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Mac OSX and third-party applications

Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:49 pm

I have a question about how well-behaved (or not) third-party applications are in OSX. In Windows, there always seem to be applications that act weird and do not fully uninstall unless you run a third-party application such as Revo Uninstaller. My questions are these:

a) Do third-party applications act poorly in Mac OSX like their equivalents in Windows?

b) Do third-party applications fully uninstall in Mac OSX or is a third-party application required to clean up the leftovers?

Thanks for your insights.
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Re: Mac OSX and third-party applications

Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:50 pm

a) Depends on the 3rd party application. Major ones like Photoshop are designed to behave the same regardless of platform. Some applications have minor differences in how they behave - notably 3D software. On the PC side of things, 3d professional applications are only supported with professional level graphics cards where as on the Mac the consumer GPU's get support. This is an arcane case where Apple's total benefits developers are there is little variation in official hardware and drivers. The flip side is also true where PC applications will get acceleration for certain features as Apple has not exposed that functionality through drivers (AMD's Crossfire for example).

b) Again, depends on the application. Many are simple self contained bundles that don't scatter random files throughout your storage. If they do, what they leave behind is generally benign they'll generally be data files stored in $HOME/Library/Application Support. The main exceptions are those pieces of software that interact with core parts of the system.

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Re: Mac OSX and third-party applications

Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:35 pm

Are there third party apps that behave badly? Of course. There are bad developers on all platforms. Some apps use the Mac as the "lead" platform (ported to Windows), and so in some cases, the Mac version is better behaved than the Windows equivalent. In other cases both versions behave well. The big thing is just being sure to use well-behaved apps. No platform is totally immune to duds.

And as the explained, usually your extra files are in ~/Library/Application Support or on the root in /Library/Application Support. If it's not in those two folders it's probably not there.
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Re: Mac OSX and third-party applications

Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:12 pm

The beauty of *nix however is that it is very easy to isolate the issues with an app and most time to fix things all you have to do is toss the related plist. Isolating it to if you should toss the user specific plist or the system wide is as easy as creating a test user account and see if the issue remains. If it remains, toss the system wide, if it is user specific, toss the related plist that's in the users home directory.

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