Joao S. O. Bueno Calligaris writes:
 > How  hard would it be to create a .msi installer for gimp + gtk+, 
 > instead of the current zip files? 

The current installer zip file is just a wrapper around a single .exe
file installer.

(Just in case somebody confuses this with the gtk+ etc zip files on and that are different, they are "real"
archives of an installed set of files, to be unpacked as such with no
additional scripts or code executed.)

If the .zip format is problematic because people tend to
(unnecessarily) use the silly proprietary/shareware WinZip application
(which I think was the case browsing the IRC backlog) to open .zip
archives, would it be a good idea to also offer the .exe file

I guess the main reason for wrapping a single .exe file inside a .zip
is to work around download restrictions. Some sites might prevent
download of .exe files but do allow download of .zip files (yeah, how
useful that is then...).

There are no real size savings, at least for the The .zip is 7930697 bytes, the single
.exe inside is 7953024 bytes.

 > It seems to be quite standard nowadays, and a couple high profile free 
 > software packages are uisng it.

I have extensive experience with creating Windows Installer installers
from my day job at Novell (working on One can without
a doubt say that Windows Installer technology is massively powerful,
but on the other hand it can equally well be said to be massively
over-engineered ;) One doesn't have to use all the features of course.

One problem with Windows Installer is that it's so complex that there
are umpteen additional products on top of it to make it supposedly
easier to use for the packager and give a supposedly nicer experience
for the end-user. When you google for more information about some
murky point in the base technology, all you find is pages related to
these various add-on packages... (In the case, no such
external add-on is used. The OOo installer is built using a shitload
of complex Perl code that manipulate the data files from which the
Windows Installer database is built using the Microsoft SDK
tools. This is much more complex than it would need to be because of
historical reasons.)

Microsoft itself has an Open Source (!) add-on toolset for Windows
Installer, WiX ( , (Hmm, at least I think I have read
that WiX is sponsored by Microsoft, although it can't find that
explicitly mentioned now when quickly browsing their sourceforge
site.) Maybe WiX would be something worth looking into? Seems like it
could be a fresh start with little historical baggage.


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