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The Boolean Life
Things are either True or False. Or not.
Exit wounds
By Olibe.nu

If one was to make a list of what nobody reads, number 1 on that list would be EULAs.

You have heard of them haven't you? End User License Agreements. They are long and written in Legalese and thus incomprehensible to us unlearned persons.

Formerly, most applications let you get away with just clicking the 'I Accept' button. Nowadays, you have to scroll down to the bottom of the text before the button becomes enabled. Scrolling is not reading. It is close though.

So, how do different calibres of users behave during the setup process? I am of the opinion that power users (all those who know what they are doing, including me of course) choose the custom installation. Newbies choose the complete option. They are too paranoid and do not care about the space or know that installing the user manual for 30 languages is not necessary. Somewhere between the two are those who choose the typical installation.

Same goes for EULAs. Power users scan quickly through, keeping an eye out for browser addons or homepage changes (Yes, utorrent, I see you). Newbies just click the 'Next' button until it morphs into a 'Finish'.

Exit wounds might have you thinking of gunshot injuries. I do not mean those. The movie of the same title may come to mind too.

Exit Wounds, The Movie

That was where I saw Steven Seagal for the first time. He is the dude that never gets beaten. Even MI knows this.

How could sound bite from murdering people
How can you ever try to fight with Steven Seagal
I’m in the throne room, you’re staring through the peephole

MI - Somebody wants to die

But that is not what I meant by exit wounds either. I am referring to the pains one suffers when forced to leave an online service. Let me explain. Recently, Posterous announced it was shutting down. You may not have used it. It was a blog platform. My only contact with it was @kehers' blog.

Question is, when such a service, one which you have used for quite a while, is shutting down, what wounds do you acquire in the process of leaving? Kehers was able to get his old posts and has moved to GitHub Pages (how to).

What if the EULA you did NOT read says explicitly that you can not take your data with you on exit, what else then? That would never happen in the service you use. Sure. It may not shut down but it might reach a point where exit wounds are less painful than continual use. Like Instagram was for some late last year.

Take for example, Facebook. When Google+ launched, all the little tricks to pull some data out of Facebook were blocked. This goes a long way to support the hypothesis: You do not have a Facebook page, Facebook has a page on you. Right now, Facebook archiving does not give you ALL the content that is yours, no wonder people where hopeful about Diaspora*.

EULA or not, only netiquette and a conscience keeps exit wounds at a minimum. Until you are running your own server (something Diaspora* has proved people do not do if they can help it), you will have to hope that on that day (if it does come to pass), someone is going to have pity on you and let you leave with an amputation by xml. Pray that some other good soul donates import crutches to help you get walking again with no pension of course!