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Starting work on a Windows installer


Hi all,

I'm new to the team. I emailed Jaap on Friday and offered to start working
on a Windows installer for Zim.

Jaap informed me that Zim is being ported over to python from perl and
you're hoping for a stable release by summer 2009. That's great to hear, but
I'm sure it would affect any work I do on the Windows installer. I think
it's worth it to jump straight into an installer for 0.27 right away. As I
said to Jaap, I personally know people who are interested in Zim but are put
off by the complicated installation procedure for Windows.

So right now I'm building a Windows virtual machine I can use to have a
fresh start for every test run of my install procedure. My plan is to:

* Use NSIS <http://nsis.sourceforge.net/>
* Require that a recent version of ActivePerl is installed; or have the
install script download and run the ActivePerl installer.
* Possibly include GTK libraries directly in the installer, to be placed in
the Zim executable folder -- uses more space, but cuts down on Windows DLL
* Probably Include other dependencies from CPAN directly in Zim, rather than
mucking about with ppm on the target machine.
* Possilby script the build process for the installer (fetch dependencies,
etc.) for easy maintenance; this may not be worth the effort if the
installer will change significantly after the python port.

And I'll definitely be looking at the installer for Pidgin for inspiration.
I know they use NSIS and the application itself uses a heavy dose of Perl.
Does anyone else have any particular advice?

I'll be working this task on the side (from my day job) in the next few
weeks and I'll let you all know when I have something viable.

Brendan Kidwell