I know plenty of other Mac geeks love Growl, but I’ve never liked it. To be more accurate, I dislike any kind of notification system; it’s just that Growl is the most visible example of it. I find notifications to be disruptive. I don’t mind an Adium window appearing when I get a new instant message. Beyond that, though, I prefer not to be interrupted from whatever I’m doing. This isn’t to say that other people shouldn’t like Growl. Everyone works differently. If it works for you, I’m perfectly happy for you. It’s just not welcome on my Macs.
Today, Macworld published an article about the mystery of spontaneously installed Growl. This is one of the things that drives me crazy: other applications which install Growl without notifying me. Adium gives me the option of installing it (and I thank them for that option), but Adobe CS5 doesn’t. This is an especially frustrating user experience, given that I did a custom installation of CS5 and so have an expectation that it shouldn’t install anything other than what I selected during that custom installation.
I really appreciate that one of the developers for Growl said this in their interview with Macworld:
We hate it when people install software—any software, including ours—on other people’s systems without permission.
That’s pretty classy. An official comment from Growl is a great thing, even though Growl has no way to enforce it. It’s something that I hope that software developers take to heart. If your software is going to install something else that’s not advertised as part of your software on my system, then you’ve got to both tell me about it and let me opt out of it.