Microsoft Visual Studio Libs 2023-01-20
Even though I would like to think that most people reading my rants are not running an operating system made by either Apple, Google, or Microsoft... I have to assume that many people do. Seriously, that is a disappointment. A bigger disappointment is that in general, people do not care about software dependencies. You see, when you install a piece of software, it may have some dependencies. It may download and install those dependencies without telling you, it may warn you that it needs them, or it may even expect you to go get and install the dependency on your own. In the end, it simply won't function without the dependency... that is kind of the definition of dependency. These dependencies exist because the people who made the software relied on some framework to make their application. They will also tell you that using these dependencies makes their software better or provides me with better software... while in reality it just provides developers with an easier way to do things without having to learn how to manually do it themselves.
You have probably even heard of some of these dependencies... like Microsoft .NET, python, Java, or Microsoft Visual Studio runtime libraries. The trouble is that they are often garbage. You heard me, garbage. Your Windows machine probably has multiple versions of .NET and VS runtimes on it right now. TONS of Windows computers have them. Java has a fun name, but it is a resource hogging mess and if you have multiple applications that require different versions of Java it can be a pain to manage. Remember that Minetest thing your kid used to play before they got bored of it? That's owned by Microsoft and requires Java to play. Big deal eh? Why should you care?
Remember the last time your PC was slow and you had those error messages that you didn't really understand? Remember how you just decided it wasn't worth it to fix the software problem and you just bought another PC? Well, you probably bought a laptop instead of a desktop, and you justified it by saying the new laptop had some important feature that you really needed. You probably didn't really need that new feature, and you probably also didn't need a laptop, but who buys desktop PCs these days? I mean, who even buys laptops? You just got a new phone. I mean you needed a new phone anyways because the contract on the old one was up eh? That, is why you should care. Your relentless purchasing of new hardware also has the added benefit of winding up on a boat that will take it to some country in Asia where children can burn it to get the precious metals out of it for scrap. Too bad the money can't be used to pay for medical bills that will result from the lung cancer they get from breathing in toxins from the burning electronics.
Having the newest electronic gadget seems to be quite popular, and very rarely does anyone care that it is a harmful activity that is totally unnecessary. By giving a shit about the software you run and taking the time to actually learn a little bit about the digital crap you depend on every day you could reduce your douchebaggery score... but will you? I don't think you will. Go on, prove me wrong.
This rant was brought to you by the fine folks at ISC. They make an application called BIND which is a DNS server application. I had asked them [a long time ago] about why their web site did not mention that the Windows version of BIND requires Visual Studio runtime libs. I thought it was important because the VS libs come bundled with the installer and it just installs them if it doesn't find them already installed. It doesn't ask you... it just does it. In one of his email replies, Mark Andrews of ISC said:
I don't understand why you are complaining. The libraries are prerequisites to be able to run named and the tools. The installer will not overwrite a newer version of the runtime libraries.
He couldn't possibly imagine why someone might not want this extra software installed on their computer. It had not (and still didn't) occur to him that maybe people care about what gets installed on their computer. Like many people he seems to figure "Fuck it, I just want to click the button and see photos of grandma at xmas!". Unfortunately, there are more lazy ass people who just want to see grandma at xmas than people who care, so services [including software] just pander to them... because that's where the money is. Thanks for giving a shit.
Need another example? Okay, when I asked GOG.com about how I could determine if games theyare selling also require additional dependencies I got this reply from Genoan:
We do not list the software you are asking about in the requirements section for Windows. These are standard components used by many applications and frequently already present. I do not think any of our games require Pearl or Python to be installed. On Windows other dependencies will be automatically installed by our installers.
The only reason these are "standard components used by many applications and frequently already present" is because you fuckers won't disclose the requirements ahead of time and because the people who buy your games would rather install the dependencies (knowingly or not) rather than care about how their computer works. That means you, reader.