Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.info.
First, let me start by saying that I love DirectX.
DirectX is best described as a set of programming interfaces that make advanced multi-media applications, particularly games, work and work well. DirectX allows these programs to work in ways that not only take maximum advantage of the graphics hardware that they may be running on, but without really knowing just what the specifics of that hardware are.
It's great. It's enabled a number of advanced and very flashy PC applications.
But I hate DirectX. Or more correctly, I hate its setup and installation.
I get a steady stream of folks who've just purchased a new game or other media-intensive application who are suddenly faced with the statement "This application requires DirectX version 9 point whatever". Frequently they already have it, but apparently it's not installed right. Just as frequently they go to the Microsoft web site, download the latest version of DirectX, and attempt to install it only to have it fail. Repeatedly. The normal approach might be to uninstall it first, but of course, you can't.
It's extremely frustrating even for the most technical user.
In my opinion this is a symptom of a much larger problem that I see all to often: setups that suck. All too often the folks who produce software focus all their efforts on the product features and consider their installation only as an afterthought. And their UN-installation? You're lucky if they've thought much about that at all. The net result is that many, many programs install poorly and uninstall even worse. In fact it's one of the major reasons for junk left over in your registry.
Now, don't get me wrong; installation and un-installation is hard. I've managed teams responsible for that component of products in the past. In fact, I'd bet that because of DirectX's need to hook deep into the system, their setup is extra hard.
But just because it's difficult doesn't mean it isn't important. If anything it means exactly the opposite. DirectX is a perfect example of a complex installation process that clearly could have used more attention.
Any frazzled parent who's just attempted to install the latest multi-media game for their child on Christmas day will agree.
I'd love to hear what you think. Visit askleo.info and enter 11805 in the go to article number box to access the show notes, the transcript and to leave me a comment. While you're there, browse over 1,200 technical questions and answers on the site.
Till next time, I'm Leo Notenboom, for askleo.info.
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