Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 15th Dec 2008 15:10 UTC
Editorial states: "Microsoft (or a really smart ISV) should build a full application manager for Windows, similar to what most Linux distributions do today." Most Windows applications come with their own distinctive updating mechanism (much like Mac OS X), instead of having a centralised updating location like most Linux distributions offer. While it certainly wouldn't be harmful for Windows to gain such a feature - the question remains: isn't it time we rethink program installation and management altogether?
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by StephenBeDoper on Mon 15th Dec 2008 20:02 UTC
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I'm personally a fan of the "Keep It Simple, Stupid" approach to software installation and management. Just give me an archive to download and an OS that makes it simple to install applications via drag-n-drop.

From that perspective, I'd say that the situation in OS X is generally preferable to Windows. That said, however, there are some things about OS X software installation that make me scratch my head. E.g., over-packaging - really, what is the point of putting an installer app *inside* a DMG file? And I'm pretty sure I've seen SIT files that contained a DMG, which in turn contained an installer.

It could also be a little more obvious that you're supposed drag the binary to the Applications folder (most of us have encountered people who always run Firefox, etc, from the DMG file they downloaded). I've never understood why the approach used by many BeOS devs has never caught on in OS X: they use essentially the same approach (with zip files instead of DMGs in BeOS), but many BeOS apps contain a symlink named "Drag '[filename]' Here".

Is there some technical limitation that prevents symlinks from working inside DMG files?

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