[OSGeo-Discuss] osgeo4w setup.exe source code?

Dave Patton davep at confluence.org
Sun Mar 15 13:02:42 PDT 2009

On 2009/02/25 5:11 PM, Alex Mandel wrote:
> Building an msi just adds complication.

It could easily be argued that not using an MSI
just adds complication for anyone who works in
an environment where MSI-based installs are
a requirement ;-)

> I also have not seen any open source tools to do it either.

There are some:
However, it could be argued that tools used to build
the installer for OSGeo4W don't have to be open source,
as they are building an installer for a non-open source
Operating System.

> Because typical installers
> write to registry using an msi prevents you from running more than one
> at the same time.

I'm not clear what you are trying to say with that statement?

> In terms of security, there's no reason to think an msi is any more
> secure than an exe

Actually, there is. An MSI is "just a database", and is easily
examined. That doesn't hold true for executables. However, it's
a bit of a moot point, because most MSI-based installations will
install one or more executable files, so even with "nothing
malicious" in the MSI, there could still be security risks.

> and running msi require that the end user always have
>  the correct windows installer library installed. Since Microsoft no
> longer supports some older versions of windows, if a Visual Studio tool
> was used to build the installer there's a chance older(Win2k,WinXP)
> users would be out of luck.

But that isn't an argument against using an MSI for an installation.
MSI-based installs can be created to only apply to specific versions
of MS Windows, and can 'fail gracefully' if needed. Even with an MSI
that installs on 'all versions of Windows', the installed program(s)
may not run, due to differences between MS Windows versions. In other
words, it is part of the generic problem of "what OS versions are
supported", not a specific problem related to the use of an MSI.

Dave Patton
CIS Canadian Information Systems
Victoria, B.C.

Degree Confluence Project:
Canadian Coordinator
Technical Coordinator

Personal website:
Maps, GPS, etc.

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