I have a question for all y'all that use Windows:

What kind of install file do you prefer? Like, do you prefer a single .exe file? Or a .zip archive containing the install files & a smaller setup.exe? Or do you prefer so-called portable versions that you just unzip & run?

Personally, I prefer a portable version, but if an app doesn't have that, I generally go with zip archives.

And there's a reason for that, tbh. Windows does a little check on .exe files for malicious stuff each time you run them.

This check happens in the background & it's usually fast enough to not notice it, so there's no progress indicator. But on large files, it takes longer, so it looks like Windows isn't doing anything.

Meanwhile, unpacking an archive *does* have progress indicators, so even though it's an extra step I have to take manually, I'm not sitting there waiting while Windows silently checks an 800MB executable.

I can always use an anti-malware scanner like Malwarebytes if I wanted to detect potential problems.

So that's why I avoid single .exe installs. What about you?

...Just to tl;dr it, I prefer zip archives because of how Windows treats executable files. Large executables result in a lack of response, which messes with my desire to see what's going on.

Tbh, I use the -v (--verbose) option in command-line stuff a lot for the same reason.

@KitsuneAlicia I'd prefer a single exe file. It's a simple, single step: Run This Thing.

The delay argument is not so much of a problem given that installation is a one-off activity, and therefore won't be a repeated experience.

@squaregoldfish Yeah, I know it won't happen often, but as someone who often reinstalls a lot of stuff for various reasons, as well as certain apps like Java getting a lot ofupdates that are several hundred MB each, it does get annoying.

Meanwhile, with a zip file, I could leave the thing uncompressed in a folder somewhere if I wanted.

But I totally understand where you're coming from, too. Thank you for your response. :)

@KitsuneAlicia How do you feel about 'dummy' installers like Firefox, which are simply a script that downloads the software to install it? I always feel kind of cheated because I thought I'd already downloaded the software.

I fully understand the logic of the installer making sure you get the latest version, and I know there's ways to get older versions, but I still find it jarring.

@squaregoldfish Oh, god, yeah. I prefer a fully-offline installer mostly because I've had connection issues in the past, from faulty connections causing lost packets to outright loss of connection entirely - both of which fucks up those downloader installers something fierce.

Most of the issues in question have been fixed since then, but old habits die hard. Besides, it's always good to keep a copy of your stuff - whether it's paper records or software - locally backed up.

@KitsuneAlicia Screw it - let's just order 86 floppy disks through the mail 😉

@squaregoldfish And a USB floppy drive so we can use them on our Android phones too. 😆

@KitsuneAlicia If you don't know LGR already, I think you'd like him - he did exactly that, and plugged in an IBM Model M keyboard:


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