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User Authentication : why ??

Oskar_H
Senior

Hello community,

I have just installed the latest release 6.10.0 of STM32CubeMX on latest Ubuntu 23.10 and tried to play a little with it.

Previously I was using a very old release in my projects and uninstalled it quite a long time ago for many reasons.

Now the first thing I notice is this kind of connected stuff which obliges me to create an account and login every time I need to download a new MCU pack. What is the point to do that ? As far as I know, this contents is public and has always been for years. Moreover it is fully available in GitHub repositories. I don't get the added-value for a single user like me to be logged to do that. Is there any big data analysis behind ? I know I have to consent to let ST collecting personal data when I install the tools, but hey ST... be honest and tell us what you really do with them. I am just basically using your tool, I am not doing sensitive things and I don't own sensitive data either.

Most of the time my way of working is totally off-line to avoid any network disturbance which too often slows things down. I connect just when I need to download some documentation, upgrade a pack or install anything useful, then I disconnect because I don't expect a developing tool to have a permanent internet access.

Well, now let's focus on the many oddities this feature brings to my personal user experience.

First issue: just after installing STM32CubeMX, no new icon is created in the desktop applications list. Therefore I have to remember the full install path and type it in the terminal to launch it. Old school rules !
STM32CubeMX_ApplicationsList.png

Second issue: once STM32CubeMX is launched the icon in the desktop applications menubar on the left cannot be pinned to make the next launch easier. How frustrating ! And by the way the text within the tooltip is strangely too long and looks like a Java package name or something...
STM32CubeMX_ApplicationsMenubar.png

Third issue: when I click on myST > Login, a "User Authentication" popup shows an unexpected "Accept Cookies" banner which takes half of the size of the window ! Where am I exactly at this moment ? In a MCU configuration tool or in a hidden internet browser just to render a single login page ?
If it is the case then I can't understand why this bulky banner has not been removed...
STM32CubeMX_UserAuthentication_Cookies.png

Issue #4: once I have clicked "Accept Cookies" button in the "User Authentication" popup, the display animates a little, an ST logo blinks once or twice and disappears, then a page shows up a non-centered contents with a vertical scrollbar on the right which could be useless unless I wish to click on "Forgot password ?", not visible at first sight... What a strange design here !
STM32CubeMX_UserAuthentication_Scrollbar.png

Issue #5: once I have finally logged in, another popup shows this message "Authentication completed with success". And then, what am I supposed to do with such a great information ? Another click on OK later, it closes at last...
STM32CubeMX_AuthenticationSuccessful.png

Issue #6: later in another session after I logged out, I want to download a new version of a firmware pack thanks to "Manage Embedded Software Packages" menu. Then I see this error popup kindly saying "Please login to download a software package" ! What's wrong here ? Did I miss something so that I get this ? I don't think so. Just another useless popup...
STM32CubeMX_AuthManager.png

Issue #7: I spent a few minutes idling in front of my screen before I tried to login, but unfortunately this gave me another error popup, probably due to a session timeout. How annoying !
By the way the message is inconsistant in the context it occurs: it says I have to go back to myST -> login menu, but I have just clicked on Install button of "Manage Embedded Software Packages" window. Therefore I could just click again from here...
STM32CubeMX_UserAuthentication_SessionExpired.png

Issue #8: last but not least, when the download of firmware pack is finished and the zip file is uncompressed, a final popup asks me to accept the terms of license. The issue is when I click on licensing agreement, it fails to open in my browser ! As a result I have to accept something I cannot even read. How crazy !
STM32CubeMX_LicensingAgreement.png


That was my so booooring user experience story with this latest release. Of course one could answer I could check the "Remember me" option but it would not change the deal, it would just hide the problems.

Now please ST, remove this ridiculous constraint in the next release or at least fix quickly all this horrible mess and focus on really important features that could make users happy with your tool.
I hope this is not the beginning of ST attempting to create a developers cloudish thingy otherwise I will certainly choose another brand for my future projects.

9 REPLIES 9
Pavel A.
Evangelist II

@Oskar_H  Ubuntu 23 is not a supported Linux version. (see RN0094 page 11: Supported operating systems and architectures). Sorry.

About the logon & authentication nuisance: already discussed here... welcome to the club.

https://community.st.com/t5/stm32cubeide-mcus/cubeide-forcing-you-to-login-to-st-is-complete-bull-excrement/td-p/581907

btw

> welcome to the club.

which club ?   STM-lovers or STM-haters ?

or which club is recommended now : NXP-lovers ? Nuvoton-lovers ? Renesas-lovers ? or..?

If you feel a post has answered your question, please click "Accept as Solution".
Pavel A.
Evangelist II

>which club ?   STM-lovers or STM-haters ?

Errr... time wasters. More politely, lovers of rhetoric questions.

 

Piranha
Chief II

It's the club of an "enjoyable cohesive experience".

 

Of course one could answer I could check the "Remember me" option but it would not change the deal, it would just hide the problems.


What a naive assumption that it even works... 😂 It doesn't and it hasn't been working for years!

CubeMX is a Java based Frankenstein with it's own Java Virtual Machine and Chromium browser instances integrated. A competent developers would use a Qt, wxWidgets, GTK or some other decent cross-platform library.

You are right, I did not check that point. Meanwhile I have installed 22.04 LTS and got exactly the same issues...

I wonder why ST supports only LTS releases (one every 2 years !). Don't they have enough time to test more recent ones ?

By the way my 23.10 works like a charm except all the listed fantasies above.

Oskar_H
Senior

What does not work ? The "Remember me on this computer" option ?

I must admit it has worked for me, but at a moment I had a fear on how secure they saved the credentials. It is stored in an .ini file of my home dir with data encrypted. Phew !

Herve PIERROT
ST Employee

Hi @Oskar_H,

Thanks for your interest on our STM32 solution and sorry if sometimes it may bring some frustration.

First of all, I would like to bring some explanation on your first question "User Authentication : why ??"
In fact, as you can see it in the registration page, this is to align to our company policy to provide software download services, together with plenty of other services though the creation of this account. We know and understand it may bring some annoyance and we have done our best to limit it at the maximum in the STM32 development tools to asked for it only once as long as you do not forget to click this small box "Remember me". Then once done, you can just forget it and use the tools just as you did before.

That being said, I have to admit there are a collection of minor issues you are highlighting in your message that are not critical for the configuration of the MCU, but that degrade the overall user-experience using the tool.
So thanks a lot to have highlighting them, we have already confirmed some of them and still work on the duplication of some. We will come back to you shortly to let you know the result of our investigation and hope to get a fix to most of them as soon as the next STM32CubeMX release.

Please continue to enjoy STM32 world... and stay tuned !

Thanks for your answer.

OK I can understand you need to align your policies between official website and developing tools, but I bet that most of the users who wish to interact with ST will do it exactly as before, by simply going to the website which is supposed to be a source of trust.

Anyway, we all know this is for tracking users about their usage and do some periodic analytics internally, but I hope there won't be any misuse of these...

You said you have already confirmed some of my bug reports, this is fine. I hope you will finally confirm all of them and create the related tickets for that. In case you don't reproduce some of them, I can help with additional inputs.

These bugs may seem minor, but the overall UX of a SW tool is not !

Oskar_H
Senior

Any updates about this ?? Is there any chance for improvements and fixes in next release ?