View Full Version : Interesting revolt against the DMG

11-11-2006, 07:56 AM

I'm not talking about the Department of Macintosh Goodness. On a few Mac developer mailing lists I'm on, the topic of whether or not DMGs are better than ZIP files has come up. The general consensus is that DMGs are pretty, but don't add anything to the installation process. Some feel that the era of extra steps for software installation is at an end, and that DMGs should go the way of the traditional installer.

So what do you think? In the event we do away with the LightWave installer, Would you prefer to see DMGs in the future, or just ZIPs?

Does a DMG feel more professional?

Do you care?


11-11-2006, 08:02 AM
I personally like DMG because they just mount. ZIPs are ok, but require extra software so to speak to expand. What really annoys me is expanding a SIT file into a DMG; just make a DMG... sheesh.


11-11-2006, 08:29 AM
Still haven't figured out why anyone would distrubute a .sit file as it isn't natively supported - at least under recent OS builds.

Zips are - but require expansion. Which expand into dmg's plus maybe some docs, etc.

Haven't compared file sizes but theoretically the zip files should be smaller in size. Something to be considered by the distrubutor (less traffic on the server) and downloader (faster downloads - less chance of dropped connection).

Ultimately there may be a change. Apple may very well chose to change the install process in OS Xx.


11-11-2006, 08:35 AM
I personally like DMG because they just mount. ZIPs are ok, but require extra software so to speak to expand. What really annoys me is expanding a SIT file into a DMG; just make a DMG... sheesh.


Agreed. I like having it in it's own volume until I decide to put it elsewhere. It feels 'cleaner', and I don't worry about whether unzipping it onto the desktop is going to dump 50,000 files there, or if I create a folder and unzip it there, I've got 3 levels of folders because the person was kind enough to put it into a folder before zippiing those 50,000 files and I just didn't know. :D :D

Plus when you're done with the dmg, you can unmount the volume and back it up somewhere. Then drag it into Disk Utility and forget it. If you ever need to access it again, you don't try to remember where you saved it. (nor do you use spotlight. hehe.) You just pop open Disk Utility. Can't do that with .zip.

.sit, however, I never saw any reason for.

John the Geek
11-11-2006, 05:58 PM
DMGs are much better IMHO. Self-contained, checksum'd, burnable to CD if desired. I just love them to bits.

Zip means I have to have two items, the zip and the folder... With a DMG it's one file.

11-11-2006, 06:13 PM
DMG< thumbs up, I think there's nothing to fix there.

and I appreciate NT asking about what installer to use or not, but I think getting a working UB version going might be priority at this point

11-11-2006, 06:41 PM
Hi __Mats__,

Well, we can talk about it now, or when the app is finished. Just keep in mind that when the app is finished, the installation process will be the only thing between you and Universal Binaryery goodness.

And getting feedback doesn't take any time away from the UB release.

But we can wait, if you *really* want ;-)


11-11-2006, 10:50 PM
heh, tnx chilton,

if it doesnt take time away from the release then sure, Id like DMG..

good ! that must mean we might see the UB soon-ish ;)

thanks for the good work Chilton

11-11-2006, 11:47 PM
I'm a fan of DMG all the way on the Mac. It just "feels" more better than getting a ZIP file. I think most Mac people who are long-term Mac people like the move to DMG that came with OS X. ZIP just brings to mind the bad old .sit and .hqx days. Give us something we can just click on and open. (Not to say you couldn't put a .pkg file in there if you had to. But frankly, and I've posted this before, I much prefer a DMG that has something I can just drag-and-drop to install.)

11-12-2006, 12:03 AM
So the consensus in this brief amount of time seems to be...

DMG = Better
ZIP = Not Better

So with that in mind, do you prefer auto-extracting DMGs (a Safari-only feature), prefer them NOT to be of that variety, or does it matter at all?


11-12-2006, 11:02 AM
No Safari for me.

My Mac doesn't connect to the internet and I've gone to the point of disabling Safari from even opening.

Got tired of the %$^% thing popping up then lurking in the dashboard unless I remembered to close it.


Captain Obvious
11-12-2006, 01:56 PM
DMGs are great.

11-12-2006, 02:48 PM
DMG's provide a definite Mac touch to the distribution...

When I see ZIP distributions it immediately makes me think it's a PC program that may or may not have been properly ported to the Mac... Also, if it's a zip distribution you'll always run the risk that something my get zipped on a PC for Mac distribution by mistake... Sometimes I'll get zipped stuff intended for the Mac that's corrupted (lost resource forks etc)... If it's a dmg I know it's Mac, through and through...


John the Geek
11-12-2006, 06:18 PM
Can one choose to make an auto-opening DMG? I thought that was a Safari preference (post-process safe files) not a specific DMG setting?

But I disable auto-open anyway. Then I get to it when I'm ready.


11-12-2006, 08:16 PM
I could stand to be ok with a standard .pkg installer also. But a DMG would be the easiest; mount, copy, done.


11-13-2006, 08:36 AM
as my oil painting prof used to say: broad strokes first. if you see a problem fix it When you see it. work from general to specific. I think you guys have drastically more important and broad issues to take care of, before worrying about which color polish to use. the mac users are all fancy enough to be able to manage a zip or a dmg, just go with whatever is easiest.