IMO, the instructions for Windows 7 are not good for users who don't already know how to install software: http://ifdb.tads.org/dladviser?id=urxrv ... b&os=3.127
In other words, the only people who would need to read a page like this won't be able to follow it. And, I claim, this type of user is becoming more and more common.
If you don't already have a Blorb-compatible Z-Machine Interpreter on your system, install Windows Frotz as follows
0) This sentence is unhelpful. If you know what it means, you probably don't need to read this page.
In most browsers, right-click on the link and select Open or Run from the menu.
1) Don't say "browser." Most users don't know what a browser is. (It's a search engine, right?
2) It's being served as an application/octet-stream. You don't have to right-click to download that. Just click on it.
3) In IE9, you get three separate security warnings when you try to download that file.
- IE9 asks, "Do you want to run or save" (Run)
- IE9 asks, "The publisher of WindowsFrotzInstaller.exe couldn't be verified. Are you sure you want to run the program?" (Run)
- Win7 UAC asks, "Do you want to allow the following program from an unknown publisher to make changes on this computer?" (Yes)
The experience would be much better if it were a signed ClickOnce application, but I'm going to guess that there are no signed ClickOnce IF interpreters in the world today, not least because signatures cost money.
But likely every professional program the user has ever installed (if indeed they have installed any
software at all that didn't come preloaded) has never warned them like this, because they all pay for signatures.
Follow the Setup program's prompts to install the Interpreter.
4) This sentence is unhelpful. If you know what to do, you don't need it; if you don't know what to do, you can't understand it. ("prompts?")
5) If you just click Next, Next, Next all the way through the installer, the interpreter will launch WinFrotz directly, prompting you to open a file. But, of course, you haven't downloaded that file yet; that's coming in the next step. So what do you do when that window opens? Get confused, probably.
- From the Start menu, select Windows Frotz > Windows Frotz
6) What's the Start menu? Windows 7 still has a Start menu, but it's called the "Windows" menu now, and it just has the Windows logo on it; it hasn't had the word "Start" written on it since Windows Vista came out.
7) The Windows Frotz folder hasn't been visible by default since Windows Vista; you'd have to click All Programs > Windows Frotz > Windows Frotz. Or, better, type Frotz when you click on the Windows menu.
- A standard Windows file dialog will appear.
8) Again, unhelpful. If you know what "a standard Windows file dialog" is, the sentence is unnecessary, but if you don't know what it is, you're out of luck. (Fortunately, in this case, it's describing something that will happen, not something you must do.)
Select Galatea.zblorb and click Open.
9) For more than ten years (at least since Windows XP) Windows will automatically hide the ".zblorb" extension. If you go looking for Galatea.zblorb, you'll never find it.
10) Oh, I'll just "Select" it, will I? But how? Where?
"Wherever you saved it," you might suggest, but in fact, the browser probably automatically deposited it in the Downloads folder without asking me where to put it. At this point, I'm supposed to know to go to my Downloads folder and open the Galatea file there.
The point of this detailed rant is that installing software is actually pretty tricky if you don't already know/remember how to do it; four lines of text probably won't cut it. A screencast would be a more appropriate medium, IMO.
For my part, I'll see about recording such a screencast for IE9/Win7 and Safari/OSX sometime this month.
If anybody who works on Windows interpreters is still reading this, here's what I'd love to see:
1) A signed ClickOnce executable. I'd pitch in for the cost of the signature.
2) Don't show an Open File dialog on start. Instead, show an IFDB game library, with a space at the top where you can search or paste in an URL, and a small Open button at the bottom to let me find files on my computer.
That way, the directions would be: "to play Galatea, click here to download EasyFrotz, click "Yes," then type "Galatea" and press Enter." Even then, a screencast wouldn't hurt.