It's been over a year since I did any active development on WarSetup. The program has just done it's job without causing me any problems. In december a new (final) Beta of WIX was released, so I thought I should bring WarSetup up-to-date and make sure that it still works. I had a rerease almost ready for last friday - but then I ran into some problems with the Internet-connection and had to delay the release.
To be honest, I feel that the process of packaging software is an unnececarily compex task. The Windows Installer is a very complex pease of software, and to comprehend it's internals is far from easy. WIX makes it easier to work with packaging, but you still you need to understand the install-database if you want to make an installer for anything sightly more advanced than an .exe file. There are also many potential problems (or "features" as Microsoft prefer to name them) that can mess up your install. And don't get me going about packing for Linux! On small Linux projects I tend to spend more time making a .deb package, then I spend designing and coding the application.
WarInstall's primary aim is to hide this complexity (at least under Microsoft Windows) and make packaging fast and easy (I don't think it will ever be fun). I have done alot of packaging this last week, and made a list of small improvements that will save even more time. So my updated schedule is to release a new version on friday Januray 16th 2009.
My main headdache with WIX is how I shall be able to make multi-language install-packages. It seems like the WIX guys believes that one .msi for each language is the way to go. I disagree. Applications like (my own) whid comes with multiple localization-files, and it makes no sense to have several .msi files to distribute the exact same binary content. That's just a waste of disk-space and time (to make and upload the files). I would like to add an option to choose the install-language in the beginning of the install-wizard, and the to use that language trougout the installation-process. Maby even have the choise to use the choosen language as a trigger for some of the files that needs to be installed.
Well well - that's all for now. I have a book to finish this month :) I'm not just devoted to software. I also write books.