Software Installation User Interface

I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to how my computer is configured. I like to be aware of how things happen and why they do. Currently on a Windows system, the thing that irritates me the most is the Windows Registry. A nasty, unknown shared resource used by almost all applications and extremely hard to fix manually when corrupted. But it is a standard, so somehow I get along with it.

Anyway, installing programs has always been one of the worst experiences ever while setting up my work/fun environment, on any platform. Linux makes it easy for you to install distribution packages, but I still haven’t spend the time to figure out how to uninstall them. What happens to all dependencies that you didn’t note down when installing? Do they remain in the system?

Since program installation is usually the first impression that software makes in a user, I think every software developer should spend the time and make it as perfect as it can be. This is clearly not only my opinion, but in this post I wanted to mention two features of software installations in general that I find wonderful, and cannot figure out why there are people that miss to put them in.

1. “Don’t create a Start Menu folder” option

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2. “Create a Desktop icon” and “Create a Quick Launch icon”

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First, I have so many things in the Windows Start Menu, that I probably never open it. I don’t need more things there by default, and I need an option to control this when installing software. Second, I extensively use the Quick Launch toolbar, and if the installer puts an icon there for me, that would be great. Obviously the FeedDemon installer made me happy and the people from NewsGator did their job. Why don’t the others do it? Why don’t you do it every time?

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