I passed in my Senior Report Draft this week detailing my design concept for a Universal Web Application Installer (UWI).
Here’s a taste of the sweet, sweet brain candy that is my Senior Report:
Originally web applications were built by developers and usually installed by developers or system administrators. Today however, there is an increasing number of users installing web applications with limited skills and knowledge. These include users wanting to publish a web log or setup a bulletin board system. There are currently thousands of open-source web applications available, but no standardized, simple way for them to be installed. Many of the more popular web applications come bundled with their own install program but users are still obliged to unpack the files from an archive and visit a web address to run the install program. This may sound simple to web developers, but to the average user it does not. Additionally, the install program almost always lacks the privileges to perform all of the operations to completely install the web application. Often times, the install program asks the user to change permissions on certain files and folders. Not only is this an irritating request, but for many users it is beyond their knowledge. The user should not be expected to perform additional installation tasks after running the installer. That is, the installer should perform all of the operations necessary to fully install the web application.
The challenge is designing a web application installer that will feature all the possible operations needed to successfully install any web application, from start to finish.