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The Reasons behind Installer DeLux
by Dale Asberry
June 7, 2004
Why not just use the installers already out there for crying out loud??!!
First, a couple observations about "installation":
Installers are little more than glorified scripts.
Providing an installer fulfills part of the follow-through for The Principle of "It Just Works!"
I have issues...
Don't want to pay for commercial installers. Every project needs one which suggests that installer-like products are ripe for open source.
Commercial installers are too complex for simple installs. I think this is a direct result of marketing driven software releases.
The Open Source products that I found have NIH syndrome and look amateurish.
I want to integrate through standard cross-platform mechanisms->Java, Web Start(JNLP) and Ant!
I want to pull GUI code away from business code. XUL provides the GUI while AOP encapsulates component interaction with business code.
I want the installer to look professional.
I want the installer-developer "feedback cycle" to be as fast as possible. Script the GUI and the logic while the installer is running and have the changes display immediately.
The home page has absolutely no project documentation.
The API is well documented, but it has no user documentation.
Ant is not yet integrated (next on my task list).
The installer-developer "feedback cycle" is not as short as I'd like it to be.
Needs more unit tests (yes, I know, I should've been doing it diligently from the start)
It works, in a very "alpha" sort of way
Total effort expended about 80 hours!
If you'd like to participlate,
https://install-delux.dev.java.net/servlets/ProjectMembershipRequest (membership with java.net required). Talk Back!
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About the Blogger
R. Dale Asberry been hacking since 1978, professionally since 1990. He's certified in Java 1.1 and has a four digit MCP number. He discovered Jini at the 2000 JavaOne and has been building incredibly cool, dynamic, distributed architectures ever since! Over time, he's discovered several principles that have contributed to his success - they are the Princples of: Enabling Others, Simplicity, No Complaining, Least Work, Least Surprise, Least Damage, and "It Just Works".
This weblog entry is Copyright © 2004 Dale Asberry. All rights reserved.