Is it just me, or has the size of downloadable software ballooned ridiculously over the past few years?
Call me old school, but this bothers me. It’s like some developers assume their software is so damn good that it’s okay if it takes a long time for you to download it. Their software is so fantastic that it deserves to occupy a ton of space on your hard drive.
Yes, I know, hard drive space is cheap, and high-speed internet is supposedly everywhere these days. But that’s not the point.
The point is this: if you’re a desktop developer, then your software has to compete with web applications. You know, those applications that you run by simply typing a URL into the address bar?
Can you imagine typing www.google.com into your address bar and then waiting for a couple hundred megabytes to download before you could use it? Can you imagine visiting a web site that required you to reboot your computer? Or one that required you to install a ton of updates before you could visit it? How popular do you think these sites would be?
If you’re a desktop developer, don’t make the mistake of thinking your software only competes against other bloated desktop applications. It also has to compete with web applications that don’t require downloading anything.
The days when you could get away with a 100+MB download just to try out your software are long gone. You want to stay competitive? Shrink your download and streamline your install. Make the download so miniscule that trying it out is a no-brainer.
PS: The latest FeedDemon 3.0 beta is a 3.4MB download :)