[Feedback Please] Regarding my 2-Prompt Uninstaller Option

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Mrs Peel
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[Feedback Please] Regarding my 2-Prompt Uninstaller Option

Post by Mrs Peel » Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:42 am

Recently Rick showed me this very excellent trick to make a two-stage uninstaller which gives you a second prompt to ask if you also want to delete your personal settings for the application you are removing (in case you need to use them again later).

All of the packs I have released or recoded since that date I have been including this second prompt method, if there is obviously some critical settings which are system-related (as in the case of Karens Once-A-Day) or in the case where you might have built some personal profiles to use with the application (for example, a couple of my games packs which let you build your own custom games profiles that you would probably wish to keep).

Initially I made a special effort to code all my addons to be "portable" wherever that was possible - which meant that the uninstallers would remove EVERYTHING - but now that I have found a better way to write these which has the capability to preserve any important post-setup user-created data I am sifting through my collection to see if there are others that might warrant recoding with this two-stage uninstall prompt also.

I have already decided to completely rebuild my uTorrent packs, so that they will no longer store settings in the program folder and will send them to the user profile application data folder instead (giving you the option to preserve these at uninstall), because I can see an obvious need for that (since I expect many uTorrent users probably save their downloaded torrents in their user profile folder and would obviously want to preserve their personalised network setup).

However, I am only committed to making allowances for the preservation of user data in the circumstance where the software has been installed unattendedly during a NEW windoze setup. If my pack users wish to update some application version POST-setup in a live working windoze installation then they should NOT be using my installers for that purpose - they should instead be updating their software by overwriting the existing files, eg: use the programs inbuilt update feature to overwrite the existing files with newer versions, or manually overwrite them in the program folder yourself.

So, bearing in mind that this is a limited offer - meaning that I am willing to be flexible but I am NOT willing to jump through hoops just to satisfy some excessive or unnecessary demand from some picky user - and also bearing in mind that it will NOT be possible to cover all contingencies for all users.... are there any addons in my collection that you have been using which you believe might warrant the preservation of any critical user data on uninstall?

I ask you to consider, before you leap forward to answer my query, that the majority of my packs are quite extensively preconfigured anyway (my XnView addon is a prime example of this) and so there would be no point to recode them to preserve those user settings since they will automatically be reinstated for you in your next unattended installation anyway.

I am open to any sensible suggestions, but I warn you to NOT use this thread as a vehicle to quibble about my software pre-configurations, or my chosen installation directory structures, or to make a bunch of silly selfish nit-picking demands that would only benefit yourself and not the mainstream users.

I specifically want to hear feedback about any particular releases of mine that required a significant amount of post-installation customisation by you (as the regular user) which were over-and-above anything that I pre-configured into the unattended setup - and that you would want to keep to reuse later.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any constructive contributions you might have to offer.
Last edited by Mrs Peel on Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:14 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Mrs Peel
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Post by Mrs Peel » Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:04 am

What? No replies for a week? :shock:

So uhmmmmm.... should I take this as a sign that everybody is happy.... or that nobody was brave enough to complain?

:D :D :D

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Post by keegan » Sun Sep 23, 2007 5:23 am

If I can wager a guess, I think everyone is probably happy. Hell, the only complaint I can think of is that you release more addons than I have time to check out. How the hell do you do it?

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RogueSpear
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Post by RogueSpear » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:57 pm

My personal feeling regarding app uninstallation is that if the thing does not make any registry entries then I don't want a listing in Add/Remove Programs. I'd rather just nuke the directory and the shortcut and call it a day.

I could never understand how people demand an uninstaller for every damn little thing on their computer. I think some folks are "collectors" and like to admire a brutally long long listing in ARP.

Now with regard to those programs that do (and should) have an uninstaller, I really like the way you're doing it where the option to keep user created data is there. How many times have I lost FileZilla.xml now?

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Post by Mrs Peel » Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:13 pm

RogueSpear wrote:My personal feeling regarding app uninstallation is that if the thing does not make any registry entries then I don't want a listing in Add/Remove Programs. I'd rather just nuke the directory and the shortcut and call it a day.
Yeh that's how I originally set out approaching these uninstallers when I started learning how to code them 3 months ago. The majority of my sources are portables and so I thought "Sweet, this should be easy, I'll just nuke the shortcut and the entire directory"..... but oh how wrong I was!!!

My primary source of up-to-date information on what's new/old/updated is Portable Freeware, but it turns out I have been rather sloppy about reading the fine print in many cases. The guy who runs this website has been letting more and more apps be listed there with the disclaimer "Adds XYZ to the registry, but this is not important, so I think we can still consider this portable", and also I notice more comments like "Makes a new folder in XYZ directory, but it is not used by the program, so I think we can still consider it portable".

Well I am starting to redefine my concept of what is "truly portable" recently, after working on these uninstaller projects - as I am horrified to discover that nearly 3/4 of the apps I THOUGHT were truly portable actually DO leave stuff in the system reg - or they do make folders in %user% app data directory - or create an ini file in %windir% - AY CARAMBA! I had no freakin idea just how many different places onna PC that a seemingly innocent looking standalone executable could deposit JUNK.

So, being that two of my pet hates are 1.) programs that do not cleanly remove all trace of themself from the program folder or registry or 2.) loosing the config data of some utility I took freakin ages to customise to my own personal user needs.... I have been feeling kinda driven to find the perfect practical compromise between those two needs..... hence my recent 2-prompt installers.

I am even pondering the idea of going one step further, and instead of asking "do you want to delete your personal settings", make it an option "do you want to back up your user settings for later" and hook this up to a RunOnceEx which on next reboot will copy the folder with the user data (whatever is not deleted by 1st-stage installer) to some generic "Backup" directory - for instance: CD %user%\App Data\Backup Data\

Just something I am pondering on, which I think might be useful cos it won't leave redundant folders in App Data and Program Files and keeps the users' config backups all in one central place in case of a future re-install. This is an idea I would be curious to have some more user feedback on actually!
RogueSpear wrote:Now with regard to those programs that do (and should) have an uninstaller, I really like the way you're doing it where the option to keep user created data is there. How many times have I lost FileZilla.xml now?
LMFAO..... I have lost that xml file so many times before that I ONLY use portable firefox now and keep 2 backup copies of it just in case hehehehe. If anybody is wondering, that was the main reason I dumped my old FileZilla addon.... although there is a very excellent chance I will resume FileZilla again once they sort out a final v3 with TABS TABS TABS!!!

And it will most DEFINITELY be including a 2-prompt uninstaller to preserve that little bugger :D :D :D
Last edited by Mrs Peel on Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by keegan » Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:38 am

Thanks for the heads up on the portable apps. Once I get a jump drive of my own ...(my wife got the one I found a good deal on, now she doesn't even use it, but I still couldn't talk her out of it if I wanted to).... I'm planning on delving into that world a little bit.

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