Monday 26 November 2012

Installation Pain in the News

I saw this article this afternoon and have been thinking about it for a while, so I decided to post a short blog entry on it; A Gentle Rant about Development and Software Installers

I was surprised to see something like this in slashdot for a number of reasons;
     - I was told that the "installation and packaging industry" was tiny (and nobody really cared)
     - I have been doing packaging and installation work since Windows 3.1 (yes, that's a long time)
     - I still can't quite believe that we have not sorted this out yet…
     - Wasn't the web\internet supposed to eliminate application installations?

Finally, I thought, as I was reading the article on my iPad, surely this insanity must end. At some point,  we have so many devices, with so many platforms that application installations as we know them must fade out or die for the following reasons;

     1) More applications are getting simpler - yes, they may have more features, our maturing OSes of the world (Windows 7 and Windows 8 are providing more of the development lifting e.g. .NET runtimes
     2) More application logic is run remotely on a server somewhere on the web 
     3) Applications are getting smaller: this follows from points 1 and 2 - I just checked, the last 5 applications in my download folder were less than 10 meg
     4) Applications have more updates: Check-out Spotify with it's auto-upate "just close me to update" feature. It's the future.

I made it my business to get applications to install, configure, update and install for the past dozen or so years. And, you may laugh, but almost every-year someone would tell me that that with the next platform (Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, Windows 7 and now Windows 8) that application installation issues would be a thing of the past. 

Have a read of the article - it's pretty much what I have been experiencing for years. And, yes, I have tried to get both SAP and Oracle packaged for enterprise deployments for thousands of desktops… 

BTW: if you are looking for a real challenge: try getting 2 versions of Oracle working on the same machine - with an automated installation package.


A Gentle Rant about Development and Software Installers

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