Author Topic: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty  (Read 2734 times)

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Offline zookeeper

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
But what's unreasonable about the latter?

The easily available system requirements contradict the fact they are obfuscating the size of the necessary download? That any idiot in this day and age should know nothing is actually 1.5mb?

I don't think that makes it unreasonable. The information is still misleading if there's two conflicting hints about the size and nothing states the actual size. It's still bad design to advertise a download of non-trivial size without saying how much you actually need to download. Even if you agree that anyone who even considers it a possibility that it might actually be 1.5MB as advertised is an idiot, the issue of the actual size not being mentioned at all still exists.

It'd take a lot of convincing to make me believe that this isn't being made into an argument purely because the thread started with a hyperbolic rant. :doubt: Can't we just all say that "yeah not mentioning the size of the download kinda sucks but luckily it's not a big deal at all" when that's obviously something everyone agrees with?

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
I'd agree that it kind of sucked if it wasn't bog-standard industry practice in the present day.  I mean, Flash uses an online installer.  Java uses an online installer.  Adobe Reader uses an online installer.  Hell, Windows itself has used an online installer since, what, the year 2000 or so?  Any widely-deployed corporate product is going to use an online installer, because it's infinitely more convenient than having to upload a new version of the client every single time you make a tiny tweak somewhere.  Really, anyone complaining about this miniscule amount of bandwidth in the year 2014 is most likely living in a place where gaming effectively is the least of their concerns.

 

Offline deathfun

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
Only it isn't saying Steam is 1.5MB Zookeeper, so there is no conflicting hints there
It's blatantly an installer you're downloading, not the program itself

That and I'd imagine Steam to vary in size often due to the updates, of which there isn't far and few of them
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Offline Zacam

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
And they may not in fact be obfuscating anything. The Steam application goes through changes. What's 126.5mb today might be 157.7mb tomorrow only to go to 110.7mb next week.

So they don't say what the size is, merely that you download a VERY small installer that sets up running the Steam Client, which then updates to whatever size the current version is.

Which based on the listed disk space requirements means that it COULD very easily take at least 1gb.

And frankly, my apologies, but this has turned into a well kicked dead horse. I'd rather not have to lock it, so how about we just let it sink?
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Offline karajorma

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
I'd rather address the stupidity of online installers in general since we're on the subject, actually.

I'd agree that it kind of sucked if it wasn't bog-standard industry practice in the present day.  I mean, Flash uses an online installer.  Java uses an online installer.  Adobe Reader uses an online installer.  Hell, Windows itself has used an online installer since, what, the year 2000 or so?  Any widely-deployed corporate product is going to use an online installer, because it's infinitely more convenient than having to upload a new version of the client every single time you make a tiny tweak somewhere.  Really, anyone complaining about this miniscule amount of bandwidth in the year 2014 is most likely living in a place where gaming effectively is the least of their concerns.

I've already pointed out that I have a crappy home connection but can get easy access to better ones so I pretty much refute your entire argument that you can't game on a poor connection. Yeah, you can't play online games sometimes but I don't particularly care for online play.

As for the prevalence of online installers, I've already made it fairly clear that people should be shot for that one. :p I think it's quite ridiculous that in order to install Flash on three different computers I'd have to download it three times or spend ages looking through their page for an offline installer (Hint, I've never found the ****ing thing even when I have looked. They've done quite a good job of burying it). Java may use an online installer but you can find a download link for the offline installer on the same page. That's a great solution for the problem for the customer.

I can understand the logic of wanting to make sure the person using your program has the most recent version, and I can understand why the company might not want to support several different installers, but why not simply have the installer download a file which can then be reused if you have to install on another PC?

Why isn't that a standard option? It's not exactly ****ing hard to do and it makes your customers lives much easier. It also saves you bandwidth and therefore money. Hell, why not allow the customer to use an online installer to download but not install on one PC and then move the files to the PC you do want.

Even if you don't have multiple PCs this approach would still be a good one. How often have you been in the middle of an online install and wanted to switch off, reset or do something else with the PC. If you're just downloading you could just say "**** it" and cancel. Most people are far more reluctant to do that when the program is actually installing something. Doing things this way would completely avoid that issue.

I don't particularly want to single out Steam for this particular piece of idiocy. Like you said, everyone does it. That doesn't make it a smart thing to do though.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 04:20:33 am by karajorma »
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Offline The E

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
My usual solution to this is to make backups after I installed a game through Steam. Gives me a neat package I can just put on an external HDD and use to install on other machines.
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Offline karajorma

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
Like I said, I'm not singling out Steam. You can't do that with most installers. And I suspect you can't do it for Steam itself, only the games, right?
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Offline deathfun

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
Quote
How often have you been in the middle of an online install and wanted to switch off, reset or do something else with the PC.

Never actually. If I'm installing something, I've generally set aside the time for it to run its course
Or I let it do its thing, I fall asleep, and set my computer to auto turn off in "x" amount of time

Patience is a virtue etc
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Offline jr2

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
Granted, unlike Steam initially, you can transport the results of the FSO installer from one machine to another very easily.

But if you're on that kind of a connection, why would you be buying a multi-gigabyte game on a digital distribution platform anyway? Never mind the installer, how are you even getting the games?

I'm pretty sure teh Googles can tell you a way to transfer most if not all of the downloaded Steam content (incl. games) to a new computer via a flash drive / writable disk.  I've done it before, just not sure if that included the Steam update, but I *think* that can be done as well.

EDIT: For an easy start, try this:

from http://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/12695/how-do-i-move-steam-games-to-a-new-computer-without-re-downloading-them (post #4)

http://www.techmixer.com/steam-mover-move-installed-windows-applications-drives/



« Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 07:51:19 am by jr2 »

 
Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
Like I said, I'm not singling out Steam. You can't do that with most installers. And I suspect you can't do it for Steam itself, only the games, right?

I think it works fairly well if you clean-install steam and zip it.
Although that's a bypass, obviously.

 

Offline Fury

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
Like I said, I'm not singling out Steam. You can't do that with most installers. And I suspect you can't do it for Steam itself, only the games, right?
You can copy the Steam folder anywhere you like and it'll work without re-running the installer.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
Well that's actually pretty good then. Doesn't excuse needing the online installer in the first place but it's at least a step in the right direction.
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
I'm not defending any practices at all, but like deathfun, I can't recall a single instance where I've felt the need to restart a machine while it was in the middle of an online install.  (That's of course discounting something like a hefty game download on Steam, but that's a different situation as it's a trivial matter to pause and resume said downloads.)  Your average program that falls into this category, Steam included, is on the order of 100 MB or so.  Even on the lower side of modern connections, that's what, 3 or 4 minutes at most?  In my usual experience the installation proper tends to take longer than what was required to download the data in the first place.  I can certainly appreciate that your situation may be different, and I agree that links to an offline/mass-deploy version should be much easier to find, but in the year 2014 I don't think it's asking too much for the vast majority of end users to wait a few minutes for a download.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
And in the West you might be correct. But my basic point is that these features could easily be built into the online installer and make everyone's life easier.

I look at Flash as a great example of how not to do it. Not only does it only have an online installer, but the installer deletes itself soon after it starts downloading, regardless of whether it actually succeeds. If it fails you now have to find the installer again before you can retry. So if you download the installer, go away and look at a bunch of websites and when you come back it can't find the Flash website you have to start again.
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Offline TrashMan

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
F*** java.

Seriously.
It friggin bothers me with "Java Update available" pop-up's ever day. IT'S ALREADY UPDATED!  Not only that, it pops up TWICE! I got two java updates in my tray!
What idiot wrote the updater code?
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Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
Online installers seem to be an annoying and frustrating necessity.  However, I think we can all agree that a very simple fix for this would be a checkmark in the online installer that says:

"Preserve files from this download and installation for future installation or distribution to other machines without an Internet connection."

How ****ing hard would that be?  Seriously?  You're downloading them to a temp folder anyway, just give us a bloody pointer of where to place it!

Oh, and kara, the bloody awful Flash installer constantly gets interrupted by my firewall when trying to update it on my work machine; I've found googling Flash offline installer usually gets me to the right place.  The Adobe website is utterly useless.  They used to provide a link to the offline installer under the alternate OS link, but it was gone last time I looked.
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Offline karajorma

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
If they did that, and gave you a final "Proceed with installation" after actually downloading but before installing, the tech literate amongst us could even use the connection on a faster work machine to download stuff we could then take home without even needing to install on the work machine. You could just back out of the install after downloading the data you need.

I still really can't see why companies don't do this. That bandwidth does cost them extra money. Even saving 1% of Flash downloads is a quite enormous amount of bandwidth once you add it up.
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Offline Nuke

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
F*** java.

Seriously.
It friggin bothers me with "Java Update available" pop-up's ever day. IT'S ALREADY UPDATED!  Not only that, it pops up TWICE! I got two java updates in my tray!
What idiot wrote the updater code?

id like java more if it would clean up after itself, how many java developer plugns does firefox need? and i think the only thing i use it for is the arduino ide (why i still put up with its infuriating text editor is beyond me).  i also dont like that it asks to instal a bunch of things i dont want each time it updates. piggyback ware needs to die.
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Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Fundamental Valve Dishonesty
id like java more if it would clean up after itself, how many java developer plugns does firefox need? and i think the only thing i use it for is the arduino ide (why i still put up with its infuriating text editor is beyond me).  i also dont like that it asks to instal a bunch of things i dont want each time it updates. piggyback ware needs to die.

This.  A million times this.  Any utility platform that tries to install bloatware is highly suspect.  I only have Java installed because it's required for several Cdn gov services, most importantly tax account access.
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