[squeak-dev] Re: need help building one-click squeak app for Windows

Andreas Raab andreas.raab at gmx.de
Tue Jun 16 09:00:47 UTC 2009

Torsten Bergmann wrote:
> Yes, there are many good installers out there. But I prefer InstallShield
> (after switching from Wise) these days which is nice to work with...
> But to have a reproducable and completely free build for a community project) NSIS is a viable alternative. Not as comfortable but free as 
> Squeak itself. And there are many add on packages and tools out there.

Perhaps so. I guess I'm a bit too much in the "I just want the damn 
thing to work" camp and don't care much about the freedom aspects ;-)

>> I haven't looked at your install but one thing that I never quite got is 
>> how the whole Smalltalk image model plays into this.
> As you know like most Smalltalks it does not integrate very
> well with the underlying platform - and so not very well with the 
> startup menu. But you can associate the *.image file with the VM, the 
> downside is that you have to navigate the image folder first.
> The setup was intended as a simple "starter" to wet the appetite
> if someone just want to plays with the system first.

I understand that. I'm just wondering how you even begin to explain to 
someone who is used to Windows apps that when they are saving the image 
they're really doing a persistent modification of (what they think of 
as) the "app".

> The setup was also intended as a "howto" create and deploy
> custom end-user applications (where you typically dont save images).
> It included a description how to build a custom VM and distribution.
> Thats often a question on the squeak and pharo lists as you may know...

I have actually not seen that question that often over the years (but 
then I haven't been following too closely lately). It's certainly 
worthwhile to document though. Would you mind writing this up in html 
form and put it somewhere so that I can link it from squeakvm.org? (or 
alternatively just send me an html version and I'll put it there)

>> Considering that the installation location for an application is >generally read-only 
> I guess you mean on Vista the program folder is (depending on rights) 
> not writeable by the application after installation.
> Thats why the application folder in the users directory is the 
> predefined (but changable) install folder. Thats easy in NSIS:

Ouch! Don't do that. $LOCALAPPDATA is a *terrible* location if you need 
people to find it. Put it under My Documents\<app name> instead. This is 
a location that people can find easily.

>> Or do Pharo users not save their images?
> No - Pharo users use Squeak images and always do a fresh
> bootstrap ;)
> Just kidding, I think most Pharo users are Squeak users and
> vice versa. At least I'am. So I will save images in both :)

Well, what do I know ;-) I haven't looked at Pharo and probably won't 
until 1.0 is out (btw, did I miss the announcement? I thought that was 
supposed to happen a couple of months ago). In the mean time I very much 
enjoy Cuis.

> We should make Squeak and Pharo easily accessible even when it 
> is different than what others expects. We just have to make it
> more familar. Typically have only one chance to get people into 
> something...

Indeed. But I find it a little risky to pretend we're just another 
Windows app to potential developers. There is a difference between 
application packaging and development and one shouldn't be confused with 
the other. I think it's okay if we assume that even the beginning Squeak 
developer needs a bit more understanding than what VisualBasic would 
expect from its user base.

   - Andreas

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