So I tried out DEVONThink and didn’t like it, and I used AppZapper to remove it, but it managed to preserve itself in my Safari toolbar. There’s a little elephant icon there.
So I think, no problem, I’ll just customize the toolbar and remove it. That worked until I restarted Safari. The elephant came back! I removed it again. Restarted Safari. There’s the elephant again! WTF?
Then I thought, okay, there’s probably some file I need to remove manually. I’ll just go on the DEVON website and find the instructions on how to uninstall.
WTF? No instructions for uninstall anywhere on the site!? Somebody please tell me how to remove DEVONThink. This software is like a virus!
Annard, I’m sending you a bill for the cleanup costs of cleaning/repairing my Cinema Display, which was the unintended target of spontaneous coffee eruption from my mouth as I read your response above. I figure the cost is equal to one DTPO license.
CatOne, with all due respect blaming a customer for a problem interpreting or using one’s software product is like blaming drivers for automobile safety recalls.
Devonthink IS well behaved, but lots of aspects of the user “wrap” are idiosyncratic in terms of their behavior, the behavior they “expect” from users, and so on. Examples include:
The forum interface we’re writing on now
The slightly scary rigamarole that users have to go through after their first trial expires. (“You want me to install a second copy of a database program? While I’ve still got the first one on my machine? Just so that I can enter my license code? You’ve got to be kidding me.”) Why not just let the program open and let me enter my code. SO much simpler!
The challenges in finding information about uninstalling (e.g., if the application won’t open because your trial has expired and you would like to uninstall the first version so that you can then install a second version so that your new license information can be entered, what to do?) Putting the uninstall information SOMEWHERE on your website would be so much simpler. Or simply making it clear that the second version will write over the first version, if in fact that’s what happens.
The challenges in uninstalling the program itself. IF you can find the uninstall information, which requires a separate download of a 7MB manual, you then learn you need to search and scrape through your libraries HOPING that you get all the pieces of the puzzle out of there, with no definitive list, only a list of directories PLUS the vague enjoinder to remove anything else you might have dragged onto your hard drive. While creating an uninstaller might not be, in this instance, simpler for you, it would be INFINITELY simpler for your users.
As mentioned, I like the product a lot based on a couple of weeks of use. Enough so that I purchased it. But based on my license-purchase/uninstall/reinstall experience and on my quick scan of some of the messages on this thread I’m a bit more skeptical with regard to the wisdom of my decision.
The Devon-tech team has created a very nice product that is tightly integrated with the Mac OS. This is a terrific achievement. But it places a huge responsibility on Devon-tech to provide bullet-proof user support and product support to ensure that customers’ experience with Devonthink is consistently positive, and that the efforts that we (customers) make to integrate Devonthink into OUR routines and practices are rewarded. You’re asking us to trust you with our valuable resources – OS, functioning computers, data, and time.
Software is sold in a VERY public marketplace, where bad news travels fast. Poor customer experiences, including poor experiences by customers trying to migrate BACK from Devonthink to whatever else they might use, are going to generate lousy word of mouth. Blaming users for the lousiness of their experiences, even when Devontech staff imagine that they’ve covered all the bases and addressed every potential eventuality, are also going to result in lousy word of mouth.
Feedback in a customer/vendor system is asymmetrical: users get to say what their problems are, what they think and feel about the program, and ask for help; vendors (while of course they can respond however they want) are best served by observing what’s going down, giving individuals the information they need to get past their issues, and fixing user-identified inadequacies. Without mentioning that they think the users are whiners or simpletons.
There’s no “separate download” necessary to obtain that information. As Annard suggested:
Just go to the online help and search for “uninstall”.
If “online help” means DT’s internal Help, no doubt the Installing, Updating, Uninstalling page could be improved (e.g. starting with v2-specific changes).
And no one’s expected to rely on app-internal Help for installation instructions, of course.
Regardless of reasons, it’s a well established fact that installers/uninstallers are relatively uncommon with OS X software. And some of them (especially Adobe’s) are arguably worse than not having them.
I beg to differ in the “sop” department. There are many many 3rd party and indie Mac applications available that do not have an uninstaller. The “sop” is to simply drag the unwanted app to the trash.
There are other apps whose very complexity warrants some sort of uninstaller, mostly because on installation they create files and folders willy-nilly throughout your hard drive. (see for example Adobe and Microsoft).
DTPO copies files into its databases (with the option to trash the original when scanning). Some of us might lighten our hard drive’s loads by deleting the non-scanned original files as well.
An uninstaller would then necessarily have to “unpackage” all the files in each database and place them into new folders named for the database into your Documents folder. This is to be sure that when the uninstaller deletes all the dangling loose chippings that DTPO has created over the months, the actual data are not deleted, thus saving us from ourselves.
Finally, there are any number of generic uninstaller apps for the Mac (I use one called AppZapper) that work simply by dragging the application you want to get rid of and it locates all the various caches, plists, license info, etc., and gives you the chance to say yea or nay to each component. A quick check of DTPO on AppZapper revealed these files:
so such an application obviates the need for the DevonTech team to build their own.