#30 Installation requires luck or familiarity w/ the source code

Scott Severance


Ubuntu Feisty/Java 1.6.0




There are no instructions for how to run the installer. (The instructions in the docs don't count since they're only available after installation; similar instructions are not on the website.) Furthermore, the standard methods don't work and there's no README with instructions.

Note: I'm not a Java programmer, so I don't know the intricacies of Java. I shouldn't have to.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Download the jar file.

  2. Attempt to run it:

  3. Attempt fails (not surprising since jar files are really zip files).

  4. Try something else:
    java Risk_install_1.0.9.2.jar

  5. Fails with the following error:
    Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: Risk_install_1/0/9/2/jar

  6. Search unsuccessfully for documentation.

  7. Create a directory and unzip the jar file in it.

  8. There's no README file, and nothing in the directory that looks like the file I should run. Most software distributions place the main executable either in the root level or in a directory called bin. Risk is different, but for no apparent reason.

  9. Start looking through random files. Stumble upon META-INF/MANIFEST.MF quite by accident. Guess that the line beginning Main-Class might contain the proper command line.

  10. Type
    java com.izforge.izpack.installer.Installer

  11. The installer finally appears.


  • This is much too complicated. If I wasn't quite skilled with computers, I never would have succeeded in starting the installer. If I weren't a programmer, I wouldn't have guessed that the Main-Class line was what I needed.

  • Who would ever think of looking in the com directory for the installer? Executables are nearly universally located either in the root directory or in a directory called bin.

  • Why make people type a long, hairy command just to run the installer? Presumably, the only thing most people will do with the installer is run it.

  • Why not post the documentation on the website? That way there would be some possibility of finding help.


  • Yura

    Ticket moved from /p/jrisk/bugs/43/



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