Thanks for the recommendation about the Debug Player, Borek.
We'll discuss that, to see if we can see our way clear to make that optional again.
Rather than be optional it should just be an automated update, there is no need to install the plugins unless required, but as an option it allows the install to be by passed which then means the possibility of erroneous behavior from old versions of the plugins especially when debugging.
My understanding is that the bundled Player installers are already smart enough not to re-install the Player if the same debug version (or higher) is already installed. I'll double-check with the Player installer folks, to make sure this assumption is correct, but I'm pretty sure they already work that way now.
Assuming this is correct, then opting out would either mean:
1) that you want to skip upgrading an older version of the player to the bundled version, or
2) that you want to avoid switching from the Release version to the Debug version.
One reason we made this non-optional is because it's pretty important to have the minimum required Debug Player version installed, in order to debug effectively with Flash Builder.
There were also other factors driving the decision to require quitting all browsers during installation. For example, the Flash Builder installer writes entries to the Player trust files, designating the default Flash Builder workspace paths as trusted locations. For these entries to work reliably on first launch, all browsers need to be closed while writing to the trust files.
I do understand the concern around this though - it's a pain to have to quit all browsers during installation, especially if you have a useful session in progress, and when you know that your debug player is already current. I'll discuss this with the team, to see if we can come up with a reasonable compromise.
Thanks for the replies guys. Maybe it would be helpful if the installation applet shared more information about what is going on, i.e., when it says the browser is still open while I can't see any instances running in the taskbar or in the process list, it would be helpful if it actually showed which browser is running or which process needs to be shut down in order to proceed. The experience I got was that a modal dialog popped up with a "Cancel and Exit" and "OK" buttons. When I pressed OK, the modal dialoged popped up again, and then again and again so I had to eventually click Cancel and Exit. This was not a very good experience.
Another helpful addition could be if the installation applet showed which version of the debug player I have already installed and which version is required (recommended) for this version of Flash Builder. If those versions matched, there would be a green checkmark and information that the plugins installation is not necessary, while in the other case, the applet would let me choose which plugin to install. As it happens, I sometimes use the config where IE has the debug version while Firefox/the rest have the release version - in the Flash Builder settings, I just change my default browser from "system default" (FF in my case) to IE. So there are cases where I don't want the installation process to install both types of plugins. I would appreciate if I could pick which one to install or possibly skip the step entirely if I really know what I'm doing.
Good points all around.
We'll revisit this, and come up with a more transparent approach.