Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th May 2008 21:00 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Ever since I started using computers, I've been baffled by the relative clumsiness of installing applications. Whether we are talking the really old days (launching the Rambo game off a tape), the '90s (running Keen or using installers in Windows 95), or the modern days (still those installers, but now also package management and self-contained applications); it's all relatively cumbersome, and they all have their downsides. I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and come up with my idealistic, utopian method of installing, running, updating, and uninstalling applications.
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How about making a "configuration" the user interface object the user interacts with, rather than a "program"? So you add, run, and remove a particular configuration of a program, rather than the program itself.

e.g. I add a "configuration" of Firefox ("Firefox 3 + loads of plugins") to my desktop. It's like an AppDir, except it contains the settings, plus a link to the program.

If I want to add another one (e.g. "Firefox 2 with no plugins" for, say, on-line banking) then I add one of those too. I now have two icons / menu entries in my GUI, one for each configuration.

Deleting a configuration loses its settings, which therefore no longer need to be hidden.

Programs themselves can be installed and garbage collected automatically. No need to bother the user about that. Shared libraries, dependency hell, multiple versions, automatic updates, non-root install, etc are easily solved for most software (, as others have mentioned already).

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