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OS Idea: Sealing Software Installation.

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    Sealing Software Installation.


    To simplify software installation and un-installation.

    Recently I have installed software that uses many services and network communication. The software is installed on many client machines. Sadly enough, I ran into problems. It initially failed the installation at some point due to permissions. But then the unsuccessful un-installation leads to unsuccessful reinstallation. The rest is nightmare and finally got resolved by manually uninstall each component one by one.

    Then, I am thinking, why do I have to do all those crap? Is it developer's fault? Well, they suck at making installation / un-installation process for sure. But, what about those evil adware / malware / spyware? They don't provide a proper un-installation intentionally. What happen to us, the poor guys? I won't be able to properly remove them without going into the uncharted OS system stuff. Hell, I just tried using Norton Anti-Virus to delete those, and internet ends up dead. I did recover internet, but God knows what happened to other stuff.

    I am proposing a brand new way of organizing application/service/registry. Here are the key points.

    - Strict application to be installed into one root directory. The software does not have access to anywhere but under its directory.

    - Strict file location for OS related info, such as Service and Registry.

    - XML Based Application Header. Application Header defines what services should be "cached" by OS and includes registry information.

    So how does this works?

    No more software installation. Just copy and paste the whole application root directory to the destination and say check this folder for software. OS will look for Application Header. OS will "cache" Application Header in one centralized place. Services will be "cached" and configured based on the Header as well. OS will occasionally reconcile the cached info with physical data.

    What does this mean? If you want something to be installed/running at background, you need the application header to keep it alive. If there is no application header, the registry and services will be removed from OS cache. To remove an application, just delete the root directory and everything will be gone. No need to fix registry or worry about services.

    Trade Offs:

    - Periodically OS will check the cached files with actual files. It will take some resources when doing so. The cost is relatively small compare to the performance of current hardware standard.

    - Flexibility issues. I don't know deep enough about software to ensure that the system is flexible enough for everything. Library sharing, application patch, external tweaks, and shared process need to be addressed.

    my blog:
    Please let me know what you think. Big Smile

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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    Sounds very much like .NET applications. They usually are also only copied into a directory and have all the config stuff in xml files... For shared files there's the GAC that's a single location where all the shared libraries are hosted...

    Now you only need to convince people to put everything in their folder. Look how many problems came up with UAC in Vista. Just because nobody ever follows guidelines and doesn't care as much as it works... Sad, but true.

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    I didn't know .Net does those. I mean the crappy software I was installing is a early .Net application. It has to install DCOM+ and failed because the DLL is already installed. I have to end up in some weird place to manually un-register DLL.

    The way mine works is that I don't care they don't want to follow the rules because there is no way to get around it. They have to do it my way. I am trading off flexibility with unification.

    The main thing is that services are no longer hosted in a single location. It is only cached in a single location, but if the application folder is gone, the OS will drop the service itself. There is no just thing as service/DLL not found.

    I haven't looked hot Mac OS X work. Maybe it is a simular stuff. For the shared library. The link is just cached in one place, but will be reconciled periodically to make sure the resources is still available, same as the service and everything else. The key is that all the cached entry is based on application header. Once the application header is gone, the cached entry will automatically droped.

    The only problem know is the tunning software, mostly bad intention. Not sure how to open the door for good tunning software and block all other virus.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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