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Windows Thread, Best MSI archive? in Technical; Anyone know of any good sites for .msi installers? I saw a good site recently with lots of MSI installers ...
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    Best MSI archive?

    Anyone know of any good sites for .msi installers? I saw a good site recently with lots of MSI installers but didn't bookmark it dagnammit and my googles have been fruitless.

    tenks!

    EDIT

    Let me clarify, I mean a site for with freely downloadable, free apps that have been packaged in .msi format, not a site on MSI specific utils and apps
    Last edited by danboid; 29th October 2008 at 06:20 PM.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    If you're thinking of specific software, and it is free (as in freedom) I can package it for you. I don't know of any repositories, no.

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    There's always AppDeploy.com - The Application Deployment Information Center they have a catalogue of how to deploy apps, some of which are MSIs.

    There's another one on sourceforge somewhere, but I lost that link.

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    powdarrmonkey:

    I was actually looking for an MSI for the latest Kompozer. Thanks for the offer to package it for me! If you don't beat me to it then I'll be having a go at making an msi for it tomorrow.

    User3204:

    Yeah I know about Appdeploy - its a great resource and yes they do often include the msixexec commands to install stuff but I don't think I've seen any MSi's linked to or hosted there. That would make an already fantastic site perfect if they could provide MSis for all the free apps but I don't understand why they have a 'Package KB' and a 'Software KB' - whats the difference?

    You mentioned a repo on sf.net- wonder if it was this one?

    Open Source MSI Repository

    It's a nice start but theres only a dozen apps on that site at the mo and I'm sure I saw a site with many more in the last week or so. Having a good repo of MSIs with all the best free software would be a fantastically handy resource.
    Last edited by danboid; 30th October 2008 at 07:04 AM.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    @daboid: PMd you.

    Edit: As it seems to be of use to more than a few people, it's at http://www.powdarrmonkey.net/KompoZer.msi
    Last edited by powdarrmonkey; 30th October 2008 at 11:45 AM.

  6. Thanks to powdarrmonkey from:

    danboid (30th October 2008)

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    Thanks!

    Thanks for that powdarrM!

    I ended up not bothering with MSI'ing Kompozer as xcopy'ing the kompozer folder and adding a shortcut via updating the default profile with a shortcut to Kompozer on the desktop did the trick - I needed to update the profiles anyway so it was no big thing.

    I'm home now and currently without a windows install to try it out on. Does installing your MSI add a shortcut to Kompozer under the start menu or on the desktop or both? What program did you use to create it?

    Noice won Mankey san!

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    It's developed with Dennis Bareis's MakeMSI and adds shortcut on the Start menu. I can mod it how you like though, it's written from scratch rather than generated from snapshots - or you could generate a transform, or you can have the source if you like and learn it yourself.

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    Just had q quick look at MakeMSI and it sounds great- no doubt I'll be trying that myself soon. A shortcut just in the start menu is great.

    Unless you've got plans to start your own msi repo then can I suggest you contribute your MSI to the sf.net MSI repo I linked to earlier in this thread. They might be interested in adding it and it would seem to be about the closest thing there is to a good, existing free MSI repo although I'd love to be proved wrong.

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    MAKEMSI added to wiki essential software list

    Even though I've not personally tried it, I'm taking the website and pmnkys word that makemsi is all it says it is. There wasn't really any powerful, free tool such as this already linked on the wikis essential software page under the MSI section so I've just added it now.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    If you want a more complex example, shutdownertron is also packaged with makemsi.

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    mmoseley's Avatar
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    Chaps,

    Quick question, would anybody actually be interested in this as a download site? Say a collection of up to date MSI's that users submit?

    Would anybody actually use/contribute to it?

    Would mind doin that as a project...see'in as though there seems to be no where like that available?

    Let me know your thoughts...

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Hypothetically, yes, but I don't have time to maintain an archive. I wouldn't mind contributing to it of course.

    However, you need to be aware of the legal aspects. KompoZer isn't a problem, because it is licensed under the GPL and LGPL, so redistribution is permitted. Almost all commercial software and quite a lot of freeware will not have this freedom.

    Some things to consider:

    • How will you fund/host the site? Will users contribute?
    • Some contributers may consider their packaging work to be closed even if the product itself is open. Will you require open packaging? What if the author is indisposed, how will it continue to be maintained?
    • How will you ensure consistent interface and standard of packaging? Will all packages be written with the same tool (eg. makemsi) or with the author's preferred system?
    • What happens if a malicious package is uploaded or an existing package is compromised? Remember a package can contain executable code.
    • Will you allow contribution of MSI transforms and patches? What about contributions to packaging that the original author does not approve of?
    • How should contributers choice of shortcuts etc be governed? Will you standardise them or will it be up to the author?

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    Hi mmoseley!

    Of course I'd be very interested in such a site. I'd definitely both use and contribute to it but powdarr has raised many good issues.

    There's lots of great GPL/BSD/Apache etc software out there that could be packaged without hesitation but for lots of other freeware or unknown-ware the packager would most likely need to check with the author if its OK to upload, just to be sure and quality (virus) control would need to be tight.

    Whether or not the packager wants to share their packaging code is a bit of a non-issue for me as 99% of people won't care about that source- they'd just want either the msi or the actual program source but of course it would be cool to have all sources.

    Packaging guidelines or not is the question here. Maybe we need just a few. I personally think that all packages that have a GUI should add a shortcut in the start menu but not on desktop unless desktop is requested with a switch.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danboid View Post
    Whether or not the packager wants to share their packaging code is a bit of a non-issue for me

    I personally think that all packages that have a GUI should add a shortcut in the start menu but not on desktop unless desktop is requested with a switch.
    These two points are closely related; it's not possible to pass arbitrary switches to Windows Installer. As an example, I like my start menu categorised, but the girls have them grouped by department, with some key shortcuts on the desktop. I can't pass a switch in to WI, so either I need to generate a transform (which most users will struggle with) to control the shortcuts, or access to the source, so that I can make my mini change and recompile the msi. Most people will manage this with instructions.

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    mmoseley's Avatar
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    Hi All!

    Thanks for all your comments, i see this is a difficult one to judge!, I can definetly see where powdarrmonkey is coming from. On the grounds of shortcuts, i agree that one in the startmenu but non on the desktop, people can choose to put it on the desktop if they so wish (GPO Depending).

    Any furthur comments would be good to recieve. There is definelty the risk of viruses which i suspect every MSI would have to be installed to check for any suspious code? I really dont know the answer but i suppose a virus scanner wouldnt pick this up?

    This sounds really gud (apart from the comments made of course) but i myself constantly trying to find an MSI to a piece of software!!

    Anyways!

    Thanks for all your comments!

    Mart

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