Thursday, June 14, 2012

Installer for xmlsh

Installers are pretty cool things.  They just do what you want and don't bother you with knowing how.  However they are also "black boxes" and tend to be dependent on things like having a GUI or a particular OS and you never know what they actually do under the hood.

For a product like xmlsh I never thought much about an installer.  Its so eazy, just unzip the distribution, set a few env variables, maybe chmod a file , oh and dont forget the pixie dust. By not having an installer I can ignore all that and give you the warm fuzzy feeling that I'm doing any magic dirty tricks behind your back.  Its just files right ?

But then its not always obvious.  An installer is, well, convenient!  So I've been looking into java installers and found a few.  But before spending any time on it I was wondering if my wonderful captive audience could make any suggestions.  Would an installer actually help anyone ? Were you daunted by the obscure installation instructions ?  Do you have a GUI always available (X windows or Mac or MS Windows) ?.  Does an installer feel more friendly or more opaque ?

Inquiring minds want to know !


  1. I'm OK with the current situation, but that's just me. I'm on Mac OS and just download the ZIP archive, extract it somewhere, then copy unix/xmlsh and unix/xmlshui to /usr/local/bin/ and set XMLSH and I'm ready to go.

  2. It is so easy (for me) which is why I never made one. But then I noticed Norm made an installer for calabash (xproc) and thought maybe there was a demand for it. I talked to him yesterday and turns out noone asked for it and noone has commented on it one way or another.

    So I think I wont spend any effort on this.

    Extension modules though ... they are a bit different. I'm now up to 6 modules and updating them all is a bit more complex. sometime you have to go fetch dependant jar's because I am not supplying them (usually due to no license for distribution). And its not as obvious how to install an extension module even though its easy.

    I'm tempted to use something like Maven but dont want to go that route as it looks like vast overkill. It would be nice to have something in xmlsh itself that could go fetch and install or update an extension module.

  3. It is common to see tools provided as both zip and install. One can then pick their poison.


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