Sunday, April 04, 2010

Squeak Installer

Around two weeks ago, Torsten Bergmann wrote on Squeak mailing list about a stand-alone executable installer for Windows he had prepared. He did a great job to write a basic installer using Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS homepage). Time constraints obliged and Torsten called for help.

I am a huge fan of Squeak Smalltalk and I have been reading its Squeak-dev mailing list (subscribe here) for more than a decade but my contributions are always so little. I have decided to take the opportunity to further contribute since I have frequently used NSIS in the past. Deployment User-Modifiable Utility (see brochure, watch video) is one of many examples where the build system my team and I developed generates custom installer scripts on-the-fly and builds installers to package end-user games, entirely unattended.

Nowadays, I increasingly rely on Unicode NSIS since localization plays a huge part in world-wide software distribution. One of the reasons I hardly can use Squeak professionally is for its inability to meet my distributors requirements — most specifically in terms of localization and deployment.

Feature requests were made and I have complied to most of them so far. Another installer is on its way and under testing. The official repository is located here: Squeak installer. I have also decided to spruce up Squeak related visual components and make sure they were at least coherent and consistent with a slight touch of branding. It comes with a new installer splash screen with a modernized professional X11/Motif retro style to top it off.