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Creating Installers

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Could someone point me in the direction I need to take to make a program installer? I've been looking on MSDN and codeproject.com, but I still haven't found anything. I prefer to use MFC. My main problem is dealing with the file system. I don't know how to move files, create shortcuts, etc. I think it has something to do with shell programming. [edited by - Orikal on October 15, 2003 12:49:59 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Orikal
Could someone point me in the direction I need to take to make a program installer?


Don''t take any direction. Just make a zip file and stick the stuff in there. Installers, especially for smaller programs, tend to be extremely annoying.

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as you can see from the last response, some people don''t like them. a good idea is to create both an installer (using one of those installer-maker program mentioned) and just a ZIP file with all the necessary files in them. then, the non-computer-suave (and non-anal computer-suave) people can use the installer, and the others can download the ZIP and do it their way.

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It does indeed depend on how big it is. Frankly, though, the more important aspect IMO is the uninstaller...

My rule of thumb:

If it stores registry values, places files outside its own directory (e.g. in %SYSTEMROOT%), or generally would leave stuff behind if someone just hit delete on its program folder, then use a fully-blown installer package which can handle both creating and removing all those ''tendrils'' your program puts out.

Otherwise, a plain zip (perhaps self-extracting) is fine.

Superpig
- saving pigs from untimely fates, and when he''s not doing that, runs The Binary Refinery.
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If you have Visual Studio 6.0, you can download the free Visual Studio Installer Tool from Microsoft. This will allow you to create Microsoft Installer (.msi) packages.

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best installer i''ve ever had the pleasure of working with is NSIS, pretty much for all the reasons highlighted in that article on the front page, been using it since before the spinky new opensource version 2.x stuff and the new stuff is very nice to work with. (I just wonder why its not been ported to Linux or Mac yet... )

If you really want to make your own installer than you could always look at the source for it i guess...

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