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Issue 4.2


Distributing Your Application

A look into the various standard formats for Mac, Windows, and Linux

Issue: 4.2 (November/December 2005)
Author: Jonathan Johnson
Author Bio: Jonathan Johnson is a programmer for REAL Software. He also contributes to the efforts of preparing REALbasic for distribution both on REAL Software's website and their CD.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 7,004
Starting Page Number: 25
Article Number: 4211
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Excerpt of article text...

Congratulations! You're finished writing your program, and all ready to ship it. However, the question of what format to use when distributing your application is bothering you. These days there are many formats to choose from, each with their own gotchas and benefits -- it's often hard to choose a format. To make matters worse, each platform has its own standard, and the standards are still changing today.


StuffIt (http://www.stuffit.com/) has been around since the 1980s, and until recently has been the preferred way to package software. If you are deploying for Mac OS 8-9, there is no question, you should use StuffIt. However, Apple has been recommending other formats for OS X, and as of Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) the free StuffIt Expander, which decompresses StuffIt files, isn't included anymore. Users with a fresh install of Tiger can't open several types of historical Macintosh file formats, and so the issue of using an alternative is more pressing.

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