Distributing Mac apps

Phil Davis revdev at pdslabs.net
Sun Sep 27 00:39:01 EDT 2009

Joe F. wrote:
> I prefer the disc image with root Applications alias. It's simple and 
> obvious.
> I found that a lot of apps allow you to install anywhere when they 
> actually need to be in the Applications folder; as if the developer 
> never considered that a user might do it otherwise.
> The main reasons to do it "by the book" are permissions and OS 
> updates. I haven't done Snow Leopard yet but the Leopard transition 
> was great for me, very little setup once it was installed.
> Also, if you want to update your app you know where everything is.
> Joe F.

Hi Joe,

I always build my apps to register themselves at each startup in a 
"prefs" .rev stack stored in a folder named 
specialFolderPath(<platformSpecificPrefsFolder>)/<MyAppName>. Then no 
matter how the user organizes his apps, the app's updater can usually 
find the app by getting the registered paths from the prefs stack, which 
is always in the same place.

In theory this works every time. And (to quote Mark Weider) in theory, 
there's no difference between theory and fact!  ;-)

Phil Davis

> On Sep 23, 2009, at 1:00 AM, Sarah Reichelt wrote:
>> On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 1:00 PM, J. Landman Gay
>> <jacque at hyperactivesw.com> wrote:
>>> Sarah Reichelt wrote:
>>>> In response, someone else posted a complementary idea, having the app
>>>> offering to move itself to the Applications folder if it is launched
>>>> from any other folder.
>>>> <http://www.potionfactory.com/node/251>
>>> I recently installed an app that did that. I didn't like it, I had 
>>> installed
>>> it in a different folder on purpose. Fortunately it only bugged me once
>>> about it on first launch.
>> Perhaps a neater method would be to offer to move it only if it was
>> being launched from the Downloads folder.
>> Sarah 

Phil Davis

PDS Labs
Professional Software Development

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