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Author Topic: Why don't all software files go into a single directory?  (Read 3365 times)

superboyac

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Why don't all software files go into a single directory?
« on: August 22, 2007, 12:27:28 PM »
I'm not a programmer, so you guys have to help me here.  How come when people write software, they don't just have all the files install into a single directory?  It would help keep the computer organized and clean, and it would make it so much easier to keep track of installs and uninstalls.  I love programs like ARSclip where you just unzip the contents to a directory and off you go.  I don't understand why:
--So many tweaks need to made to the registry
--why we have to use the folders in "Documents and Settings" (man, talk about a mess)
--why dll files have to go to a common windows system directory
--what's the point of shared files in the "common files" folder
--why do certain companies insist of branding their name across multiple subfolders
(ie Adobe) c:\program files\adobe\acrobat\acrobat 8.0\acrobat.exe  gimme a break

OK, that's enough.

Armando

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Re: Why don't all software files go into a single directory?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2007, 12:43:09 PM »
Just as a quick note : these questions seem somewhat related (but not completely...) to the User settings storage debate

superboyac

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Re: Why don't all software files go into a single directory?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2007, 01:00:52 PM »
nice thread, yes that answers some questions.  I forgot about the different users per computer issue.  I still hate all the folder though.

Darwin

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Re: Why don't all software files go into a single directory?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2007, 01:11:00 PM »
Amen, brother! I hear and share your pain. I still wistfully remember Win 3.11 and being able to move software between computers by copying the program's folder... Ah, there it is... I suspect that there is probably an element of early, and now holdover, "DRM" at work here.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Armando

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Re: Why don't all software files go into a single directory?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2007, 01:26:50 PM »
"Amen" here too, I must say...
IMO, most apps should be portable.

AbteriX

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Re: Why don't all software files go into a single directory?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2007, 01:43:38 PM »
perhaps...
why:
--So many tweaks need to made to the registry
--why we have to use the folders in "Documents and Settings" (man, talk about a mess)
This was a try to make the pc multi user ready with different settings per user and in the same time global settings for all users.
Mainly from interest for companies.

Quote
--why dll files have to go to a common windows system directory
--what's the point of shared files in the "common files" folder
See, all apps need an file-open and an file-save dialog, yes?
So why should every coder invent the wheel new?
The meaning is to have just one file open/save function in an seperate, central lying DLLs all coders can use.
An advantage of this is that all app have the same look and behaviour. (well the most)

Quote
--why do certain companies insist of branding their name across multiple subfolders
(ie Adobe) c:\program files\adobe\acrobat\acrobat 8.0\acrobat.exe  gimme a break
Perhaps to have all installed apps sorted out?
adobe\acrobat\acrobat full
adobe\acrobat\acrobat reader 5
adobe\acrobat\acrobat reader 7
adobe\Photoshop
adobe\...
Better to have all sorted in one main folder
then having several main folder of different apps of the same vendor.

perhaps...

jgpaiva

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Re: Why don't all software files go into a single directory?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2007, 04:10:37 PM »
The reason to use the registry/Documents and Settings is for several apps to share data.
Here's an example:
Programs that wish to register with mouser's DCupdater make an entry in Documents and Settings, in a folder that is monitored by DCupdater.

Armando

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Re: Why don't all software files go into a single directory?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2007, 04:23:21 PM »
The reason to use the registry/Documents and Settings is for several apps to share data.

If the registry was only used for that end, it would be fine. But it's often used to store all kinds of settings that aren'T always easily found, extracted or restored. That might be a bt off topic though...

f0dder

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Re: Why don't all software files go into a single directory?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2007, 05:30:41 AM »
[quite]
--why dll files have to go to a common windows system directory
[/quote]
They don't, and they shouldn't - but many programmers are stupidiots.

You can use the common program files folder instead, which can be a good idea if you're using DLLs that are generic. If not (in the case of plugins), the DLLs will usually be bundled somewhere inside the application folder anyway.
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Eóin

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Re: Why don't all software files go into a single directory?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2007, 06:39:24 AM »
--why do certain companies insist of branding their name across multiple subfolders
(ie Adobe) c:\program files\adobe\acrobat\acrobat 8.0\acrobat.exe  gimme a break

Nothing annoys me more than when I go to the start menu looking to run a game and realise that I need to know who published it just to find the shortcut.

f0dder

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Re: Why don't all software files go into a single directory?
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2007, 06:43:47 AM »
--why do certain companies insist of branding their name across multiple subfolders
(ie Adobe) c:\program files\adobe\acrobat\acrobat 8.0\acrobat.exe  gimme a break

Nothing annoys me more than when I go to the start menu looking to run a game and realise that I need to know who published it just to find the shortcut.
That's a bit annoying indeed, should simply go into a "games" folder instead.

In the case of other kinds of software and their install-on-disk location, some subfolders at least for program version is good, though; sometimes you need multiple versions of something installed.
- carpe noctem