20110420

Problem ID: 2165894609669818655
Entered by: Ben Simo
Is there a problem here?  

How to improve chances that no one will ever read a software license agreement.

After turning on and logging into my computer, an Adobe Flash Player install dialog appears on my screen. The dialog is asking me to read and agree to a license agreement. I click the link to read the license.

Firefox opens beneath the installer dialog. Firefox is not my default browser. Clicking on the Firefox window does not bring it to the foreground.

The installer dialog that states users must "read and agree to the terms" stays on top of all other windows, making it difficult to read any terms.




Also, instead of opening and displaying a single license agreement, Adobe took me to a web page containing dozens of license agreement documents. I not only need to find the application they are installing, I need to find the version.

I check the dialog for an application name and version; then I find it in the list. I notice that the license agreement is a 3.3 megabyte PDF document. A 3.3 MB license agreement!?

I click the appropriate link for the Flash Player that is being upgraded.  A new tab opens. I try to drag the Installer dialog out of the way, to see the license agreement, but that only makes things worse.




The computer appears to be having trouble loading and displaying the license agreement.  About 10 minutes later, the screen refreshes and an ambiguous error dialog is displayed. "There was a problem reading this document (14)."  You don't say?



After clicking away the dialog, I am able to browse through 280 blank pages.  I notice the default zoom level for viewing the document: 6238%, but zooming out still reveals only blank pages.  Is this license agreement written in invisible ink?

I finally give in and click the check box stating "I have read and agree to the terms" that I could not view.



But wait! There's more.

Now it says Firefox is conflicting with the installer. I did not open Firefox. The Adobe Flash Player Installer opened Firefox.



I close Firefox and wait for the Installer to "automatically continue". Nothing happens.

So, I go into Task Manager and see that the Firefox.exe process is still running. I kill it. (Are non-techie users expected to do this?)



Finally, "Installation complete", over 15 minutes after I turned on my computer.



Now, the Adobe Acrobat Reader wants to install an update.


I do a little investigation and discover that the Adobe Reader Firefox plug-in appears to not be capable of displaying the 280 page license agreement for the Flash Player. The Firefox plug-in on my computer can successfully display other documents -- including large documents.  The stand-alone Adobe Reader can display the document, but not the Firefox plug-in.

280 pages!?

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