Why the f*** do some companies/people love web installers? I mean, seriously, you download this 1MB installer, the only purpose of it being that it serves to download the real 21MB installer package. Why can’t they just link to the installer package directly and eliminate this stupid intermediary step of downloading and running a web installer?
By the way, I wanted to download a new version of Skype to see if it resolved a weird issue I’ve been having, which is why I’m ranting. It seems that Google loves to use web installers for Chrome too.
So why do I hate web installers? Apart from seemingly offering nothing above traditional full package downloads (except maybe showing ads or similar) and the annoyance of having to download two things, it means you don’t actually have a copy of the installer locally. That is, if you wish to reinstall a program, you need to download the damn thing again. Or if you want to install it on a second computer, you can’t simply use an installer you’ve already downloaded (because the web installer usually deletes (or puts into a temp folder) the main installer package).
Also, our Uni has a fast internet connection (plus downloading from Google doesn’t count towards quota), so I like downloading Chrome from there, rather than through my slow home connection (and use up bandwidth). Now, if you’ve got a web installer, this somehow becomes a little more difficult to do… (luckily Google actually does provide a standalone installer, though, conveniently, they don’t provide an easily findable link (well, I guess you can Google it)).
Now there are plenty of other reasons to hate web installers. I’m sure there’s heaps more, but here’s a few:
- Most don’t provide many options for selecting proxies; can also be an issue with some firewalls
- More difficult, if not impossible, to use a download manager/accelerator
- Some don’t even provide pausing functionality
- Speed control can be more difficult (something a download manager like FDM could do)
- Not really a direct fault of the web installer, but I find many mirrors actually mirror the web installer rather than the full installer, which means that if the server is down, or the link between you and the server is horribly slow, you’re kinda stuck
Now, I guess some applications, like Cygwin, it makes sense to have a web installer. Having all Cygwin packages would be pretty big, and most people won’t even need anywhere near all of them. In this case, it provides the benefit of reducing the amount of packages downloaded, though for apps like Chrome and Skype, this is stupid.
So please! Please refrain from loving these stupid web installers so much!