March 1st, 2004


CodeProject poll results

With its week in the spotlight over, the results of the CodeProject poll can be found here.

I didn't have any positive preconceptions about the result of the poll, but I didn't expect the built-in installer projects in Visual Studio to score all that highly. Well, I got that wrong - they were the most popular single choice, accounting for nearly 24% of the responses. Freeware installers (InnoSetup and NSIS) accounted for another 25%, while no installer ("XCopy" or "We don't need an installer") accounted for another 14% - so less than 50% of the developers responding to the poll are using a dedicated commercial installer solution.

42% appear to be producing MSI installers, which is good, but not as good as it might be, considering that MSI has been the purported standard for four years.

Interestingly, there were quite a few installer packages I'd never heard of included in the free text answers - Ghost Installer, Setup Factory, Zero G's InstallAnywhere, GKSetup, GSetup, SNIIK, Tarma Installer, Dacris ActiSetup, ClickTeam InstallCreator, and maybe some others I've missed on a quick skim since there were 66 free text answers.

My favourite one was: "A crackpot team of commandos".

What have I learned from the poll? Well, probably that I shouldn't be so dismissive of Visual Studio's installer projects. While they wouldn't cut it for doing our main installer, it may very well make sense to use them to create merge modules for installing our components, only tying them together with with our big beefy commercial package. One person commented that he'd had considerable success with this and that responsibility for installs was now shared among all the developers instead of all being dumped on "the installer guy".

You belong to us. You will be like us.

We are in the early stages of a new project at work, in which the aim is to start trying to pull all our disparate junk together into one finely engineered cybernetic collective. I am happy to say that the codename MONDAS appears to be catching on.

Don't bother pointing out that the quote from the subject line was spoken on Telos rather than Mondas - I'm sad enough to know!