Package for Windows -- Best Practice

Sarah Reichelt sarah.reichelt at gmail.com
Mon Sep 25 17:27:21 EDT 2006


> Can you give me the "philosophy" behind using an installer versus
> just having people download a .zip file? For Windows users?
> Especially where an application is, well, it's own document.
>
> Having it "slip away" into the applicatons folder or program's directory
> doesn't necessarily make sense. It's one thing to
> put MSWord into the programs folder because your documents
> are actually on your desktop or wherever "My Stuff" may be,
> ... in the case of a Rev standalone, that is not creating other
> documents.... ??

In a standard Windows system, a lot of the folders are hidden to the
user and produce warnings if you try to open them or see what is
inside them. So telling people where to put things may not be
possible.

Also, you want an exact folder structure, with your app and the
externals folder in the same place, then your externals inside the
externals folder. This gives lots of room for error.

Finally, Windows expects you to provide a Start menu entry and an
uninstaller. While you could do this yourself, it's really easier to
get an install making program and let that handle it all.

I use Install Creator form Click Team, which is free so long as you
don;t mind the last screen of the installer being an ad for them.

HTH,
Sarah



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