How to make an installer

How to make an installer with NSIS

Code updated to work on Windows 10 properly.

 

Many people may have a finished product but lacking an installer for the product. There are lots of installer creating software, but some of them are very expensive. NSIS is a free installer scripting system from Nullsoft. I use it in my products. In this blog I present my example script that gets beginners started.

At first NSIS may seem complicated, but fortunately it has many macros, that make creating an installer an easy task. The picture below shows one page of the built example script presented at the end of this blog post.

NSIS-example

Now, let’s get on with NSIS.

An NSIS installer has one ore more pages. The pages are created with macros in the script (in our example).

Furthermore, every script is build up with sections. Each section except the uninstaller section is shown in the ”Choose Components” page as shown in the picture above.

In our example script we are using the modern user interface, MUI in short. First there’s defined some constants, that make life easier later in the script and make the script easily re-usable. The example script installs for all users. The line

SetShellVarContext all

means all the users. And in the registry key registration HKLM is related to all users.

Enough, let’s see the commented example script (name it as myscript.nsi or something):

Other environment variables that often are needed, when creating an installer are $APPDATA and $DOCUMENTS for the %AppData% folder and Documents folder respectively.

Links:

Skeleton for an Android app

Android as a platform is very hot nowadays. Many people want to develop software for it and the base of end users is growing all the time. Probably because Android based devices are everywhere, they exist in form of smart phones, tablets and TVs.

One basic rule for an Android app is that it’s graphics shouldn’t be fixed sized, the graphics should be scaled into target Android devices resolution. In this short blog I present my skeleton Android program that scales it’s graphics into target android devices maximum resolution and as a convenience has an exit button. Application’s own exit button is one feature that I miss in many Android applications.

The code is written in Monkey X Pro, which is a great multiplatform programming language from Blitz Research Ltd.

To the code…

The program draws fullscreen yellow background, an exit button and a ball that moves around the screen.

android

Compiled to desktop

The scaling is made by pushing current drawing matrix to internal matrix stack and then scaling it by the screen ratio.

With free Monkey X you can compile to desktop and HTML5 and it comes with MinGW that is also needed in Monkey X Pro.

How to retrieve the %AppData% folder

AppData folder is used to store data like hiscores, config, etc. of a game (or app). The AppData folder is a special folder that’s location is related to Windows version one is using. This is why AppData folder must be retrieved with the aid of the system.

In Blitz3D retrieving the AppData folder is as simple as this:

AppDataFolder$ = GetEnv$(”AppData”)

In BlitzMax retrieving the AppData folder isn’t this straight forward. The easiest way to get the location of this special folder is to use external module, BAH.Volumes. Once this module is installed for BlitzMax and imported in the beginning of the code, retrieving the AppData folder is as easy as this:

AppDataFolder = GetUserAppDir()

Above is assumed that the variable AppDataFolder is defined as String.

In order to install external modules to BlitzMax, MinGW must be installed and configured for BlitzMax. The BlitzMax product page has a link to forum topic that explains how to set up MinGW for BlitzMax.

Link: BAH.Volumes (from Google Code)

Update!

With good old ANSI C the %AppData% folder can be retrieved as follows: