If you haven’t checked out Ninite, by all means go do it.

All those Windows 7 machine rebuilds in your future just got a whole bunch easier.

Installers like these require a certain level of trust, though, and history has shown that eventually they will bow to pressures to make it less simple, show ads, or even start silently installing toolbars and other spyware. Here’s hoping that the folks at Secure By Design can resist those things and keep it as easy to use and useful as it is right now.

10 thoughts on “Ninite”

  1. Jeff, I started using Ninite two weeks ago or so, and resisted posting it here until I’d tried it a few times. I have no idea why “Something Awful” would have it as a forum post, but given that their forum search yields a “403: You are not authorized to use this feature” error, and Google itself doesn’t have anything, I’m going to ignore this. Perhaps you can be slightly more helpful (which wouldn’t be hard, since your information-free comment just serves to insult me) and provide a link.

    And, just to be clear, if there is a problem with Ninite I’ll take this post down and retract what I’ve said. I just don’t see any problem.

  2. “Goon” is how Something Awful forum members self-identify, in the manner that a Fark member would be a “Farker” or a Slashdot reader might be a “Slashdotter.” It certainly was not intended to be patronizing, and I’m kind of exasperated by your reaction.

  3. Based on the amount of sperging nerd rage in your response, I’m surprised you aren’t a goon. 🙂

    Ninite is great for the initial installation. What I really want is the BSD-style package management for Windows. That would give you easy installation AND easy upgrades. None of this every application including it’s own automatic update checker, and every vendor using a different way to package and install updates.

    I’m quite happy with Unattended for automating OS installs, including applications:

  4. Perhaps it’s my hockey-watching that causes me to think quite negatively about the label “goon.” This just reinforces that people are terrible communicators, full of assumptions and things left unsaid that would help prevent situations like this. And I’m definitely not saying I’m any better.

    Anyhow, I agree with you about package management. I’d also like a yum-like repository framework where I can run a single command and update ALL of my software. That way I wouldn’t need all those damned autoupdaters.

  5. Ironically, I’ve been spending the last few days reading Berkun’s “Making Things Happen,” his book on project management, and just today was reading the chapters on communication and making good decisions. It’s funny how things can go completely in one ear and out the other sometimes. 🙂

    RE: the current discussion, Secunia was talking a while ago about the need for a company to create an automated update framework for Windows applications. (And if you haven’t heard of or checked out Secunia PSI, which automatically audits your third-party applications for known vulnerabilities, check it out right away.) The Mac community was able to pull together and make things like this happen with no official support from the platform vendor — as a result, we have Growl notifications, AppFresh for managing software updates, and other things that aren’t part of the platform but might as well be because of how broadly they’re utilized and supported by the community.

    But most Mac developers have a serious commitment to the Mac “experience”; they’re completely dedicated to maintaining what makes their platform special, and very few of them deviate from user expectations of how applications on that platform behave — even fewer users touch applications that feel like shoddy ports with Aqua interfaces bolted on.

    I have to wonder what kind of commitment it would take to get the developers of prominent third-party applications on Windows to get behind an initiative like that. Right now, the best tool we have at our disposal is SCCM in enterprise deployments, which leaves the home user high and dry.

  6. Jeff:

    It would have to be an extrinsic influence, because Microsoft isn’t going to lead that initiative on their own. They’ve gotten better, it seems, but there’s still a lot of internal inconsistency in their application.

    Apple has essentially laid down the best practices for application developers and has set a great example of following those standards themselves, so other developers coming in WANT to match that quality and experience. It’s more difficult for me to imagine a developer starting on Windows devel and /wanting/ to match the Windows quality standard.

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