Difference b/w PC .dll install files and Mac's ___?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rocknpop, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. rocknpop macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    #1
    I know PC's run slower with time if you install and uninstall applications. Does this happen with Mac's? Is it any different or do the files stay there forever as well?
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    Nearly all applications store all assets inside their own application "files". Macs do not have a DLL equivalent, and don't normally experience such slowdowns.
     
  3. Trip.Tucker Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #3
    One of the biggest reasons Windows runs slower over time is due to the registry. Mac's do NOT employ a similar database of settings.
     
  4. rocknpop thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    #4
    So how do they work? Do they install these registry files somewhere else?

    Sorry for my noob questions, I just became a Mac guy :apple:
     
  5. Trip.Tucker Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #5
    Most applications will store user preferences in files in the user folder called *drumroll* preference files. These can be simple text files that are simply hidden by prefixing with a dot (.) or as more complex xml files with the users ~/Library/Application Support/Application folder to System preferences stored in the system Library folder.

    So, if you add an application, lets says TextMate (an awesome application I must say: http://macromates.com/), the TextMate application is usually copied to the /Applications folder. Once you choose your preferred colors, fonts, etc, those settings are stored in a file within your home folder (your user folder) In the case of TextMate, it's a .plist file, which is effectively just a rich text file containing your preferred settings for the application. That settings file will only take up a small amount of disk space and be read only when you run TextMate.

    Now, on the Windows side what typically happens is you run an installer for an application, it will copy the application itself to the %systemroot%/Program Files directory, then a bunch of supporting files to the same folder, or to the Windows system folder (those are .dll's typically) and then the program will write a bunch of settings into a common database called the registry. That registry is read on bootup, everytime, all of it and some portions are loaded into memory. If you simply delete an application from disk, those registry settings remain. So imagine installing 30 applications, which write 30 x whatever number of settings per application are required into the registry. That begins to really add up and unfortunately, the registry doesn't scale well. The bigger it is, the worse it performs.

    I've oversimplified the description a lot, but without going into ridiculous detail, the above describes the main differences between the two.
     
  6. rocknpop thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    #6
    Does that mean that when you uninstall an app you delete everything related to that app and there are no useless files left behind?
     
  7. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #7
    No, there are useless files left behind, they just don't bugger anything up like they would on Windows. Most plists are at most a few kilobytes in size.
     

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