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Chris Smith - Generic Bootstrapper in Visual Studio 2005

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We gave a camcorder to Mike Sampson who went over to his coworker, Chris Smith, a software developer/test on the Visual Basic team, and asked him all about the generic bootstrapper that's in Visual Studio 2005.

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  • Christian Liensbergerlittleguru <3 Seattle
    This bootstrapper is a nice feature. Is there also away to have the prerequisites build into the setup.exe? I saw that it was lying in subdir, but can I also bundle all together to have one file to ship?
  • leighswordleighsword LeighSword
    the world's greatest bootstrapper(or click once) is a simple application that's able to download their depends(a file list) at runtime.

    "it's just going to... crashed.", funny, never mind.
  • Stevan VeselinovicSteve411 Me, all suited up!
    I love it when it crashes! Nice video!
  • So Microsoft has ripped off 'make' and are calling it a highly confusing (and conflicting) name just for kicks. I mean a bootstrapper is already a thing, you can't re-define it!
  • Mike SampsonSampy And I come back to you now - at the turn of the tide
    littleguru wrote:
    This bootstrapper is a nice feature. Is there also away to have the prerequisites build into the setup.exe? I saw that it was lying in subdir, but can I also bundle all together to have one file to ship?


    You can't build the redists into setup.exe but you can still just ship one file if you use the homesite feature (download the pre-reqs from the package author location) or a components URL (put all the packages in a seperate location from the bootstrapper). With these, all you have to do is ship the bootstrapper and it will dowload all the prerequisites it needs.
  • Mike SampsonSampy And I come back to you now - at the turn of the tide
    Manip wrote:
    So Microsoft has ripped off 'make' and are calling it a highly confusing (and conflicting) name just for kicks. I mean a bootstrapper is already a thing, you can't re-define it!


    How is this like make at all? Make is a build script tool. Sure people have overloaded it to install after building but it doesn't download and install prerquisite packages before installing.

    Am I missing something?
  • This is very nice!

    Should have been available a few years ago already though... Man, sure would have made life much easier! Smiley

    @Orbit86: stop bugging us with your Longhorn obsession please, there are far more important things with higher priority now.
  • Christian Liensbergerlittleguru <3 Seattle
    Sampy wrote:
    littleguru wrote: This bootstrapper is a nice feature. Is there also away to have the prerequisites build into the setup.exe? I saw that it was lying in subdir, but can I also bundle all together to have one file to ship?


    You can't build the redists into setup.exe but you can still just ship one file if you use the homesite feature (download the pre-reqs from the package author location) or a components URL (put all the packages in a seperate location from the bootstrapper). With these, all you have to do is ship the bootstrapper and it will dowload all the prerequisites it needs.


    You should include a feature where all the stuff can be bundled into one file. I mean all the prerequisits are bundled with the setup in one file.

    That's required very often. There is people (and companies) out there not letting setup go to the internet and download some files from somewhere.

    But the tool is quite cool. I like the possibility to create own setup bootstrapper.
  • Steve411 wrote:
    I love it when it crashes! Nice video!


    We thought about editing the video, but figured the more 'candid' demo would be best.  Note however that that bug is already fixed in the latest CTP release.
  • Just as a completely shameless plug, if you are interested in learing more about the VS 2005 Generic Bootstrapper you might want to check out the following:

    My MSDN blog. This isn't totally dedicated to the Generic Bootstrapper, but if you have a question about some odd corner case or are interested in learning about what goes on behind the scenes check it out:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/chrsmith

    A GotDotNet workspace devoted to housing custom packages for Microsoft packages which aren't shipping with VS 2005, like the 1.1 FX.
    http://www.gotdotnet.com/workspaces/workspace.aspx?id=7e8e8cbd-b447-4a9d-a984-9379d1a0c190


    The Bootstrapper Manifest Generator GotDotNet project. This app should help you create even the most complex manifests.
    http://www.gotdotnet.com/workspaces/workspace.aspx?id=ddb4f08c-7d7c-4f44-a009-ea19fc812545
  • Question - I keep hearing 'Kaboose' mentioned in this video. What the hell does it mean?
  • MinhMinh WOOH!  WOOH!
    Oy, I need my dramamine. Sorry, if I missed this in the video, but how do you create the packages? How do you packaged up the components that your app require -- so that the bootstrapper can load & run it.
  • Pimp Daddy wrote:
    Question - I keep hearing 'Kaboose' mentioned in this video. What the hell does it mean?


    When the Bootstrapper is done installing all of your application's prereqs, it then installs your application- which we refer to as the caboose since it is the last thing the Bootstrapper touches.

    Usually it will be an MSI or clickOnce .application file, but if you use MSBuild to generate your Bootstrapper the caboose could be anything, from a .BAT file to a text file.
  • William Staceystaceyw Before C# there was darkness...
    "And this VS bootstrap video looks an aweful lot like URPMI, up2date and yum. Deja-Vu. The kicker is that we've had this type of dependancy filling on linux for a long time and you're just now starting to develop it on windows."

    Bud Light, (speaking as someone who started out on ATT System V) who really cares what unix had or has and for how long.  I mean you really waste too much gray matter making comments like that.  I think that is a great little tool and should really help developers and the users.  Lets give people some credit for their hard work instead of making wise cracks all the time.
  • MikeGoatlyMikeGoatly I reserve the right to be wrong.

    I didn't realise the lead singer from Weezer worked at Microsoft! Wink

  • jonmjonm Blah..
    ClickOnce and the Generic boot strapper rocks!  I just need one to install the Report Processing libraries.  When I embed a Report and deploy the app via clickonce, I get a crash on a system that doesn't have the ReportViewer libraries.  The SQL Reporting people tell me it will be a shipping ClickOnce Package at RTM.  Otherwise, this is great!  In order to do this in the past we would have to use an expensive third party installer (InstallShield, Wise, or others).
  • ehunaehuna Grand Poo-Bah
    Great feature and great video!

    Just one thing: Chris Smith speaks like Todd from www.oddtodd.com.

    "So I wake up and get some cooofeee... I then run the booostrapppper....".  Smiley

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