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rev
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Skywind Installer Development

Skywind Installer

Hello, I wanted to start a new post around this topic to kind of revive the attention on it. I am volunteering to develop and provide maintenance for the Skywind installer. However, I am looking for some collaboration with the "leads" of the project in order to develop this in a way that makes sense in the long run.

It seems so far the approach has been for someone to develop an installer and just kind of "make do" with how the files are currently hosted and fashion their own solution for downloading them for installation and updates. To me this will not work so well as things are still changing and the files might be packaged differently and the installer will then break.

To make an installer that is reliable over time and easy to maintain, there needs to be some structure and consistency around how the files are packaged and staged for distribution.

I would also like to get a clear picture of the current state of files that should be installed. The way I understand it is the following files are involved:

  • Skywind.esm
  • Skywind.bsa
  • Skywind - Patch.esp
  • Skywind - Patch.bsa
  • assets (static files in Data folder)

One solution that has crossed my mind is using something like Subversion to store basically the entire "Data" folder of Skywind content, and the installer can simply hook into this repository and use the native update command to only pull files that have changed.

Whenever you want to release something, you just update the master repository. When the installer launches, it checks the status of the repo to see if anything has changed, and gives you a button to SVN Update and pull down changes. This will give you file level patching and allow you to easily remove files that are no longer needed. Yes, it will have to download the one or two large files if they change, but I think for now that is worth it to have an easily maintainable installer.

Anyways, I'd like to get a usable installer uploaded on here pretty soon, but I need to know how the file distribution will work. Now I'll stop yapping and wait for some feedback. If you want more information about how using a Version Control tool could make all our lives easier, PM me.

~Rev~

LASentry
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Some great ideas, can't wait

Some great ideas, can't wait to see it in action!

Kreisher
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Hey Rev, I just posted on the

Hey Rev, I just posted on the other thread before running across this new one.

Here's what I posted in the other forum:

------------

The installer can now fully install and uninstall ALL the Skywind files.  I still have some work to do on simplifying the process (I had the break the zip files up into slightly smaller sizes) but everything seems to work as intended.  Also, this version supports XP and up.

The next step is building the version control side so Digitalparanoid (or whomever) can manage updates to the content.  Hit me up when you get online and I can walk you through the process.  

--------------

Kreisher
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I like the way you are

I like the way you are suggesting we manage versioning.  I don't have anything built out for that as of yet.  Can I jump in with you to see how we can implement your idea?  

Revada
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I think for all assets we

I think for all assets we should be looking at something like

(C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Skyrim\Data)

textures/skywind/ "(location/item/static)"      so we keep all the textures nicely organized

and maybe just

meshes/skywind      the meshes wont need to be as organized(or maybe they do)

These are the only realms i work with so obviously the other areas will need to be looked at.

As an example I'm working on an interior so the layout could be 

textures/skywind/redoraninterior/crazygoodtexture.dds

meshes/skywind/redoraninterior/epicmodel.nif

Someone has probably already set this up but we also need to do a definitive guide to streamline

rev
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Yes, organizing the assets

Yes, organizing the assets will help.

The beauty of simply pointing the installer to a version control repository is the structure could be changed in the repo and the installer would simply update to match what the repo looks like and get rid of any files/folders that got removed, renamed, etc.

@Kreisher: I would like to take a look at your installer and see how its doing things. If its pretty much ready to go and the "download/update" piece can be easily modularized out, then I can work on getting this deployment/release flow set up and integrated with your installer.

I will draw up a diagram of the flow I am proposing and post it up here.