Installer design and backdrops

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Installer design and backdrops

Richard Gaskin

I've grown weary of using third-party installers and I prefer to
automate all parts of my build process, so I'm working on a custom
installer system for my projects.

It seems that WiseInstall and InstallShield use a backdrop behind their
install window, but I like the way Rev's 2.7 installer doesn't presume
you have nothing better to do that watch the progress bar.

So here's the question:  Is the backdrop used by so many professional
installers really just a useless holdover, or is there some benefit to
having it that I'm not seeing?

If you were building your own installer would you use a backdrop?  If
so, why?

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Managing Editor, revJournal
  _______________________________________________________
  Rev tips, tutorials and more: http://www.revJournal.com
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Re: Installer design and backdrops

Chipp Walters
Most installers I use have the option of using a backdrop or not. I
prefer not to use them, and frankly, I can't remember the last time I
installed something which did use a backdrop. (WinXP)

best,

Chipp

Richard Gaskin wrote:

> If you were building your own installer would you use a backdrop?  If
> so, why?

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Re: Installer design and backdrops

Trevor DeVore
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin
On Feb 16, 2006, at 11:54 AM, Richard Gaskin wrote:

>
> I've grown weary of using third-party installers and I prefer to  
> automate all parts of my build process, so I'm working on a custom  
> installer system for my projects.
>
> It seems that WiseInstall and InstallShield use a backdrop behind  
> their install window, but I like the way Rev's 2.7 installer  
> doesn't presume you have nothing better to do that watch the  
> progress bar.
>
> So here's the question:  Is the backdrop used by so many  
> professional installers really just a useless holdover, or is there  
> some benefit to having it that I'm not seeing?
>
> If you were building your own installer would you use a backdrop?  
> If so, why?

I'm not a big fan of the backdrop.  I like INNO Setup for Windows  
which uses no backdrop.  I've been able to automate building  
installers with INNO setup since it is all text based scripts that  
you just pass to their compile engine.  Very nice.


--
Trevor DeVore
Blue Mango Multimedia
[hidden email]


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Re: Installer design and backdrops

Peter T. Evensen
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin
The installer we use for our software (Install Anywhere, I believe) doesn't
use a backdrop.  Personally I prefer no backdrop.  I, too, like the 2.7
installer.  It looks so sharp!

At 01:54 PM 2/16/2006, you wrote:

>I've grown weary of using third-party installers and I prefer to automate
>all parts of my build process, so I'm working on a custom installer system
>for my projects.
>
>It seems that WiseInstall and InstallShield use a backdrop behind their
>install window, but I like the way Rev's 2.7 installer doesn't presume you
>have nothing better to do that watch the progress bar.
>
>So here's the question:  Is the backdrop used by so many professional
>installers really just a useless holdover, or is there some benefit to
>having it that I'm not seeing?
>
>If you were building your own installer would you use a backdrop?  If so, why?
>
>--
>  Richard Gaskin
>  Managing Editor, revJournal

Peter T. Evensen
http://www.PetersRoadToHealth.com
314-629-5248 or 888-628-4588

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RE: Installer design and backdrops

MisterX
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin
Hi Richard,

many many installers use it. The benefit is usually in showing scenes or
marketing goobledigoock. And it's entertaining if it's a long install - did
you know our program can do this or that? kind of messages...

Other than that, it's useless, blocks other programs you might want to use
while the installer works...

If there's pauses in the installer (like shall we add optional 3rd party
stuff to bloat your installation folder) or setting up features or options
of the program before-hand.

cheers
Xavier

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email]
> [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of
> Richard Gaskin
> Sent: Thursday, 16 February, 2006 20:54
> To: How to use Revolution
> Subject: Installer design and backdrops
>
>
> I've grown weary of using third-party installers and I prefer
> to automate all parts of my build process, so I'm working on
> a custom installer system for my projects.
>
> It seems that WiseInstall and InstallShield use a backdrop
> behind their install window, but I like the way Rev's 2.7
> installer doesn't presume you have nothing better to do that
> watch the progress bar.
>
> So here's the question:  Is the backdrop used by so many
> professional installers really just a useless holdover, or is
> there some benefit to having it that I'm not seeing?
>
> If you were building your own installer would you use a
> backdrop?  If so, why?
>
> --
>   Richard Gaskin
>   Managing Editor, revJournal
>   _______________________________________________________
>   Rev tips, tutorials and more: http://www.revJournal.com 
> _______________________________________________
> use-revolution mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage
> your subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-revolution

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Re: Installer design and backdrops

Mark Talluto
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin

On Feb 16, 2006, at 11:54 AM, Richard Gaskin wrote:

>
> I've grown weary of using third-party installers and I prefer to  
> automate all parts of my build process, so I'm working on a custom  
> installer system for my projects.
>
> It seems that WiseInstall and InstallShield use a backdrop behind  
> their install window, but I like the way Rev's 2.7 installer  
> doesn't presume you have nothing better to do that watch the  
> progress bar.
>
> So here's the question:  Is the backdrop used by so many  
> professional installers really just a useless holdover, or is there  
> some benefit to having it that I'm not seeing?
>
> If you were building your own installer would you use a backdrop?  
> If so, why?

The home grown installer I made for my stuff does not have a  
backdrop.  It is probably missing a lot of other fancy things as  
well.  But, it does what I need it to do very well.

-Mark
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RE: Installer design and backdrops

Lynn Fredricks
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin
> I've grown weary of using third-party installers and I prefer
> to automate all parts of my build process, so I'm working on
> a custom installer system for my projects.
>
> It seems that WiseInstall and InstallShield use a backdrop
> behind their install window, but I like the way Rev's 2.7
> installer doesn't presume you have nothing better to do that
> watch the progress bar.
>
> So here's the question:  Is the backdrop used by so many
> professional installers really just a useless holdover, or is
> there some benefit to having it that I'm not seeing?
>
> If you were building your own installer would you use a
> backdrop?  If so, why?

I did build my own installer (http://www.meshinstall.com) :-) Well sort of
-- its going to final candidate status in the next version. MeshInstall
doesn't currently have a backdrop but Ive been thinking there should be one
as an option. Sometimes installers manipulate files temporarily on a hard
disk - if a user can switch out of an install then there's a greater chance
they can screw up the process.

One of our businesses deals in content, and we needed an installer that we
could incorporate serialization into (since the content itself isnt
serialized like an app) and pretty up with some branding.

Best regards,

Lynn Fredricks
President
Proactive International, LLC

- Because it is about who you know.(tm)
http://www.proactive-intl.com



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Re: Installer design and backdrops

Thomas McGrath III
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin
RIchard,

I would not use the backdrop for the installer. I can't stand them. I  
like to read my email etc. while doing lengthly installs.

The only thing I can think of is if you switch apps to another app  
will it interfere with the install? If so, then I would block the  
user from switching to another app and then the backdrop makes more  
sense. But if it does not interfere then skip it.

Tom

On Feb 16, 2006, at 2:54 PM, Richard Gaskin wrote:

>
> I've grown weary of using third-party installers and I prefer to  
> automate all parts of my build process, so I'm working on a custom  
> installer system for my projects.
>
> It seems that WiseInstall and InstallShield use a backdrop behind  
> their install window, but I like the way Rev's 2.7 installer  
> doesn't presume you have nothing better to do that watch the  
> progress bar.
>
> So here's the question:  Is the backdrop used by so many  
> professional installers really just a useless holdover, or is there  
> some benefit to having it that I'm not seeing?
>
> If you were building your own installer would you use a backdrop?  
> If so, why?
>
> --
>  Richard Gaskin
>  Managing Editor, revJournal
>  _______________________________________________________
>  Rev tips, tutorials and more: http://www.revJournal.com
> _______________________________________________
> use-revolution mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your  
> subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-revolution

Thomas J McGrath III
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Re: Installer design and backdrops

Frank D. Engel, Jr.
In reply to this post by Lynn Fredricks
It's typically better to use the installation solution provided by the
OS when one is available -- user familiarity and so forth...

For Mac OS X, I found a free program somewhere called "Iceberg" which
simplifies creation of OS X installer packages quite a bit.  It's easy
to use, and quite flexible.

For Windows, however, I don't really bother with the M$ stuff; I use
Inno Setup.  The interface should be familiar enough for most Windoze
users, and the system is quite powerful.  Inno Setup also gives you
uninstallers "for free" - little or no extra work involved for you.  
Just make sure you get the package of extras, including the graphical
IDE-type thing which makes creating the installers much easier.


On Feb 16, 2006, at 5:09 PM, Lynn Fredricks wrote:

>> I've grown weary of using third-party installers and I prefer
>> to automate all parts of my build process, so I'm working on
>> a custom installer system for my projects.
>>
>> It seems that WiseInstall and InstallShield use a backdrop
>> behind their install window, but I like the way Rev's 2.7
>> installer doesn't presume you have nothing better to do that
>> watch the progress bar.
>>
>> So here's the question:  Is the backdrop used by so many
>> professional installers really just a useless holdover, or is
>> there some benefit to having it that I'm not seeing?
>>
>> If you were building your own installer would you use a
>> backdrop?  If so, why?
>
> I did build my own installer (http://www.meshinstall.com) :-) Well
> sort of
> -- its going to final candidate status in the next version. MeshInstall
> doesn't currently have a backdrop but Ive been thinking there should
> be one
> as an option. Sometimes installers manipulate files temporarily on a
> hard
> disk - if a user can switch out of an install then there's a greater
> chance
> they can screw up the process.
>
> One of our businesses deals in content, and we needed an installer
> that we
> could incorporate serialization into (since the content itself isnt
> serialized like an app) and pretty up with some branding.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Lynn Fredricks
> President
> Proactive International, LLC
>
> - Because it is about who you know.(tm)
> http://www.proactive-intl.com
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> use-revolution mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your
> subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-revolution
>
>
-----------------------------------------------------------
Frank D. Engel, Jr.  <[hidden email]>

$ ln -s /usr/share/kjvbible /usr/manual
$ true | cat /usr/manual | grep "John 3:16"
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life.
$



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Re: Installer design and backdrops

Richard Gaskin
Frank D. Engel, Jr. wrote:
> It's typically better to use the installation solution provided by the
> OS when one is available -- user familiarity and so forth...

Agreed in general, but on OS X we see a fairly even mix of installers
using Apple's and using a few third party ones as well, and as you note
MS' installer fails to grab a lot of people, leaving InstallShield and
WiseInstall solidly in the #1 and #2 spots respectively.  Since an
installer is used exactly once per product any deviance from UI norms
will have minimal impact, and such norms are minor and loosely followed
anyway.

For myself, my needs are modest but varied, and must be not only
automatable but sometimes also able to be built by my clients as well as
here.  It's simpler for me to just make it myself than continue with the
hodge-podge of third-party stuff I've been working with over the years.

Thanks to all for the notes on the backdrop.  I'm quite happy to dump
that; good to get the unanimous validation.

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Media Corporation
  ___________________________________________________________
  [hidden email]       http://www.FourthWorld.com
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RE: Installer design and backdrops

Lynn Fredricks-2
In reply to this post by Frank D. Engel, Jr.
> It's typically better to use the installation solution
> provided by the OS when one is available -- user familiarity
> and so forth...
>
> For Mac OS X, I found a free program somewhere called
> "Iceberg" which simplifies creation of OS X installer
> packages quite a bit.  It's easy to use, and quite flexible.

Looks nice!

http://s.sudre.free.fr/Software/Iceberg.html

Best regards,

Lynn Fredricks
President
Proactive International, LLC

- Because it is about who you know.(tm)
http://www.proactive-intl.com


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RE: Installer design and backdrops

Ken Apthorpe
MeshInstall looks nicer, pending a final release. And, if you could have a MacOSX version available as well anytime real soon now .... it would be the installer of my dreams.

Ken
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RE: Installer design and backdrops

Lynn Fredricks
> MeshInstall looks nicer, pending a final release. And, if you
> could have a MacOSX version available as well anytime real
> soon now .... it would be the installer of my dreams.

We (different company that Paradigma) created it because we have a thriving
content business. I hate to admit it here but...we built it with REALbasic.
The one big snag we've experienced is permissions on the Mac. As I
understand it, there are system calls that REALbasic uses to handle these
and they rely fully on what is going on in the underlying operating system -
REAL staff have told me (and I have no reason to dispute this) that the
system call can actually lose permissions. This only affects MeshInstall on
building the MacOS X version -- but get this -- the Windows version can
build both Windows and MacOS X executable installers from the same project.
The goal was that we would release a MacOS X version of MeshInstall that
would also support building Windows installers.

I have been selling and marketing RAD tools since 1998, and there is a
philosophical problem I have with the "wrapped system call" way I thinking.
Should a RAD tool, especially a tool that is supposed to allow easy
deployment of cross-platform applications, attempt to fix or suppliment OS
level issues?

If this topic interests you, Ive set up a poll on Digital Pilon here, along
with a thread:

http://www.digitalpilon.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=8

Best regards,

Lynn Fredricks
President
Paradigma Software, Inc

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