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Re: Installer UI advices

From: Markus Hitter
Subject: Re: Installer UI advices
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 11:40:39 +0100

Am 11.03.2005 um 21:17 schrieb M. Uli Kusterer:

At 10:44 Uhr -0500 11.03.2005, Adrian Robert wrote:
I'm not sure drag/drop install is appropriate for packages. On OS X this is done for .apps that don't need any additional work (by scripts, etc.) or license agreement, and works because of their .dmg disk-image mounting framework.

No. .dmg files are simply another kind of archives.

Actually, .dmg's are no archives at all, they are disk image files.

It happens they can be configured to be read-only, to be compressed and to ask for some sort of (license-)agreement on mounting. But still, they are disk images.

You can do drop-install with apps from zipped archives, or .tgz ones just as well.

Goal would be not to require any installation at all. With the .dmg mounted, you can run most well designed apps right off the mounted volume, without copying anything anywhere.

I do this quite often and after a few runs to figure whether this new app fits my needs or not, I possibly drag it over to a more appropriate place for long term usage. But most apps I try out disappear as soon as I unmount the .dmg. I was interested in testing but have no further use for them.

This scheme is only used for apps that don't require additional files.

It should be highly encouraged to design apps this way, even at the cost of some duplicated files/libraries/whatever. It makes handling the software so much easier and you won't have any headaches with different version requirements for the same framework/library.

At 10:44 Uhr -0500 11.03.2005, Adrian Robert wrote:

[...] the need for delivering in a "package" arises when something that simple can't work -- either you've got files that need to go elsewhere on the disk, dependencies that need to be checked, scripts that need to run, etc..

For dependency checking, this should go into the app's startup routine anyways. Sometimes dependencies just disappear later and every app should handle this gracefully.

For files elsewhere on the disk - design your app to avoid them. Generate temporary files as you need them. Generate preference files when it's time to store something. Try not to fiddle with system files, i.e. those in /etc.

For scripts that need to run ... ugh, you mean just installing the app would alter my system? Ouch ...

my $0.02,

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Dipl. Ing. Markus Hitter

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