[lokisetup] setup v2 (was lokisetup for dummies)

Chunky Kibbles chunky at icculus.org
Sun Jan 4 14:46:06 EST 2004

On Sat, Jan 03, 2004 at 09:54:08PM -0500, Ryan C. Gordon wrote:
> I'm going to go out on a limb here and demand _less_ flexibility.
> What I want from an installer, in order of importance:
> 1) Works everywhere it needs to without bells and whistles.
> 2) Has the absolute _smallest_ disk footprint possible.
> 3) Doesn't take a PhD to make an installer for.
> #1 is broad, I know, but I think that all this talk of different UIs is
> somewhat frivolous if it adds to the disk footprint at all. Ideally
> there's a bare-ass minimum GUI of some sort for the average person, and
> a text-based installer (that can be compiled out entirely) for things
> like dedicated servers where the user almost certainly won't have X11.
> If we're statically linking GTK+, then it really might be worth writing
> some extremely minimalistic toolkit if it'll save a megabyte, but that
> might be going too far once the actual link size is evaluated.

's what fltk is for...

> Pyrogon, the Candy Cruncher guys, said that they had some very
> interesting statistics on the number of downloads that were
> disconnected/cancelled halfway through the transfer. The assumption is
> that these people were on dialups and either dropped carrier, or got
> bored and hit Cancel. Candy Cruncher is a few megabytes download. The
> download of the linux version is 25% installer. And people wrote in
> complaining about this. Some of us don't have the luxury of shipping
> product on a CD-ROM, and I suspect most of us have the luxury of
> broadband, too. Dialup is friggin' painful for anything over a few
> megabytes.

Surely you could just delete the setup.gtk binary and save a load of
space? That would leave you with just the ncurses variant, but I would
have thought it would still be a significant saving? Perhaps Pyrogon
coud provide and extra download? </just a thought>

> On the other hand, an external application that generates the installer
> from start to finish (a "wizard" app, if you will) can be big and bulky
> and beautiful, since it doesn't need to be distributed to the end
> user...and would make the whole process of building installers and
> patches suck less and be significantly less error prone...I can't count
> the number of screwups that were made in ut2003 patches that a nice
> drag-and-drop GUI would have prevented, not to mention the man hours
> spent building installers and patches in the first place. Obviously this
> is totally seperate from the main discussion, but it's really really
> really desirable to me to have this at some point, so I wanted to throw
> it out there again.

Has anyone worked on this yet? Any experiences?

> For the installer itself, less is more. I'm all for ditching the XML,
> setupdb, the Dialog UI, scriptability, etc. I don't expect this will be
> a popular position, but I honestly think it is best.

Hmm... Well, I know of at least one commercial interest in setup
[Codehost, where Stephane works] who actually make use of a whole
bunch of these features.

I'm inclined to think that what's needed is better separation of UI
and installer components [have the installer a C library, which gets
dlopen()ed by your choice of UI, or even separate binaries], so you
can mostly pick & choose which bits you want [need a really really
bare bones installer? Just dlopen() the installer .so, and use printf
and scanf statements].

XML becomes moot if someone puts together a pointy-clikky UI for
building the installer, and I happen to like it as a matter of
personal taste.

Gary (-;

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