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Re: gnustep-make experiment

From: Richard Frith-Macdonald
Subject: Re: gnustep-make experiment
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2007 12:55:56 +0000

On 12 Feb 2007, at 12:29, Christopher Armstrong wrote:


On Sun, 11 Feb 2007 14:51:39 -0800, "Alex Perez" <address@hidden>
Lastly, on a slightly unrelated note, the GNU dependencies (zlib,
libpng, libjpeg, etc) that are needed to compile GNUstep on Windows can be automated using an installer from the project which downloads most of the precompiled GNU environment. I was thinking that it may be possible to take the scripts given there, combine them with
scripts for installing mingw/msys and create an installable mingw
environment on Windows that is ready to compile source code within.

Yes, that would be a great thing to have available to the community :)
I've thought about doing exactly this many times myself, but
unfortunately do not have the time. Are you volunteering? If not, would anyone else like to volunteer? If we don't get any responses, perhaps it would be wise to trim this particular subthread down and forward it to
gnustep-discuss to see if there are any willing volunteers.

Whilst I would love to volunteer to do this I'm really pressed for time
at the moment, and when university resumes I will be even more pressed
for time, so much so that I am unable to do any serious work on GNUstep. Please feel free to forward the idea to the gnustep-discuss list and see if anyone's up for it. From what I can work out, it could be done with a
series of batch files and an installer programme. The gnuwin32 project
actually includes some utilities like sed, grep and wget in its
installer to locate and download all the latest versions of the
binaries. MINGW currently uses a binary installer which is likely to be
a InstallShield style install-programme builder kind of thing.

Someone (a few weeks ago) suggested using WiX ... apparently the windows standard installer stuff. I had a look at it and it seems to have the advantage of being xml data fie driven, so might be relatively easy to automate. I haven't actually had time to try it though. It would be nice to use the most 'standard' windows mechanism we can (unless it's unbearably awful). Maybe the gnuwin32 project wraps WiX? Maybe it does something similar but better?

Anyway, I'd really love to see three things for windows.

1. an installer that installs all the required binaries and gnustep core (and something to automatically rebuild this installer) 2. an installer that installs the mingw development tools and all our headers etc (and something to automatically rebuild it) 3. an extension to gnustep-make to generate installer packages for anything we build with gnustep-make.

So a developer would install (2), which would automatically install (1) as well They would build their application and then do something like 'make windowspkg' ... generating an installer package for their application

A user would download the application installer package and run it, and it would install (1) and the application

I don't know if WiX and similar installer systems are able to automatically download and install dependencies ... if not, it might be worth looking for something which does support that capability. There are few things more irritating than getting part way through an installation and finding out that you need to locate and download something else, then doing that and finding out that it depends on yet another thing ...

However, even if we can't automate download/install of dependencies, it would still be great to have something built into the gnustep core to generate windows installer packages.

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