49, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I read it, I mantain my argument. alvareo [speak to me] 19:14, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Inaccurate Iron claims[edit]

The Iron website makes a couple of inaccurate or confusing claims that should not be repeated here. One is that Iron uses a more recent version of WebKit than Chromium. This is not possible since from May 2009 onward Chromium is itself built with the latest WebKit revision in the WebKit source repository; see e.g. [4] about this.

Another claim is that Iron does not have a "unique ID" that Google Chrome has. But [5] is quite clear that the only persistent ID is one created for the metrics logging system, which is opt in and thus not on by default for Google Chrome either. (talk) 01:55, 4 December 2009 (UTC)


As per the article on freeware, this term is usually applied to commercial proprietary software that is available free of charge, but under a proprietary licence and is usually not applied to open source software, even if it is distributed by a commercial concern. For instance Firefox is classified as open source software or free software (GPL licence and source code available), while AVG Free is freeware (commercial licence and no source code available). Free software is software that can be "used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things and that manufacturers of consumer-facing hardware allow user modifications to their hardware". The source code for Iron is available and the application is released under a BSD licence not a commercial licence and therefore it is free software and not freeware. On this issue SRWare says that "Iron is free and OpenSource." Based on all this I don't think that this article should say that Iron is freeware and it should say "free software" or "open source software". - Ahunt (talk) 13:22, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

I have removed the link to freeware on the Licence line of the info box as it contradicts the lead para, which says that Iron is free and open source and not freeware. - Ahunt (talk) 01:59, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
There is no contradiction, they're not mutually exclusive categories. According to the freeware article, "freeware may or may not be free and open source software". -- Gordon Ecker (talk) 06:23, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
I will admit that the Wikipedia article on Freeware is vague and contradicts itself, but its key point it makes on freeware is that "The author usually restricts one or more rights to copy, distribute, and make derivative works of the software." That isn't the case with Iron. It also says: "Accordingly, freeware may or may not be free and open source software and, in order to distinguish, the Free Software Foundation asks users to avoid calling "freeware" free software.[5] The principal difference being that free software can be used, studied, and modified without restriction; free software embodies the concept of freedom to use, while freeware that of free-of-charge." In this case Iron seems to meet the definiotion of free software as the source code is available and it is under a BSD licence, not a commercial freeware type of licence, plus the company indicates that it is free open source and not freeware. Regardless, a statement on the class of software doesn't belong on the licencing line of the info box. That line is for listing the licences, which it currently does. The indication of the class of software belongs in the lead para, where it currently is. - Ahunt (talk) 12:25, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Google Developer's Thoughts[edit]

A Google developer weighs in with some thoughts about the browser, not sure if this can or should be included anywhere. NetGuru (talk) 01:13, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

That is an interesting item and well worth reading, but being a blog entry by an anonymous person doesn't make WP:SPS and therefore really can't be used as a ref. - Ahunt (talk) 12:28, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
I've added this to the first blurb with due reference. I've verified his integrity by entering Chromium's IRC and contacting the Admins regarding the connection between the blog and the listed Chromium buglist email he has.
Take note that the blog recognises SWIRON's creator may not have been present in the IRC, but it also touches upon common misunderstanding of Chrome's privacy features. --Herraotic (talk) 01:36, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
I have to agree with the IP editor who removed this - this ref doesn't meet WP:RS or WP:SPS - we really can't use anonymous blog postings for refs on Wikipedia, regardless of IRC chats had on the subject. If this story gets picked up and published in a more reliable ref then by all means include it. - Ahunt (talk) 13:54, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
I have just removed a para that was added by User: on this subject. While it is an interesting topic and probably relevant, he or she cited that same anonymous blog posting as a ref, which is at best WP:SPS and at worst inaccurate or libelous. I think this story probably should be added to the article, but it must have a better reference to do so than an anonymous blog entry. This is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not the National Enquirer. - Ahunt (talk) 13:44, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

More here:

The conclusion of that article is basically that there's no significant difference between Chromium and Iron, that Iron tends to be outdated, and is probably just a ploy to get advertising eyeballs. It also seems to suggest that it's Iron versus Chrome comparison is a lie by omission.

Now, I'm hesitant to fully agree that Iron is a scam, since when I started using it, a Chromium build either didn't exist or was impossible to find, and the Iron web master person seems to have appointed himself as a kind of gatekeeper who tests the build before release, while Chromium only has nightlies.

Still, I'd say the article should focus on the fact that Iron is essentially Chromium, and I'm not even really sure if Iron deserves its own article at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:11, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

I think the lead para, as it is currently written, covers that pretty well. - Ahunt (talk) 17:07, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Why the "Chromium Notes" story is considered anonymous blog post? It's written on the blog of a core Chromium contributor. As a such I believe he qualifies as an expert in the relevant field. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:43, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Because the blog is anonymous - he says he is a Chromium developer, but no name is given, so it could be anyone. Even if his name was given it doesn't make WP:RS because it is WP:SPS and is not a usable reference, anymore than any other blog is. - Ahunt (talk) 21:56, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
It is clearly written in the first sentence on the main page of the site where the story is posted. The blogpost itself mentions that the site is owned by him. Not only this but also mentions his email address. You can check it out here and also on the Chromium commit log. So he is obviously a Chromium developer and his work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party and therefore expert sources may be considered reliable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:16, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
And his name is what? It doesn't say, just gives an alias. The policy on the use of WP:SPS sources is pretty clear: "Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." We don't know who he is nor whether he has published anything in "reliable third-party publications", certainly his own blog on Chromium isn't a "reliable third-party publication". The point of all this is that if this story had any credibility it would have been picked up by the tech press, researched and published on Ars Technica, The Register or some similar source, but it hasn't been. As it is the anonymous blog posted is pretty speculative and even admits that the person mentioned in it may not have been representing SRWare or the Iron project, so it has no credibility and just seems to be some defensiveness from one Chromium insider, published on his own blog. As it is, I think we have used other reliable sources to cover the differences between Iron and Chromium, so I am not sure even if we could find reliable refs on this story that it would add much to what is already there. - Ahunt (talk) 13:12, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
His name is Evan Martin. It is the first sentence on the main page: The blog post is not anonymous just because he doesn't put his name on every page. He has it on the main page. In a book, do you see the author's name on each page? This guy is a core Chromium developer. His work is the browser itself. It's published and redistributed everywhere. Who could be considered to have more expertise in the relevant field? The problem with the article is that it doesn't address the origins of Iron. How was Iron different from the original source, that is Chromium? What were the new features? It doesn't even say it is a fork but "implementation"!? A browser that is an implementation of another browser!? It doesn't even make sense. Iron is a fork of Chromium. The first release just disabled some options and nothing more. This information is not present in the article. Why don't you address this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
It doesn't meet the definition of as fork, where software code is taken and developed in a new direction. In the case of Iron, they take Chromium source code, make a few small changes to it and release it as their own implementation. The next time there is a stable Chrome release they will do the same thing and go back to the new source code, so it isn't a fork, unlike say LibreOffice is from where the source code was taken and developed in a new direction. Also the Chromium project does not put out out a browser, just source code, from which other people put out a browser. This is where Google Chrome comes from, the version of Chromium that is put out by Ubuntu and similarly Iron. Each time, for each new version, they go back to the new Chromium source code and put out a new release, so Iron isn't any different in its model from Chrome or Ubuntu's Chromium is and no one would label Google Chrome as a fork of Chromium. As far as Martin goes, he may be an expert on Chromium source code and development, but he is not an expert on the motivations behind SRWare and Iron. All he did was publish a mailing list conversation, noting that it may not even be anyone associated with Iron that was doing the talking. The conversation is still WP:SPS and not a viable ref. Again, as I have said before, if this is a credible story then why has it not been picked up in the tech press and published in a reliable source? - Ahunt (talk) 17:28, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
I see, Iron is not a fork. However Chromium is a browser. You can checkout the sources, build it yourself and then you'll see that the browser is called Chromium. Also that's the version shipped by many popular linux distros. So the article should clearly say that Iron is just Chromium with some aditional features on top (a rebranding, release or whatever). This is most evident in the first releases of Iron which just disabled some user-configurable options. Such facts should be part of the article. Moreover some things like sending RLZ tracking lables are not necessarily present in the Chrome browser either. For example the versions downloaded from the Chrome site do not send RLZ tracking labels (ref). The blog post provides some other examples and clarifies on the security implications. That's what it can be used as a reference for. (I agree that the motivations behind Iron should be left behind). (talk) 21:21, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

"Does not load a Google search page a few seconds after the browser opens"[edit]

I am running Chrome on Linux and it doesn't do this. The default condition is to open the "new tab page", with user selectable option of "Open this page: (box to indicate a home page)". Unless I am missing something here I would suggest this line be removed as inaccurate. - Ahunt (talk) 13:48, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

The new tab page is actually a Google page, including a large Google search box. Part is hosted locally on the computer (recent sites, favorites bar), while the search box, CSS, and Google Doodle is loaded from the web. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:56, 18 April 2014 (UTC)


Editors, please check out Chromium Notes (Chromium's official blog) on SRWare Iron. I raises some interesting (and surprising) details about the intentions and "good will" of the project.

(Blog post pasted below)

The story of Iron

Iron claims to be a "privacy-oriented" fork of Chrome, which removes a bunch of pieces that the Iron author claims are privacy invasive. In the abstract this is a thing I'd support -- nothing like some publicity to put pressure on the project to be more careful about user privacy -- but when you look at the details it kinda falls down.

Right when we first came out our IRC channel was flooded with hundreds of curious people, and for posterity's sake I logged it. (It's now logged by a third party.) It turns out the log of September 19, 2008 is interesting to look back on. That link is to the unmodified file that my IRC client produced, but since you're unlikely to want to read through it all (search for "Iron" if you'd like), I'll summarize the interesting bits.

(For context, I am "evmar" in that log, and the usernames with a + before their names are Chrome developers.)

     Someone with the nick of "Iron" joins the channel and announces they're making a fork of Chrome.
     They ask some semi-legal questions about how to advertise it, which we can't answer.
     They ask some technical questions, like how to change the name of the browser that shows up in the executable, which kuchhal nicely helps them with.
     Then there's this exchange (reformatted to remove timestamps and add line wrapping):
     <Kmos> Iron: why not contribute to it, instead of forking ?
     <Iron> because i removed all privacy-related code
     <Iron> e.g. RLZ
     <Iron> and URL tracking every 5 seconds after start
     <Iron> the original chrome  is heavily communitating to google...i
            hate that
     <jamessan> all of those are supposed to have options to disable them,
     <Iron> yes but they haven't options yet
     <Iron> and nobody knows when the next beta is released
     <jamessan> so work on getting the options added so they'll be there
                for the next release
     <mgreenblatt> Iron.. why not propose a patch based on preprocessor
                   defines that disables the sections you dislike without
                   forking the code?
     <mgreenblatt> (assuming such a thing doesn't already exist)
     <Iron> because a fork will bring a lot of publicity to my person and
            my homepage
     <Iron> that means: a lot of money too ;)
     <Kmos> rotflol
     <Iron> what means rotful?
     <mgreenblatt> Iron.. you're a large corporation that can dedicate the
                   time to support a fork of something as complicated as
     <Kmos> Iron: google about it
     <Iron> yes there is enough time to support it
     <jamessan> heh, you're expecting to make lots of money from making a
                fork of chromium? that's quite amusing
     <Iron> i dont take money for my fork
     <Iron> but i have adsense on my page ;)
     <Iron> a lot of visitor -> a lot of clicka > a lot of money ;)
     <Kmos> and do you think google should support your fork
     <Kmos> lol
     <mgreenblatt> Iron.. it's always good to have dreams ;-)
     <Iron> we are here in germany
     <Iron> the press will love my fork
     <Iron> i talked to much journalists already
     <DrPizza> Why are you forking?
     <DrPizza> to do what?
     <Iron> to remove all things in source talking to google ;)
     <jamessan> to get fame and fortune
     <Iron> nobody here trusts google
     <Iron> the german people say: google is very evil
     <jamessan> yet you use google's adsense
     Then follows a bunch of "Google is evil" conversation which you've heard before. (And a rather strongly-worded flame from DannyB about the above, which I'll skip for brevity.) This sort of non-technical discussion is frowned upon in our development channel, so he's then more or less told to go away (surprisingly politely, in retrospect).

(Now, it's possible (but highly unlikely) this isn't the eventual author of Iron, but in some sense that's irrelevant to the two meta-points: (1) if you don't trust Google to not do something sneaky, you probably shouldn't be running software made by Google, and (2) why would you trust code from some random third party more?)

Furthermore, the "URL tracking" mentioned both on IRC and on the Iron website refers to the GoogleURLTracker class. This unforutnately-named class figures out whether to use or for searches from the URL bar, and does not in any way do any sort of spyware URL monitoring. This is obvious to anyone who can read code, and should be obvious to anyone technical enough to produce a product like Iron. At this point I can't believe they're doing anything other than being intentionally misleading.

The header plainly says as much, and also:

   // To protect users' privacy and reduce server load, no updates
   // will be performed (ever) unless at least one consumer registers
   // interest by calling RequestServerCheck().

Which, you can easily verify, is only ever called if you're using Google as your default search engine, which Chrome doesn't even use by default (Chrome asks you what search engine to use the first time you install).

This serves as a good example of the sort or significant effort we've put in to make Chrome be privacy-conscious and Google-independent. Half of the bullet points on the Iron "feature" page are options that can be turned off in a clearly-marked "Privacy" section of the Chrome options, and the other half are misunderstandings like this one.

(Edit: I am biased here towards Linux Chrome; Windows Chrome does not make it obvious how to remove the updater nor RLZ. I will hopefully find time to post about those some other time.)

So where does that leave users? I think there is a space for a privacy-conscious browser: a "portable" one that starts in Incognito mode, that integrates Tor or some other proxying system, one that defaults some features that trade privacy for convenience off -- but I am highly skeptical the Iron developer is the person able to produce such a thing. In fact, I think that browser could be Chrome, if someone would contribute patches for it (there's an incognito-at-startup flag already, I believe) instead of needlessly forking for shady reasons.

(Edit: It is negligent for me not to point out the reportedly excellent Torbutton extension for Firefox, which is probably your current best bet in this space.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:47, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

This same subject has been covered above at #Google Developer's Thoughts. - Ahunt (talk) 18:16, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Version Comparison[edit]

If I understand correctly SRWare Iron is a "fork" of Google Chrome, yes? If so, can someone put on the main page which version of Google Chrome the current release compares to? SRWare Iron, at the time of writing, is at version 7.0.520.1, whereas Google Chrome is 7.0.517.44 (stable). Assuming it's the same branch how can SRWare Iron be ahead? Surely all they do is take the current version of Chrome and take out the bits of code they don't want to be active and alter some of the branding? I mean, FrostWire is a fork of Limewire and is currently at version 4.21.1, being a continuation of the old Limewire 4 Pro software, which ended on version 4.18.8.

Does SRWare Iron also contain some features Google Chrome (7.x series) doesn't? (talk) 23:14, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

As the opening para states Iron is an implementation of Chromium (web browser), not Google Chrome. Chrome is also an implementation of Chromium. As of this minute Chromium is on daily build 9.0.582.0 so it isn't hard to see how Iron could be ahead of Chrome. Since Iron's developers just go back to the open source Chromium repositories and make a few small changes to produce the latest version of Iron each time, it isn't actually a fork, where development would continue in a different direction from a split at one point in time. Iron is no more a fork of Chromium than Chrome is a fork of Chromium. - Ahunt (talk) 23:24, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

I am unable to reconcile this statement: "While Iron does not provide extra privacy compared to Chromium, it does implement some additional features that distinguish it from Google Chrome, such as built-in ad blocking.[1][3]" with the list of things that Iron does not do that Chrome does in the Differences from Chrome part. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:54, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

"Scam" is not accurate[edit]

I'll be reverting some of User:'s edits that basically littered this article with the same statement over and over, about how a self-published source compared Chromes and Irons source code and concluded that Iron is a "scam" because of the fashion in which Iron sets privacy values (hard-coded instead of through a user interface).

I have several problems with this:

  • For someone that doesn't want to do research about Google Chrome's privacy faults before starting up the browser (even for the first time), Iron is helpful. And according to Irons website, that is what it was created for.
  • The source is not a reliable source.
  • The source is not timestamped so we have no idea when it was created and what has changed since then on Iron and Chrome.
  • Iron disables RLZ, Chrome doesn't.

As far as I can tell Iron was made for comfort and it's not ment to fool anyone into thinking otherwise. --bitbit (pka Nezek) (talk) 12:54, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

While I don't think the article is unbalanced, I do agree that seems to be an anonymous WP:SPS source and this does not meet WP:RS and should be deleted along with the text it supports. I will go ahead and do that. If you want to edit more on top of that please do go ahead. - Ahunt (talk) 13:05, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
"Iron disables RLZ", this is not true, since RLZ was never implemented in Chromium, so it can't be removed. It's just even also not implemented in Iron--Feeela (talk) 10:01, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Also true, thanks for fixing that! - Ahunt (talk) 11:01, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Why is Iron compared to Google Chrome instead of Chromium?[edit]

As for example the statement "The following Google Chrome features are removed or disabled on Iron" is simply not true, since those features never exists in the Chromium-browser, where Iron is derived from. This leads to the conclusion, the developers of Iron had done some effort to produce Iron, but that isn't true. It's just a renamed version of Chromium as one can see at code diffs like that one:

So, to have an objective encyclopedia article, this browser should be compared to Chromium, not to Google Chrome.

This whole article reads like an advertisement for Iron, written by some staff of SRWare.--Feeela (talk) 10:03, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Fameware? Yura87 (talk) 08:29, 5 April 2012 (UTC)[edit]

I think Iron is a security company's (SRWare's) attempt to attain fame outside Germany - so they came up with a freebie. And, at first they used poorly-made PortableApps wrapper in their offered packages, now they use a proper one and Iron even got to PA.C repositories.

If you have a WP:RS we can add this. - Ahunt (talk) 12:15, 5 April 2012 (UTC)


I don't think Iron satisfies the general notability guidelines. Does anyone think this article would survive an AfD? ButOnMethItIs (talk) 00:21, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

The only third party ref cited is which is not the strongest ref, although it does tend to support notability. - Ahunt (talk) 13:50, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
I added one more third party ref. - Ahunt (talk) 16:16, 29 April 2012 (UTC)


I think its important to touch on Iron's actual effectiveness with regards to privacy in a technical context. Refer to the following blog article:
Now while it does echo some of the same concerns regarding ethics and the developer's intentions, it is primarily a more technical look at the specific features of Iron and what each actually offers (or doesn't) towards giving users the kind of privacy its advertised to do. In addition to this article having already generated some discussion, it is also particularly well-sourced, especially when compared to similar articles on this talk page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:04, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Self-published and especially anonymous blogs like that one don't meet WP:RS for use as references on Wikipedia. - Ahunt (talk) 00:57, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Did you actually look? Scrolling just slightly will show multiple sources for all statements and information in the blog post. Don't source from that blog (it's mine - I got referrer info to here) as it doesn't meet requirements (I'm not famous, an expert in the field, or anything else) but there everything I've said in there is sourced.

Just use the sources actually provided at the bottom of it. I'll list them for you... (IRC log)

Some of that information is redundant, but I think that's a good thing.

Let me know what else is necessary. This seems like a no brainer to me. It's obvious scareware, potentially could be considered scamware, and even when you take these issues individually it's worth noting let alone when you line up and list them all, which should easily warrant a "Controversy" section.

Perhaps if I put my name and had my article in WhitePaper format this would be taken seriously? By not providing this information, in fact, by actively leaving this information out despite it being presented multiple times, you are giving a tiny picture of a piece of software that is quite arguably a scam. You don't have to label it, that's not Wikipedia's place, but there's obviously more information (again, all sourced) that could be noted as controversial.

P.S. My blog isn't anonymous - I just don't put my name on every article (why would I?). My first name is listed on the About Page, and it's trivial to find out my full name (I write for TechPounce where my full name is published, and my LinkedIn is public), which I can provide if that will somehow get you to actually include information on a page dedicated to providing information.

P.S.S. I hate wiki formatting. Apologies for this being entirely unformatted.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:41, 26 November 2012 (UTC) 
Thanks for your explanation. As outlined at WP:SPS your blog entry, even if your name were attached to it, is not an acceptable reference under Wikipedia policies.
It is possible, though that the references you have cited can be used to support text that is critical, though, so let's have a look at each one of those and see 1. if they meet the standard for reliable sources and 2. if they support your contention that Iron is "scareware" or "scamware".
1 - It is not clear who wrote this document, the URL indicates it is "external_content/untrusted_dlcp/". That said it doesn't mention Iron, so can't be used as a source of criticism of Iron
2 - This one has been discussed before here, it is self-published and so is not a reliable source.
3 Aside from the fact that this is segment of an unattributed IRC log and it isn't at all clear who is talking here, the page contains only one mention of Iron and that mention links to a change comparison log. Even if it was a reliable source, which it isn't, it doesn't support your criticism, without a lot of WP:SYNTHESIS.
4 A self-published blog that doesn't even mention Iron.
5 This is another self-published blog, but by Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, so it might make it as a reliable source, depending on the subject. The problem is that he doesn't mention Iron, although one comenter does, although he praises it, not criticizes it. As noted in WP:SPS comments on blogs can't be used as sources anyway.
6 This is a reliable source as it is an official Chromium Project communication, but it doesn't mention Iron, so can't be used to criticize Iron.
Your criticisms of Iron as "scareware" or "scamware" are WP:EXCEPTIONAL claims and as that policy says "Any exceptional claim requires multiple high-quality sources." Not only have you not provided "multiple high-quality sources", you haven't provided any high-quality sources at all.
I am not at all against adding criticisms to this article, but the criticisms have to meet Wikipedia's policies as originating in reliable sources. - Ahunt (talk) 20:34, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

"4 A self-published blog that doesn't even mention Iron." Mike West is the head of Google Chrome's Privacy Team. He's also an extension API developer. He is likely the most qualified person on the planet to talk about Chrome Privacy.

So I'm clear about policy:

Hypothetically, if there were a soft drink promising to be healthier due to not containing sugar, would it then be relevant to link to an article stating that sugar is not unhealthy?

"2 - This one has been discussed before here, it is self-published and so is not a reliable source." He's one of the top contributers to Chromium code. He's got multiple programs out, many of which are successful/ popular. I would consider him, based on that, an expert source.

No surprise that the IRC is not considered reliable, I agree there.

"5" Matt Cuts is an expert on Chromium/Chrome. I think that's fair to say. Again, why is Iron being mentioned critical?

"6" Again, why is it critical? This is information that directly disputes the claim Iron is making.

Iron claims X. Expert testimony shows Y. We really need someone to say "Y proves X is wrong" ? That's silly.

It should also be noted that Iron is ad supported. I can't imagine that needs a source, it's got ads built into the bookmarks and homepage. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:03, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Read WP:SYNTHESIS and WP:OR for complete information. You can't use a ref that says Chrome or Chromium has X or lacks X and therefore criticize Iron. We aren't allowed to combine information from sources to come to fresh conclusions that the refs don't come to. You need reliable refs that criticize Iron to criticize Iron in a Wikipedia article.
As far as goes even the blog writer admits that the <Iron> poster may have had no connection to SRWare or Iron. It is a copy of an IRC conversation on a personal blog. The blog is attributed to "Evan Martin", but there is no information given there on who he is and there is no evidence that the IRC was not edited or otherwise changed. That is why we have rules like WP:SPS, because self-published sources lack editorial oversight. - Ahunt (talk) 21:16, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I agreed that the IRC information is less reliable, as it's a criticism/controversy but there's no way to verify any of it.

I see the rules are very strict, I think the synthesis rule is stupid but it's not really my place to say. Hopefully someone respectable calls out Iron so you guys can let users know they're being suckered. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:20, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

I would be happy to add this sort of criticism if we can find it in a reliable source. It probably says something that this sort of criticism has never appeared in places like Ars Technica, ZDnet, PCWorld or any other of the hundreds of reliable technology magazines and websites. - Ahunt (talk) 21:24, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

"It probably says something that this sort of criticism has never appeared in places like Ars Technica, ZDnet, PCWorld or any other of the hundreds of reliable technology magazines and websites." It really doesn't.

You won't find other sources for the information. It would take 'synthesis' ie: iron claims X, experts prove Y, and X and Y are mutually exclusive.

edit: P.S. - It seems that the article cites the Chrome Privacy Whitepaper. The content isn't external as if you continue on that URL it clearly points back to Google. I suspect that the information is "made external" through that reference link, as if you visit it directly you have your access denied.

The whitepaper URL can and should be used as the user above specified. Here is the clean link:
That it redirects to the longer external link is irrelevant as long as you can have the initial as the primary citation, as it already has been featured on other wikipedia pages. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:41, 29 November 2012 (UTC) (talk) 22:15, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for finding the link, but it still can't be used to criticize Iron as it doesn't mention Iron anywhere in the paper. - Ahunt (talk) 21:04, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Is SRWare Iron really Free and Open Source?[edit]

Is SRWare Iron really Free and OpenSource? According to the official website, it is [6], but according to other sources, it is not [7][8]. Developers just ignore whatever questions about source code [9], which cannot be found anywhere (only one really old version). That's why I will revert the last edit (which is claiming it is open source and removed valuable information). MPA Neto (talk) 05:03, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

SRWare Iron14.0.850.0.png
Screenshot is pretty clear: "All Rights Reserved. Iron is made possible by SRWare and some open source software" MPA Neto (talk) 05:10, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
On SourceForge [10] there is a source code available from some unknown version. It is from an old version (4 years old). MPA Neto (talk) 05:19, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
SRWare Iron "is entirely closed source and has been since at least version 6" Source: The Private Life of Chromium Browsers MPA Neto (talk) 05:52, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
According to lifehacker: Iron is "supposedly open source but haven't released their source for years. Source: The Best Privacy and Security-Focused Web Browsers MPA Neto (talk) 05:52, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

The screenshot you show is pretty old (about dialog of version 14). As of version 39.0.2100.0, license.txt says

SRWare Iron is based on the Soucecode of Chromium. It is licensed under the BSD-license.
The Chromium software and sample code developed by Google is licensed under the BSD license. Other software included in this distribution is provided under other licenses, as listed in the Included Software and Licenses section at the bottom of this page. Source code for software included in this distribution is available from the Chromium website.
The following third party software is distributed with Chromium and is provided under other licenses and/or has source available from other locations.

— license.txt of SRWare Iron 39.0.2100.0

and listed licenses such as GPL, MPL, MIT license etc. for third party components. Also, chrome://chrome page says

Copyright 2015 The Iron Authors. All Rights Reserved.
Iron is made possible by Iron open source project and other open source software.

— SRWare Iron version 39.0.2100.0 "chrome://chrome"

Yes, there is "All Rights Reserved." in chrome:chrome, however, this does not mean SRWare Iron is proprietary at all. For example, other Chromium-based browsers such as Google Chrome and Opera also say "All Right Reserved.". Chrome and Opera are proprietary? No. They are open source softwares.

Copyright 2015 Google Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Google Chrome is made possible by Chromium open source project and other open source software.

— Google Chrome version 40.0.2214.91 "chrome://chrome"

Copyright © 1995-2014 Opera Software ASA. All Rights Reserved.
Google Chrome is made possible by Chromium open source project and other open source software.

— Opera version 26.0.1656.60 "about"

You can say "SRWare Iron may violate the requirements by open source licenses." but cannot say "SRWare Iron is proprietary.". If you want to say "SRWare Iron is proprietary.", please show me the reliable sources, not BBS or old screenshot. --Claw of Slime (talk) 06:16, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Claw of Slime says: "Chrome and Opera are proprietary? No.". You don't have a clue about what you are saying. Chrome and Opera are proprietary YES. Just see their pages. Don't confuse Chrome with Chromium (the last one is opensource: sourcecode is available)! SRWare is not being correct about what they claim, and you are using their material as only source instead of using independent, reliable and 3rd party sources. MPA Neto (talk) 07:05, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
It might be possible using "Open source licenses with proprietary components" "Proprietary freeware with open-source components". But "Proprietary ("all rights reserved")" leads people to misunderstand that Iron does not use any free and/or open source components. --Claw of Slime (talk) 06:27, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
It's quite simple, but you don't get it: if it is OpenSource, where is the source code? There are sources that call Iron even Scamware or Scareware: [11] MPA Neto (talk) 06:41, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
"leads people to misunderstand that Iron does not use any free and/or open source components" Since the company doesn't release any source code and doesn't say which components are or aren't open source, proprietary freeware might be a good definition, although in conflict with their claim of being opensource. MPA Neto (talk) 07:37, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
In looking though this whole issue, which I have been following for a number of years, my best understanding is that SRWare seems to have taken the Chromium source code, made some changes and issued it as "all rights reserved", which is allowed under the Chromium BSD licence. Even though they claim "Iron is free and OpenSource" there is no source code available. As far as I can see this makes it freeware, even though it probably contains mostly free software. This is basically the same case as Google Chrome which is under Google's terms of service. - Ahunt (talk) 15:23, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I totally agree with you, Ahunt. MPA Neto (talk) 00:56, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I cannot agree with you completely, however, current "Proprietary freeware ("all rights reserved"), using open source code from Chromium project" is much better than before. --Claw of Slime (talk) 02:45, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Maybe the "all rights reserved" should go away, because there are several copyrighters in the Chromium code. The problem is that SRWare doesn't come clear about what their true license is. (I'm not sure if I wrote this clearly in English). Opera and Chrome are pretty clear that they are closed source freeware based on open source software (mostly Chromium). SRWare, even when argued in its forum, doesn't talk about code or licenses [12]. Other problem is that lots of information in the article come from their website instead of 3rd party reliable sources. MPA Neto (talk) 22:53, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Part of that problem is that even third party reviewers are going to have to rely on SRWare's confusing and contradictory statements. We are kind of left sorting out some sense from the pieces of the puzzle. - Ahunt (talk) 01:39, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Well-pointed. And there are really few (even incomplete) reviews on internet. There is another problem: this sentence "On 11 August 2010, Microsoft updated the website in order to include Iron as one of the possible choices" seems not to be relevant anymore since website went down definitely.
Maybe the entire article should get one of those big header/template/banners about unreliable sources or something (I don't really know which one). It might be a bit harsh, but seems safer. MPA Neto (talk) 00:22, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
We have thrown out some unreliable refs here before, but I think the refs we have now are suitable, just have to make a coherent sense of the information we have, which, on the whole we seem to have done. Since is gone then perhaps the best thing would be to indicate that, which I will do. - Ahunt (talk) 19:18, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

What confused you[edit]

Hey, Ahunt: This diff objected to "As of December 2014 is no longer serving HTTP (though it is still registered on the Internet)" with the reason "rather than get all confusing there, the website is down". What confused you there? You can prove this yourself simply like this:

# whois

        Visit for webbased whois.

        Visit for webbased whois.

        Name: MarkMonitor International Limited

Name servers:

Please visit for more info.

# nmap -sS -F

Starting Nmap 6.47 ( ) at 2016-04-05 07:58 EDT
Nmap scan report for (
Host is up (0.29s latency).
rDNS record for
Not shown: 99 filtered ports
80/tcp closed http

Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 8.91 seconds

It is very clear that:

  1. is a currently registered domain on the Internet (whois)
  2. is no longer serving HTTP (80/tcp closed http)

It's difficult to see what could have confused you there.

Your alteration was to "As of December 2014 is no longer available". This is very ambiguous. Most people reading this will interpret it to mean " is no longer available for you to register as your own domain" because "available" is the term used by domain registrars to indicate a domain is not registered. is registered and has been registered prior to December 2014. Therefore has not been available for far longer ago than simply December 2014. I have replaced your ambiguous wording with the term "offline" as that has been used at (talk) 02:40, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

Um I think you are reading too much into this. I meant that the previous wording was confusing to lay readers, who don't understand the technical issues about websites. Keep in mind that Wikipedia is a general encyclopedia for lay readers ad not experts and as a result the writing has to be clear and easy to understand, especially in this case where the excess technicalities are not even about the primary subject. Your new wording gets the meaning across, the website cannot be viewed, so that is fine. - Ahunt (talk) 13:56, 8 April 2016 (UTC)