Distributing Rev Stacks (was The age of user-translatable applications...

Jeanne A. E. DeVoto jeanne at runrev.com
Thu Sep 12 18:24:01 EDT 2002

At 3:16 PM -0700 9/12/2002, Rob Cozens wrote:
>Isn't an installer program an application that can carry a virus
>payload?  Do people shy away from clicking on "Install"?

Yes, in my experience. The less so if it's from a known source, of course.
It depends on how well-acquainted your users are with you as a "name
brand", so to speak, that they can trust. (And obviously anyone from the
list knows you so wouldn't hesitate to run an executable from you - this is
mostly an issue for people who might find software from a small vendor
through a web search or whatever.)

>means I'm telling the potential downloader "You will have to go
>somewhere else and get some other software to open and use my files
>if you don't have version x of program y installed on your computer."

Hmmmm. I think all Mac OS installations for a while now have included
StuffIt Expander.

>And aren't .sit files platform-specific?  Is there a StuffIt for
>Windows?  Is .zip more universal than .sit?

No, yes, and sort of. ;-) StuffIt is more often found on the Mac - it is
the Mac standard - but there's a StuffIt Expander for Windows. However,
StuffIt Expander for Mac will also unzip zipped files, so in that sense
it's more universally available.

>Here's a novel thought: will native .rev files transfer successfully
>across platform and across the Internet without browser set-up on the
>part of the downloader?

It's not the downloader's setup that's the potential problem here so much
as the web server. The server needs to be informed that a .rev file's MIME
type is application/octet-stream (I think it is). Otherwise, clicking the
link will bring the thing up in the browser window, obviously not what's

Or else you can just tell the user to choose "Download" from the browser's
contextual menu. That will work too.

>And a final question to show my lack of web savvy: how do I script
>html to get an uploaded .txt file to download rather than being
>displayed in the browser window?

I don't think you can; the user needs to do that on their end, by using
their contextual menu to choose "download link to disk". (The server in
theory could change the MIME type for .txt files as above, but of course in
general they don't want to do that, since most .txt files are actually
intended to be displayed rather than downloaded....)

Jeanne A. E. DeVoto ~ jeanne at runrev.com
Runtime Revolution Limited - The Solution for Software Development

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