Disk Images: To Confusing for Newbies?

Matrix Agent

Masochist Mascot
It seems to me the disk images are a bit cumbersome for the mac. I would think that a newbie trying to install something would be like WTF is that?? after the disk image mounted. It seems like Apple is as least semi-endorsing the use of disk-images under OSX, most of their software downloads are images.

Am I only one who feels like this?

Why do we even need disk-images? Its not like other download formats aren't ready to be used on OS X, Stuffit Expander is bundled.

Anyone know of a fast and reliable 5F26 source that isn't crowded?
I wholeheartedly applaud the use of disk images for the simple reason that Stuffit Expander and Aladdin Systems suck dog ass. There's no way Apple should be depending on a third party's proprietary file format to ship their software downloads.

What's so complicated about disk images? The user clicks a link, and a window opens with a big honkin' icon of what they downloaded. Far simpler than an archive file, which they have to go hunting for after it's expanded.

Originally posted by endian
... there's no way Apple should be depending on a third party's ( Aladdin Systems) proprietary file format to ship their software downloads.
Yes........ but when have you ever downloaded a .img file. You haven't. They are almost always BinHex's or Stuff'd. Consequently you get stupid thing like Something.img.sit.hqx.

So now instead of my Mom complaining that she has 3 thing on her dekstop (1. Something.sit.hqx, 2. Something.sit, and 3. Something), now she has 4!

I understand Mac resource forks and the need for .bin ab d.hqx, but why can't .img files be made to work without needing resource forks? (Or if they do, then why are they bothering stuffing them?)

Hell, why not just use the single step .zip/.gzip like the do on WinDoze and *nix?
Just make stuffit delete the files after expanding, and then you only have the last file...

And with disk images more often then not you have to find the .img file before it opens up... Also some reallll newbie might run the app from the disk image and not realize that it's not meant to be run from it...
I'm getting a vision of the future... I'm troubleshooting for a novice user complaining of very poor performance... Upon opening the Finder window, I discover at least a hundred mounted disk images...

I don't think using the disk images is the problem. What I wonder is whether or not inexperienced users will know to unmount them when they've finished with them. Even I've forgotten when I've mounted one or two. I think Apple should add an overrideable default option to unmount disk images that haven't been accessed for about an hour.
May I point out that all images are not just images of the installer, they are images of the app itself. Omniweb works this way. Mount the image and the app is there, no installation necessary. The app is contained in a single icon.

To an experienced user, the one-step simplicity of being able to drag the omniweb icon to the apps folder is unmatched.

A newbie might be confused into thinking that they have performed the installation by mounting the disk. (The disk copy app could look like an installation bar to some users) So, when the newbie goes back to find omniweb in their apps folder, they find two things wrong:

1. Omniweb is not there. "I thought I installed it" ~newbie

2 There is a weird white thing next to the HD "Is that a toaster?" ~newbie

Not understanding the processes behind disk images, the newbie never again finds omniweb, all because they never dragged the icon to the apps folder.

This doesn't sound like "The simplicity of a Macintosh"

How about standardizing installations so they all must use the "Installer" app, that way the installation process would be less confusing as newbies become comfortable with using the same installation procedure over and over. Plus, it would give me some time to admire those really cool package icons.;)
1. In an ideal world, all MacOS internet software would be capable of de-macbinarying a file as it's downloaded. IE can, which probably takes care of 98% of newbie cases right there.

2. The recommended format for OSX files is the .dmg UDIF format, which is a single fork format - no need for further encoding.

Once 'drag this file to your applications folder' is understood by users to be the universal installation technique, the issues about unmounting images will go away. A lot better than an installer which does unknown things to put unknown files in unknown places in the filesystem. I won't use Mac OSX application software that requires an installer (except maybe if Photoshop needs one)

How about standardizing installations so they all must use the "Installer" app

EEK no - installer.app sucks, and so does .pax! Instaler app is OS-install centric, and if Apple impreoves it for software installs, it's only going to be grudgingly, because they want people to use disk images.

that way the installation process would be less confusing as newbies become comfortable with using the same installation procedure over and over

If developers follow Apple's recommendation, it will become standardized - 'drag this file to your applications folder to install.' If an app needs support files in /Application Support or someplace, it should do that as part of its first run procedure. No more apps that are forever broken because they're missing .DLLs or something, and the installer's gotten deleted. An app's Help menu should contain any Read Me's or documentation a user will need.
In NeXTStep you got your apps as a tar'ed installer package.
Just double click the tarball in WorkspaceManager to get the package, double-click the package to install it, and yes, go to the Recipes folder and double click the Package again to remove it.
Now Apple in their wisdom dumped WorspaveManager for this broken, hard-to-use, slow and unstable Finder thingy, that of course doesn't support untarring. Instead they ship their OS with this completely dumb, broken bastadized Stuffit that clutters your desktop and breaks tarballs most of the time so you can't even tar-gz your Apps for distribution, because users with only the defult installation won't be able to install them.
As if that was not bad enough Apple breaks package management so completely it becomes utterly unusable.
Had they only open-sorced the NeXTStep code, porting the missing apps to Cocoa would make OS X a really useful OS.