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Re: Installer UI advices

From: Jesse Ross
Subject: Re: Installer UI advices
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 10:07:37 -0600 (CST)

>>> 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.
> In an ideal world, yes, but in practice there are certain resources
> that need to be installed in system-wide locations.  Libraries come
> first to mind, but there are others like info files, man pages, desktop
> menu or icon files, and so on.  All of these must either go into a
> standard place on the system so that management and access applications
> (indexers, browsers, UI constructors, etc.) can find them.  Worse
> still, sometimes just putting a file someplace is not enough.  For
> example, Linux needs a run of 'ldconfig' after libraries are installed,
> and info files need their directory contents files updated.

Why can't it work like this:

 - User drags app (with built-in pkg and installer framework) to
desktop/Applications folder/wherever
 - User double clicks on app
 - App requires shared lib called somefile.lib, and so checks in standard
system locations (outside home folder) for lib
 - Doesn't find it, asks for root password, then runs installer
 - Puts somefile.lib in correct place
 - Runs ldconfig or other system utilities as necessary
 - Launches app

The install only needs to happen the first time -- from that point on, the
shared lib is in the right place so all the app has to do is check for
that lib at launch.

Thus, we perform an installation, but it happens just like an app bundle
would and the user doesn't have to think "now I am installing some extra
stuff the app I want to use needs" -- they just think "launch the app I
need". Much more painless for the end user and keeps the experience of
installing an app consistent no matter whether it's an app (with shared
resources) or an app bundle (self contained).


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