[Python-Dev] Python Windows installer: good news!

Tim Peters tim@zope.com
Sun, 29 Jul 2001 18:55:19 -0400

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"

+ 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