This RFC describes an installation concept that aims to be more natural to the end-user than current package-based installers. The idea behind this concept is to get rid of the whole installation process. The complete application, including its dependencies and data files, is a single self-contained executable (one app, one file). There is absolutely no installation process. Just run and you're done. Delete and it's uninstalled. Replace and you've upgraded.

The RFC is incomplete in that it doesn't describes all edge-cases. Also, it does not touch on how one obtains application packages or resolves dependencies. Repositories will handle this task, but their specification and usage should be part of a separate RFC.

The concept is based on bundles and packages which will be described from the end-user's point of view. Later we will get into a few implementation details.



From the user's point of view, the bundle is the application. The application is executed when you double-click the bundle. Bundles must be self-contained. There are no installation scripts and no dependencies. Bundles must be location-independent, so the user can move them around wherever he wants. In other words, bundles are not installed; they run directly. On the first run, the user might have to agree to the application's license, though.

By default, the Deskbar queries all bundles on trusted volumes. The Deskbar provides a search interface for running applications and allows for maintaining a list of favorite applications which you can organize in a folder-like hierarchy. Additionally, a list of the most frequently used applications is shown (if possible, pure file viewers like ShowImage are not shown in that list). This is necessary because the number of found bundles might be much bigger than the number of applications the user actually works with.

Since all bundles are queried automatically (on trusted volumes) a first-time run isn't necessary to open a file with that application. Of course, the application marked as preferred in your Deskbar will take precedence.


Bundles can be uninstalled by simply deleting the bundle file. When a bundle is deleted its data files and settings are automatically removed from the system when certain cleanup criteria apply (e.g., after 30 days or depending on available disk storage; also see the note below). This provides the possibility to undo the deletion without losing any settings and it is required for supporting upgrades. Removable media require special handling because otherwise unmounting would result in the system thinking the bundle got deleted (which might not be desired). The settings cou