Thursday, January 25, 2007

Another reason by MSI is better than NSIS

I hate MSI authoring as much as the next man and still don't know why I can't use non-GUID IDs that I select to control my components.  I might have to use a GUID to identify the particular company and maybe even my particular product, but inside that product I shouldn't have to wrangle with GUIDs. But I digress...

Recently I've been looking at NSIS and wondering if it would be a better option for delivering my products.  It's simpler than WiX and has a nice community following complete with a healthy library of extensions and plugins.  The problem is that it's not MSI based and so there are things that MSI handles for you that you have to do manually with NSIS. 

One example is making sure that Add/Remove Programs doesn't show prior versions of your app.  With MSI a person simply needs to set a ProductCode and UpgradeCode (both GUIDs).  With NSIS you're left with scanning for registry keys or files from the prior install and then manually updating the Uninstall registry key.  Doable but just feels dirty.  And it's easy to forget to do this.  Here's a screenshot of my Add/Remove programs after installing Thunderbird 2.0 beta 1 and then upgrading to beta 2.

35 comments:

  1. I wouldn't feel too "dirty" about scanning the registry for install/uninstall details. Not only does MSI do exactly the same thing (albeit automatically), it also copies the entire MSI into the windows directory. And is extremely awkward to patch. And gets confused when you try to apply an upgrade, unless you have a tailored setup.exe. The tricky part of writing an installer is considering the lifecycle - the uninstall, the repair, the patch rollback, the silent install. NSIS is easy to use initially because it doesn't worry about these details. MSI was build to handle them and so is inherently more complex.

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  2. busby seo test caseJanuary 16, 2009 at 8:00 PM

    i think that is not the only reason

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  3. Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS) is a script-driven Windows installation system with minimal overhead backed by Nullsoft, the creators of Winamp. NSIS has risen to popularity as a widely used alternative to commercial and proprietary products like InstallShield.

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  4. The Windows Installer (previously known as Microsoft Installer) is an engine for the installation, maintenance, and removal of software on modern Microsoft Windows systems.

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  5. Is there a good explanation of the UpgradeCode/ProductCode logic? It looks like the one from the help file is too complex - because I cannot make it work the way I want :)

    thank you,

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  6. Randolph, NJ Licensed ElectricianFebruary 9, 2009 at 7:12 PM

    Use MSI if you are aiming at corportate market - no question. ... WiX is orders of magnitude easier than building MSIs yourself, but that really isn't saying much. ;-) .... found the changes from one release to another to be that disruptive. ... Are NSIS and WiX that much better? moronica. Monday, April 28, 2008 ...

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  7. Hi, can anyone tell us how to improve or any other method .. i think we cannot trust MSI anymore :S

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  8. With recent builds of the Opera beta, they released the Windows Installer version of the Opera package. Unfortunately, this has lots of problems with users running Windows 9x or NT4 preSP6. What makes matters worse is that the InstallShield version that the installer is built with uses the Windows Installer 3.x series runtime, which is the first version to not support Windows 9x or NT4 completely.

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  9. Well, i think the interface lacks something of user friendliness.
    Else, i never gets annoyed with the program..i hope you will get used to it.

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  10. Custom Research PapersMarch 18, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    I hate MSI also.
    Very boring at times and very slow.

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  11. Thunderbird 2 Beta 1 is a developer preview release of our next generation Thunderbird email client and is being made available for testing purposes only. Thunderbird 2 Beta 1 is intended for our testing community.

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  12. I think it is great to use it. But every one has an opinion and method of use!

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  13. Non-identifying information is data that may be obtained in most states from the agency that handled the adoption. This information must be requested in writing by most agencies.

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  14. Unblock FacebookMay 16, 2009 at 11:46 PM

    you are un-identifying person but you write here a good nasty blog with your great thought,thanks for sharing man#

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  15. Promotional GiftsMay 18, 2009 at 5:50 PM

    Yes MSI is better than NSIS i think. I get frustrated also with MSI

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  16. Indeed much better friend. I recommend you NSIS. Betterness

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  17. link building servicesMay 22, 2009 at 8:02 PM

    With recent builds of the Opera beta, they released the Windows Installer version of the Opera package. Unfortunately, this has lots of problems with users running Windows 9x or NT4 preSP6. What makes matters worse is that the InstallShield version that the installer is built with uses the Windows Installer 3.x series runtime, which is the first version to not support Windows 9x or NT4 completely

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  18. this can be very slow at time , the author is right about its frustating nature sometimes it gets to your nerves.

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  19. The tricky part of writing an installer is considering the lifecycle - the uninstall, the repair, the patch rollback, the silent install. NSIS is easy to use initially because it doesn't worry about these details. MSI was build to handle them and so is inherently more complex.

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  20. consolidate debt how to consolidate debtJune 5, 2009 at 8:53 PM

    The tricky part of writing an installer is considering the lifecycle - the uninstall, the repair, the patch rollback, the silent install. NSIS is easy to use initially because it doesn't worry about these details. MSI was build to handle them and so is inherently more complex.

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  21. I think we should wait till they make a better version of the MSI before using this software with others. I find it hard to use it with other software, so instead of having it easier, I'd mix it up and make it a lot worse.

    http://onlinecasinospotlight.com

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  22. replica Louis Vuitton handbagsJune 15, 2009 at 4:24 PM

    egistry keys or files from the prior install and then manually updating the Uninstall registry key. Doable but just feels dirty. And it's easy to forget to do this. Here's a scre

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  23. gas rewards credit cardsJune 23, 2009 at 12:54 AM

    The tricky part of writing an installer is considering the lifecycle - the uninstall, the repair, the patch rollback, the silent install. NSIS is easy to use initially because it doesn't worry about these details. MSI was build to handle them and so is inherently more complex.

    ReplyDelete
  24. It's simpler than WiX and has a nice community following complete with a healthy library of extensions and plugins. The problem is that it's not MSI based and so there are things that MSI handles for you that you have to do manually with NSIS.

    ReplyDelete
  25. online life insurance quotesJune 25, 2009 at 10:55 PM

    ProductCode and UpgradeCode (both GUIDs). With NSIS you're left with scanning for registry keys or files from the prior install and then manually updating the Uninstall registry key. Doable but just feels dirty. And it's easy to forget to do this. Here's a screenshot of my Add/Remove programs after installing Thunderbird 2.0 beta 1 and then upgrading to beta 2.

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  26. windows web hostingJune 28, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    I completely agree with you on the sisplay of prior programs. Nice Post , i am cinvinced that MSI is better than NSIS.

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  27. Recently I've been looking at NSIS and wondering if it would be a better option for delivering my products. It's simpler than WiX and has a nice community following complete with a healthy library of extensions and plugins. The problem is that it's not MSI based and so there are things that MSI handles for you that you have to do manually with NSIS.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Swingers TorontoJuly 8, 2009 at 12:24 AM

    I think NSIS is much better. MSI is way to slow for me.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Canada Immigration Guide 2009July 13, 2009 at 12:01 AM

    It's simpler than WiX and has a nice community following complete with a healthy library of extensions and plugins. The problem is that it's not MSI based and so there are things that MSI handles for you that you have to do manually with NSIS.

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  30. Hmm strange this post is totaly irrelevant to the search query I entered in google but it was listed on the first page.

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  31. It's simpler than WiX and has a nice community following complete with a healthy library of extensions and plugins. The problem is that it's not MSI based and so there are things that MSI handles for you that you have to do manually with NSIS.

    ReplyDelete
  32. The tricky part of writing an installer is considering the lifecycle - the uninstall, the repair, the patch rollback, the silent install.

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  33. Hoodia SlankepillerJuly 21, 2009 at 5:12 PM

    Great post - keep it up man :)

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  34. It's simpler than WiX and has a nice community following complete with a healthy library of extensions and plugins. The problem is that it's not MSI based and so there are things that MSI handles for you that you have to do manually with NSIS.

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