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I need to create a Download page for the installer of our software, and I was wondering, if there are any best practices for doing this.

The application is multiplatform,

  • Windows (32/64)
  • Linux (RPM/DEB considered for now)

So, I was wondering about:

  • should I implement platform checking via javascript, and present only the relevant files (pro: mos of the time that's what you need, against: some of the users might need other files)
  • should I just present a list of files and the user can pick the one he wants (pro: everything in one place, no need to search, against: everything in one place, a lot to read)?

I browsed through some webpages that offer software for download that fits the multiplatform category, and there is a wider abundance of either presenting a long list of all available files for all the platforms or the one which tries to guess what's best for you.

  • I once wanted to download a legitimate version of Windows to put it on a flashdrive. I did this from my macbook, because my windows pc had crashed. But I couldn't, because Microsoft thought a mac user does not need to see the Windows download. – Stephan Bijzitter Jun 14 '16 at 18:25
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Why not combine them? Run the script, show the one you think they need highlighted (larger, at the top, with some extra info or something) and show the other options after that.

By that I mean you should add all options in HTML,and position them as floated boxes. Then with the Javascript you pick the one that is the most likely candidate, and place it in front. That way, even if someone has JS disabled, they can still download the file. Never put crucial links/content behind scripts!

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