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From "Trent Nelson" <tnel...@onresolve.com>
Subject RE: JK 1.2.18 isapi_redirect installer builds
Date Sun, 23 Jul 2006 16:39:29 GMT
From: William A. Rowe, Jr. [mailto:wrowe@rowe-clan.net]:
> Mladen Turk wrote:
> > Trent Nelson wrote:
> >>> Mladen Turk wrote:
> >>
> >> Just out of interest, is there any motivation to switch to
Nullsoft's
> >> Installer for future mod_jk/isapi_redirect releases?  Given that
> >> tomcat's win32 installer uses this, and it's free, I would think
that
> >> would be a better option than InstallShield.  (Or am I missing
> >> something about the advantages of InstallShield over Nullsoft?)
> >
> > Nullsoft lacks advanced IIS virtual directory
> > creation/deletion. I suppose it can be done with
> > multiple .vbs scripts.
> 
> Does Nullsoft provide for arbitrary msi table data for the IIS
> registration virtual directory registration?

Nullsoft doesn't provide anything MSI-related at all ;-)  It simply
compiles your script directly into an executable.  The reason I
suggested it as an alternative to InstallShield is because there are
probably more users that could contribute to building/maintaining an
.nsi script vs. an .ism (that requires a commercial license).  Tomcat's
installer is based on Nullsoft, after all.

> Opening our previous installer in orca should let you browse where the
> appropriate registration keys are.

Yeah, I opened up isapi_redirect.msi with a copy of Wise I had lying
around; I assume you're referring to the two entries in the ISIISCommon
table?

> Any tool that doesn't provide arbitrary table data for the installer
> schema (including IS - which happens to provide it) isn't worth
> investigating.

The thing I don't like about MSI, to quote Joel Spolsky, is that it
suffers from ``leaky abstractions''[1];  That is, a developer should be
able to leverage the abstraction provided by MSI tables such that they
never have to know the underlying details behind how COM/.NET components
are registered, how IIS virtual directories are created, etc.  In
reality, the reverse applies; the people that know how to do those tasks
manually would rarely know how to represent the information in MSI
tables.

So, although Nullsoft doesn't allow you to utilize arbitrary table data,
it does allow you to pretty much anything else, so you could manually do
IIS virtual directory creation if need be (and you've got the added
benefit of more people likely to know and be able to build .nsi
scripts).


	Trent.

[1]: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/LeakyAbstractions.html

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