What distribution is most convenient?

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Post: #16
that's what Internet-enabled DMGs are supposed to achieve, and they sometimes work quite well. But there are disavantages to that too.
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Post: #17
reubert Wrote:I'm quite surprised by the preference for .dmg. I find them annoying, and I have seen people really struggle with the whole .dmg concept. Zip sucks also, but is preferable IMO.

The best possible experience for the end user would be that they download 'your app' it's a single icon that appears on the desktop (or downloads folder), they double click it and it runs. They can move it any where they like or not, and to delete it in it's entirety they move it to the trash.

Ah, but for those of us with limited bandwidth, that could hurt.

What's wrong with .zip?

- Lincoln Green
http://www.binkworks.com/
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Post: #18
If the app has only a single file, then I'm all for ZIP. If the app has more, like an additional readme or something, then I don't really care as I don't like apps that have more either way.

Sure, a disk image allows a nice background, but a ZIP file allows me to extract the file straight away without the need of opening and closing such a disk image. In my opinion, that's much nicer than any background image.
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Post: #19
The idea would be that the .app would have compressed internals that would decompress on launch. I discounted this as I imagined that the decompression would be permanent, which would mean the app could not run on read-only file systems. But thinking further about it there is no reason (for small apps anyway) the decompression couldn't happen straight into memory on every launch. Alternatively the decompressed internals could be put somewhere like ~/Application Support but this means leaving files on the users HD if they delete the app later.

What's wrong with zip is that it requires the user to
a) find the zip file
b) extract it using some 3rd party tool (at least mac OSX ships with one)
c) find the extracted file
d) delete the old zip file

Only step c would be required if it were simply an app.

There really isn't a one-size fits all solution, because no one has made one yet. Could be a great market for someone to tap.

Chopper, iSight Screensavers, DuckDuckDuck: http://majicjungle.com
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Post: #20
I prefer dmgs myself. I agree with the arguments against packages. Who knows where could be shoving information on your drive? (Although once you run the application, who knows where it's saving config information... but that's a different issue)

Zips really aren't a problem, but the presentation of disk images is nicer. I can see how a mounted disk image that needs to be ejected could confuse people, but it's been pretty common for a while, and hopefully even most casual users would be familiar with it.

To address the problem of people running the app from within the image.. your program could detect it's location and offer to copy itself into the Applications folder. Delicious Library does this, I believe.
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Post: #21
.dmg's still confuse me, and I read the book by David Pogue! But I don't mind.

- Lincoln Green
http://www.binkworks.com/
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Post: #22
.tbz ftw. Great compression, and tiger+ can open it without any third part software.

It's not magic, it's Ruby.
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Luminary
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Post: #23
The intermediate .tar file that gets dumped out makes it much less appealing.
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Apprentice
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Post: #24
You all forget that you are not the typical enduser. For them, double clicking a .dmg or a .zip is the same. A nice presentation (like the install instructions of say Adium) will also add to the first impression the user has of your application.
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Post: #25
Maybe not *typical* end-users, which is a fair point I suppose.

I still can't believe it's almost 3 to 1 in favor of dmg's right now. I might have to ease my affection for zips at this rate. Annoyed
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Sage
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Post: #26
OneSadCookie Wrote:The intermediate .tar file that gets dumped out makes it much less appealing.

That only happens when you have a .tar.ga, .tgz files don't create intermediate files in my experience.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Post: #27
Well, personally I hate zips. I think this stems from my habit to `curl http://www.some.com/file.tar.gz | tar xz` and my laziness (I still haven't looked up how to do this with zips, though I figure there's a pretty good chance it works.)

I prefer the DMG on macs, simply because it's clean and doesn't leave random folders on your desktop. After that, I like .tbz then .tgz, because of better compression and better unix support (the extra tar doesn't bother me that much), and then lastly zips. For the end user, though, definitely use DMGS.

It's not magic, it's Ruby.
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Sage
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Post: #28
Nayr Wrote:Well, personally I hate zips. I think this stems from my habit to `curl http://www.some.com/file.tar.gz | tar xz` and my laziness (I still haven't looked up how to do this with zips, though I figure there's a pretty good chance it works.)

So I'm not the only one that does that then. Smile

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Post: #29
I like packages because of the ability to present extra information to the user, however I think packages are overkill for simple applications. Some apps, like those that need support files in other places need to have a package installer, but I wish those would also leave an uninstaller in a convenient place such as /Library/Reciepts.
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Post: #30
I tend to encourage people to leave Library/Receipts alone unless they are very sure they know what they are doing. Any software I've used which comes with an installer tends to have it beside the installer in a disk image, so you either have to keep the dmg (or download it again) or move the uninstaller to a handy place of your own (who's going to do that though?)
The best answer I can think of is to have an option in the application menu which copies the uninstaller from the .app package to a more accessible place when required.
Or you could just encourage people to use AppDelete
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