FYI - installer packages are the preferred deployment method now

  • "The installation package–based mechanism is the preferred method for
    delivering products in Mac OS X. This model is a change for
    experienced Mac OS X developers and packagers. Before Mac OS X v10.5
    (Leopard), the preferred software delivery mechanism was the manual
    install, where users drag the product from its container, a disk
    image, onto their file system. However, managed installs (which are
    steered by the Installer application after the user opens an
    installation package) on Leopard clients make possible advanced
    installation-management features, such as better package management
    through the Installer package database, downloadable packages, and
    certificate-based signing. Leopard leverages these features to provide
    users an improved install experience."

    <http://developer.apple.com/documentation/DeveloperTools/Conceptual/PackageM
    akerUserGuide/index.html
    >

    The HIG documentation and software delivery guide still lists drag &
    drop installs (manual install) as the preferred method. Of course
    neither of those documents have been updated since 2006 (I submitted
    feedback on both of those documents).

    <http://developer.apple.com/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/OSXHIGui
    delines/XHIGInstallationsUpdates/chapter_9_section_3.html
    >
    <http://developer.apple.com/documentation/DeveloperTools/Conceptual/Software
    Distribution/Introduction/chapter_1_section_1.html
    >

    -Shawn
  • On 04.11.2007, at 21:34, Shawn Erickson wrote:

    > "The installation package–based mechanism is the preferred method
    > for delivering products in Mac OS X. This model is a change for
    > experienced Mac OS X developers and packagers. Before Mac OS X
    > v10.5 (Leopard), the preferred software delivery mechanism was the
    > manual install, where users drag the product from its container, a
    > disk image, onto their file system. However, managed installs
    > (which are steered by the Installer application after the user
    > opens an installation package) on Leopard clients make possible
    > advanced installation-management features, such as better package
    > management through the Installer package database, downloadable
    > packages, and certificate-based signing. Leopard leverages these
    > features to provide users an improved install experience."

    Thanks for the heads up. IMO that is terrible news though. I
    personally hate package-based installers (big fan of http://
    www.timdoug.com/unpkg/ )

    cheers
    --
    Torsten
  • Am 04.11.2007 um 21:34 Uhr schrieb Shawn Erickson:

    > "The installation package–based mechanism is the preferred method
    > for delivering products in Mac OS X. [...]"

    Well, this sucks.

    > The HIG documentation and software delivery guide still lists drag &
    > drop installs (manual install) as the preferred method. Of course
    > neither of those documents have been updated since 2006 (I submitted
    > feedback on both of those documents).

    I guess I'll rather submit feedback on the new "improved" deployment
    method ...

    Andreas  (hates installers)
  • On Nov 4, 2007, at 2:45 PM, Torsten Curdt wrote:

    > Thanks for the heads up. IMO that is terrible news though. I
    > personally hate package-based installers (big fan ofhttp://www.timdoug.com/unpkg/
    > )

    It makes perfect sense for me... Things like the installer in Windows,
    RPM, etc. have gotten so many people to accept that software must be
    installed with installers rather than drag-and-drop, to the point
    where many users don't know how to do a drag-and-drop installation
    anymore. I (not Chronos, but me personally) have actually received
    complaints before because I made some software available without an
    installer, with the expectation that people would know how to do a
    drag-and-drop install.

    But now we're going OT, so if anyone wants to reply, then please do so
    off-list...

    Nick Zitzmann
    <http://www.chronosnet.com/>
  • On 4 Nov 2007, at 22:32, Nick Zitzmann wrote:
    > On Nov 4, 2007, at 2:45 PM, Torsten Curdt wrote:
    >> Thanks for the heads up. IMO that is terrible news though. I
    >> personally hate package-based installers (big fan ofhttp://www.timdoug.com/unpkg/
    >> )
    >
    > It makes perfect sense for me... Things like the installer in
    > Windows, RPM, etc. have gotten so many people to accept that
    > software must be installed with installers rather than drag-and-
    > drop, to the point where many users don't know how to do a drag-and-
    > drop installation anymore. I (not Chronos, but me personally) have
    > actually received complaints before because I made some software
    > available without an installer, with the expectation that people
    > would know how to do a drag-and-drop install.

    The way DMGs are typically packaged now - with nice layout and
    background image explaining how to install right there - really should
    be enough for most users.

    The problem with packages, is that to accommodate installation by non-
    admin users to Applications, the installer must ask for privileges,
    even if the user is an admin. So, as an admin, I could just drag the
    app's bundle to Applications, but with an installer package, I have to
    authenticate, and trust the installer. Note that this isn't a case of
    me not trusting the application being installed per se, but rather
    trusting that the installation doesn't sprinkle files anywhere it
    pleases.
  • On Nov 5, 2007, at 12:09 AM, Derek Chesterfield wrote:

    > On 4 Nov 2007, at 22:32, Nick Zitzmann wrote:
    >> On Nov 4, 2007, at 2:45 PM, Torsten Curdt wrote:
    >>> Thanks for the heads up. IMO that is terrible news though. I
    >>> personally hate package-based installers (big fan ofhttp://
    >>> www.timdoug.com/unpkg/ )
    >>
    >> It makes perfect sense for me... Things like the installer in
    >> Windows, RPM, etc. have gotten so many people to accept that
    >> software must be installed with installers rather than drag-and-
    >> drop, to the point where many users don't know how to do a drag-
    >> and-drop installation anymore. I (not Chronos, but me personally)
    >> have actually received complaints before because I made some
    >> software available without an installer, with the expectation that
    >> people would know how to do a drag-and-drop install.
    >
    > The way DMGs are typically packaged now - with nice layout and
    > background image explaining how to install right there - really
    > should be enough for most users.

    Yes and no.

    Background images are not localizable.

    Therefore, the instructions can only be useful to users that at least
    know a few words in English.

    Background images are not dynamic. The icon for the Applications
    folder has changed in Leopard. How do you deal with that when you use
    the icon for Tiger and earlier in your background image.

    > The problem with packages, is that to accommodate installation by
    > non-admin users to Applications, the installer must ask for
    > privileges, even if the user is an admin.

    Incorrect in Leopard. You can know define an installation domain.
    This means that you can install stuff to ˜/ without having to require
    the user to change the default destination or to enter an admin
    password.
  • On 4 Nov 2007, at 23:47, Stephane Sudre wrote:

    > On Nov 5, 2007, at 12:09 AM, Derek Chesterfield wrote:
    >> On 4 Nov 2007, at 22:32, Nick Zitzmann wrote:
    >>> On Nov 4, 2007, at 2:45 PM, Torsten Curdt wrote:
    >>>> Thanks for the heads up. IMO that is terrible news though. I
    >>>> personally hate package-based installers (big fan ofhttp://www.timdoug.com/unpkg/
    >>>> )
    >>>
    >>> It makes perfect sense for me...
    >> The way DMGs are typically packaged now - with nice layout and
    >> background image explaining how to install right there - really
    >> should be enough for most users.
    >
    > Background images are not localizable. Therefore, the instructions
    > can only be useful to users that at least know a few words in English.
    >
    > Background images are not dynamic. The icon for the Applications
    > folder has changed in Leopard. How do you deal with that when you
    > use the icon for Tiger and earlier in your background image.

    Two very good points. Thanks.

    >> The problem with packages, is that to accommodate installation by
    >> non-admin users to Applications, the installer must ask for
    >> privileges, even if the user is an admin.
    >
    > Incorrect in Leopard. You can know define an installation domain.
    > This means that you can install stuff to ˜/ without having to
    > require the user to change the default destination or to enter an
    > admin password.

    But I want my apps in /Applications, not ~/Applications.
  • On Nov 4, 2007, at 2:09 PM, Andreas Mayer wrote:

    >
    > Am 04.11.2007 um 21:34 Uhr schrieb Shawn Erickson:
    >
    >> "The installation package–based mechanism is the preferred method
    >> for delivering products in Mac OS X. [...]"
    >
    > Well, this sucks.
    >
    >> The HIG documentation and software delivery guide still lists drag
    >> & drop installs (manual install) as the preferred method. Of course
    >> neither of those documents have been updated since 2006 (I
    >> submitted feedback on both of those documents).
    >
    > I guess I'll rather submit feedback on the new "improved" deployment
    > method ...

    Play with the new package maker to understand its capabilities before
    you go off hating installers :)

    (of course the documentation for package maker is a little weak and
    like I noted supporting docs are out of date still)

    -Shawn
  • Just yesterday a thread that was similar to this was stopped, and I
    asked that it be moved to another location.

    Please stay on topic.  Installation issues are not appropriate
    discussion for this list.

    On Nov 4, 2007, at 4:45 PM, Torsten Curdt wrote:

    >> "The installation package–based mechanism is the preferred method
    >> for delivering products in Mac OS X. This model is a change for
    >> experienced Mac OS X developers and packagers. Before Mac OS X
    >> v10.5 (Leopard), the preferred software delivery mechanism was the
    >> manual install, where users drag the product from its container, a
    >> disk image, onto their file system. However, managed installs
    >> (which are steered by the Installer application after the user
    >> opens an installation package) on Leopard clients make possible
    >> advanced installation-management features, such as better package
    >> management through the Installer package database, downloadable
    >> packages, and certificate-based signing. Leopard leverages these
    >> features to provide users an improved install experience."
    >
    > Thanks for the heads up. IMO that is terrible news though. I
    > personally hate package-based installers (big fan of http://www.timdoug.com/unpkg/
    > )
  • > Play with the new package maker to understand its capabilities
    > before you go off hating installers :)

    This is completely irrelevant.  As an end-user I presume
    Installer.app works just fine, in any case.  What matters is that if
    I download some random app, and it demands it be installed before I
    can run it, my thought process is something like:

    1) Is this app Adobe CS3, a system utility likely to have kexts or
    similar, or the ultimate killer app that I just promised my first
    born for?
    If yes, either install or - if it's an unfamiliar app, fire up
    Pacifist to see wtf it's going to muck with, first.
    If no, delete.

    There are legitimate scenarios where you do need a formal
    installation process.  But the fact that such a mechanism exists,
    officially, is being abused by some people whom are perhaps too busy,
    lazy, naive or uncaring to write their apps better.

    Wade

    P.S. There are arguments to be made in favour on an installer, if
    that installer is large but downloads dependencies iff necessary, or
    similar smarts that ultimately save me time.  In my experience this
    is very much a niche area for the average end-user.
    P.P.S.  CS3 is an arbitrary exemplar exception to cover those suites
    that have shared frameworks and whatnot.  Yet, Microsoft Office is a
    counter-example; it supports drag-and-drop installation.  Installing
    Office is much faster and easier than CS3.
    P.P.P.S.  I'm not experienced with it, but I gather packages are
    convenient for remotely managed machines, with ARD and whatnot.
    Logically it follows, then, that there is a nice convenient package
    maker for system admins.
  • Am 05.11.2007 um 01:58 Uhr schrieb Shawn Erickson:

    > Play with the new package maker to understand its capabilities
    > before you go off hating installers :)

    Unfortunately this is off topic for this list, otherwise I'd love to
    explain in detail *why* I hate installers.

    Let's just say I perceive it as an unnecessary layer that takes
    control away from me by making installation more indirect.

    While I *love* all the system and API improvements in Leopard, the UI
    seems to be moving in the wrong direction on several ends. I hope
    that's just something that will be cleaned up when the dust settles.

    Andreas
  • I see it as a potential source of revenue. "APE installation blocker"
    would probably be a top seller to sys admins :)

    As long as it's only a 'preferred' installation method and we're
    still allowed to ignore that preference and use whatever method works
    for our users I don't think it's too big a problem. An improved
    package maker can only be a good thing for those apps that really do
    suit being installed by an installation package.

    _____________________________
    Aaron Fothergill  :  MD / Lead Coder
    Strange Flavour Ltd
    <zwilnik...>
    http://www.strangeflavour.com

    On 5 Nov 2007, at 00:58, Shawn Erickson wrote:

    >
    > On Nov 4, 2007, at 2:09 PM, Andreas Mayer wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> Am 04.11.2007 um 21:34 Uhr schrieb Shawn Erickson:
    >>
    >>> "The installation package–based mechanism is the preferred method
    >>> for delivering products in Mac OS X. [...]"
    >>
    >> Well, this sucks.
    >>
    >>> The HIG documentation and software delivery guide still lists
    >>> drag & drop installs (manual install) as the preferred method. Of
    >>> course neither of those documents have been updated since 2006 (I
    >>> submitted feedback on both of those documents).
    >>
    >> I guess I'll rather submit feedback on the new "improved"
    >> deployment method ...
    >
    > Play with the new package maker to understand its capabilities
    > before you go off hating installers :)
    >
    > (of course the documentation for package maker is a little weak and
    > like I noted supporting docs are out of date still)
    >
    > -Shawn
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