admin rights required for running the installer

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nitrox
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admin rights required for running the installer

Post by nitrox » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:01 am

Hi,

I noticed a while ago when installing the toolchain, that in order to use the installer, admin rights were required. However, to run the toolchain, no admin rights are needed. And, as a matter of fact, if you install the toolchain manually, no admin rights are needed also.

Point is, that the requirement for admin rights limits the potential group of users.

WinterMute
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Re: admin rights required for running the installer

Post by WinterMute » Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:02 pm

On many machines admin rights are required to install in a path without spaces present. Spaces in paths are an absolute disaster for command line tools and the only sensible way to deal with this is to prevent it happening. Some workarounds have been suggested relating to using short names but, as far as I'm aware, this method is unreliable since tools which obtain the current working directory through system calls will be given the standard long path name.

It can also be argued that people without admin rights shouldn't be installing software - many schools, colleges, universities and libraries have their policies set to prevent software installation for very good reason. If it's possible to install a working toolchain and put projects in directories that don't have spaces without admin access then I'm willing to look at changing the requirement.

Having said that, the installer basically needs rewritten from the ground up to be cross platform and provide the extra portlibs binaries. OSX users are missing a convenient installer - standard apple dmg packaging is inappropriate here due to the many components which need to be updated independently and obviously a monolithic installer both creates extra maintenance work & requires users to download much more than they actually require.

Something I intend to do with a new installer is provide a means to create a portable install on a flash drive for windows at least. I'll be using CodeLite as the IDE instead of the current Programmer's Notepad 2 due to the former being cross platform. Ultimately the goal here is to flatten the development environment as much as possible across all supported platforms which makes it much easier for users on different platforms to collaborate.
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nitrox
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Re: admin rights required for running the installer

Post by nitrox » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:27 am

WinterMute wrote:On many machines admin rights are required to install in a path without spaces present. Spaces in paths are an absolute disaster for command line tools and the only sensible way to deal with this is to prevent it happening. Some workarounds have been suggested relating to using short names but, as far as I'm aware, this method is unreliable since tools which obtain the current working directory through system calls will be given the standard long path name....
Actually, more precisely stated, the problem is the following. If you have limited rights on windows machines, then you usually only have write access to youre profile directory. Now on Windows, the profile directory is located below the 'C:\Documents and Settings' folder. And that means that if the toolchain is located in a path in the user profile, it will always contain spaces.

I disagree with the fact that spaces in path names are a disaster for command line tools. If it were, then it would have been discovered a very long time ago and by now it would have been fixed. You see spaces everywhere. The true problem here is that the toolchain cannot deal with spaces in the path. And this is strange, since each individual tool can deal with it so why not the collective?

The current implemented solution to request for admin rights actually is a workaround fix. It ensures that the user installing the toolchain has the right to install it anywhere and thus can install the toolchain in a location without spaces (so the real problem in the toolchain doesn't appear). Unfortunately, this fix also affects users that do not have admin rights but that can install to a location without spaces (e.g. a usb disk or a network disk). These users currently cannot use the installer, even though they can install it properly.
WinterMute wrote:Having said that, the installer basically needs rewritten from the ground up to be cross platform and provide the extra portlibs binaries. OSX users are missing a convenient installer - standard apple dmg packaging is inappropriate here due to the many components which need to be updated independently and obviously a monolithic installer both creates extra maintenance work & requires users to download much more than they actually require.
...
I wonder: why not use a cross-platform installer package like NSIS?

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Re: admin rights required for running the installer

Post by WinterMute » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:35 am

nitrox wrote:
WinterMute wrote:On many machines admin rights are required to install in a path without spaces present. Spaces in paths are an absolute disaster for command line tools and the only sensible way to deal with this is to prevent it happening. Some workarounds have been suggested relating to using short names but, as far as I'm aware, this method is unreliable since tools which obtain the current working directory through system calls will be given the standard long path name....
Actually, more precisely stated, the problem is the following. If you have limited rights on windows machines, then you usually only have write access to youre profile directory. Now on Windows, the profile directory is located below the 'C:\Documents and Settings' folder. And that means that if the toolchain is located in a path in the user profile, it will always contain spaces.
I disagree with the fact that spaces in path names are a disaster for command line tools. If it were, then it would have been discovered a very long time ago and by now it would have been fixed. You see spaces everywhere. The true problem here is that the toolchain cannot deal with spaces in the path. And this is strange, since each individual tool can deal with it so why not the collective?
The problem is widely known and has been for decades. This is one of the reasons why operating systems which aren't windows tend not to have system paths which include spaces. Windows 7 and Vista no longer use "Documents and Settings" for the same reason.

While individual tools can generally cope with path inclusive spaces the problem occurs when many tools which pass command lines to each other become involved. A space is one of the characters denoted as a command line delimiter which obviously creates issues with parsing out sections in order to pass them to other tools. There's basically no way to 100% guarantee that parameters can be passed in such a way that the difference between a space in a path and a space between parameters can always be identified correctly.

The current implemented solution to request for admin rights actually is a workaround fix. It ensures that the user installing the toolchain has the right to install it anywhere and thus can install the toolchain in a location without spaces (so the real problem in the toolchain doesn't appear). Unfortunately, this fix also affects users that do not have admin rights but that can install to a location without spaces (e.g. a usb disk or a network disk). These users currently cannot use the installer, even though they can install it properly.
What's stopping them from using the installer?
I wonder: why not use a cross-platform installer package like NSIS?
[/quote]

NSIS doesn't produce cross platform installers. It's a cross platform windows installer maker
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nitrox
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Re: admin rights required for running the installer

Post by nitrox » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:55 am

WinterMute wrote:NSIS doesn't produce cross platform installers. It's a cross platform windows installer maker
Quite true. Forgot about that. But there is more in this world. There is a list on wikipedia. I found IzPack. It's open source however, it requires the Java environment.

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