<(^.^)> tsuki

Fig: The controversial terminal project

Fig is a tool that adds auto-complete to your Mac terminal. Despite its simple goal, it is infamously known to be controversial, because of collecting de-anonymised user data, spamming emails, open-source (but doesn't, at the same time), and a whole lot of others.

In this post, I will go over through reasons that make Fig controversial.


Before listing the reasons, I want to add a disclaimer here:

1. Collecting everything from your machine

One of Fig's sus behaviors is that they collect de-anomysied data from you. This is pointed out multiple times by HN users.

While Fig allows users to opt out collecting data, I think this not being mentioned in their privacy policy is one of its major red flags.

2. Fig ❤️ emails

As pointed out by many people, Fig seems to have a passion for emails. It would bombarding your emails with feedback collections, spamming your emails, and worst of all, you need to use the email to install and start using the app, which, in my opinion, is questionable: Why would a company force you to give them your email so you can install their app?

3. Open-source, but proprietary

Fig claims itself as an open-source software, with a GitHub repo to prove that. But some people have also pointed out that Fig is actually NOT open-source, but uses unpaid contributors for their own advantage and profit. However, I haven't found any solid point for this, so this seems less convincing than the other.

4. Downweight negative comments

Based on this comment, Fig also seems to suppress any negative saying about their product. But dang (HN's moderator) has explained the reason why the comment got to the bottom right under that comment.

Image of one of the users above's comment at the bottom of the page (From Fig's Launch HN)

The image above is from the user who wrote the comment.

5. There are better alternatives

Many people have pointed out that Fig is no better than the auto-completion provided by many modern shells (e.g. zsh, fish, etc.). This one I can't say for sure, but from the video on their landing page, it seems that this is pretty true.

By the way, if you are looking for alternatives to this, then I have found hstr, fzf-tab, and ble.sh while researching for this post. Or, you can just use your shells' auto-completion if that is enough for you.

6. Interviewee abuse

Here's a story of someone who claims to be an interviewee at Fig and has a bad experience at the company. I cannot say if this is true, but if it is, it shows that Fig is not a very friendly company to work at.


From all of the points above, it's safe to say that Fig is a questionable developer tool from a company that claims it to be "open-source". However, we will need to see Fig grow in a few years to see if all of the points made age well.

Discuss on HN

#controversial #fig #post