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Here we discuss “installers” – once you’ve banged out a rough draft of your program, how to make an easy-to-install package ?

The Zero Install system “The Zero Install system aims to provide a better way of installing software than traditional systems (tarballs, apt-get, bundles, setup.exe, etc).”

The Game Programming Wiki has a nice list of installers.

Mozilla:LocalStorage has some thoughts on how to improve software installation in 2 ways: making it easier to install apps, and making it possible for a person to take advantage of an application without allowing the application to take advantage of the person.

“Problem: The web is an application platform. … However, the web is only usable as an interface when the network is available. … A second problem is that installing software on your computer often involves an all-or-nothing choice. Either you install the software, and give it complete access to your system or you don’t install it and you can’t gain the benefits of having the ability to do your work offline. Victims of spyware on windows understand this pain. … The last problem that we believe needs to be solved is the problem surrounding how difficult it is to install software. … for most users, installing software is hard and scary.”

Wikipedia: package management system

Wikipedia: list of software package management systems

Wikipedia: list of installation software

A few rants on various “problems” with software installation and various packaging systems:

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