Tuesday, March 16, 2010

GNUmed client on MS Windows - changes ahead

In the beginning it was virtually impossible to get GNUmed running on MS Windows. This was partly solved by producing manuals and video howtos. Still many people failed at that stage.
Then NSIS installer came into play. For the first time there was one single file to download which would put everything in the correct directory. Still many people were missing essential dependencies GNUmed would not run without.
Down the road the installer was enhanced. It would check for the dependencies and install them. While that opened GNUmed to a much broader audience it still had some drawbacks. Never versions of GNUmed would potentially conflict with older ones when being installed in a system-wide Python installation. For reasons not fully understood the installation would still fail on one or the other PC. This is most likely not an issue when the installation is performed by a professional service provider. The reality is however that non-IT personell attempts the installation and likely is to fail.

To get rid of this once and for all time and to make deployment of the standalone USB-thumbdrive version easier I have again changed the process quite a bit. From now on (GNUmed 0.6.2) GNUmed is shipped and installed as froezen binaries. To the professional that might mean it will consume a bit more space on the drive but to the user it means he or she will get a working GNUmed that is easier on more reliably to install. For the developer it means GNUmed on MS Windows is made of less files and requires less magic to install. In case of updates this means there is only one file to replace (gnumed.exe) instead of a bunch of python (*.py) files.

For the developer there is a drawback. The GNUmed you will download now is frozen. If you want to hack on it you need to get the sources.

Hopefully that will lead to a better experience for the user.

No comments: