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Re: LilyPond 1.3.148

From: Jérémie Lumbroso
Subject: Re: LilyPond 1.3.148
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 00:46:24 +0200


> > - (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.

Well you should probably not bother at all if you won't take the
time to create a decent shell. I'm sure the people who enjoy DOS
scripting, are also capable of porting their own Lilypond, so if
you don't think the job is worth doing,  let someone else handle

> >   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)?

Any Windows user has gone through MS-DOS. Any Windows user who wo-
uld want to use the Lilypond typesetting system that is. It'll be
easier for the sake of all if it were less UNIX.  As explained to
someone before, if Windows users _wanted_ an UNIX-like shell, the-
y would just install UNIX, and completely stop using Windows. But
since people that are using the Windows version of Lilypond,  use
just that: Windows, you can suppose that's it's because they like
it better.

> > 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.

For the above reasons, I'm absolutely sure familiarity is what pe-
ople wants.  Installing any GNU packages is tidious for a Windows
user. Why they ask? Because Windows users aren't used to download
and install fifty different zips, before discovering that you hav-
e faulty versions. That's not what Windows users expect. They hav-
e been brought up with automatic installing programs, just having
to click a few buttons before being able to use a FULLY FUNCTIONN-
AL application ; this with only ONE installing program.

Now, your installation, as though it is nicely designed, does not
install what I call I fully functionnaly application. As Matts me-
ntionned, though MiKTeX and Python are installed, and properly de-
clared with the PATH variable, they are not found and this causes
problem. Now you may mock me, but I was not able to tell what was
the cause of the problem, because I'm just what I am, a Windows u-
ser who has never set eyes on a UNIX system.

But then what some say is totally true. A DOS shell would be almo-
st as "unWindows" as a UNIW shell.  The only difference is due to
the fact that Microsoft has a built in DOS emulator in it's syste-
m. Windows, as properly defined a graphical interface, hath, on a
non-technical basis, nothing to do with DOS. But then, this means
that to provide a real Windows version, someone should make a Win-
dows Lilypond processin engine, with a Windows graphical user int-
erface, with a totally Windows and compatible installer (who does-
n't assume paths, which is usually, very likely to not work). Wha-
t do you all make of Windows 2000, Millenium and the forthcomming
XP generation? They are what we call Windows operating system, an-
d yet, the current Lilypond versions, that are promoted as "for W-
indows", will be un-effective because of the lack of DOS support.
What will you do then? I think if somebody does not have enough m-
otivation to write a page of DOS code, he most certainly will not
have the patience to write a novel of Windows source. The outcome
of this whole argument is that Lilypond, in it's current state is
obviously not built for Windows.

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

It'd be quite hard to do this for a DOS application, since the AP-
Is to access the registry are only available once the graphical i-
nterface of Windows is launched. The only possible way to do this
would be to manually access the registry file (user.dat and somet-
hing else) with a DOS application and fetch the needed key value.

If the Python application is registered, for instance, you can ob-
tain it's path (the path of the binary) with the following key:
--> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App

> 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.

We could, and it's in fact very easy.  Go analyze almost any kind
of those unsofisticated an grotesque worm-virus, and you'll see t-
hat most of them have one of these "Program  Files" to be able to
be able to detect where vital applications are situated to be abl-
e to erase them. Or you could still use the Windows registry (whi-
ch is much more practical since any user can choose a personal "P-
rogram Files" path) by probbing the value of the followiing key:

> > - 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).
> LOL!
> 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.)

I think the most viable (but quite unprofessional) way to deal wi-
th thy installer is to use the one provided by Clickteam. You can
use it free (provided you don't mind the banner at the end of the
installation process reminding it the said package was created wi-
an unregistered licence). Just specify a folder, and it will crea-
te an installation package out of it. Just script a quick batch f-
ile that does the all the little tweakings - it's not such a bril-
liant idea considering there won't be batch files with the newest
Windows. Then, just use Patch Maker - by the same editor - for th-
e foresaid updates.

After re-reading that paragraph, I am convinced it's just babble.
The real way out is to code our own Windows installer, as I alrea-
dy mentionned, along with all the rest.

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

These are real problems. It's not installing Lilypond itself that
is tidious. It's all the side packages, as are Python, MiKTeX and
GhostScript (you do need that, because you don't expect most user-
s to be able to view PS, do you). I think these are what ought to
be automated rather than anything else.

> 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 personally think this is a must. I have distributed a fresh "ta-
rred" package of the whole bundle (Lilypond + Python + MiKTeX + G-
hostScript + GSView + additionnal fonts) into a little 25MB insta-
ll, and I found it to work perfectly, except for a few problems w-
ith GSView. I'm not sure this is potant though.  I'd need testing
by other persons to be sure.

> 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?

That's exactly to point of having an install. Windows users are u-
sed to answering setup-questions. It would be perfect if this cou-
ld be done, but have one setup package (like you have already don-
e, and as Microsoft does with his IE), that asks questions for all
the installations, and then downloads and sets up a "lilypond rea-
lly ready to run".


PS: This message isn't meant to be aggressive though.

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