Bug 1459 : Lack of Installers - (I've written some)
Last modified: 2010-02-21 05:44



Alec Taylor
Assigned To:

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Description:   Opened: 2010-02-10 03:52
Top of the morning to you,

My University is planning on using Processing in there first year teaching,
of Bachelor of IT (renamed Computer Science) degree.

Whilst looking through the various files on offer, I was able to find
Source Code as well as archives for each Operating System.

In an effort to simplify the deployment & ease-of-install of Processing, I
have created some Installers.

Please consider making them official.

• NSIS Installer Script
• InnoSetup Installer Script
• Windows Install Script (.msi) - This is especially useful within a
Windows-based educational institution, where your software can be deployed
to each workstation with the click of a button (Group Policy - Software

• DEB (Debian-based Linux Distributions) (about 90% completed)
• RPM (RPM-based Linux Distributions)
• DMG (Mac OS X)

Additional features to be added upon request;
• Version included without Java, where if the JDK isn't found, it is
downloaded & installed
• Binary Install Packages for other operating systems, eg; FreeBSD

Please include these setups at http://www.processing.org/download/

Thank you,

Alec Taylor

BTW: I'll need to know which licenses you'll want in each of the
Installers, as well as some extra graphics (will make the DMG, EXEs & MSI
look more professional)
Additional Comment #1 From fry 2010-02-10 04:32
It's considered a feature, not a bug, that we don't require the use of an
installer for Processing. A significant portion of our users are in
academic environments where they often do not have administrator access to
the machine that they are using, and are not allowed to install software.
By having the software not require an installer, users can run Processing
on such machines. I appreciate the effort, but I don't think we'll be
changing this in the future.
Additional Comment #2 From Alec Taylor 2010-02-11 00:43
Some comments on this feature (well, design choice);

"A significant portion of our users are in
academic environments where they often do not have administrator access to
the machine that they are using, and are not allowed to install software."

The .MSI Installer I've created will partly solve this issue for
Universities which use Windows. For those Universities where you're unable
to convince the 'IT People' to install Processing, I will create a
PortableApps installer. These installers were specifically designed to
install onto Portable devices, whether you have admin access on the host
computer or not.

From what I've gathered, PortableApps is a module of NSIS, so I should have
no difficulty in creating an installer. I may even manage to make it
official... (DL on the PortableApps website)

If however you're speaking about proxy issues, this can easily be overcome by;
• Changing the extension from .exe to something else
• Zipping the Installer

Inherent issues in the current method of 'getting' Processing;
• A non-self-extracting interface is used (less user-friendly)
• No licenses need to be accepted
• Compression isn't as good as what's offered in NSIS, InnoSetup & MakeMSI
• Isn't as professional as using a full-fledged Installer

Other problems with using Installers;
• YOU need to install the compilers (alternatively, I'd be happy to
maintain all the Installers, thus when a new version is released, either
post the link live, and I'll create the installers ASAP, or drop me an
email & I'll create the Installers for you ASAP, then add them to the
website [or send them to you to post])
• Perhaps before you were also referring to Linux, in which case there's
relatively no problem to maintain the .tgz

Here's a working example of the Windows Installer (.msi) for Processing 1.0.9;

(Obviously icons & all text can be changed, the purple colouring was just
an added zest ;]! Also, I was unable to add it under the 'attachment'
section, so I've hosted it with a free host, if you'd prefer it with the
SVN give me access, otherwise I'm happy to put them on different free hosts?)

Please reconsider creating Installers for each release (& OS).

Thank you,

Alec Taylor
Additional Comment #3 From Alec Taylor 2010-02-21 05:44
Looks like the initial binaries for the Linux's will be more complicated
then I initially thought.

For starters, I'll need to go over the Copyright file...

System libraries need to be ported, (perhaps I'll work with upstream to fix
the awkward bits which need adjustment.)

I'll setup ant to build all the source into a small [known] number of jars.
Then all I need to do is list those jars in the install file.

This'll take a week or two, maybe longer (as Uni begins tomorrow).

I'll keep you updated.

Alec Taylor