May 25, 2006

Birthdays and Anniversaries

Princess Monica Raquel is now 5 years old. Maria and I have now been married for 11 years!
Princess Monica
Maria's birthday is on Memorial Day, so now days that is kind of bitter sweet for the Martinez/Figueroa family.

Hey, I have and idea. Happy birthday Mari. ;)

Te amo mi amor! Que cumplamos otros once.
Wedding Picture

Posted by martinf at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2006

InstallerMaker for Windows

Since my last blog entry, I have been working on a system to facilitate the creation of Windows installers for Mono developers. The original intention was to create this functionality and aggregated to the VSPrj2make Visual Studio Add-in that I maintain.

However, it occurred to me while creating the driver application for testing and debugging -- makes it a lot easier during the development process, rather than debugging live COM servers written in .NET that run inside Visual Studio :) -- that I could work just a bit more and also release a product that could be used independent of Visual Studio.

The spawn of my efforts is now called InstallerMaker. Although this is a new born baby, it is already capable of creating stand alone Windows installers for executable assemblies. It is quite capable for Gtk# as well as WinForms application that you want to redistribute to non developers to use. Resulting installers will create Start Menu entries and will check for the existence of the required runtime components that the programmer designing the installer selects. If for example, the application being deploy was identified as requiring Gtk# Runtime Installer for .NET to be installed and it is not present during installation, it will alert the condition and even offer to begin a download so the prerequisites can be satisfied and the installation can then be successfully retried.

Should an application be identified as one to be ran with the Mono Runtime for Windows, then the Start Menu short cuts that are created will make use of monoLaunchW so that finding and launching Mono's runtime is automatic. Incidentally, I have taken a very early first stab at creating a Mono Runtime Installer for Windows. It is not made out of the latest and greatest versions of Mono and its associated technologies but it does promise to allow the running even of Gnome# applications in Win32.

I have put together six screen cast that can be viewed with a web browser capable of showing Shock Wave videos. To better get a sense of what InstallerMaker is and how one could use it. Follow the videos in order and read the captions on the web pages framing the video playback:

  1. Obtaining InstallerMaker, Installation, First Run and Configuration
  2. Building a Release Version of your Project
  3. Loading the csporj file and Running the Script Creation Wizard
  4. Revising Values and Observing When the Script Files is Actually Created
  5. Inspecting the Resulting Script File and Compiling
  6. Compiling and Running the Installer for the First Time

You can find the InstallerMaker program and its source code Novell Forge.

The next mini release that I make of InstallerMaker will add support for Asp.NET projects so that one can deploy solutions that are served by XSP in Windows.

Hope this is usefull. Please leave me your feedback so I can decide if this is worth the effort.

Posted by martinf at 05:54 PM | Comments (7)