97 Things Every Programmer Should Know

(Chris Devlin) #1

(^80) 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know

Install Me

Marcus Baker


I am surrounded by problems and have a to-do list as long as my arm. The
only reason I am at your website right now is because I have heard an unlikely
rumor that every one of my problems will be eliminated by your software.
You’ll forgive me if I’m skeptical.

If eyeball-tracking studies are correct, I’ve already read the title and I’m scan-
ning for blue underlined text marked Download now. As an aside, if I arrived
at this page with a Linux browser from a UK IP, chances are I would like the
Linux version from a European mirror, so please don’t ask. Assuming the file
dialog opens straight away, I consign the thing to my download folder and
carry on reading.

We all constantly perform cost-benefit analysis of everything we do. If your
project drops below my threshold for even a second, I will ditch it and go on to
something else. Instant gratification is best.

The first hurdle is install. Don’t think that’s much of a problem? Go to your
download folder now and have a look around. Full of .tar and .zip files, right?
What percentage of those have you unpacked? How many have you installed?
If you are like me, only a third are doing more than acting as hard drive filler.

I may want doorstep convenience, but I don’t want you entering my house
uninvited. Before typing install, I would like to know exactly where you are
putting stuff. It’s my computer, and I like to keep it tidy when I can. I also want
to be able to remove your program the instant I am disenchanted with it. If
I suspect that’s impossible, I won’t install it in the first place. My machine is
stable right now, and I want to keep it that way.

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