[osgeo4w-dev] Progress Update

andrea antonello andrea.antonello at gmail.com
Tue Mar 11 19:43:06 EDT 2008

Through a quick search I couldn't find the cygwin installer engine and
docs about how to package software through it. Could someone kindly
provide me with a link?

Thanks, best regards,

PS: together with the udig community we will try to package uDig.

On Sat, Mar 8, 2008 at 2:22 PM, Frank Warmerdam <warmerdam at pobox.com> wrote:
> Folks,
>  Jeff McKenna, Yewondwossen Assefa and I met Thursday at the DMSG offices
>  to discuss OSGeo4W, the main topic being what installer technology to utilize
>  going forward.
>  Jeff and Assefa demonstrated progress with the MS4W "net installer" using
>  NSIS which worked quite smoothly.  But they explained that it was not so
>  clear to them how to accomplish some of the other things handled by the
>  cygwin style installer.  In particular, it was challenging to have a dynamic
>  installer that understand what updates had become available since an earlier
>  install.
>  We reviewed the Cygwin derived installer and agreed that the approach as it
>  stands is to complex and technical for many of the "Getting Started with FOSS"
>  users we want to support.  The main tree list is intimidating for a starting
>  user, and several of the other preliminary steps (selecting a mirror,
>  one user vs. all users) are mostly just confusing.
>  The decision was to engineer an "express install" path into the cygwin derived
>  installer.  One that would have the following sequence of steps:
>  1) User selects Express vs. Advanced install.  Advanced would take them into
>  the existing set of steps, likely with the mirror selection step removed.  The
>  rest assumes express.
>  2) The user is presented with a short list (8-12) of major packages they can
>  install.  This would include things like MapServer, Apache, QGIS, GRASS.  Each
>  item would have a checkbox to select it.  If it is already installed the
>  checkbox would be shown checked.
>  3) If Apache is selected a custom page would be presented to select the port
>  number, and indicate if it should be installed as a service.
>  4) The normal progress monitor style page as things are being installed.
>  5) The completed page.
>  A few other notes:
>   * We are inclined to drop the option of creating a desktop icon and menu
>     entry believing that these are essentially always useful, and can be easily
>     removed if not needed.
>   * The express install would operate "For All Users".  There is some question
>     what happens if the installing user does not have administrative access.
>   * We believe we need a small .exe that can be used from post-install .bat
>     files to add menu items and new desktop icons.
>   * For the express install, we would take tend to be generation in selecting
>     fine grained packages that are associated.  So, for instance, installing
>     GRASS would automatically trigger installing GDAL, but we might also
>     throw in optional GDAL plugins.  Installing MapServer might also result
>     in some MapServer applications being installed that aren't too large.
>  There was also substantial discussion on whether we pick a stable version of
>  a package and stick to it (for a year) or whether we have a way of offering
>  new releases.  It is felt that OSGeo4W will be substantially hampered if it
>  has no option to let people install new releases of our major packages when
>  these releases occur and that in fact it is desirable to offer a way to
>  delivery "development" versions of some packages.
>  For instance, if we pick MapServer 5.0.0 as "our stable rev" for OSGeo4W 2008
>  what do we do as new releases come out through 2008? For point releases
>  the answer is fairly clearly that we upgrade to the point releases.  So
>  5.0.2, 5.0.3, etc.  No problem as these are generally very careful to remain
>  compatible with the major release they originate from.
>  But we hope for a 5.2 MapServer release in the spring or early summer.  Will
>  this remain unavailable to OSGeo4W users till 2009?  We hesitate to just
>  treat this as a direct upgrade since there is a fairly high probability that
>  it will at least subtly break applications fairly tightly tied to MapServer
>  such as Chameleon as well as applications that include complex map files.
>  It was decided that we will explore how to off the ability for a user to
>  install these newer revisions through the Advanced Install using either the
>  "Experimental" version support in the installer or some related means.  A
>  way for the user to explicitly select to install the newer version.  The idea
>  being that it will not be automatically upgraded and the less sophisticated
>  user will get the safe experience.  But someone who wants to will have options
>  to install newer versions.
>  Likewise we would like to explore ways of providing frequently rebuilt
>  development versions.
>  Significant additional thinking will need to go into how to accomplish this
>  without degrading the safety of the standard install.
>  I have agreed to try and develop the express install mechanism in the next
>  week or two.  Jeff and Assefa will launch into "clean" packaging most of
>  the MapServer and web mapping applications currently in MS4W for OSGeo4W.
>  I would add that since our meeting I have been seriously thinking about
>  how deliver the FWTools experience (bleeding edge dev versions of GDAL,
>  PROJ and MapServer) via OSGeo4W.  If that seems practical, would love to
>  be able to end production of the FWTools win32 releases to focus all my
>  energy on OSGeo4W for that role.
>  Best regards,
>  --
>  ---------------------------------------+--------------------------------------
>  I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
>  light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
>  and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGeo, http://osgeo.org
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>  osgeo4w-dev at lists.osgeo.org
>  http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/osgeo4w-dev

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