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Re: Installer UI advices

From: Jesse Ross
Subject: Re: Installer UI advices
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 12:35:17 -0600 (CST)

>   I think the main question is: Do people like
> installers? Most people don't. The installer is
> simply a means to get the software that you
> *really* want onto your computer. As such, I
> think the best way to write a good installer is
> to write one that minimizes the time you spend
> using it.
>   NeXT's installer falls flat on the face in this
> regard: It has so many settings and windows and
> different "pages" that it looks like someone had
> way too much fun playing with packages.
>   Apple's installer doesn't do that, by dropping a
> lot of functionality, which is a way to solve it,
> I guess, but not really ideal. In addition, its
> rigid structure forces users to go through three
> or four pages for most applications, when leading
> them right to the "choose disk" page and then
> having them click "install" would have sufficed
> for half of them.

I'll try to give some more feedback on this issue either tonight or
tomorrow, but in the mean time, here is a step by step of the Mac OS X
install process:


If someone has a NeXT box and has the ability to do similar for that
system's installer, we could do a side by side comparison, and find out
what would be worth keeping and what seems extraneous.

I personally love the idea of drag and drop to install (or even trigger an
installer) -- it means we have a single, logical method of installation
and it allows our users the "luxury of ignorance", as ESR says <
http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cups-horror.html >. Office X 2004's
installer is really nice too, in that you drag the apps off the disk and
drop them on your hard drive, like a regular app. Once you launch the any
of the apps, it determines whether you have installed any of the shared
libs, and if not, goes through an installation process.


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