Wise Solutions generously offered PythonLabs use of their InstallerMaster 8.1 system. Every PythonLabs Windows installer produced to date used Wise 5.0a, and while that's done a great job for us over the years, some of you have noticed <wink> that it was starting to show its age.
I've completed upgrading our Windows installation procedures to InstallerMaster 8.1, and we'll release the next alpha of Windows Python 2.2 using it. Even if you have no interest in testing 2.2a2 at that time, if you're running on a Windows system please download the installer (when it's released) just to be sure it works for you! As always, we have direct access to only a few Windows boxes, so we rely on cheerful volunteerd to uncover surprises.
Some things to note:
The installer it produces is a 32-bit program, so this should be the end of "failure in 16-bit subsystem" deaths some people see on Win2K (at least 4 reports of that, and no real handle on why).
The uninstaller has a new "repair" option. The install.log saves away file fingerprints at installation time, and so long as you still have the original installer .exe, the repair option can detect installed files that changed since installation, and (optionally) restore them from the original .exe.
Aborting an installation in midstream no longer (necessarily) leaves a bunch of crap sitting around. Instead you get a new dialog box offering to roll back the changes made so far. This even works if you hit the "Cancel" button on the final "installation finished" screen.
A Backup directory is created under the root of the Python installation, where the installer stores files it changes or replaces. We don't do much of that, but it does allow the uninstaller to restore Start Menu entries too -- nice for alpha and beta testers (before, whatever pre-existing Start Menu entries they had were simply wiped out by an uninstall).
Since IDLE is an essential part of the Windows Experience for most PythonLabs users, I folded the old Tcl/Tk component into the main Python interpreter component -- one less checkbox to worry about. Also removed the time-wasting "Welcome!" dialog, and made a few cosmetic improvements. Other than those, the look and feel are much the same, it just runs better!
It's slick -- I think you'll like it.
and-if-you-don't-write-a-pep<wink>-ly y'rs - tim