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Tag Archives: bad software developer practices
It’s been many a long year since I’ve had a physical printer connected to my computer; instead, I’ve been using PDFCreator as a virtual printer, the output of which I can then send off to the real printer connected to another household computer if necessary.
Unfortunately, the developers started included some pretty shitty “extra” software in 2009. Over the years they’ve changed what crapware is installed, but never removed it entirely. So, on to the point of this post – installing PDFCreator v1.6.2 (current as of March 2013) without any extra crap.
This is the point where one really needs to start paying attention. I unselect Images2PDF and PDFArchitect, because I (initially) had no freaking clue what they are and was installing a virtual printer, not a kitchen sink. Incidentally, Images2PDF supposedly lets you make a PDF out of images, and PDFArchitect looks like a PDF editor of sorts. But with no description in the installer, the average user will have no idea.
I also unselect the COM samples option, and ensure only the English language translation and help file are installed.
After selecting what parts of PDFCreator will be installed, we come to the disingenuous part of the installer. It’s deceptive that “Express” is marked as recommended, and the “Custom installation” option is grayed out (which implies it’s not selectable at all). Adding “(advanced)” is the icing on the lame-cake; it’s a sure-fire way to scare off the general computer user.
Select the “Custom installation (advanced)” option, and uncheck each of the previous hidden boxes.
But wait, there’s more! As if avoiding one round of crapware wasn’t enough, we’re presented with a second! The wording “I accept” and “I do not accept” are again deceptive. Just select “I do not accept” and move along.
Triple check the options listed, ensuring just the components desired are installed.
I don’t have a problem with software developers, even Open Source developers, trying to make a buck off their work. Generosity and a desire to share doesn’t put food in your belly. But being disingenuous and deceptive not the right way to try to earn a few dollars.
Unfortunately, I haven’t found an acceptable alternative that delivers the functionality of PDFCreator that I desire. I’ve been meaning to dig out a copy of Visual Studio and see if I couldn’t roll a crapless installer based on the available source code, but just never seem to get around to it (and have completely forgotten what little I knew of VB anyway).