On Tue, 26 Sep 2000, David Bovill wrote:


> To be specific I suggest that:
>     1)  the Starter Kit be broken down to appropriately compressed minimal
> engines for each platform, with "progressive download and save" options for
> all the relevant documentation and tutorials.

Sounds reasonable, but would require abandoning InstallShield for the
Windows installer (or require the user doing two installs, one to
unpack, one to download the stacks, if what they wanted was the
Starter Kit).  I think this could probably be done (and we have no
great love of InstallShield, believe me), but there are a couple of
1) The total size of the download would be larger, because the engine
is larger even than the InstallShield engine, not to mention the
merely compressed files we distribute for MacOS and UNIX.

2) We'd have to have different installers for people who get the
Starter Kit on CDs (either produced by us or others) or who need to
install on systems without Internet access (note that the military and
other secure facilities are a significant fraction of our installed

>     2) The Metacard site contains a page for cutting and pasting appropriate
> cross platform HTML code for use in a developers site.
>     3) A Javascript version is created for auto-platform detection with
> default code for all platforms for non-Javascript browsers
>     4) Appropriate html code is available for inclusion in emails, so that
> the recipient can easily follow the html links in the body of the email
> message to download the minimal engine.
> To give an example of how this would help, it would mean that all we would
> have to do to send someone an example stack is copy the relevant cross
> platform html code and include it in the email message alongside either the
> attached stack of another ftp link to where you have posted your specific
> stack. 
> This would save everyone having to download all the engines for all the
> platforms, for simple quick distributions. The cross platform browser
> detection code would also be a useful community resource.
> Lessons from History...
> Macromind Director's Shockwave and Xtra plugin architecture only really
> started to take off when they improved there download site to make it
> eas(ier) for people download the Xtra and/or plugins for those people that
> did not already have them pre-installed.
> As I have to do this in any case, I am offering my services to try and crack
> this one. If anyone likes the idea and could help in any way please let me
> know what you think/what you could help with. Bullet proof cross platform
> browser detection scripts anyone?

We'd be happy to host (or be a mirror site) for this type of "runtime
installer" package, even if we can't use this system to distribute the
Starter Kit itself.

Scott Raney  [EMAIL PROTECTED]  http://www.metacard.com
MetaCard: You know, there's an easier way to do that...

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