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Re: Why the rash of people bypassing setup.exe to install?

On Sat, Feb 15, 2003 at 07:50:48AM +1100, andrew clarke wrote:
>On Fri, Feb 14, 2003 at 01:26:15PM -0500, Christopher Faylor wrote:
>> I tried an experiment recently where I turned on ftp access to the
>> cygwin download directory on  The result seemed
>> to be that people started downloading cygwin's package .tar.bz2 files
>> directly and (somehow) used tar to extract files rather than running
>> setup.exe.
>If I may, speaking on behalf of some of the less-technical Cygwin users,
>some points:
>Obviously for simple .tar.bz2 files without any dependencies or post-
>install scripts, etc, untarring would appear to users to be a harmless
>thing to do.

If you are a nontechnical cygwin user, then why would you be making
any determination of what is harmless or not harmless?  I would think
that it would be the reverse -- people who really know what they're
doing (or think they know what they're doing) would be untarring.

>I suspect people aren't reading the notes near the bottom of
>, or if they are, they don't believe
>what they read, notably the "Installing Cygwin using this method [untar]
>is not recommended." bit, because there's no explanation as to why
>it's not recommended.

Again, if you're nontechnical why would you draw the conclusion "They didn't
tell me why, so it must be ok"?  And, even if you did come to that conclusion,
wouldn't it make sense to *try* setup.exe when the download/untar combination
obviously doesn't work?

>Section 2 of the FAQ might also put people off using Setup because it's
>described as a "work-in-progress" and seemingly a bit of a moving target.

Sorry, but you're assuming a lot of stuff here that doesn't make sense to

I see no indication that anyone is reading documentation and coming to
this kind of conclusion.  It seems more like they are bypassing the web
page entirely for some reason.

>Also, it may be that Setup is failing (eg. aborted downloads) for one
>reason or another, for more people than you think, so people are resorting
>to using Wget, or their browser, or something.

That's a viable theory.  This could well be.  However, it doesn't explain
an increase in this behavior unless cygwin has just become more popular
and the 1% of people who decide not to use setup.exe have just become
1% of a larger number.

>Then there are the numerous issues with the UI of the Setup program
>itself which no doubt dissuade people from using it.

I suppose so, but, again, it seems like many people *recently* are unaware
of the setup program entirely.


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