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Re: LilyPond 1.3.148

From: Jan Nieuwenhuizen
Subject: Re: LilyPond 1.3.148
Date: 17 Apr 2001 23:42:13 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.0807 (Gnus v5.8.7) Emacs/20.7

Mats Bengtsson <address@hidden> writes:

> I tried the new Windows installation procedure and have some
> comments.

First of all, thanks for looking at this, Mats.  And it all worked,
except for `Program Files' and the order of python/miktex/lilypond
installation?  Wow.

> - (main objection): The installation gives you a cygwin shell
>   and an environment that looks like a UNIX shell.

Yes, that's because it's bash.  I'm happy this is your biggest
objection, because this is just placing an icon on the desktop, and
required only to copy 15 lines of C code.

Not using bash would have made for a lot of DOS scripting, which I'd
rather leave to people who really enjoy that.  Using bash, we can use
the standard sh lilypond profile, which is very convenient.

>   Also, the cygwin environment is very primitive compared to 
>   an ordinary UNIX shell (the installation didn't even include
>   a `more' command) and seems to be well-known for its lack of 
>   documentation, which makes it clumsy to use also for people
>   used to UNIX.

Ok, but what would you suggest, more unix or less?  The installer
installs the minimal set for installing and scripting.  You can easily
get all the rest, including more,less, and man pages, from cygwin.  I
thought it would be better to ask to provide a minimal set, and ask to
install all.  It's real easy to add manpages and less to the `minimal
set', do you think we should do that (and which)?

> where you could at least run from an ordinary DOS shell.

Hmm.  Maybe familiarity is what people want, I don't know.  No, you're
probably right.  Personally, I've never used DOS again after
discovering 4dos, in the late 80s (always carried a floppy), and
shortly after that I found tcsh for DOS, never used 4dos again.  But
that's a moot point, because I don't really understand why someone
would use windows, and then we're full circle again.

>   Of course, the incentive for us to provide a Windows version
>   at all, is to get a user group large enough to be able to 
>   support themselves, also with installation procedures. Then,
>   an alternative motivation for the current setup is that that's
>   what we have the competence to do.

Indeed, a bit of both.  What I wanted was,

 1) an install process that would not easily be broken by winzip, or
 2) by manually flattening trees, or by whatever other user stupidity,
 3) that we could make ourselves, ie: free software based, and
 4) would allow easy upgrading of LilyPond for windows users

so that we could keep windows versions more bleeding edge, ie, put an
end to the 1.3.46-like idiocy.  If it can be easily installed, and it
works unless the user does something really dumb, I'm satisfied for
now.  We now have something that can be improved upon, which was not
possible with the previous installers.

But also, I was held to

  5) not spend any more time working with windows than my feeble mind
     could handle

Although I still don't understand how installing cygwin and typing
`tar xzf guile-*; tar xzf lilypond-*'; . ./bashrc.txt' can be
difficult, or go wrong (or both).

> - Several paths in the setup files are hard-coded. `Program Files', 
>   for example, is only called so in the English Windows versions.
>   The installer should really try to find the correct path for
>   Python and MikTeX (by looking in the registry).

I figured that in any useful Windows installation of python and
(la)tex, they would already be in the PATH, so I just added a lame
check.  This is the weakest point of the installer, from a technical
point of view (if you don't count dropping into the wrong shell as
wrong).  It would be good if someone could figure out and send a path
to, something like

    PATH=$(registry-get.exe 'MIKTEX_BIN'):$PATH

Or even, add a list in all possible languages for `Program Files', to
check for python/miktex.  I thought about installing /usr/bin/find,
but decided it would be overkill.

> - convert-ly and the other Python scripts require a wrapper
>   similar to the one for ly2dvi.

Ok, will do.

> - There's definitely a need for some documentation of the installer.
>   I answered most of these mysterious questions at random and was
>   lucky enough to succed (maybe it works no matter what you click on).

Wow, you must have been very lucky!  Every click should be placed with
delicate precision!  Maybe we should advertise the installer wizard a
bit more

(You are joking, right?  There's not much we can do to the installer,
it's a ripoff and forking seems a bad idea, we'll never catch up again.)

>   Also, when I started the cygwin window, it wrote some complaints
>   about problems to find Python and MikTeX but I needed quite some
>   UNIX competence to track down how and where to fix it. 

Ok, I'll change the doco to say to install these first.  Thought it
said that, but indeed, it doesn't.  I always tested installing
lilypond last.

> - Would it be difficult to include automatic downloading of Python
>   and MikTeX if they're not installed?

Yes, that would be fairly difficult.  We could tar-up a fresh python
installation and a fresh miktex installation, and put those tarballs
in the install repository.  We'd loose registry settings (is that
fatal?), and checking for pre-existance not automatic.  Also, we'd
have update these miktex/python trees.

I'm inclined to vote for separate installs (all the user has to do is
click on a link, and answer some quetions), and include Cygwin
versions of tetex and python when they're done.  Having lilypond
really ready to run after running setup could be good too.  My
judgement in windows things is often off, what do you think?


Jan Nieuwenhuizen <address@hidden> | GNU LilyPond - The music typesetter       |

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