Here’s a current snapshot of the Windows installer:
nomic.net/~uckelman/tmp/vass … indows.exe
There are two install types:
Standard (“I fear my computer, I just want to play games”)
Custom (“I am 1337, show me all the knobs I can turn”)
If you choose Standard, the only choice you have left to make is whether
to start VASSAL immediately on the last page of the installer.
If you choose Custom, you get to specify the install directory, whether
you want desktop and quick launch icons, and if/where in your start menu
VASSAL should go.
Right now, the installer doesn’t handle two things which it should:
Uninstalling previous versions of VASSAL.
Checking that the user has a sufficiently recent JRE, and installing
one if necessary.
- It would be nice to have some artwork to use for the left pane on the
start and finish pages, as well as a good icon for the top banner. We need
a good icon anyway for the shortcuts… I keep thinking that I might
commission one from a friend who’s a graphic artist.
Comments are welcome. In particular, I’d like to have opinions on how we
should handle installing a JRE. It’s not too hard to check whether an
appropriate one exists. If so, then there’s nothing for the installer
to do and it can skip that step. On the other hand, if you need a (newer)
JRE, then clearly the Custom install should tell you that, but let you
uncheck a box for it if you don’t want it to be done automatically. (Not
having a suitable JRE won’t prevent VASSAL from installing, it will just
prevent it from running afterwards. It’s also possible that the check for
the JRE failed even though there is really a suitable JRE around, and the
user knows this, so in that case we don’t want to force a JRE on him.)
What I’m not certain about is how the Standard install should handle it.
If we take the approach that the Standard install should require as
little user input as possible, then the least we can get away with is a
page telling the user that a JRE will be downloaded, the installer for it
will come up, and that he should choose the defaults. (I don’t think it’s
possible to install a JRE without any user input…) That gives the user
a chance to cancel out if he really doesn’t want a new JRE, and gives him
an easy path through the installation otherwise.