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CubeIDE forcing you to login to ST is complete bull excrement

JDoe.2
Associate III

I don't care if the title of this post breaks some sort of forum usage rule, I just need to make it absolutely plain that I am sick and tired of every last company on Earth insisting I have an account with them and use it whenever I so much as breathe, drink a glass of water or, Chtuluh forbid ! update a HAL library for a microcontroller.

I believe there are more than enough bugs in CubeIDE, let alone actual necessary features that are missing, to keep your developers occupied forever. You did not need to waste everyone's time forcing people to login to ST. This feature brings nothing, helps no one but yourselves, and was asked by absolutely nobody, ever. So please, may I suggest you rethink this stupid, bordering on evil new addition to CubeIDE, and remove it with the next version ?

FYI, some of us work in companies where our computers are not, must not and cannot be, connected to the internet. It's already tough enough installing some of your HAL libraries (the patches) while being offline, we do not need the additional hassle of a login system that does nothing useful anyway.

A tool has to be convenient. If my screwdriver required an internet connection so as to snitch on how many turns I do in each direction depending on my GPS location, I'd start considering switching to fingernails or rocks.

You are welcome to try and make a case as to why you need me to log in to download updates to stuff you provide free of charge. I do need a good laugh.

Oh and I haven't checked on my last CubeIDE ticket... did you finally fix the bug where CubeIDE is confused when launching firmware on a target with Flash banks swapped ? Because that would sure be of actual use to the legions of programmers doing FOTA.

45 REPLIES 45
Harvey White
Senior III

Every time a processor is bought, there is an amount of money that goes to support the "free" tools.  We end users pay with the additional cost burden put on each processor and part.  It adds up.

I do not think that writing clear and concise code which is well commented requires the talent of an educator.  On the other hand, it's not an educator you need, it's a teacher.  Sadly, not the same thing.  Tutorials and "how to" may require a teaching ability.  We've seen what happens when that ability seems to be missing.

Perhaps a technical writer (a separate discipline) would be of use.

I suspect that the hope on AI is, as of yet, overrated.  Feed in bad information and an AI is likely to make flawlessly logical decisions that are completely wrong. 

 

TDK
Guru

The forced login is intrusive and detracts from the user experience for little to no gain. Probably only there to be used as a mechanism for tracking.

That said, it is unfair to paint STM32CubeIDE as some half baked solution. It has gotten better over the years and is significantly better than the free options that preceded it. It is at least on par with offerings from other chip vendors.

Like HAL or not, you can have a nucleo board, click a few things in CubeIDE to load an example, hit play, and be up and running in under 5 minutes. That counts for something. Wasn’t always that way.

Bugs with objective data behind them are often met with positive responses here by ST, especially within the past year.

If you feel a post has answered your question, please click "Accept as Solution".
Harvey White
Senior III

You may be missing a point.  I do not call the IDE as a half baked solution, those are your words.  I'm sure it's gotten better.  I would like it to be better than it is, and I am not sure that the "let's make it better" is quite going in the right direction. 

I have said nothing about HAL being bad, although I would like more design information and more understanding about WHY the choices were made.  That seems to be a matter of better documentation. 

The "load an example" is part of a larger problem.  The examples seem to use BSP, which while well suited for examples, teach nothing, show nothing, and only demonstrate "this is neat" features.  If the IDE and examples were to be useful at all, then why not have the examples use the tool that is provided as the solution to many problems, CubeMXIDE.  Perhaps I have missed the examples that are based on the MXIDE interface, and only seen the BSP.  I rather suspect that the BSP software is done by an entirely different group of people.

Bug response was never the point of my comments, other than to say that the fewer bugs the better.

 

Perhaps you should discuss it with your external audience instead. We are the ones choosing to design your product into our product.

Thanks for the insights and letting us know that is also a hot topic internally.

If you need some feedback from the user side to add to the internal discussion: I watched this step with great distrust. From my experience companies usually add a user account to their software, if they want to put their users on the leash. I came to STM, because the IDE (Atollic TrueStudio at that time) was free. If it becomes obvoius that you want to put me on a leash, i will be gone.

If you just need telemetry data, you can create an anonymous ID during installation ...

PaperWish
Associate

We are choosing CPU, now I will add the forced login as a BIG minus for ST, what about our build system we will need a login for the build server? or fuss about copying packages.

ST may lose plenty customers by building this wall, and what about students (future customers) do you think they get happy?

DKlem.3
Associate

I agree. This is reeeeeally irritating. It's not even that I don't have Internet access. In fact, I'm sitting here listening to a podcast. But when I am forced to log in through the IDE, it says that it can't connect. So I come here, find this post, and get ready to complain. But when I try to reply, it can't connect to the authentication server! There's the problem! So I'm dead in the water until ST brings up their authentication server.
I can understand ST wanting me to log in to download the IDE. I could even understand wanting me to authenticate when I install the software. But every time I create a project, I have to log in again!?

To everyone who replied : thank you, I didn't realize my comment would snowball (a little), although I hoped. I get so much spam mail, including from ST (at least one marketing mail a day !) that I missed any notification regarding this thread. Now let me switch to "Louis Rossmann" mode for a while...

@STOne-32 : please accept my boiler-plate generic words of non-committal appreciation in return for your boiler-plate generic corporate words of placation. I look forward to a long, bland, substance-free conversion between us. I'm certain your study and the contribution of the wider internal audience you mentioned will lead to some sort of resolution sometime around the heat death of the universe, which I also look forward to. I'm impressed that it involves both technical and non-technical staff, which (if my Boolean arithmetic is correct) means that absolutely everyone at ST is involved, including the janitorial staff. Clearly, ST cares.

@mattias norlander your proposed solution is merely theoretical and does not cover cases where a library version is provided as a patch to a previous version. Let's say a library package version 1.1 is a complete archive, and you want to install version 1.1.1, which is a patch (as it obvious by the much smaller size of the ZIP file). Even if you've installed 1.1 previously and still have its archive on your system, when attempting to install the patched version CubeIDE will look for that archive under a different name. In other words, there is a discrepancy between ZIP file names on your website and ZIP file names used internally at ST for the purpose of creating patches. Which means that, I'm sure, everything works on your end... but it won't work for the users. As to why you'd want to rename those ZIP files, well, I don't know, maybe your webmaster needs to. Ultimately, the process you describe doesn't always work. I've had that experience on STM32U5, in particular, but also STM32H7.

@DavidAlfa is right. Please ST, do not insult the intelligence of your customers by claiming forced logins provide any sort of enjoyment. Not unless you're willing to describe exactly what kinky version of "enjoyment" you have in mind. Last I checked, every engineer isn't a masochist. Seriously, what is there to enjoy through that login ?

I may have a vague idea... logging in to post this reply, I was greeted by "badges", participation trophies by the looks of it. I know that *** : you've gamified this forum, haven't you? Trying to induce a dopamine addiction, Facebook-style? Newsflash : this is a forum for professional, not a place to post photos of our lunches. Some of us have jobs to do, we don't come here for the "likes" or "kudos", and we certainly don't give a rat's ass about how many "badges" you throw our way. But hey, I'm sure there are some social studies graduates who would die of starvation if no one employed them to put that useless garbage everywhere... too bad they only spend their time wasting ours.

When I log on a professional forum, the only notifications I'm looking for are replies to my questions. Am I the exception, here ?

@Piranha has a very valid point. I'm sure you know my real name isn't actually John Doe. ST, you do not make anyone feel welcome and valued if we know we have to hide our identity from you because you can't be trusted to keep a secret. Same reason you're deluding yourself if you think I've ever told you the actual industry I work in, and the products and projects I work on. I just know you're going to sell that information or "lose" it whether I want to or not. Yeah, CubeIDE is free... and that means its users are the product. Even though it's not actually free because its cost is baked in the price of every single ST chip we buy, as @Harvey White pointed out.

Ah, also, regarding the statistics @STOne-32 shared with us... I'm not sure they convey the message you think they do. The first one is "Captain Obvious" grade (of course a chip's overall performance is considered more often than just its floating point performance). The second and third merely indicate that ST is good at marketing. That does not mean ST is good at making enjoyable tools. Also, it doesn't take into account that some industries have specific requirements beyond performance or brand recognition that dictate MCU choice : sovereignty, export control, preexisting investment in tools and expertise, etc...

You know the saying : there's lies, *** lies, and statistics. And in any event, none of those stats provide the basis of an argument that forced logins are something for users to enjoy.

And as a final word of warning: many large corporations, notably in the aeronautic industry, archive the tools and libraries they compile software with. It's sometimes a regulatory requirement, it's also a guarantee that a software can still be rebuilt decades into the future. We all know where forced logins lead, from the video games industry: eventually, CubeIDE will not work at all without a permanent internet connection. And the servers that handle this on ST's end will eventually be shutdown when CubeIDE is phased out. Or they may simply be pirated or break down. When that happens, you can expect hundreds of large corporations with hundreds of trigger-happy lawyers to be extremely angry at ST. It's already a warning I'm giving to some companies when asked for advice on choosing processors. For now my advice is they need to accept they may have to work with older versions of CubeIDE and never update them.

Just please get rid of this. We're not married to ST. Myself, I used to favor NXP Cortex-M chips, and only changed because I liked the free tools better. And before that I was a Cypress PSoC guy. And before that I was an Atmel AVR guy. I'm not tied to ST, no one is.

Well, there goes my lunch break...

CBerg
Associate III

@JDoe.2usually I am the guy with the heavy rants 😉 Now you did the job.

But don't be to angry. I guess it's good to clarify and communicate to ST that forced logins, "artificial limitations" and such stuff are not in the interest of the user. But ST is not Microsoft who can simply force you use their stuff besides all their impudence with their spyware ("TeLeMeTrY" - haha) and bloatware: ST has competitors and I guess ST understands pretty well, that an IDE or access to tools and drivers is a pretty important part of the "whole user experience" they better do not mess with.

Piranha
Chief II

More of an "enjoyable cohesive experience":

https://community.st.com/t5/stm32cubemx-mcus/user-authentication-why/td-p/615814

The most hypocritical thing of all this telemetry nonsense, apart from a common sense, is that even this forum is literally full of all kinds of reports and suggestions of what the users actually need and what they don't. Yet ST doesn't give a jack about it...