64-bit support (Was: Poll: Primary D version)

bearophile bearophileHUGS at lycos.com
Mon May 24 09:52:56 PDT 2010

> On Windows there's been some talk of making an installer.  Personally, I think
> this should be a very low priority.  Unpacking a zip file may not be the most
> friendly installation method for someone who's completely computer illiterate, but
> we're talking about programmers here.  Even novice ones should be able to figure
> out how to unpack a zip file into a reasonable directory.

Some cases:
- A person that is expert of Linux but is ignorant of Windows, and has to install it on Windows. This person can solve the install problem, but can enjoy some help.
- An university student of the first year that wants to try D. Such person knows basic programming, data structures, and some OOP, but doesn't know much else about computers, OS, GUI, etc. A very easy installer can help. Expert C++ programmers can be more interested in keep using C++, while young people that don't know C++ yet can be interested in learning D. Such kind of people must be taken into account by D designers because they are the future.
- A person that at work has just 10 free minutes, and wants to install and take a quick look at D language. Even reading the pages that explain how to install D can take time better spent in other ways.
- A person that is kind of interested about some kind of language different from Java, but is not sure what to try, D, Scala, or some other language. So for such person it's good to lower the entry costs of D usage as much as possible. If D catches the interest of such person, this person can later spend even months learning D.

So I'd the digitalmars (or other site) to keep the zip version, but I think a very easy and fast installer can be useful (For the Windows version of ShedSkin we use a similar simple installer based on WinRar).

Even a few clicks installer can be a lot for the casual person that is not sure about trying D. For such persons the codepad and ideone sites can offer a way to try to compile and run D snippets online.

Even faster than an installer, for people that just want to try the language quickly it can be useful a single-file zero-install download-and-go thing (this doesn't replace the installer and the zip, this can be a third download option). This thing when clicked on can show a basic editor window based on Scintilla.


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