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less .exe's please

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  • User profile image
    Peter

    Here is my tiny suggestion to make things better.
     
    This one is about downloads. I love http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/ . The wealth of stuff published there is just fantastic. Best way to keep up with this is through the "Microsoft Download Center" RSS feed at
    http://www.thundermain.com/rss/ btw.

    What bothers me though is the many times something is needlessly published as a .exe . If you are putting out a .doc or a .ppt, please don't make it a selfextracting archive, especially when most of the time it isn't even mentioned that it is just a .doc in an archive.
    Everyone I know cringes at having to run a .exe.
    If you are worried about the size of things, just zip it and put out a .zip. everyone has some unzipping tool installed, and in 99,9999% (eat that, you puny five nines) of the cases they will use that installed one to unzip the thing anyway because it will have a way better interface than that horrible selfextractor.
    It's a tiny thing, but think babysteps. One smile every day ...

  • User profile image
    OSUKid7

    Totally agree, however, it should be "fewer" .EXEs please. Wink

  • User profile image
    bitmask

    I also agree. Before I download an exe I wonder if it is going to make yet another entry in Add/Remove programs - which is cluttered enough already.

  • User profile image
    vanlandw

    i agree as well...i don't even like programs that come with an installer anymore...just zip it up and let me put it where i want to put it on my hd...

    i do like that freeware developers are giving the option now...give the installer and the zip...gg

  • User profile image
    Manip

    Yeah me too. I hate it when people give you a installer for a single executable program and decide it was a great idea to add ten entries to the registry that really don't do much... This is more comment amongst new programmers I've found, older ones you tend to get a Tar or Zip file.

    Don't even get me started on people making custom components and then getting an installer to put them in your windows directory. (Why NOT the programs directory!?!)

  • User profile image
    Peter

    Don't get me wrong. I am very much in favor of standardized installer/uninstaller for programs. Some of the stuff you see with these single .exe installs leave you hanging high and dry when unistall time comes, and you manualy have to clean out your registry.
    I just don't think simple data documents should be delivered wrapped in an executable just for the sake of having an autoextracting doc.

  • User profile image
    Lwatson

    Manip wrote:

    Don't even get me started on people making custom components and then getting an installer to put them in your windows directory. (Why NOT the programs directory!?!)


    One issue we recently encountered with Server2003 though was the inability to get our FTP Processor service to launch out of the Program Files directory as a service. We were forced to have the installer place the thing in SYSTEMROOT or SYSTEMROOT/SYSTEM32 to get the service to start. Perhaps we were not reading the right documents but there seemed to be no way to fix that problem.

  • User profile image
    Jorgie

    I think they do it so the SFX can check itself for errors.

    I think it is a good idea, but I would prefer if they just used zips. (btw, most of them are self extracting zips, so you can just rename them to zip and open them.)

    Jorgie
    --
    "Enjoy Every Sandwich" - Warren Zevon, RIP 09/07/03

  • User profile image
    Catatonic

    I think the files are packaged this way so that you are forced to accept a license agreement. Or maybe it's just the MSI's that do this, not the EXE's.

  • User profile image
    Peter

    Today, Joe Wilcox touches upon this very issue in his blog.

    On Friday, Microsoft released a useful document (here) explaining the issues IT administrators might encounter moving employees to Office 2003 from Office XP. But, rather than release a single document, Microsoft posted an .exe file, meaning an application.

    This isn't the first time I've seen Microsoft post technical information compressed as an .exe file. But, I am stunned to see Microsoft continuing the practice given the big push around security. After all, Microsoft managers are touring the country as part of a security roadshow and top execs are making big security promises about the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    Yeah, but Joe is... Well, Joe's Joe. Nice guy, intelligent, but he really does love those rants, eh? Wink

    The comments are accurate though, there are ways to get a user to agree to view something without distributing an .exe. Put the .doc file in a secured location, inaccessible directly, and to get there users have to agree.

    Still, that'd need to be programmed, and putting .doc's through the processor really is the path of least resistance.

    But yeah, .exe's are annoying.

  • User profile image
    Jaz

    i contacted MS the other day suggesting that they gave .exe's useful names.  So instead of Setup.exe for the .Net SDK framework 1.0a, they could call it MSdotNetSDK1.0a.exe.  or well something more useful than setup.exe

  • User profile image
    Peter

    Joe once more points out this issue is still sensitive:

    http://www.microsoftmonitor.com/archives/002969.html


    "Once again, Microsoft has done the baffling: Release a valuable for-customers document in an unnecessarily complicated way that also makes getting the information much more difficult than necessary. I'm referring to the "Antivirus Defense-in-Depth Guide" (here) that posted on Thursday."

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