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Linker Deja Vue

Joel's latest rant reminded of the early Java days when I was making desktop Java applications.  No one had JRE's.  The problem was solved when when I used InstallShield that insalled a JRE for me.  I went to

And guess what?  They have one that installs the .NET runtime too!

I suspect that .NET will not become "mainstream" on the client side until Longhorn become pervasive.

Bill Rushmore
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

That'd be all fine and good if InstallShield wasn't a steaming pile itself.

Once bitten...
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

.NET 1.1 is shipping inside of XP SP2.

If our site is a good judge, penetration of XP is about 40%. If most people upgrade to .NET, then that's a pretty sizeable jump in the installed base.

Brad Wilson (
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Mmm. The problem of course is that Joel wants to target the download market for demos, and he thinks that people will download a 9mb file, and not a 30mb file. He may or may not be right, I think that very much depends on his target audience.

Having done a bit of simple stats gathering with some of the target audiences my company targets, most of them are willing to download a large file. But then our product is typically of interest to people who are interested in computers. These people, at least in Europe and the US, typically already have a broadband connection. I don't know whether the same can be said of the target for CityDesk. I would imagine so, but to a lesser extent.

Andrew Cherry
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

In my experience (and I believe this is part of Joel's point as well), you can get away with a larger download when it comes to existing customers.  If they already use and like the software, they'll be willing to download a 30 MB patch to fix it.

When you're talking about a demo, though, and the person isn't an existing customer, all bets are off.  They'll be looking at various options and if yours is 30 MB and your competitor has a downloadable demo that is 5 MB, guess which one they'll try first?  When it comes to demos, you need everything as small and painfree as possible.  Every roadblock you throw up means lost customers.

Mister Fancypants
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I just went through this exact thing when I wanted to install "SharpReader" (a RSS aggregator). I develop in XP at work, but at home my browsing machine is running Win98.

I really, really wanted this app. So.... I had to go to Windows Update. Just like Joel said, 2 critical updates. Then Update insisted that I download IE6 first. Err...Ok.

When all that was finally finished, 2 reboots later, I still needed to download the .NET framework, and reboot one more time!!

Just to run SharpReader! But you know, it's a great app. And that's the thing. It depends on how badly you want the app. (And who your target audience is).

Bill K Ramsey
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

the .net redistributable (netfx) can be run on its own, no need for an 'installer' or windows update. here's more info:

(you want the last link on the page. ~24 MB)

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

But you're an ASP, Brad.  ASPs have only caught on with more technically savvy users, haven't they?

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Simple answer? No.

Brad Wilson (
Thursday, January 29, 2004

No, ASP providers have not caught on with the majority of people, i.e. the right 2/3rd of the bell curve on Moore's graph.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

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