Package for Windows -- Best Practice

Scott Rossi scott at
Mon Sep 25 17:24:03 EDT 2006

Recently, Sivakatirswami wrote:

> OK -- more naive questions from someone who is out of his league,
> I only hope such questions are of benefit to other newbie lurkers:
> Can you give me the "philosophy" behind using an installer versus
> just having people download a .zip file? For Windows users?
> Especially where an application is, well, it's own document.
> Having it "slip away" into the applicatons folder or program's directory
> doesn't necessarily make sense. It's one thing to
> put MSWord into the programs folder because your documents
> are actually on your desktop or wherever "My Stuff" may be,
> ... in the case of a Rev standalone, that is not creating other
> documents.... ??
> I could make up some good reasons on my own -- I have to explain this to
> other people -- but I would rather have the reasons from the "wizard's
> mouth" (professional Windows User-developer)
> The question always is: "Why not let people put this stuff
> where they want to on their own"  ?

Your post is titled "Best Practice".  Chipp was getting at the fact that
"typically" Windows apps are installed using an installation process.  This
is not to say there are no drag-drop-install apps on Windows, but the
majority of apps use installers.  Part of this reason involves uninstalling
-- if your app does not use an installer, Windows will not know how to
uninstall your app, and thus users will not know how to remove your app if
they wish.  Many folks consider this bad form.

So if you want to follow the Windows convention (ie Best Practice) you
should consider using an installer.


Scott Rossi
Creative Director
Tactile Media, Multimedia & Design
E: scott at

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