Incomplete Uninstall

An application's uninstaller should be capable of completely removing an app from the system. If there are pieces that a user might wish to keep, he could be given an option. Uninstallers should not just assume that he wants to keep something. The uninstaller is often the most overlooked piece of functionality in an application. Programmers arrogantly assume that the uninstall routine won't get much use. After all, who would ever remove such a cool program? In addition, uninstallers are a pain to test. Testing with different configurations on different systems under different conditions can take a long time.

A word to the wise: don't skimp on (un-)installation testing. We can't tell you how many dead links we have floating around in our 'Add/Remove Programs' menus. The situation is so bad that many users have taken to wiping their entire systems every few months. Some have also given up on trying to install a new version of a program without first uninstalling the former version. A whole class of applications have been created and dedicated to truly removing unwanted applications. Scouring the registry and hard drive are not tasks that a normal user should be subjected to.


The AOL Instant Messenger installer was kind enough to add a link to their crappy service at the root of my start menu. Too bad the uninstall left me with a broken shortcut.
A constant reminder that evil exists Arrghh.  How will I join AOL now?  If only I could find one of their CDs...