Linked by David Adams on Fri 18th Jun 2010 19:17 UTC
Linux Linux Magazine has a profile of Daniel Fore and the Elementary project. Elementary is a Linux distro that's committed to a clean and simple user experience, but it's more than a distro - it's actually a multi-pronged effort to make improvements to the user experience for a whole ecosystem of components, including icons, a GTK theme, Midori improvements, Nautilus, and even Firefox. The work that elementary is doing isn't limited to their own distro, and some of their work is available in current, and perhaps future, Ubuntu releases. The results are really striking, and I think it's probably the handsomest Linux UI I've ever seen.
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Actually, the software author can provide an "uninstall" .pkg that the user can run to remove files if they wish to uninstall. Off the top of my head, Flip4Mac does this as an example. It is run via the OS X Installer and is really a script that simply checks for and removes any files related to the app in question. Adobe does something similar. Even the OS X Developer tools do something similar when you want to remove them.

Yes, this is a hack -- a workaround.

As far as Apple providing an Uninstaller, I'm not rally sure that should be their primary responsibility given that the greatest majority of applications are simply DnD to the Applications folder. If the author is doing something that installs a file via Installer, they should provide the mechanism to remove that, imo, and since they can do it via a pkg, it shouldn't be any harder than making the install package originally.

Sure, it's not *hard* but it's an extra thing that's mildly difficult to get right and can actually litter the receipt database with an "uninstall" package.

It is true that most apps have at least one file in ~/Library (the user library) but a quick Spotlight search reveals those (which are generally small and effect nothing if left in place in the event you should want to re-install the application).

Most Windows applications have uninstallers but still leave the Registry littered with program related entries...

Windows installer provides an uninstall mechanism. It actually works pretty well in most cases, and it's usually the fault of the packager when it fails. It's not perfect, but it's pretty darn good.

OS X does not provide this, even though it usually knows what files were installed by the package.

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