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I Just Want to Download You!

John Neuhaus
T-shaped like a shockwave | Aggressively casual before it was cool
・1 min read

If you have software that people download from your site, there is a finite set of versions people actually care about. Yes, some people want all of them, and you should satisfy that. But honestly, no one should have to actually read to get the "right" version. We have plenty of other shit to read, and so do you.

Sets of downloads people want

  • The latest version (or current major)
  • All the currently supported Long-Term Stable versions (explicit LTS, or latest of all supported majors)
  • Latest plus all LTS

Needs Work

Here we have pgAdmin. Not the most egregious, but this is also the update process when the running app has already informed you of the latest version.

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Multiplatform, sure


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*Squints*


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Oh, come on!

 

Done Well

Contrast this with Node.js. This is the first page off Google search results:

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Already the right platform, two options, perfectly follows the time axis literally with version number and figuratively by risk level. It even flips for RTL!


There are no other screens, because those buttons immediately trigger the download.

Be Kind to Your Users

It's the Golden Rule, and just good citizenship! Respect others' time and effort as you would like yours to be.

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