Coffeehouse Thread

78 posts

Visual Studio 2012: SLOW & BUGGY.

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • davewill

    @BitFlipper: Wow.  Rob Mensching et. al. has been working on the Wix toolset for longer than I can remember.  http://wixtoolset.org/  It sure seems like that would be leveraged.  My goodness VS.  Didn't they try the Installshield crippled route long ago?  I'm pretty sure they did.

  • exoteric

    @BitFlipper: I am using this and the free version works fine for my project! There are some caveats, like no custom install experience (picture) and some things like COM registration missing in the free version -- so for some requirements, yes, you will have to pay. I would also choose the paid version if this was for a non-free project - but it isn't, at the moment. I'd rather they had bundled Advanced Installer free than this Install Shield CE.

  • BitFlipper

    , exoteric wrote

    @BitFlipper: I am using this and the free version works fine for my project! There are some caveats, like no custom install experience (picture) and some things like COM registration missing in the free version -- so for some requirements, yes, you will have to pay. I would also choose the paid version if this was for a non-free project - but it isn't, at the moment. I'd rather they had bundled Advanced Installer free than this Install Shield CE.

    MS says that InstallShield Limited Edition replaces most of the previous Visual Studio Installer functionality, but if you try to do anything more complex than a Hello World app, you quickly find out that ISLE is incapable of even simple things. ISLE is an over-engineered POS that has practically every feature grayed out, constantly nagging you to pay in order to get a simple installer working. Once again I refuse to pay 1c due to the fact that my expensive MSDN subscription should allow me to install my applications on Windows. Looks like MS is selling developers down the river.

    I'm currently testing out WiX and it looks promising however it is a whole set of new XML tags to learn just to get a basic installer working. At least it doesn't have anything disabled so while it isn't intuitive, at least I know I would eventually be able to do what I want.

  • ZippyV

    The weird thing is: Visual Studio's installer is written using WiX so why don't they replace that stupid trial version of Installshield with WiX?

  • PopeDai

    , ZippyV wrote

    The weird thing is: Visual Studio's installer is written using WiX so why don't they replace that stupid trial version of Installshield with WiX?

    We couldn't find a way to build a polarizing flat user-interface with monochrome icons for it.

    Oh, and...

    • Visible demand. A lot of software is distributed by zip file, or by custom-made installer - a surprisingly small number of installers are made using VS. Then there's competition, including InstallShield and Nullsoft Installer - the people who actually used the VS Setup project simply weren't visible enough when the decision was made to remove it.
    • Localization - every component that ships with VS must be localized
    • Testing - every component that ships with VS must have solid test coverage
    • And a whole load of killjoy reasons, mostly surrounding time and money.

    Fortunately, there is precedent that if enough people complain, a feature will be brought-back. My favourite example is the removal of ASP.NET Web Applications from VS2005 when it was replaced with Websites; Web Applications were brought back in SP1.

     

     

  • kettch

    @PopeDai: It seems like an installer project could be released as some kind of "Power Pack" style package. That model seems to have worked in the past for implementing features in a way that doesn't tie you down to all of the overhead of an official release, while eventually making it into the product anyway.

  • blowdart

    , ZippyV wrote

    The weird thing is: Visual Studio's installer is written using WiX so why don't they replace that stupid trial version of Installshield with WiX?

    Because, for the average developer. WiX IS HARD

  • davewill

    @blowdart: True. But once you get it, you also get the additional benefit of the root Windows Installer knowledge.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , davewill wrote

    @blowdart: True. But once you get it, you also get the additional benefit of the root Windows Installer knowledge.

    Yeah like we want to piss away valuable developer's time learning the root of Windows Installer knowledge. It's like Oracle DBAs & devs touting the crappiness of their tool-set as a sign of how powerful Oracle is.

    I'd gladly pay more for my MSDN subscription if Microsoft would have invested the dollars in continuing the setup project rather than foisting yet another unnecessary thing for us to learn. 

    , PopeDai wrote

    *snip*

    We couldn't find a way to build a polarizing flat user-interface with monochrome icons for it.

    Oh, and...

    • Visible demand. A lot of software is distributed by zip file, or by custom-made installer - a surprisingly small number of installers are made using VS. Then there's competition, including InstallShield and Nullsoft Installer - the people who actually used the VS Setup project simply weren't visible enough when the decision was made to remove it.
    • Localization - every component that ships with VS must be localized
    • Testing - every component that ships with VS must have solid test coverage
    • And a whole load of killjoy reasons, mostly surrounding time and money.

    Fortunately, there is precedent that if enough people complain, a feature will be brought-back. My favourite example is the removal of ASP.NET Web Applications from VS2005 when it was replaced with Websites; Web Applications were brought back in SP1.

     

    So Microsoft forgoing spending tens of thousands of dollars on continuing the setup project means developers (the aggregate of all) end of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars learning WiX and the root of Windows Installer knowledge. You can scale the dollars in that sentence any way you want but its still has the same net effect.

    Good point about the metro theme'd stuff though. That's a deal breaker. Smiley

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
    Last modified
  • davewill

    @DeathByVisualStudio: Sorry to have upset you. The context of my thoughts was around the existence of Windows Installer versus the time prior to that when the installation norms were absolute chaos.  Regardless your point of productivity still stands.

  • Jim Young

    @blowdart:

    , blowdart wrote

    *snip*

    Because, for the average developer. WiX IS HARD

    Having once gone through the horror of writing my own installer from scratch (before InstallShield even existed), WiX is easy.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , davewill wrote

    @DeathByVisualStudio: Sorry to have upset you. The context of my thoughts was around the existence of Windows Installer versus the time prior to that when the installation norms were absolute chaos.  Regardless your point of productivity still stands.

    No need to apologize. I didn't mean to sound upset. I thought you were being sarcastic and I just chimed in with my own.

    At least no one is suggesting we benefit from "skills transfer" like XAML.

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
    Last modified
  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , Jim Young wrote

    @blowdart:

    *snip*

    Having once gone through the horror of writing my own installer from scratch (before InstallShield even existed), WiX is easy.

    I've poked the WiX bear a bit and kept thinking this would be great if someone built some tools for constructing the XML files, etc.

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
    Last modified
  • davewill

    @davewill: oh yea. Sarcasm. It is my main communication mode. I really should denote that better. To clear up any ambiguity ... Rob, Derek, Bob, etc. Rock!

  • blowdart

    , Jim Young wrote

    @blowdart:

    *snip*

    Having once gone through the horror of writing my own installer from scratch (before InstallShield even existed), WiX is easy.

    Yea, but not for people used to drag and drop installer dev Smiley

  • JoshRoss

    I guess that might explain the investment in xcopy deployment.  Queue the sad trombone.

  • BitFlipper

    , blowdart wrote

    *snip*

    Yea, but not for people used to drag and drop installer dev Smiley

    It's not about whether it is easy or not. It's about how much time is wasted creating an installer for even a simple project, let alone a complex one (and learning how to do it - as if that is where I can afford to spend my time). You can go ahead and be sarcastic about people only knowing how to drag and drop, however I've wasted days now investigating various alternatives to something that literally used to take me 5 minutes. And I still need to spend more time on it to get it to the level where the VS 2010 installer used to be.

    EDIT: Maybe that mentality is the problem with MS in general... Completely ignorant about the impact of their choices.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , BitFlipper wrote

    *snip*

    EDIT: Maybe that mentality is the problem with MS in general... Completely ignorant about the impact of their choices.

    You mean like Windows 8?

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
    Last modified

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.