Windows installer regressions 0.9.1 compared to 0.9.0

Dear Avogadro developers,

Avogadro is a great program I often use. I therefore contributed a Windows installer that you
successfully used for Avogadro 0.8.1 and 0.9.0. I also promised to maintain the installer in case
you want new features of a bug is reported, but you never contacted me. I thought everything is
working fine, but now I see that you throw my installer away and replaced it by a buggy new one
introducing several regressions.

Here’s a list what the installer of version 0.8.1 can do and the new regression with the installer
of version 0.9.1:

  • The file extension “.cml” is registered to be opened with Avogadro when
    double-clicking on cml-files (can be deselected in the installer menu)

Doesn’t work.
This is an important issue. Having not registered the own file extension is embarrassing.

  • Desktop icon is provided (can be deselected in the installer menu)

Doesn’t work.

  • Installer is translatable

Doesn’t work.

  • English and German translation is delivered, (the installer detects the
    used language by checking the default language of Windows)

Doesn’t work.

  • Avogadro can directly be started after the installation (checkbox in
    the last installer window)

Doesn’t work.

  • The start menu link for the release notes now correctly links to the
    actual release

Doesn’t work.

So you have now at least 6 regression (and perhaps more).

I’m really disappointed about your developing philosophy. I’m an open source developer for years and
in other projects such changes are discussed before releases. Normally one tries to avoid to
introduce regressions for new releases but it seems that nobody cares.
Apart from that I reported a crash bug in 0.9.0 and the first reply I got was that I have to live
with that. After I shout against this statement, the crash was fixed very quickly and well. So it
seems to me that some of the developers are not very interested in stable releases but some are.

I don’t know now if it is worth to spent any more time to Avogadro or not.

Uwe

Avogadro is a great program I often use. I therefore contributed a
Windows installer that you
successfully used for Avogadro 0.8.1 and 0.9.0.

Obviously, we greatly appreciated the enhancements you made in the
installer.

I’m not sure I can say that it was used successfully in version 0.9.0.
We had many bug reports of “configuration incorrect, please
reinstall”. Basically, if you didn’t have VS Express installed, the
installer would fail. (I can count 3 bug reports on the tracker, and a
few more which were sent via e-mail to the list or to some of us
personally.)

e.g., mailing list message from Noel O’Boyle:
http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=a882e48b0902100220r446f1ffeq788824d5f2fd3915%40mail.gmail.com&forum_name=avogadro-devel

That’s partly due to the installer, partly due to pain with Windows
manifests. I’d personally be happy if we could get your NSIS installer
working without the manifest issues.

I’m really disappointed about your developing philosophy. I’m an
open source developer for years and
in other projects such changes are discussed before releases.

Well, I do recall a lot of discussion about the installer:
http://blog.cryos.net/archives/209-Manifest-Hell...The-New-DLL-Hell.html
http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=499960EC.9090800%40cryos.org&forum_name=avogadro-devel
http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=4995E987.5010800%40cryos.org&forum_name=avogadro-devel
http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=498DFCB2.8040306%40cryos.org&forum_name=avogadro-devel

Now, I’m sorry if we didn’t send messages to you personally. But we
try to discuss all major changes thoroughly on the mailing list, and
we take regressions extremely seriously.

Here’s a list what the installer of version 0.8.1 can do and the new
regression with the installer
of version 0.9.1:

Well, these are clearly bugs and should be fixed – either by a
working NSIS installer, or an improved CPack one. Since neither Tim,
Marcus, or myself are Windows experts, it’s very hard for us to fix
such issues. This is one reason that we had such problems dealing with
the “configuration incorrect” manifest issue.

If you can help generate a 0.9.1 installer with working manifests,
we’d certainly use it – particularly if we can automatically generate
it easily on a VMware image.

Apart from that I reported a crash bug in 0.9.0 and the first reply
I got was that I have to live
with that.

I apologize for the poor response you got on the tracker. A new
developer was attempting to help out by doing triage on the bug
tracker, and made a clear mistake. As you know, I responded quickly
and took care of the bug for you – I agree that it was a serious issue.

I don’t know now if it is worth to spent any more time to Avogadro
or not.

Well, I’m sorry if you don’t feel the group is being run to your
satisfaction. Perhaps you could outline some suggestions for the
developer community as a whole? We try to be pretty open about
critiques, criticism, and mistakes. We’re all human.

Best regards,
-Geoff

Geoffrey Hutchison wrote:

Avogadro is a great program I often use. I therefore contributed a
Windows installer that you
successfully used for Avogadro 0.8.1 and 0.9.0.

Obviously, we greatly appreciated the enhancements you made in the
installer.

I’m not sure I can say that it was used successfully in version 0.9.0.
We had many bug reports of “configuration incorrect, please
reinstall”. Basically, if you didn’t have VS Express installed, the
installer would fail. (I can count 3 bug reports on the tracker, and a
few more which were sent via e-mail to the list or to some of us
personally.)

This is one of the big reasons I wanted to ensure we got a new release
out for people to test in a timely manner. The 0.9.0 installer simply
did not work on many systems. I am not a Windows developer and so do not
claim to know all the ins and outs of Windows developments. I did
however spend significant time tracking down Windows issues and trying
to improve the situation.

e.g., mailing list message from Noel O’Boyle:
http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=a882e48b0902100220r446f1ffeq788824d5f2fd3915%40mail.gmail.com&forum_name=avogadro-devel

That’s partly due to the installer, partly due to pain with Windows
manifests. I’d personally be happy if we could get your NSIS installer
working without the manifest issues.

As would I. I see CPack as a very interesting part of CMake. It allows
for much more automation than seemed possible with NSIS on its own, but
I have had some issues and limited time to deal with them. I second
Geoff and say if you can come contribute a better Windows installer I
would happily use it.

That said I think that once all the niggles with CPack are corrected it
offers a very good solution to producing regular binary releases for
Windows and Mac. It is able to fully integrate with CMake and produce
installers with multiple configurations. I however spend very little
time developing on Windows, and so would welcome advice from people
who know more than me about Windows.

I’m really disappointed about your developing philosophy. I’m an
open source developer for years and
in other projects such changes are discussed before releases.

Well, I do recall a lot of discussion about the installer:
http://blog.cryos.net/archives/209-Manifest-Hell...The-New-DLL-Hell.html
http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=499960EC.9090800%40cryos.org&forum_name=avogadro-devel
http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=4995E987.5010800%40cryos.org&forum_name=avogadro-devel
http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=498DFCB2.8040306%40cryos.org&forum_name=avogadro-devel

Now, I’m sorry if we didn’t send messages to you personally. But we
try to discuss all major changes thoroughly on the mailing list, and
we take regressions extremely seriously.

I communicated with you on the bug tracker, made best efforts to
reproduce the error you reported but was unable to. On the other hand we
had many Windows users who could not use Avogadro 0.9.0 due to the
manifest issue. I posted several items to the mailing list, my blog and
kept an eye on the bug tracker.

Here’s a list what the installer of version 0.8.1 can do and the new
regression with the installer
of version 0.9.1:

Well, these are clearly bugs and should be fixed – either by a
working NSIS installer, or an improved CPack one. Since neither Tim,
Marcus, or myself are Windows experts, it’s very hard for us to fix
such issues. This is one reason that we had such problems dealing with
the “configuration incorrect” manifest issue.

If you can help generate a 0.9.1 installer with working manifests,
we’d certainly use it – particularly if we can automatically generate
it easily on a VMware image.

I agree with this sentiment and was just writing a response to you when
I saw this email come in. I will likely continue looking into CPack as
an automated build solution on Mac and Windows, but would go with
whatever worked best. The installer still involved a lot of manual work
for Tim and made releases quite time intensive to produce.

I don’t think any of the regressions listed is as serious as Avogadro
not running, which is the regression we had with the 0.9.0 installer on
a large portion of systems.

I don’t know now if it is worth to spent any more time to Avogadro
or not.

Well, I’m sorry if you don’t feel the group is being run to your
satisfaction. Perhaps you could outline some suggestions for the
developer community as a whole? We try to be pretty open about
critiques, criticism, and mistakes. We’re all human.

Avogadro is first and foremost a cross-platform application. In my
opinion anything that can be done to reduce duplication and ease
maintenance burden is a good thing. That is why I worked on a CPack
based NSIS installer - Windows releases have always been one of the most
time consuming to produce. I would like to fix any regressions whether
that means in CPack and/or using the NSIS installer scripts you contributed.

I think we are an open community, but welcome feedback from others. I
apologize for any offense caused. I am doing what I can with the time I
have available to improve Avogadro. Many of us spend a significant
amount of our spare time working on this project, and welcome help from
others.

I certainly welcome help and feedback, especially in areas where my
knowledge is not as current - such as with Windows packaging.

Thanks,

Marcus

Geoffrey Hutchison schrieb:

I’m not sure I can say that it was used successfully in version 0.9.0.
We had many bug reports of “configuration incorrect, please
reinstall”. Basically, if you didn’t have VS Express installed, the
installer would fail. (I can count 3 bug reports on the tracker, and a
few more which were sent via e-mail to the list or to some of us
personally.)

This was a problem of the manifest files you shipped, not one of the installer. The installer only
copies the files you ship to the harddisk, register the *.cml file extensin, and set a start menu
shortcut. Nothing more.

e.g., mailing list message from Noel O’Boyle:
http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=a882e48b0902100220r446f1ffeq788824d5f2fd3915%40mail.gmail.com&forum_name=avogadro-devel

This is a problem of the manifest file you shipped, not the installer.

That’s partly due to the installer, partly due to pain with Windows
manifests. I’d personally be happy if we could get your NSIS installer
working without the manifest issues.

I don’t understand why you think the installer has something to do with the manifest files that are
generated when you compile Avogadro. As said the installer is completely independent form all files
manifest files.

Well, I do recall a lot of discussion about the installer:
http://blog.cryos.net/archives/209-Manifest-Hell...The-New-DLL-Hell.html
http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=499960EC.9090800%40cryos.org&forum_name=avogadro-devel

http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=4995E987.5010800%40cryos.org&forum_name=avogadro-devel

http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=498DFCB2.8040306%40cryos.org&forum_name=avogadro-devel

And why not CCing me?
I’ll have a look at these issues next weekend.

If you can help generate a 0.9.1 installer with working manifests, we’d
certainly use it – particularly if we can automatically generate it
easily on a VMware image.

I’ll send you a recent version the next days for testing. I designed the installer to automatically
buils releases. The only thing you have to do for a new release is the change the version number in
the setup.nsi file - that’s it. This change can easily be done by any script, surely also by Cpack.

regards Uwe

On Feb 17, 2009, at 12:47 PM, Uwe Stöhr wrote:

And why not CCing me? I’ll have a look at these issues next weekend.

I honestly assumed you were subscribed to the mailing list. If you’re
not, we can certainly make sure to CC you for the next time we talk
about Windows installers.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

is the change the version number in the setup.nsi file - that’s it.
This change can easily be done by any script, surely also by Cpack.

Yes, and CPack can also set up the staging directory for NSIS or
another installer. So we can also have a “hybrid” installer.

Thanks very much,
-Geoff

Hi,

There is now a windows 0.9.1 installer with python support on
sourceforge. It’s made using the CPack generated zip file and the old
installer script. I’ll also test it on windows XP tommorow…

https://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=165310&package_id=187449&release_id=661577

Tim

On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 7:02 PM, Geoffrey Hutchison
geoff.hutchison@gmail.com wrote:

On Feb 17, 2009, at 12:47 PM, Uwe Stöhr wrote:

And why not CCing me? I’ll have a look at these issues next weekend.

I honestly assumed you were subscribed to the mailing list. If you’re
not, we can certainly make sure to CC you for the next time we talk
about Windows installers.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

is the change the version number in the setup.nsi file - that’s it.
This change can easily be done by any script, surely also by Cpack.

Yes, and CPack can also set up the staging directory for NSIS or
another installer. So we can also have a “hybrid” installer.

Thanks very much,
-Geoff

Open Source Business Conference (OSBC), March 24-25, 2009, San Francisco, CA
-OSBC tackles the biggest issue in open source: Open Sourcing the Enterprise
-Strategies to boost innovation and cut costs with open source participation
-Receive a $600 discount off the registration fee with the source code: SFAD
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Avogadro-devel mailing list
Avogadro-devel@lists.sourceforge.net
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/avogadro-devel

On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 1:46 AM, Tim Vandermeersch
tim.vandermeersch@gmail.com wrote:

Hi,

There is now a windows 0.9.1 installer with python support on
sourceforge. It’s made using the CPack generated zip file and the old
installer script. I’ll also test it on windows XP tommorow…

Still get the configuration error on XP :frowning:

However, I now have a Windows XP cd & VMWare…

https://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=165310&package_id=187449&release_id=661577

Tim

On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 7:02 PM, Geoffrey Hutchison
geoff.hutchison@gmail.com wrote:

On Feb 17, 2009, at 12:47 PM, Uwe Stöhr wrote:

And why not CCing me? I’ll have a look at these issues next weekend.

I honestly assumed you were subscribed to the mailing list. If you’re
not, we can certainly make sure to CC you for the next time we talk
about Windows installers.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

is the change the version number in the setup.nsi file - that’s it.
This change can easily be done by any script, surely also by Cpack.

Yes, and CPack can also set up the staging directory for NSIS or
another installer. So we can also have a “hybrid” installer.

Thanks very much,
-Geoff

Open Source Business Conference (OSBC), March 24-25, 2009, San Francisco, CA
-OSBC tackles the biggest issue in open source: Open Sourcing the Enterprise
-Strategies to boost innovation and cut costs with open source participation
-Receive a $600 discount off the registration fee with the source code: SFAD
http://p.sf.net/sfu/XcvMzF8H


Avogadro-devel mailing list
Avogadro-devel@lists.sourceforge.net
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/avogadro-devel

Tim Vandermeersch wrote:

On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 1:46 AM, Tim Vandermeersch
tim.vandermeersch@gmail.com wrote:

Hi,

There is now a windows 0.9.1 installer with python support on
sourceforge. It’s made using the CPack generated zip file and the old
installer script. I’ll also test it on windows XP tommorow…

Still get the configuration error on XP :frowning:

However, I now have a Windows XP cd & VMWare…

This is probably due to the magic that is Microsoft… I had to change
the file in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio
9.0\VC\redist\x86\Microsoft.VC90.CRT called Microsoft.VC90.CRT.manifest.
Change the version string in there to read,

version=“9.0.21022.8”

If you change that there then you don’t need to do it again. This seems
to be a known bug they don’t wish to fix. I had intended to document
this on the wiki somewhere but I have been really busy with other stuff.
I would test whether this works in my clean Windows XP VM, but IE seems
to crash when I ask it to download Avogadro from SF… I will see if I
can apply a few more updates and get it working.

Quick test is just changing that file in the Avogadro install directory.

Thanks,

Marcus

On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 8:26 PM, Marcus D. Hanwell marcus@cryos.org wrote:

Tim Vandermeersch wrote:

On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 1:46 AM, Tim Vandermeersch
tim.vandermeersch@gmail.com wrote:

Hi,

There is now a windows 0.9.1 installer with python support on
sourceforge. It’s made using the CPack generated zip file and the old
installer script. I’ll also test it on windows XP tommorow…

Still get the configuration error on XP :frowning:

However, I now have a Windows XP cd & VMWare…

This is probably due to the magic that is Microsoft… I had to change
the file in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio
9.0\VC\redist\x86\Microsoft.VC90.CRT called Microsoft.VC90.CRT.manifest.
Change the version string in there to read,

version=“9.0.21022.8”

YES!! This works, in other words: This was the problem al along…

If you change that there then you don’t need to do it again. This seems
to be a known bug they don’t wish to fix.

euhm, ok…

I had intended to document
this on the wiki somewhere but I have been really busy with other stuff.
I would test whether this works in my clean Windows XP VM, but IE seems
to crash when I ask it to download Avogadro from SF…

Does IE crash (when you click on the bar that appears…)? If so, we
can file a bug report together :slight_smile:

I will see if I

can apply a few more updates and get it working.

Quick test is just changing that file in the Avogadro install directory.

Yes, just did this in my VM, I’ll make a new installer and upload it…

Thanks for the magic number!
Tim

Thanks,

Marcus

Tim Vandermeersch wrote:

On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 8:26 PM, Marcus D. Hanwell marcus@cryos.org wrote:

Tim Vandermeersch wrote:

On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 1:46 AM, Tim Vandermeersch
tim.vandermeersch@gmail.com wrote:

Hi,

There is now a windows 0.9.1 installer with python support on
sourceforge. It’s made using the CPack generated zip file and the old
installer script. I’ll also test it on windows XP tommorow…

Still get the configuration error on XP :frowning:

However, I now have a Windows XP cd & VMWare…

This is probably due to the magic that is Microsoft… I had to change
the file in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio
9.0\VC\redist\x86\Microsoft.VC90.CRT called Microsoft.VC90.CRT.manifest.
Change the version string in there to read,

version=“9.0.21022.8”

YES!! This works, in other words: This was the problem al along…

Sorry, I blogged about it and I thought I had discussed the issue with
you. I had however forgotten to document it on the wiki. This is now
done, feel free to tidy up.

If you change that there then you don’t need to do it again. This seems
to be a known bug they don’t wish to fix.

euhm, ok…

That is similar to what I thought…

I had intended to document
this on the wiki somewhere but I have been really busy with other stuff.
I would test whether this works in my clean Windows XP VM, but IE seems
to crash when I ask it to download Avogadro from SF…

Does IE crash (when you click on the bar that appears…)? If so, we
can file a bug report together :slight_smile:

How did you know? I guess I am being protected from downloading viruses :slight_smile:

I will see if I

can apply a few more updates and get it working.

Quick test is just changing that file in the Avogadro install directory.

Yes, just did this in my VM, I’ll make a new installer and upload it…

Thanks for the magic number!
Tim

It is OK, sorry you had to waste time on this too. I spent quite some
time figuring out what the error was, and then finding the correct
solution. If you have the redistributable installed then it seems to
behave differently and load anyway. I think my research has led to a
better build on Windows but the process could be so much easier.

It is on the wiki now anyway. Hopefully my post will add to Google’s
collective knowledge too :wink:

Thanks,

Marcus

Tim Vandermeersch schrieb:

There is now a windows 0.9.1 installer with python support on
sourceforge. It’s made using the CPack generated zip file and the old
installer script. I’ll also test it on windows XP tommorow…

Still get the configuration error on XP :frowning:

Can you please provide a screenshot, because I really cannot reproduce this bug.

regards Uwe

Geoffrey Hutchison schrieb:

And why not CCing me? I’ll have a look at these issues next weekend.

I honestly assumed you were subscribed to the mailing list. If you’re
not, we can certainly make sure to CC you for the next time we talk
about Windows installers.

OK, sorry. I’m not subscribed because I already get daily about 80 mails, and cannot handle more. So
please CC me the next times.

is the change the version number in the setup.nsi file - that’s it.
This change can easily be done by any script, surely also by Cpack.

Yes, and CPack can also set up the staging directory for NSIS or another
installer. So we can also have a “hybrid” installer.

So the question is why you are not using my installer file then or did I misunderstood you?

regards Uwe

Tim Vandermeersch schrieb:

Change the version string in there to read,

version=“9.0.21022.8”

YES!! This works, in other words: This was the problem al along…

Forget my post I just sent. You found now the problem. So it was exactly as I assumed only the
manifest not the installer ;-). But anyway, be careful with this number because when you build
Avogadro with e.g. MSVC 8, you need another number.

We had the same problem with LyX (www.lyx.org) and I solved it the following way:
I ship the needed MSVC DLLs of MSVC 8 and 9 and also both manifest files, see attached. Since I
use this, nobody ever reported a problem about this.

Do you want me to provide a fixed installer doing this?

regards Uwe

Uwe Stöhr schrieb:

I ship the needed MSVC DLLs of MSVC 8 and 9 and also both manifest
files, see attached.

Now they are attached.
(Btw. You only ship the msvc*90.dll files. This is OK when you all use only MSVC 9 and nobody MSVC
8. This should also be described in the compile informations.)

regards Uwe

p.s. sorry for the delay in replying, but haven’t found time earlier the last days.

I tested today the installer for 0.9.2 and it works now fine as the one for 0.8.1.

While testing I found the following problem:
Avogadro comes with “fragments” as example for chemical molecules. But when opening these files, I
see nothing. The only fragment that works is the buckminster fullerene.
Am I doing something wrong or can anyone reproduce this?

thanks and regards
Uwe

Avogadro comes with “fragments” as example for chemical molecules.
But when opening these files, I see nothing. The only fragment that
works is the buckminster fullerene.

Do you mean inserting the fragment into the window, or opening the
fragment file itself?

Thanks,
-Geoff

Geoffrey Hutchison schrieb:

Do you mean inserting the fragment into the window, or opening the
fragment file itself?

Opening the fragment file itself. I tested this now also on another PC and get the same problem. The
only fragment that is shown after opening is in all cases the buckminster fullerene, when opening
any other fragment like water, I see nothing in Avogadro’s main window.

regards Uwe