question about applications

Discussion in 'macOS' started by twoodcc, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #1
    why is it that when installing a new app, some of them you just copy to your folder and it's installed, but then others, it has an installer?
     
  2. ultimateceej macrumors regular

    ultimateceej

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    I'm not entirely sure but I would guess that different apps have different ways of communicating with the system. You'll probably get some better responses shortly. :D
     
  3. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #3
    Most apps are self contained, that is the thing you download is the entire app self contained. More complicated apps may need more components, hence they often use an installer.
     
  4. ultimateceej macrumors regular

    ultimateceej

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
  5. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #5
    thanks, and i understand that. but what components?
     
  6. kostia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    #6
    Most applications create folders for themselves in places like Preferences and Application Support the first time they're run; others might use an installer to create these folders (and perhaps populate them with data files the application needs) before the first run.

    Some applications delve into, or alter, the way the system works and need to insert their own code. They might need access to system folders and files that require an administrator password; by providing the password on install, maybe you don't have to provide it every time you run the application. There's any number of reasons.

    When you delete an application, if you delete only the application package, the preferences and whatnot would remain where they were (unless you used something like AppZapper). An installer often also provides an UNinstall option, which (ideally) would remove these files for you when you wanted to uninstall the program.

    If you pick the name of an application you use and run a Spotlight search on that name, odds are you will find .plist files, prefs, perhaps a license, perhaps crash logs ... while all those are probably created by the program as you use it, they might also have been placed there by the installer.
     

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