Aaron Stebner's WebLog

Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio

Nice article about setup pet peeves

Nice article about setup pet peeves

  • Comments 3

Steven Bone wrote up a really good list of his top 20 pet peeves about setup that can be found at http://bonemanblog.blogspot.com/2004/09/top-20-installation-pet-peeves-and-how.html.  This list got me thinking and I'm going to see what I can come up with for pet peeves that I have that aren't already covered on his list (it is pretty comprehensive though so finding things that aren't already covered is going to be a bit tricky).  I encourage everyone interested in setup technologies to read his list and post comments for him (and the rest of us) to read

 

  • Not exactly a comment on any of the points in the article, but a few pet peeves of my own in no particular order except number one:

    1. Installing icons on the desktop or in the quick launch bar without the option of turning them off.

    2. Not allowing a choice of the start menu fodler for the shortcuts.

    3. Installation that allows selection of components, but gives no description of those components' functionalities or their dependencies.

    4. Installers that think they know better than me. I've had installers forcing installation of Dutch language versions of the software (I'm in the Netherlands) when every single piece of software on my system is in English. (Websites do this, too. If I want Dutch eBay or Dutch Gooble, I would've typed ebay.nl or google.nl instead of .com).

    5. Uninstall that can't delete the program folder because there's some unimportant config file left there. Give the user the option to force deletion (put up a big warning sign, if you have to).
  • I hear your pain, Steven.

    #1 is a bit difficult to do in an MSI-based installation, but my thoughts are if the user wants a desktop shortcut he/she will make one.

    #2 is even worse in an MSI. If you move them, install a patch will put them back and you now have 2 copies!

    #5 is a bit touchier. I have asked users in the past to check a button if they have no interest in keeping their settings, and if the button was checked, I put all the leftovers in the recycle bin to give them another chance of recovery.

    #3 and #4 is a sign of install-writer immaturity. #3 is eased a bit in MSI installations because the features (as they call them) are organized in a tree-view. I usually throw horrible text in there and make the designers give me real text, threatening to keep my horrible text on the "gold" CD if they don't. If you ever see a feature in an installation that is labeled "This will make you dance for joy on a Q-Tip" - I probably wrote that install.
  • LOL, way too funny. That reminds me of an install I wrote back in 1997. We decided to display informative billboards during the file installation.

    I knew no one would step up to the plate so I made 10 build boards using paint brush with a blue background and white "scribble" with the numbers 1 2 3 4 ectera. Then I placed text at the bottom saying "This is a billboard. If you don't suggest one, this is what the user will see."

    Finally some suit found some marketing graphics and asked me to use them. They actually looked really good.
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