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.Net packaging/wrapper application?

P: n/a
jim
I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your exes)
and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd like
something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as a
single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite. It
would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end user
to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids DLL
and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should be
it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require per
copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim
Dec 27 '07 #1
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60 Replies


P: n/a
Windows Installer:

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/2kt85ked.aspx
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa372866.aspx

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Chicken Salad Surgeon
Microsoft MVP

"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net. ..
>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd
like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite.
It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end
user to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids
DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim

Dec 27 '07 #2

P: n/a
Do you have Visual Studio 2005? If so why not make a windows application?


"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net. ..
>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd
like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite.
It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end
user to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids
DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim
Dec 27 '07 #3

P: n/a
jim
Kevin,

While I certainly appreciate your willingness to peck out those URLs, they
are in no way whatsoever related to the functionality of the applications
that I mentioned (Thinstall and Xenocode).

Windows Installer does not wrap the executable and associated files into a
single executable. Windows Installer does not allow a user to run a .Net
application without having .Net installed. Windows Installer does not
obfuscate the executable contents. Windows Installer does not allow you to
create no-install applications that will run without being "installed" on
the end users PC (simply copy the created executable and run - no .Net
install & no application install needed).

Bless your pointed little head....but, what I need is so far advanced from
Windows Installer its not even funny.

Just in case you decide to read about the referenced applications BEFORE you
post, you can do so at http://www.thinstall.com/ and
http://www.xenocode.com/.

jim

"Kevin Spencer" <un**********@nothinks.comwrote in message
news:el****************@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
Windows Installer:

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/2kt85ked.aspx
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa372866.aspx

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Chicken Salad Surgeon
Microsoft MVP

"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net. ..
>>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and
any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But,
I'd like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application
suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require
the end user to have .Net installed or to install the application. It
also avoids DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim


Dec 27 '07 #4

P: n/a
jim
For several reasons.....

1) An application is just the first step. I plan on coding .Net
applications. The request has to do with distribution of those
applications - not coding the applications.

2) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run from a single
EXE - no application need be installed.

3) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run without .Net
installed.

4) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode do not suffer from DLL or
..Net version hell.

5) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode are smaller than .Net +
Application installs.

6) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run from a USB drive
or (if Thinstalled) be streamed over a network with no installation
whatsoever (not even copying the exe).

Please read up on Thinstall and Xenocode at http://www.thinstall.com/ and
http://www.xenocode.com/. Once you do, you too will wonder just why we
don't have this functionality in .Net.

jim

"ThatsIT.net.au" <me@thatsitwrote in message
news:1E**********************************@microsof t.com...
Do you have Visual Studio 2005? If so why not make a windows application?


"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net. ..
>>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and
any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But,
I'd like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application
suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require
the end user to have .Net installed or to install the application. It
also avoids DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim

Dec 27 '07 #5

P: n/a
Hello jim,

ok, what's from that list cant be done with Windows Installer? :)
except the point 3 the Windows Installed can do the same things, maybe not
so silently
---
WBR,
Michael Nemtsev [.NET/C# MVP] :: blog: http://spaces.live.com/laflour

"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we
miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it" (c) Michelangelo
jFor several reasons.....
j>
j1) An application is just the first step. I plan on coding .Net
japplications. The request has to do with distribution of those
japplications - not coding the applications.
j>
j2) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run from a
jsingle EXE - no application need be installed.
j>
j3) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run without
j.Net installed.
j>
j4) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode do not suffer from
jDLL or .Net version hell.
j>
j5) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode are smaller than
j.Net + Application installs.
j>
j6) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run from a USB
jdrive or (if Thinstalled) be streamed over a network with no
jinstallation whatsoever (not even copying the exe).
j>
jPlease read up on Thinstall and Xenocode at http://www.thinstall.com/
jand http://www.xenocode.com/. Once you do, you too will wonder just
jwhy we don't have this functionality in .Net.
j>
jjim
j>
j"ThatsIT.net.au" <me@thatsitwrote in message
jnews:1E**********************************@microso ft.com...
j>
>Do you have Visual Studio 2005? If so why not make a windows
application?

"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net ...
>>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application
(and any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for
your exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your
exe). But, I'd like something that is actually affordable for a
hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship
it as a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net
application suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation and
not even require the end user to have .Net installed or to install
the application. It also avoids DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies
should be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not
require per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim

Dec 27 '07 #6

P: n/a


"jim" wrote:
I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your exes)
and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd like
something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as a
single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite. It
would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end user
to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids DLL
and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should be
it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require per
copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim

I may be missing your goal with this, but, it looks like these tools are
designed to create something similar to what VMWare does, a distributable
preconfigured machine. Have you looked at VMWare? If so, does it lack some
capability you need?

Dec 27 '07 #7

P: n/a
jim
Really?

That's quite interesting. Just how do you cover #4 with Windows Installer?
Is there a new function that will stop DLLs from being overwritten or that
will accomodate differences in .Net versions (like when hotfixes are
installed to patch .Net problems)?

Or how about #5 (smaller distributions - remember that Windows Installer
REQUIRES the .Net runtimes be installed if they are not already and that WI
does not compress the executable like Thinstall and Xenocode).

As far as #6 is concerned, Windows Installer actively blocks code that would
access files (as most code that is useful does) if it is run from the
network or insternet. The Thinstall/Xenocode wrapped apps retain all
functionality.

And, (might as well mention it since we are comparing Windows Installer and
Thinstall/Xenocode) Windows Installer requires administrator privileges to
do most installs. Using Thinstall (not sure about Xenocode), you don't need
admin permissions to run the executable (no matter its functionality)
because nothing is every "installed" on the system (no registry entries
needed, no install to run). That'd be #7 - for those counting at home.

jim

"Michael Nemtsev [MVP]" <ne*****@msn.comwrote in message
news:3d**************************@msnews.microsoft .com...
Hello jim,

ok, what's from that list cant be done with Windows Installer? :) except
the point 3 the Windows Installed can do the same things, maybe not so
silently
---
WBR, Michael Nemtsev [.NET/C# MVP] :: blog:
http://spaces.live.com/laflour
"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we
miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it" (c) Michelangelo

jFor several reasons.....
jj1) An application is just the first step. I plan on coding .Net
japplications. The request has to do with distribution of those
japplications - not coding the applications.
jj2) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run from a
jsingle EXE - no application need be installed.
jj3) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run without
j.Net installed.
jj4) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode do not suffer from
jDLL or .Net version hell.
jj5) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode are smaller than
j.Net + Application installs.
jj6) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run from a USB
jdrive or (if Thinstalled) be streamed over a network with no
jinstallation whatsoever (not even copying the exe).
jjPlease read up on Thinstall and Xenocode at
http://www.thinstall.com/
jand http://www.xenocode.com/. Once you do, you too will wonder just
jwhy we don't have this functionality in .Net.
jjjim
jj"ThatsIT.net.au" <me@thatsitwrote in message
jnews:1E**********************************@microso ft.com...
j>
>>Do you have Visual Studio 2005? If so why not make a windows
application?

"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.ne t...

I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application
(and any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for
your exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your
exe). But, I'd like something that is actually affordable for a
hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship
it as a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net
application suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation and
not even require the end user to have .Net installed or to install
the application. It also avoids DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies
should be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not
require per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim


Dec 27 '07 #8

P: n/a
On 27/12/2007 in message
<3d**************************@msnews.microsoft.com Michael Nemtsev [MVP]
wrote:
>Hello jim,

ok, what's from that list cant be done with Windows Installer? :) except
the point 3 the Windows Installed can do the same things, maybe not so
silently
Looks to me like Jim is looking for the .NET equivalent of compiling with
static libraries to produce a single executable. I'll add my vote to his
wish list :-)

--
Jeff Gaines
Dec 27 '07 #9

P: n/a
jim

"Family Tree Mike" <Fa************@discussions.microsoft.comwrote in
message news:5D**********************************@microsof t.com...
>

"jim" wrote:
>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and
any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes)
and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd like
something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a
single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite.
It
would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end
user
to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids DLL
and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be
it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per
copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim


I may be missing your goal with this, but, it looks like these tools are
designed to create something similar to what VMWare does, a distributable
preconfigured machine. Have you looked at VMWare? If so, does it lack
some
capability you need?
VMWare is great. However (if I understand the creation of virtual
appliances correctly), it carries with it a HUGE overhead because it wraps
up the entire OS with your virtual appliance. Virtual appliances created
for/from VMWare also require a license for every copy if you distribute any
proprietary operating system (like Windows XP, Vista, 2003 Server, etc.) in
your virtual appliance - that's why virtually every virtual appliance you
see is done with Linux.

jim
Dec 27 '07 #10

P: n/a
Hi,

If you are looking from the angle of a hobby, I can suggest you using
InnoSetup (free) http://www.jrsoftware.org/isinfo.php . It is really
successful.

If you need further help with using it, I will be looking forward to hear.

--
All the best,
Coskun SUNALI
MVP ASP/ASP.NET
http://sunali.com
"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net. ..
>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd
like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite.
It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end
user to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids
DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim
Dec 27 '07 #11

P: n/a
jim
Wow! A little reading goes a long way people.

Thinstall and Xenocode are NOT installation applications! They are
essentially application wrappers that create virtual registry entries and
virtual directory structures that exist only while the application is
running. They wrap all files (DLLs, COM controls, etc.) into a single
executable that can be run with no admin permissions or the alteration of
the operating system. Thinstall/Xenocode applications do not require the
installation of the .Net framework to run .Net applications because they
extract the needed .Net framework libraries and include them in the single,
wrapped EXE.

www.thinstall.com

www.xenocode.com

Read about them before you post. I'm sure that you'll agree that this is
something that is missing in .Net studio.

jim
"Coskun SUNALI [MVP]" <Co****@SUNALI.comwrote in message
news:uq**************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
Hi,

If you are looking from the angle of a hobby, I can suggest you using
InnoSetup (free) http://www.jrsoftware.org/isinfo.php . It is really
successful.

If you need further help with using it, I will be looking forward to hear.

--
All the best,
Coskun SUNALI
MVP ASP/ASP.NET
http://sunali.com
"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net. ..
>>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and
any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But,
I'd like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application
suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require
the end user to have .Net installed or to install the application. It
also avoids DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim

Dec 27 '07 #12

P: n/a
Hello jim,

jThat's quite interesting. Just how do you cover #4 with Windows
jInstaller? Is there a new function that will stop DLLs from being
joverwritten or that will accomodate differences in .Net versions
j(like when hotfixes are installed to patch .Net problems)?

no, it up to u how u are going to disturb this
I suppose u select the Xenodcode not only for this option?

jOr how about #5 (smaller distributions - remember that Windows
jInstaller REQUIRES the .Net runtimes be installed if they are not
jalready and that WI does not compress the executable like Thinstall
jand Xenocode).

there are some wrappers (like inno) which wrap WI functionality and provide
compression

jAs far as #6 is concerned, Windows Installer actively blocks code
jthat would access files (as most code that is useful does) if it is
jrun from the network or insternet. The Thinstall/Xenocode wrapped
japps retain all functionality.

installer has no relation to assembly trust level - what blocks to run it
from network
u need to set the correct trust level

jAnd, (might as well mention it since we are comparing Windows
jInstaller and Thinstall/Xenocode) Windows Installer requires
jadministrator privileges to do most installs. Using Thinstall (not
jsure about ), you don't need admin permissions to run the
jexecutable (no matter its functionality) because nothing is every
j"installed" on the system (no registry entries needed, no install to
jrun). That'd be #7 - for those counting at home.
if nothing installed then how it works? :) I assume it installs smth but
u don't even noted this

Actually Im against these kind of tools, because it works for the small part
of winforms application and if you decided to extend your app - provide security,
CAS and etc u can hardly predict how it affects yout Xenocode wrapper app
---
WBR,
Michael Nemtsev [.NET/C# MVP] :: blog: http://spaces.live.com/laflour

"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we
miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it" (c) Michelangelo

j>
j"Michael Nemtsev [MVP]" <ne*****@msn.comwrote in message
jnews:3d**************************@msnews.microsof t.com...
j>
>Hello jim,

ok, what's from that list cant be done with Windows Installer? :)
except the point 3 the Windows Installed can do the same things,
maybe not so silently

---
WBR, Michael Nemtsev [.NET/C# MVP] :: blog:
http://spaces.live.com/laflour
"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high
and we
miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it" (c) Michelangelo
jFor several reasons.....
jj1) An application is just the first step. I plan on coding
.Net
japplications. The request has to do with distribution of those
japplications - not coding the applications.
jj2) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run from
a
jsingle EXE - no application need be installed.
jj3) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run
without
j.Net installed.
jj4) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode do not suffer
from
jDLL or .Net version hell.
jj5) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode are smaller
than
j.Net + Application installs.
jj6) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run from
a USB
jdrive or (if Thinstalled) be streamed over a network with no
jinstallation whatsoever (not even copying the exe).
jjPlease read up on Thinstall and Xenocode at
http://www.thinstall.com/
jand http://www.xenocode.com/. Once you do, you too will wonder
just
jwhy we don't have this functionality in .Net.
jjjim
jj"ThatsIT.net.au" <me@thatsitwrote in message
jnews:1E**********************************@micros oft.com...
j>
>>>Do you have Visual Studio 2005? If so why not make a windows
application?

"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.n et...
I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application
(and any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.
>
I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for
your exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your
exe). But, I'd like something that is actually affordable for a
hobbyist programmer.
>
This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and
ship it as a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net
application suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation
and not even require the end user to have .Net installed or to
install the application. It also avoids DLL and .Net Version
Hell.
>
If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies
should be it.
>
If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not
require per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.
>
Thanks!
>
jim
>

Dec 27 '07 #13

P: n/a
Hello jim,

jRead about them before you post. I'm sure that you'll agree that this
jis something that is missing in .Net studio
j>

why is it important? :)

---
WBR,
Michael Nemtsev [.NET/C# MVP] :: blog: http://spaces.live.com/laflour

"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we
miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it" (c) Michelangelo
Dec 27 '07 #14

P: n/a
Hi,


"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:PE*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net. ..
Kevin,

While I certainly appreciate your willingness to peck out those URLs, they
are in no way whatsoever related to the functionality of the applications
that I mentioned (Thinstall and Xenocode).
Windows Installer does not wrap the executable and associated files into a
single executable. Windows Installer does not allow a user to run a .Net
application without having .Net installed. Windows Installer does not
obfuscate the executable contents. Windows Installer does not allow you
to create no-install applications that will run without being "installed"
on the end users PC (simply copy the created executable and run - no .Net
install & no application install needed).
Maybe that is why it's soo expensive :)

Kevin's suggestion is the best you could do with "free" tools.

You can always pack everything in a single compacted .EXE and do your
installation like that.

--
Ignacio Machin
http://www.laceupsolutions.com
Mobile & warehouse Solutions.
Dec 27 '07 #15

P: n/a
Hi Jim,

Microsoft already purchased SoftGrid so I doubt that they
would purchase Thinstall or Xenocode.

SoftGrid is not free, however, so I don't think it is a solution
for a hobbyist. Perhaps in the future they will create a limited
version that is free of CAL or SA requirements

J

"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net. ..
>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd
like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite.
It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end
user to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids
DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim

Dec 27 '07 #16

P: n/a
jim

"Michael Nemtsev [MVP]" <ne*****@msn.comwrote in message
news:3d**************************@msnews.microsoft .com...
Hello jim,

jThat's quite interesting. Just how do you cover #4 with Windows
jInstaller? Is there a new function that will stop DLLs from being
joverwritten or that will accomodate differences in .Net versions
j(like when hotfixes are installed to patch .Net problems)?

no, it up to u how u are going to disturb this
I suppose u select the Xenodcode not only for this option?
jOr how about #5 (smaller distributions - remember that Windows
jInstaller REQUIRES the .Net runtimes be installed if they are not
jalready and that WI does not compress the executable like Thinstall
jand Xenocode).

there are some wrappers (like inno) which wrap WI functionality and
provide compression
But, with Inno (which is a really good installer), it is only compressed
until it is installed. With Thinstall or Xenocode the single exe is always
compressed and no install is needed to run the app - just copy the single
exe to the PC or any media installed in the PC (like a USB drive) and run
it. Nothing to install. Nothing to uninstall.
>
jAs far as #6 is concerned, Windows Installer actively blocks code
jthat would access files (as most code that is useful does) if it is
jrun from the network or insternet. The Thinstall/Xenocode wrapped
japps retain all functionality.

installer has no relation to assembly trust level - what blocks to run it
from network
u need to set the correct trust level
But, you must do this via control panel applets etc., right? Most people
don't know how to do this. That is why Microsoft's click and run stuff
never took off.

With Thinstall (not sure about Xenocode) you don't have any trust issues.
The executables simply run.
>
jAnd, (might as well mention it since we are comparing Windows
jInstaller and Thinstall/Xenocode) Windows Installer requires
jadministrator privileges to do most installs. Using Thinstall (not
jsure about ), you don't need admin permissions to run the
jexecutable (no matter its functionality) because nothing is every
j"installed" on the system (no registry entries needed, no install to
jrun). That'd be #7 - for those counting at home.
if nothing installed then how it works? :) I assume it installs smth but u
don't even noted this
Thinstall and Xenocode create virtual registry entries and virtual
directories that your app uses to run. These virtual objects are destroyed
when the app closes.
>
Actually Im against these kind of tools, because it works for the small
part of winforms application and if you decided to extend your app -
provide security, CAS and etc u can hardly predict how it affects yout
Xenocode wrapper app
I haven't used Xenocode, but as for Thinstall - Thinstall does not affect
the functionality of your application at all. If you want to enforce
security using the .Net classes in your app you can.

I'm telling you....Thinstall-capability is the answer to distribution
issues, DLL/version hell issues, permission issues, setup issues and even
helps maintain security on the desktop. Why nobody is making an affordable
version for the masses, or has taken this on as an open source project is
beyond me.

The benefits are so great that NOT including this technology in .Net studio
is simply negligent.

jim
>

---
WBR, Michael Nemtsev [.NET/C# MVP] :: blog:
http://spaces.live.com/laflour
"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we
miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it" (c) Michelangelo
jj"Michael Nemtsev [MVP]" <ne*****@msn.comwrote in message
jnews:3d**************************@msnews.microsof t.com...
j>
>>Hello jim,

ok, what's from that list cant be done with Windows Installer? :)
except the point 3 the Windows Installed can do the same things,
maybe not so silently

---
WBR, Michael Nemtsev [.NET/C# MVP] :: blog:
http://spaces.live.com/laflour
"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high
and we
miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it" (c) Michelangelo
jFor several reasons.....
jj1) An application is just the first step. I plan on coding
.Net
japplications. The request has to do with distribution of those
japplications - not coding the applications.
jj2) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run from
a
jsingle EXE - no application need be installed.
jj3) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run
without
j.Net installed.
jj4) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode do not suffer
from
jDLL or .Net version hell.
jj5) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode are smaller
than
j.Net + Application installs.
jj6) Applications wrapped by Thinstall or Xenodcode can run from
a USB
jdrive or (if Thinstalled) be streamed over a network with no
jinstallation whatsoever (not even copying the exe).
jjPlease read up on Thinstall and Xenocode at
http://www.thinstall.com/
jand http://www.xenocode.com/. Once you do, you too will wonder
just
jwhy we don't have this functionality in .Net.
jjjim
jj"ThatsIT.net.au" <me@thatsitwrote in message
jnews:1E**********************************@micro soft.com...
j>
Do you have Visual Studio 2005? If so why not make a windows
application?
>
"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth. net...
>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application
>(and any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.
>>
>I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for
>your exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your
>exe). But, I'd like something that is actually affordable for a
>hobbyist programmer.
>>
>This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and
>ship it as a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net
>application suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation
>and not even require the end user to have .Net installed or to
>install the application. It also avoids DLL and .Net Version
>Hell.
>>
>If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies
>should be it.
>>
>If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not
>require per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.
>>
>Thanks!
>>
>jim
>>


Dec 27 '07 #17

P: n/a
Read about them before you post. I'm sure that you'll agree that this is
something that is missing in .Net studio.
Perhaps there is no enough demand for this sort of applications. Like
Michael, I don't see ability to run without dotnet as an important benefit.
As a customer, I would rather prefer to use a product that is as standard as
possible. This is important from troubleshooting perspective. If you have a
problem with dotnet, all web is yours. If you limit yourself to a specific
tool, you are bound to them for all support issues.

--
Eliyahu Goldin,
Software Developer
Microsoft MVP [ASP.NET]
http://msmvps.com/blogs/egoldin
http://usableasp.net

Dec 27 '07 #18

P: n/a
jim
What is it with Microsoft MVPs that they do not read about a subject before
posting on it?

Thinstall and Xenocode change NOTHING about the .Net framework or your
application. They simply wrap all needed .Net functionality and your
executable and any dependent files (like DLLs or ActiveX controls or other
files that your .Net app needs) into a single executable file.

This means that your potential customer that is still on dial-up, the 25+MB
..Net framework may never get downloaded so your apps are worthless to them.

Are people still on dial up? Yep. The last hard figures I could find on
short notice said "It turns out that as few as 28 percent of American
households today have access to broadband Internet. That's according to
reporter Richard Hoffman in a Nov. 20, 2006 Information Week article, citing
data from Government Accountability Office." -
http://blog.tmcnet.com/wireless-mobi...onnections.asp.
And, while this report is now just over 1 year old, even if the # of
households with DSL doubled in 12 months (which is HIGHLY unlikely) that
means that 44% of households in the US are still on dial up.

As for your comparison of .Net prgramming to the use of Thinstall or
Xenocode, that only proves that you haven't read anything about either of
them.

MVPs.......God save us from Microsoft MVPs.

jim
"Eliyahu Goldin" <RE**************************@mMvVpPsS.orgwrote in
message news:OA**************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
>Read about them before you post. I'm sure that you'll agree that this is
something that is missing in .Net studio.

Perhaps there is no enough demand for this sort of applications. Like
Michael, I don't see ability to run without dotnet as an important
benefit. As a customer, I would rather prefer to use a product that is as
standard as possible. This is important from troubleshooting perspective.
If you have a problem with dotnet, all web is yours. If you limit yourself
to a specific tool, you are bound to them for all support issues.

--
Eliyahu Goldin,
Software Developer
Microsoft MVP [ASP.NET]
http://msmvps.com/blogs/egoldin
http://usableasp.net

Dec 27 '07 #19

P: n/a
Jim,
>"It turns out that as few as 28 percent of American households today have
access to broadband Internet.
I assume that you mean the USA households, however beside that is probably
in those 28% the people that are interested in applications. Those who only
use Interent to browse or to send mail don't need small packages, they
simply don't download.

By the way, this is are International newsgroups, this situation in the USA
does not really interest most of us. (Although I don't believe that this
figur is representative for areas as LA, NY, etc.)

Cor

Dec 27 '07 #20

P: n/a
I agree - with the obfuscation thrown in, the price definitely escalates.

David Wier
http://aspnet101.com
http://iWritePro.com - One click PDF, convert .doc/.rtf/.txt to HTML with no
bloated markup
"Ignacio Machin ( .NET/ C# MVP )" <machin TA laceupsolutions.comwrote in
message news:uw**************@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
Hi,


"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:PE*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net. ..
>Kevin,

While I certainly appreciate your willingness to peck out those URLs,
they are in no way whatsoever related to the functionality of the
applications that I mentioned (Thinstall and Xenocode).
>Windows Installer does not wrap the executable and associated files into
a single executable. Windows Installer does not allow a user to run a
.Net application without having .Net installed. Windows Installer does
not obfuscate the executable contents. Windows Installer does not allow
you to create no-install applications that will run without being
"installed" on the end users PC (simply copy the created executable and
run - no .Net install & no application install needed).

Maybe that is why it's soo expensive :)

Kevin's suggestion is the best you could do with "free" tools.

You can always pack everything in a single compacted .EXE and do your
installation like that.

--
Ignacio Machin
http://www.laceupsolutions.com
Mobile & warehouse Solutions.

Dec 27 '07 #21

P: n/a
jim wrote:
I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your exes)
and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd like
something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as a
single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite. It
would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end user
to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids DLL
and .Net Version Hell.
While there may be uses for it, I don't really see how bloating your app
by almost double the size to run it in a single EXE is of any practical
use to the majority of .NET developers. If you look at Xenocode's
example for Firefox, their "run-once EXE" is over 10 meg in size, while
the Firefox installer for the same version (2.0.11) is 5.7 meg in size.

You discuss people who aren't downloading the 25MB framework package due
to lack of broadband internet access, but I see no "try it" demos of any
..NET apps on either site. I'd be very interested in seeing what the size
of a .NET app actually is (they could do Paint.NET, it's free). Is it
actually any smaller than your compiled app + .Net framework compressed
would be?

As for why it wouldn't get done, I think it's of too limited practical
use. It might be handy, but honestly I can't really see a situation
where I would want to seriously put it to use.

Chris.
Dec 27 '07 #22

P: n/a
We've used RemoteSoft for some time with a fair bit of success. We've also
played with Xenocode a bit.

Of the two, Xenocode seems the better product at this point - it's had fewer
strange problems.

I would have sworn Xenocode didn't have royalties associated with it, but a
quick look through their web site reveals the dark truth - they do! That
really does suck.

--
Chris Mullins
"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net. ..
>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd
like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite.
It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end
user to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids
DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim

Dec 27 '07 #23

P: n/a
jim
Chris,

At least Salamander doesn't have royalties associated with it.

I have contacted a company about producing similar software to Thinstall for
me to make available to hobbyist programmers with no royalties. So far,
they've said it will cost $2,000 to study the project and give me a price
and time estimates.

I'm considering it.

jim

"Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]" <cm******@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:OE****************@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
We've used RemoteSoft for some time with a fair bit of success. We've also
played with Xenocode a bit.

Of the two, Xenocode seems the better product at this point - it's had
fewer strange problems.

I would have sworn Xenocode didn't have royalties associated with it, but
a quick look through their web site reveals the dark truth - they do! That
really does suck.

--
Chris Mullins
"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net. ..
>>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and
any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But,
I'd like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application
suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require
the end user to have .Net installed or to install the application. It
also avoids DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim


Dec 27 '07 #24

P: n/a
On Dec 27, 3:28 am, "jim" <j...@home.netwrote:
I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your exes)
and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd like
something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as a
single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite. It
would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end user
to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids DLL
and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should be
it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require per
copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim
Jim - I know of nothing like these products that isn't expensive... I
have read through this thread - so I am familiar with why you think
this would be a desirable product. But, to be honest, I see them as
having very limited usefulness. In fact, other then running directly
off of media (such as usb key or cd/dvd - like an autorun.exe), I
don't really see any need at all.

1) I'm not sure that I agree with your estimates of broadband
penetration:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/ITFacts/?p=10400 (March 2006)
"February saw broadband composition reach an all-time high of 68%,
increasing an impressive 13% over the previous February."

I even found some that say as much as 85%. I know very few people
still on dial-up. In fact, other then my Mother I can't think of any
one I know personally :)

2) DLL/Version hell? Hmmm, not so much. I mean, I'm not saying that
this is 100% eliminated - I have personally experienced this with sp1
to 1.1, but it's rare enough that it's just not that much of a
concern.

My guess is that if you were to take a poll - not many .NET developers
work in a space were this sort of application is really useful. It
does nothing for web-developers. It does nothing for the guy working
on the in-house system, verticle market application, or bespoke
systems. In all of those cases, your usually dealing with managed
networks and can dictate minimum system requirements. So, click-once,
xcopy deployment, or a basic windows installer project are usually
sufficient for their needs. About the only area I could see this
being useful is the developer targeting more of a mass market
horizontal application - and in that case I have to ask, why are you
using .NET (as a side note, I ask the same thing about VB.CLASSIC)?
And even if you are using it - then it's no big deal to bootstrap and
install the framework as needed (bandwidth issues aside :).

So, basically I think that - while these apps are cool - they are
really a niche sort of thing (which explains why they are so
expensive). And, will most likely remain so - just as they have for
the Java and VB.CLASSIC markets.

Anyway, just some random thoughts ;)

--
Tom Shelton
Dec 27 '07 #25

P: n/a
So it turns out I was a bit confused:

The Xenocode product we've played with is PostBuild, which is licensed per
Developer and costs $499. There's no royalties associated with it.

http://www.xenocode.com/Products/Suite/Selection.aspx

.... it'll do the "deploy your app as a single .exe" just like you're looking
for.

--
Chris Mullins

"Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]" <cm******@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:OE****************@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
We've used RemoteSoft for some time with a fair bit of success. We've also
played with Xenocode a bit.

Of the two, Xenocode seems the better product at this point - it's had
fewer strange problems.

I would have sworn Xenocode didn't have royalties associated with it, but
a quick look through their web site reveals the dark truth - they do! That
really does suck.

--
Chris Mullins
"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net. ..
>>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and
any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But,
I'd like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application
suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require
the end user to have .Net installed or to install the application. It
also avoids DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim


Dec 27 '07 #26

P: n/a
"Tom Shelton" <to*********@comcast.netwrote
But, to be honest, I see them as
having very limited usefulness. In fact, other then running directly
off of media (such as usb key or cd/dvd - like an autorun.exe), I
don't really see any need at all.
I couldn't disagree more strongly. Anyone planning on building a widely
deployed .Net application needs to be doing this.

The lack of broad installation support for the .Net framework makes this a
must. In relative terms, nobody has the framework installed. Installation of
the framework requires Admin rights and a reboot.

.... this means if you install the Framework for them, via a bootstrapper or
something similar, the user has a piss-poor opinion of your software before
they've even run a line of your code.

It's very sad that ".Net on the Desktop" isn't a reality. Unfortuantly, the
reality is that MS hasn't pushed it out via Windows update, and doesn't
install it as part of Office, IE, or any other widespread product that I
know of.

.... I've lost alot of sleep over this exact problem, and it's a hot button
for me.

--
Chris Mullins
Dec 27 '07 #27

P: n/a
On Thu, 27 Dec 2007 05:04:21 -0800, jim <ji*@home.netwrote:
Wow! A little reading goes a long way people.
I agree!

Here's some reading that I think would help you:

http://www.google.com/Top/Computers/Usenet/Etiquette/

Especially those links that lead to:
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/usenet/xpost.html
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/primer/part1/
http://infohost.nmt.edu/tcc/help/news/idiot.html

Paying close attention to the sections specific to cross-posting.

Frankly, not even counting your rude behavior toward people who are just
trying to help, the lack of focus in this thread is a great example of why
it's such a bad idea to post to so many broadly unrelated newsgroups.

If you want specific, relevant advice, stick to posting to specific,
relevant newsgroups. If you can't do that, don't complain when the advice
you get doesn't seem specific or relevant enough for your tastes.

Pete
Dec 27 '07 #28

P: n/a
jim

"Chris Shepherd" <ch**@nospam.chsh.cawrote in message
news:OC**************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
jim wrote:
>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and
any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But,
I'd like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application
suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even
require the end user to have .Net installed or to install the
application. It also avoids DLL and .Net Version Hell.

While there may be uses for it, I don't really see how bloating your app
by almost double the size to run it in a single EXE is of any practical
use to the majority of .NET developers. If you look at Xenocode's example
for Firefox, their "run-once EXE" is over 10 meg in size, while the
Firefox installer for the same version (2.0.11) is 5.7 meg in size.
The major reasons for using this type of application are (1) to end DLL/.Net
version hell, (2) to not make the end user have to install version 1.0, 1.1,
2.0, 3.0 & 3.5 of the .Net framework to run .Net apps, (3) to insulate your
app from decompiling as is easy to do even with most obfuscation, (4) to
allow more users to run your app because Thinstall apps do not require admin
permissions to run whereas admin permission is required to do most app
installations and (5) people like easy - easy sells - and nothing could be
easier than copying an exe and running it.
You discuss people who aren't downloading the 25MB framework package due
to lack of broadband internet access, but I see no "try it" demos of any
.NET apps on either site. I'd be very interested in seeing what the size
of a .NET app actually is (they could do Paint.NET, it's free). Is it
actually any smaller than your compiled app + .Net framework compressed
would be?
Actually it was smaller the last time we tested Thinstall. I will try and
test it again and get you Paint .Net to try for yourself.

As a simple test, we made a "hello world" windows form and compiled it to
6MB. That beat the 24+MB download of the .Net framework alone.
>
As for why it wouldn't get done, I think it's of too limited practical
use. It might be handy, but honestly I can't really see a situation where
I would want to seriously put it to use.
How about in distributing portable applications for use on USB drives? Or
distributing apps to people that may not have admin permissions to install
applications? Or simply making an application as simple as copying the exe
and running it?

It isn't for everybody.....but I think it improves the distribution and
maintenance of .Net apps for most people.

jim
Dec 27 '07 #29

P: n/a
jim
Chirs,

You're right. It seems to take a little more work than Thinstall, but for
the no royalties part I can stand the extra work.

I was looking at their Virtualization tools.

Thanks for pointing out PostBuild! That's something I can swing.

jim
"Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]" <cm******@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:ev**************@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
So it turns out I was a bit confused:

The Xenocode product we've played with is PostBuild, which is licensed per
Developer and costs $499. There's no royalties associated with it.

http://www.xenocode.com/Products/Suite/Selection.aspx

... it'll do the "deploy your app as a single .exe" just like you're
looking for.

--
Chris Mullins

"Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]" <cm******@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:OE****************@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
>We've used RemoteSoft for some time with a fair bit of success. We've
also played with Xenocode a bit.

Of the two, Xenocode seems the better product at this point - it's had
fewer strange problems.

I would have sworn Xenocode didn't have royalties associated with it, but
a quick look through their web site reveals the dark truth - they do!
That really does suck.

--
Chris Mullins
"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote in message
news:e7*******************@bignews7.bellsouth.net ...
>>>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and
any needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes) and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But,
I'd like something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist
programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it
as a single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application
suite. It would simplify the shipping & installation and not even
require the end user to have .Net installed or to install the
application. It also avoids DLL and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies
should be it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim



Dec 27 '07 #30

P: n/a
jim
Chris,

I fully agree with you there.

If Microsoft is puttting all of its eggs in the .Net basket, why isn't .Net
(a) included with every Microsoft product and (b) made a top priority
download for the nightly updates done by most end users?

If it was so distributed by MS, the distribution costs for .Net apps woudl
be minimal and there would be a lot more of them out there.

Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

jim

"Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]" <cm******@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:ur**************@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
"Tom Shelton" <to*********@comcast.netwrote
>But, to be honest, I see them as
having very limited usefulness. In fact, other then running directly
off of media (such as usb key or cd/dvd - like an autorun.exe), I
don't really see any need at all.

I couldn't disagree more strongly. Anyone planning on building a widely
deployed .Net application needs to be doing this.

The lack of broad installation support for the .Net framework makes this a
must. In relative terms, nobody has the framework installed. Installation
of the framework requires Admin rights and a reboot.

... this means if you install the Framework for them, via a bootstrapper
or something similar, the user has a piss-poor opinion of your software
before they've even run a line of your code.

It's very sad that ".Net on the Desktop" isn't a reality. Unfortuantly,
the reality is that MS hasn't pushed it out via Windows update, and
doesn't install it as part of Office, IE, or any other widespread product
that I know of.

... I've lost alot of sleep over this exact problem, and it's a hot button
for me.

--
Chris Mullins

Dec 27 '07 #31

P: n/a
jim wrote:
>While there may be uses for it, I don't really see how bloating your app
by almost double the size to run it in a single EXE is of any practical
use to the majority of .NET developers. If you look at Xenocode's example
for Firefox, their "run-once EXE" is over 10 meg in size, while the
Firefox installer for the same version (2.0.11) is 5.7 meg in size.

The major reasons for using this type of application are (1) to end DLL/.Net
version hell, (2) to not make the end user have to install version 1.0, 1.1,
2.0, 3.0 & 3.5 of the .Net framework to run .Net apps, (3) to insulate your
app from decompiling as is easy to do even with most obfuscation, (4) to
allow more users to run your app because Thinstall apps do not require admin
permissions to run whereas admin permission is required to do most app
installations and (5) people like easy - easy sells - and nothing could be
easier than copying an exe and running it.
Well 1, DLL/.Net version hell has not been really an issue for a while
now -- at least speaking from my own experiences.

2, You don't need to install all those versions of the framework. If a
user has any kind of recent OS installation (XP SP2 or higher) they
already have a framework installed. At most you need 2.0/3.0/3.5. It's
only problematic in not up to date OSes, and if you are targeting old
PCs you probably shouldn't be writing stuff in .NET anyway.

3, If it can run, it can be decompiled/disassembled. Obfuscation isn't
as great a solution as many people make it out to be. I understand in
protecting your investment, but there's a line between deterring lazy
people and making your code useless/slow because of the obfuscation
techniques.

4, Installing an application does not require administrator privileges
in any way. Installing an application which needs to access certain
parts of the filesystem or registry may require installation privileges,
which are available to Power Users. Using this and #5 as a point *for*
Thinstall and its ilk seems odd, since most commercial software nowadays
installs.

5, Yes, it may make running the software easy, but how trivial is
updating the software, keeping track of (and securing) temporary data
caches, etc., etc..?
>You discuss people who aren't downloading the 25MB framework package due
to lack of broadband internet access, but I see no "try it" demos of any
.NET apps on either site. I'd be very interested in seeing what the size
of a .NET app actually is (they could do Paint.NET, it's free). Is it
actually any smaller than your compiled app + .Net framework compressed
would be?

Actually it was smaller the last time we tested Thinstall. I will try and
test it again and get you Paint .Net to try for yourself.
Smaller than what?
As a simple test, we made a "hello world" windows form and compiled it to
6MB. That beat the 24+MB download of the .Net framework alone.
And what was the size of your hello world EXE plus the framework
compressed into one file?
This is of course running with you and ignoring the fact that as we go
forward the OSes will/already have the framework already installed, and
many already do thanks to Service Packs/Vista.
>As for why it wouldn't get done, I think it's of too limited practical
use. It might be handy, but honestly I can't really see a situation where
I would want to seriously put it to use.

How about in distributing portable applications for use on USB drives? Or
distributing apps to people that may not have admin permissions to install
applications? Or simply making an application as simple as copying the exe
and running it?
The PortableApps guys (http://portableapps.com) have done this just fine
using installations.
It isn't for everybody.....but I think it improves the distribution and
maintenance of .Net apps for most people.
Distribution and ease of access, maybe, but I don't see how it improves
maintenance at all.

Chris.
Dec 27 '07 #32

P: n/a
jim

"Tom Shelton" <to*********@comcast.netwrote in message
news:e7**********************************@s12g2000 prg.googlegroups.com...
On Dec 27, 3:28 am, "jim" <j...@home.netwrote:
>I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and
any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes)
and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd like
something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a
single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite.
It
would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end
user
to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids DLL
and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be
it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per
copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim

Jim - I know of nothing like these products that isn't expensive... I
have read through this thread - so I am familiar with why you think
this would be a desirable product. But, to be honest, I see them as
having very limited usefulness. In fact, other then running directly
off of media (such as usb key or cd/dvd - like an autorun.exe), I
don't really see any need at all.

1) I'm not sure that I agree with your estimates of broadband
penetration:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/ITFacts/?p=10400 (March 2006)
"February saw broadband composition reach an all-time high of 68%,
increasing an impressive 13% over the previous February."

I even found some that say as much as 85%. I know very few people
still on dial-up. In fact, other then my Mother I can't think of any
one I know personally :)
Then there are sites like http://www.websiteoptimization.com/bw/0704/ that
show (as of December 2006) that show only 50.7% penetration.

I can't seem to find any more current figures. I think that may be by
design. The telcos had rather just say "trust us" than reveal the facts of
how we, as a nation, are falling farther and farther behind in broadband
tchnology and distribution. It's shameful.
>
2) DLL/Version hell? Hmmm, not so much. I mean, I'm not saying that
this is 100% eliminated - I have personally experienced this with sp1
to 1.1, but it's rare enough that it's just not that much of a
concern.
It's a huge concern for Microsoft. That's why they require you to call in
to get the hotfixes for .Net instead of simply downloading them (or at least
thats the best reason I could come up with for that ridiculous behavior).
My guess is that if you were to take a poll - not many .NET developers
work in a space were this sort of application is really useful.
I would agree with you there. Distribution and maintenance (not to mention
coding) .Net applications is so much more difficult than apss were in
something like VB6, and the performance so much worse from a user
standpoint, that there are only a fraction of the hobbyist programmers that
there used to be that actually put out code for the masses.
>It
does nothing for web-developers. It does nothing for the guy working
on the in-house system,
Not true. It greatly simplifies distribution (even eliminating distribution
in the case of streaming Thinstall apps from a central server).
verticle market application, or bespoke
systems. In all of those cases, your usually dealing with managed
networks and can dictate minimum system requirements. So, click-once,
xcopy deployment, or a basic windows installer project are usually
sufficient for their needs.
True. They can dictate the environment. But, why would they want to
install .Net 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, and so on ad nauseum when they coudl
simply distribute (or stream) apps from a central server and skip the whole
..Net install? I don't know of one in-house shop that would balk at the idea
of lessening the admins' workload.
About the only area I could see this
being useful is the developer targeting more of a mass market
horizontal application - and in that case I have to ask, why are you
using .NET (as a side note, I ask the same thing about VB.CLASSIC)?
What else would you suggest (seeing as how Microsoft pushes it for their OS
and they supposedly will make the .Net framework play nice with the upcoming
OSs)?
And even if you are using it - then it's no big deal to bootstrap and
install the framework as needed (bandwidth issues aside :).
Exactly.
So, basically I think that - while these apps are cool - they are
really a niche sort of thing (which explains why they are so
expensive). And, will most likely remain so - just as they have for
the Java and VB.CLASSIC markets.
I, repsectfully, disagree. I think they remain niche apps because of the
pricing, just as Ferraris occupy niche markets because they are so
expensive.

This pricing is by design. I bought Thinstall back when it was only $750.
I emailed the owner, Jonathan Clark, quite regularly and discussed his price
increase at length with him in emails and on the phone. I do not disagree
with his reasoning for the price increase, and will not discuss it here (as
it was a private conversation with sensitive matters being discussed). But,
I do think that the same thing can be done as an add-in for .Net or as a
stand alone app for far less money than is being charged.
Anyway, just some random thoughts ;)
And, I thank you for them.

jim
Dec 27 '07 #33

P: n/a
On Dec 27, 11:39 am, "Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]" <cmull...@yahoo.com>
wrote:
"Tom Shelton" <tom_shel...@comcast.netwrote
But, to be honest, I see them as
having very limited usefulness. In fact, other then running directly
off of media (such as usb key or cd/dvd - like an autorun.exe), I
don't really see any need at all.

I couldn't disagree more strongly. Anyone planning on building a widely
deployed .Net application needs to be doing this.
Which is exactly the market that I said I saw the usefulness for this
application futher down in the post. But, personally, I would never
choose .NET for a horizontal, mass distributed application. That
would have to be something more standalone - like C++, Delphi, or
maybe PowerBasic (personally, I'd probably choose C++).
The lack of broad installation support for the .Net framework makes this a
must. In relative terms, nobody has the framework installed. Installation of
the framework requires Admin rights and a reboot.
Nobody? Really. Do you have stats on that. It's been part of
Windows update for a long time, though optional so you could be
correct. But, frankely, I don't believe most .NET developers are
working in that space anyway.
... this means if you install the Framework for them, via a bootstrapper or
something similar, the user has a piss-poor opinion of your software before
they've even run a line of your code.
Why? Because you install a dependency? Please.
It's very sad that ".Net on the Desktop" isn't a reality. Unfortuantly, the
reality is that MS hasn't pushed it out via Windows update, and doesn't
install it as part of Office, IE, or any other widespread product that I
know of.
They have pushed via windows update - but as an optional update.
... I've lost alot of sleep over this exact problem, and it's a hot button
for me.
If it's a problem for you, then I respectfully have to say your using
the wrong toolset.

--
Tom Shelton
Dec 27 '07 #34

P: n/a
I recently wrote a short article on this subject with a simple example, just
out of curiosity:

http://www.eggheadcafe.com/tutorials...packaging.aspx

Hope it helps.
-- Peter
Site: http://www.eggheadcafe.com
UnBlog: http://petesbloggerama.blogspot.com
MetaFinder: http://www.blogmetafinder.com
"jim" wrote:
I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.

I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your exes)
and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd like
something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.

This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as a
single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite. It
would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end user
to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids DLL
and .Net Version Hell.

If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should be
it.

If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require per
copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.

Thanks!

jim
Dec 27 '07 #35

P: n/a
On Dec 27, 12:42 pm, "jim" <j...@home.netwrote:
"Tom Shelton" <tom_shel...@comcast.netwrote in message

news:e7**********************************@s12g2000 prg.googlegroups.com...
On Dec 27, 3:28 am, "jim" <j...@home.netwrote:
I am looking for an application that will wrap my .Net application (and
any
needed .Net parts) into a single exe.
I know of Thinstall ($4,000 for application and per copy fees for your
exes)
and of Xenocode (~$1,500 plus ~ $12 per copy of your exe). But, I'd like
something that is actually affordable for a hobbyist programmer.
This capability (Thinstall's being able to wrap a .Net app and ship it as
a
single exe) would be a FANTASTIC addition to the .Net application suite.
It
would simplify the shipping & installation and not even require the end
user
to have .Net installed or to install the application. It also avoids DLL
and .Net Version Hell.
If Microsoft was going to buy something, one of these technologies should
be
it.
If you know of anything like Thinstall or Xenocode that does not require
per
copy fees, I'd really appreciate a pointer to it.
Thanks!
jim
Jim - I know of nothing like these products that isn't expensive... I
have read through this thread - so I am familiar with why you think
this would be a desirable product. But, to be honest, I see them as
having very limited usefulness. In fact, other then running directly
off of media (such as usb key or cd/dvd - like an autorun.exe), I
don't really see any need at all.
1) I'm not sure that I agree with your estimates of broadband
penetration:
http://blogs.zdnet.com/ITFacts/?p=10400(March 2006)
"February saw broadband composition reach an all-time high of 68%,
increasing an impressive 13% over the previous February."
I even found some that say as much as 85%. I know very few people
still on dial-up. In fact, other then my Mother I can't think of any
one I know personally :)

Then there are sites likehttp://www.websiteoptimization.com/bw/0704/that
show (as of December 2006) that show only 50.7% penetration.

I can't seem to find any more current figures. I think that may be by
design. The telcos had rather just say "trust us" than reveal the facts of
how we, as a nation, are falling farther and farther behind in broadband
tchnology and distribution. It's shameful.

I just don't believe it's that low. I suppose, there are regions of
the country where that is the case, some rural areas, but overall - I
believe it's well over half.
>
2) DLL/Version hell? Hmmm, not so much. I mean, I'm not saying that
this is 100% eliminated - I have personally experienced this with sp1
to 1.1, but it's rare enough that it's just not that much of a
concern.

It's a huge concern for Microsoft. That's why they require you to call in
to get the hotfixes for .Net instead of simply downloading them (or at least
thats the best reason I could come up with for that ridiculous behavior).
They do the same for windows hotfixes as well. Hotfixes are simply
not completely tested. They usually end-up getting rolled into a sp
or an update.
My guess is that if you were to take a poll - not many .NET developers
work in a space were this sort of application is really useful.

I would agree with you there. Distribution and maintenance (not to mention
coding) .Net applications is so much more difficult than apss were in
something like VB6, and the performance so much worse from a user
standpoint, that there are only a fraction of the hobbyist programmers that
there used to be that actually put out code for the masses.
Wow... I can't disagree more there. On pretty much every point. I
used to hate having to roll out new versions of my VB5/6 based app.
Even though it was on dedicated hardware, there were almost always
problems (particularly with a specific 3rd party component - that will
remain nameless). Oh, upgrades would go well for 95% of the machines,
but you would almost always end up with a few that would be borked and
have to then spend hours trying to figure out why. With the .NET
version, I very rarely had upgrade issues..

It
does nothing for web-developers. It does nothing for the guy working
on the in-house system,

Not true. It greatly simplifies distribution (even eliminating distribution
in the case of streaming Thinstall apps from a central server).
How is that an advantage? On in-house system, your simply going to
push the framework to all your machines and setup a click-once
deployment - all for free. It just doesn't buy you anything in this
case.
verticle market application, or bespoke
systems. In all of those cases, your usually dealing with managed
networks and can dictate minimum system requirements. So, click-once,
xcopy deployment, or a basic windows installer project are usually
sufficient for their needs.

True. They can dictate the environment. But, why would they want to
install .Net 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, and so on ad nauseum when they coudl
simply distribute (or stream) apps from a central server and skip the whole
.Net install? I don't know of one in-house shop that would balk at the idea
of lessening the admins' workload.
Because it's easy and cheap on a managed network to just push it out
if it's needed.
About the only area I could see this
being useful is the developer targeting more of a mass market
horizontal application - and in that case I have to ask, why are you
using .NET (as a side note, I ask the same thing about VB.CLASSIC)?

What else would you suggest (seeing as how Microsoft pushes it for their OS
and they supposedly will make the .Net framework play nice with the upcoming
OSs)?
C++, Delphi, PowerBasic - pretty much anything that will compile to a
standalone exe.
And even if you are using it - then it's no big deal to bootstrap and
install the framework as needed (bandwidth issues aside :).

Exactly.
So, what's the problem? You distribute on a cd, you include the
redistrib. bootstrap and install if needed. No big deal.
So, basically I think that - while these apps are cool - they are
really a niche sort of thing (which explains why they are so
expensive). And, will most likely remain so - just as they have for
the Java and VB.CLASSIC markets.

I, repsectfully, disagree. I think they remain niche apps because of the
pricing, just as Ferraris occupy niche markets because they are so
expensive.
That maybe partially true... But, these have been around for a long
time, and if anything there getting more expensive. And I have rarely
come across anyone that actually uses them.
This pricing is by design. I bought Thinstall back when it was only $750.
I emailed the owner, Jonathan Clark, quite regularly and discussed his price
increase at length with him in emails and on the phone. I do not disagree
with his reasoning for the price increase, and will not discuss it here (as
it was a private conversation with sensitive matters being discussed). But,
I do think that the same thing can be done as an add-in for .Net or as a
stand alone app for far less money than is being charged.
Maybe - I'd be very suprised if it took off.
Anyway, just some random thoughts ;)

And, I thank you for them.
Your welcome :)

--
Tom Shelton
Dec 27 '07 #36

P: n/a
"Chris Shepherd" <ch**@nospam.chsh.cawrote
>
2, You don't need to install all those versions of the framework. If a
user has any kind of recent OS installation (XP SP2 or higher) they
already have a framework installed.
If only that were true. Unforunatly, it's not.

Windows XP SP2 doesn't install any versions of the .Net Framework by
default. Nor is it installed via Windows Update by default.

The only desktop Microsoft O/S that has .Net on it is Vista - that comes
with .Net 3.0.
4, Installing an application does not require administrator privileges in
any way.
Installing a .Net app requires installing the .Net framework. This
installation requires Admin rights, and a machine reboot. This means I've
got cranky users before they have even seen my application.

In the classic coffee-house scenario, on a slow wireless, the .Net framework
installion takes - I kid you not - over an hour. This means any positive
viral impact your cool little app has is long gone, replaced by a negative
viral "that app sucks".

For building desktop apps, Delphi or Adobe Air currently seem the best way
to go.

--
Chris Mullins
Dec 27 '07 #37

P: n/a
"Tom Shelton" <to*********@comcast.netwrote
>I couldn't disagree more strongly. Anyone planning on building a widely
deployed .Net application needs to be doing this.
But, personally, I would never
choose .NET for a horizontal, mass distributed application. That
would have to be something more standalone - like C++, Delphi, or
maybe PowerBasic (personally, I'd probably choose C++).
I agree. Completly.
>The lack of broad installation support for the .Net framework makes this
a
must. In relative terms, nobody has the framework installed. Installation
of
the framework requires Admin rights and a reboot.
Nobody? Really. Do you have stats on that.
In relative terms, very few people do (I don't have numbers, or I would
provide them). It's not installed by default with any O/S or major product,
nor is it pushed by Windows Update.

To have it installed the user either had to manually install it (via an
optional Windows Update), or be running a program that's already installed
it. Both are unlikley scenarios in the general case. Especially for the
non-tech savy users, that small "cute" apps typically target.
>... this means if you install the Framework for them, via a bootstrapper
or
something similar, the user has a piss-poor opinion of your software
before
they've even run a line of your code.
Why? Because you install a dependency? Please.
Because, the installation process for .Net sometimes takes over an hour. It
also frequently fails to install at all. In the coffee-house scenario, where
users are trying to download and install your app via the free wireless,
it's not usable.

Also, for some reason I don't understand, .Net is signifigantly slower to
install via a bootstrapper than via the stand-alone MSI.

The end result is a bunch of people who were willing to install the app now
think it sucks. They don't know it was the .Net framework that had issues,
they just know they tried to install SoapBox, it took an hour, and ultimatly
failed. This makes up look bad, and our software takes 100% of the blame.
>It's very sad that ".Net on the Desktop" isn't a reality. Unfortuantly,
the
reality is that MS hasn't pushed it out via Windows update, and doesn't
install it as part of Office, IE, or any other widespread product that I
know of.

They have pushed via windows update - but as an optional update.
Optional updates don't really do anyone any good. I would love to see the MS
numbers on the this. I would really like to see the reason behind why they
havnen't pushed it wider. I suspect it's due to the high failure rate on
install - especially for the .Net 3.0 stuff.
>... I've lost alot of sleep over this exact problem, and it's a hot
button
for me.

If it's a problem for you, then I respectfully have to say your using
the wrong toolset.
I agree with you. It's sad, but .Net isn't a suitable toolset for building
widely deployed desktop applications.

The problem for me was a failure to check my/our assumptions. We assumed the
..Net Framework was widely deployed - via Office / Windows update / IE7 / XP
SP2. This turned out to be incorrect, and has caused much pain. Nobody to
blame there by oursleves for such a poor assumption.

--
Chris Mullins
Dec 27 '07 #38

P: n/a
jim wrote:
>Well 1, DLL/.Net version hell has not been really an issue for a while
now -- at least speaking from my own experiences.

It really never was an issue - more of an excuse to go to .Net. The simple
fact was that DLL Hell was curable by simply placing all of your apps DLLs
in the same dir as the exe. But, with Thinstall or Postbuild you don't even
have to do that.
Yes. I'm reminded of an episode of the American version of the Office
where they have a "Run for the Cure" for rabies (an already curable
ailment).
>2, You don't need to install all those versions of the framework. If a
user has any kind of recent OS installation (XP SP2 or higher) they
already have a framework installed.

Really? When did that start? I am not aware of the framework being
installed as a security update or as a part of SP2? That's been one of my
pet peeves - why wasn't it?
I must be mistaken about XP, but I know Vista has the framework installed.
>At most you need 2.0/3.0/3.5.

Unless you or your company wrote 1.0 or 1.1 apps.
Yes, then you only need 1.0/1.1.
>It's only problematic in not up to date OSes, and if you are targeting old
PCs you probably shouldn't be writing stuff in .NET anyway.

Sound logic.....people with older PCs should just get the hell off the
internet. I like that! (But I wonder what they would think about it.
Hmmmm.... )
What I said and your response are vastly different. I simply suggested
you should use a different language for development if your target
environment has little to no support for recent updates/the .NET
framework. My onus was on the developer, not on the user.
>3, If it can run, it can be decompiled/disassembled. Obfuscation isn't as
great a solution as many people make it out to be. I understand in
protecting your investment, but there's a line between deterring lazy
people and making your code useless/slow because of the obfuscation
techniques.

Right. It's just that Thinstall/Xenocode make it more difficult than
obfuscation alone.
Either way, it still runs on X86, and therefore must decode to
instructions for those processors.
>4, Installing an application does not require administrator privileges in
any way. Installing an application which needs to access certain parts of
the filesystem or registry may require installation privileges, which are
available to Power Users.

Most useful applications write some data to the registry and do manipulate
files (although not necc system files). I have rarely found programs useful
that are so simple as to not use the system registry or manipulate files on
my systems.
Note the *certain parts* in the point you replied to. Anyone can write
files to the system, there's a specific spot for it for each user in
fact. It's more *where* you can write files to that are controlled by
security.
>Using this and #5 as a point *for* Thinstall and its ilk seems odd, since
most commercial software nowadays installs.

I guess that depends on your Windows permissions and network admin's anal
tension.
Yes, but trying to get around restrictive administrative policies such
as not installing software is probably a breach of the AUP of the
organization you work for. Most AUPs I've read/written include copying
files which do not alter the windows registry or install to a permanent
location as "installation".

If your counterpoint is that YMMV, well no duh.
>5, Yes, it may make running the software easy, but how trivial is updating
the software, keeping track of (and securing) temporary data caches, etc.,
etc..?

You don't work with the general public, do you?
Which is exactly my point. This is why the majority of software comes in
installable form and maintains itself by checking for updates.
>>Actually it was smaller the last time we tested Thinstall. I will try
and test it again and get you Paint .Net to try for yourself.
Smaller than what?

Than Paint .Net + the .Net framework.
Which wasn't even the discussion at hand. I'm not saying Paint.NET
should be used as the basis for comparison, in fact, I have no idea how
you came to that conclusion. What I'm saying is that I would like to see
Paint.NET using Thinstall vs Paint.NET and the .NET framework.
>>As a simple test, we made a "hello world" windows form and compiled it to
6MB. That beat the 24+MB download of the .Net framework alone.
And what was the size of your hello world EXE plus the framework
compressed into one file?

Just over 24MB. (The .Net install is already compressed.)
Then how does Thinstall manage to provide full framework functionality
in 6MB?

Not only that, you're missing the obvious point that the 24MB framework
download is just once, then there's just application updates. 24MB
one-time vs 6MB every time there's any kind of update/new version? On
some software that could be weekly. Plus, it's not a 1:1 like
Xenocode/Thinstall are, since the framework can/will get used by other
applications as well.
Now, I haven't tried to make a portable app in some time, but when I did,
they basically required you to change your app to fit into the portable app
scheme. Thinstall\Postbuild do not.
Well, mostly not.
>>It isn't for everybody.....but I think it improves the distribution and
maintenance of .Net apps for most people.
Distribution and ease of access, maybe, but I don't see how it improves
maintenance at all.

Streaming and replacing or updating single EXEs on a streaming server or on
each desktop is infinitely easier than running updates (or, God forbid,
uninstalls & re-installs) on each desktop.
I don't see how [replacing one file] is "infinitely easier" than
[replacing multiple files].
I currently care for 18 small businesses and 300+ PC users, and I'll take
the short road every time, if the users get the same end result.
If you care for all these users' PCs, can't you ensure their PCs have
appropriate .NET framework versions?

If it's of use to you, power to you for being able to use something like
this. I was not disputing that in any way, shape, or form. I'm simply
suggesting not everyone believes the same, especially since there aren't
many threads clamoring to have an all-in-one package like you're suggesting.

Again, I think it has its place, but for me it wouldn't be anything more
than a nifty feature I might use once or twice. Especially since the
framework is on everyone I know's PC anyway.

Chris.
Dec 27 '07 #39

P: n/a
Chris,

Will you be so kind to pay more attention to the way you quote, the way you
do this, brings for me Tom's message in a complete other context than I was
assuming what he wrote.

Cor

Dec 27 '07 #40

P: n/a
Hrm. I just went back and re-read, and I don't think I mis-quoted anything,
or took anything out of context. What did I misquote, and goof the context
on?

I try to quote as little as possible, while still retaining context...

--
Chris Mullins

"Cor Ligthert[MVP]" <no************@planet.nlwrote in message
news:46**********************************@microsof t.com...
Chris,

Will you be so kind to pay more attention to the way you quote, the way
you do this, brings for me Tom's message in a complete other context than
I was assuming what he wrote.

Cor

Dec 27 '07 #41

P: n/a
On Thu, 27 Dec 2007 10:46:26 -0500, "jim" <ji*@home.netwrote:
>What is it with Microsoft MVPs that they do not read about a subject before
posting on it?

Thinstall and Xenocode change NOTHING about the .Net framework or your
application. They simply wrap all needed .Net functionality and your
executable and any dependent files (like DLLs or ActiveX controls or other
files that your .Net app needs) into a single executable file.
Your initial post isn't very clear about what you want. These products
are mentioned but nothing is said about the functionality they
provide. It is a bit much to expect everyone to read about these tools
just to understand what question you're really asking.
>This means that your potential customer that is still on dial-up, the 25+MB
.Net framework may never get downloaded so your apps are worthless to them.

Are people still on dial up? Yep. The last hard figures I could find on
short notice said "It turns out that as few as 28 percent of American
households today have access to broadband Internet. That's according to
reporter Richard Hoffman in a Nov. 20, 2006 Information Week article, citing
data from Government Accountability Office." -
http://blog.tmcnet.com/wireless-mobi...onnections.asp.
And, while this report is now just over 1 year old, even if the # of
households with DSL doubled in 12 months (which is HIGHLY unlikely) that
means that 44% of households in the US are still on dial up.
You know nothing about anyone's potential customer base except perhaps
your own. If the app is important enough to the user, the user will
find a way to obtain and install the framework. Minimum requirements
should always be set. Will Thinstall/Xenocode really let your app run
on _any_ computer?
>As for your comparison of .Net prgramming to the use of Thinstall or
Xenocode, that only proves that you haven't read anything about either of
them.
I haven't read about these tools because I have no reason to. You want
to write an app using .NET tools and have it run as a single
executable on a platform which does not have.NET installed. Perhaps
you have chosen the wrong tools with which to write the application.
>MVPs.......God save us from Microsoft MVPs.
You may have fewer problems with MVPs responding to your queries in
the future.

regards
A.G.
Dec 27 '07 #42

P: n/a
Chris Mullins [MVP - C#] wrote:
"Chris Shepherd" <ch**@nospam.chsh.cawrote
>2, You don't need to install all those versions of the framework. If a
user has any kind of recent OS installation (XP SP2 or higher) they
already have a framework installed.

If only that were true. Unforunatly, it's not.

Windows XP SP2 doesn't install any versions of the .Net Framework by
default. Nor is it installed via Windows Update by default.
Hmm, I was completely certain it came with XP SP2, but I was mistaken I
see.
The only desktop Microsoft O/S that has .Net on it is Vista - that comes
with .Net 3.0.
Doesn't it come with Office 2003/2007? I notice in your other post you
mention it doesn't, but does that include Office 2007?
>4, Installing an application does not require administrator privileges in
any way.

Installing a .Net app requires installing the .Net framework. This
installation requires Admin rights, and a machine reboot. This means I've
got cranky users before they have even seen my application.
This is only true if the framework is not present.

I also wasn't commenting specifically on .NET applications, but rather
the more general "installed applications" vs "single-exe" applications.
Sorry that wasn't clearer.
In the classic coffee-house scenario, on a slow wireless, the .Net framework
installion takes - I kid you not - over an hour. This means any positive
viral impact your cool little app has is long gone, replaced by a negative
viral "that app sucks".
Right, and I wasn't arguing any of that. I'm just saying I don't see it
being included, and that I personally don't have a lot of use for it.
Sure, a few people here and there might find it handy, but at least the
majority of the .NET developers I know are in businesses that target a
business environment.

If Microsoft made XP SP3 include .NET 1.0/1.1 + 2.0/3.0/3.5, I think it
would pretty much invalidate the whole point of this discussion. It
seems to me that they would be far more likely to do that than they
would develop something for a somewhat niche market.
For building desktop apps, Delphi or Adobe Air currently seem the best way
to go.
Well, again, that depends on what you're targeting. If you're building
desktop applications aimed at being able to be run anywhere, yeah,
absolutely.

Chris.
Dec 27 '07 #43

P: n/a
Hello jim,

So, if nobody made it yet, then it means it have some serious limitation
which we can't see right now
there is no silver bullet in development world.

---
WBR,
Michael Nemtsev [.NET/C# MVP] :: blog: http://spaces.live.com/laflour

"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we
miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it" (c) Michelangelo
jI'm telling you....Thinstall-capability is the answer to distribution
jissues, DLL/version hell issues, permission issues, setup issues and
jeven helps maintain security on the desktop. Why nobody is making an
jaffordable version for the masses, or has taken this on as an open
jsource project is beyond me.
j>
jThe benefits are so great that NOT including this technology in .Net
jstudio is simply negligent.
j>
Dec 27 '07 #44

P: n/a
"jim" <ji*@home.netwrote:
What is it with Microsoft MVPs that they do not read about a subject
before posting on it?
Hrm. Let's see:

You post questions on free, public, forum to get answers from people.

.... are these people giving answers being paid? Nope.
MVPs.......God save us from Microsoft MVPs.
That's an awfully broad brush you're painting with. Sure you want to stand
by a statement like that?

--
Chris Mullins
Dec 27 '07 #45

P: n/a
On Dec 27, 1:46 pm, "Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]" <cmull...@yahoo.com>
wrote:
"Tom Shelton" <tom_shel...@comcast.netwrote
I couldn't disagree more strongly. Anyone planning on building a widely
deployed .Net application needs to be doing this.
But, personally, I would never
choose .NET for a horizontal, mass distributed application. That
would have to be something more standalone - like C++, Delphi, or
maybe PowerBasic (personally, I'd probably choose C++).

I agree. Completly.
There you go! :)
The lack of broad installation support for the .Net framework makes this
a
must. In relative terms, nobody has the framework installed. Installation
of
the framework requires Admin rights and a reboot.
Nobody? Really. Do you have stats on that.

In relative terms, very few people do (I don't have numbers, or I would
provide them). It's not installed by default with any O/S or major product,
nor is it pushed by Windows Update.
Well, it finally is starting with Vista - so maybe in 7 or 8 years
this won't be an issue :) But, that makes sense.
To have it installed the user either had to manually install it (via an
optional Windows Update), or be running a program that's already installed
it. Both are unlikley scenarios in the general case. Especially for the
non-tech savy users, that small "cute" apps typically target.
Again, makes sense. I ask this because I have never been in that
market - so I have no idea what the .NET landscape is like outside of
corporate networks :)
... this means if you install the Framework for them, via a bootstrapper
or
something similar, the user has a piss-poor opinion of your software
before
they've even run a line of your code.
Why? Because you install a dependency? Please.

Because, the installation process for .Net sometimes takes over an hour. It
also frequently fails to install at all. In the coffee-house scenario, where
users are trying to download and install your app via the free wireless,
it's not usable.
I've never had it take that long... But, that would be painful if
that's the case. But, again, I wouldn't choose .NET for that sort of
app anyway.
Also, for some reason I don't understand, .Net is signifigantly slower to
install via a bootstrapper than via the stand-alone MSI.
I've never noticed that myself - but, again I don't bother with that
stuff for the most part, because I don't have too.
The end result is a bunch of people who were willing to install the app now
think it sucks. They don't know it was the .Net framework that had issues,
they just know they tried to install SoapBox, it took an hour, and ultimatly
failed. This makes up look bad, and our software takes 100% of the blame.
Ouch. I can understand and feel your pain. I used to have the same
issues updating/installing an old VB5/6 app that I used to maintain.
Mostly it would work - but, there was always a percentage of machines
were it would always cause issues. And of course, even though it was
the install of a 3rd party package - we always took the heat.
It's very sad that ".Net on the Desktop" isn't a reality. Unfortuantly,
the
reality is that MS hasn't pushed it out via Windows update, and doesn't
install it as part of Office, IE, or any other widespread product that I
know of.
They have pushed via windows update - but as an optional update.

Optional updates don't really do anyone any good. I would love to see the MS
numbers on the this. I would really like to see the reason behind why they
havnen't pushed it wider. I suspect it's due to the high failure rate on
install - especially for the .Net 3.0 stuff.
Have you really had that many failures? Seriously, I've
installed .NET on hundreds of machines (and I mean that literally) -
and I can't ever recall having it fail....
... I've lost alot of sleep over this exact problem, and it's a hot
button
for me.
If it's a problem for you, then I respectfully have to say your using
the wrong toolset.

I agree with you. It's sad, but .Net isn't a suitable toolset for building
widely deployed desktop applications.
I agree with that. It is sad.
The problem for me was a failure to check my/our assumptions. We assumed the
.Net Framework was widely deployed - via Office / Windows update / IE7 / XP
SP2. This turned out to be incorrect, and has caused much pain. Nobody to
blame there by oursleves for such a poor assumption.
It happens.... Believe me, I've been bitten by my own assumptions
before as well.

--
Tom Shelton
Dec 27 '07 #46

P: n/a
"Chris Shepherd" <ch**@nospam.chsh.cawrote
>The only desktop Microsoft O/S that has .Net on it is Vista - that comes
with .Net 3.0.

Doesn't it come with Office 2003/2007? I notice in your other post you
mention it doesn't, but does that include Office 2007?
I'm not sure about Office 2007. It's so complicated due to the many
variations of the product - I don't think the Word / Excel stuff installs
it, but the complete version (with Groove) might.

I know Office 2003 didn't install it, and my suspision is that Office 2007
doesn't either. I don't know that for a fact. A quick search doesn't turn up
anything either way.
If Microsoft made XP SP3 include .NET 1.0/1.1 + 2.0/3.0/3.5, I think it
would pretty much invalidate the whole point of this discussion. It seems
to me that they would be far more likely to do that than they would
develop something for a somewhat niche market.
I sure hope they do. I can't for the life of me figure out why they haven't
already rolled it out. With the inroads the web is making into the desktop,
you would think providing the platform for building rich desktop
applications would be a primary concern...

A quick search of the web though returns nothing hopefull with regards to XP
SP3 and .Net.

--
Chris Mullins
Dec 27 '07 #47

P: n/a
"Tom Shelton" <to*********@comcast.netwrote
>Optional updates don't really do anyone any good. I would love
to see the MS numbers on the this. I would really like to see the
reason behind why they havnen't pushed it wider. I suspect it's
due to the high failure rate on install - especially for the .Net 3.0
stuff.
Have you really had that many failures? Seriously, I've
installed .NET on hundreds of machines (and I mean that literally) -
and I can't ever recall having it fail....
We haven't seen that many true failures- maybe a few dozen. We've seens lots
of "Took a reallllly long time. Wireless networke died after 40 minutes. Had
to restart. You product sucks. FOAD." In nearly all these cases (the ones
we've been able to analyze) the culprit has been the very long .Net
framework install.

The problem is when the install fails, we hear all about it, as people
quickly get very vocal. Then it's on forms that get archived and indexed by
search engines, and the next thing you know the top hits for the product are
all "Unable to installed.", "Broken", "Sucks".

Everything seems to install quite well on fresh computers. But on computers
that have been around a while (and are often infected with stuff), or are
running strange virus / malware scanners, or have had beta versions of stuff
installed, it seems to fail the most.

On the other hand, it's... very frustrating.

I personally have had to rebuild 2 dev workstations due to .Net install
failures. These involve beta versions of the .Net 3 & 3.5 frameworks that
failed to uninstall properly. I expect some of this given that they're beta,
but it's very frustrating how fragile the installers are..

--
Chris Mullins
Dec 27 '07 #48

P: n/a
On Dec 27, 3:02 pm, "Chris Mullins [MVP - C#]" <cmull...@yahoo.com>
wrote:
"Tom Shelton" <tom_shel...@comcast.netwrote
Optional updates don't really do anyone any good. I would love
to see the MS numbers on the this. I would really like to see the
reason behind why they havnen't pushed it wider. I suspect it's
due to the high failure rate on install - especially for the .Net 3.0
stuff.
Have you really had that many failures? Seriously, I've
installed .NET on hundreds of machines (and I mean that literally) -
and I can't ever recall having it fail....

We haven't seen that many true failures- maybe a few dozen. We've seens lots
of "Took a reallllly long time. Wireless networke died after 40 minutes. Had
to restart. You product sucks. FOAD." In nearly all these cases (the ones
we've been able to analyze) the culprit has been the very long .Net
framework install.
That's too bad. Really, I just never have had that particular problem
- of course, like I said I've always worked in controlled
environments.
The problem is when the install fails, we hear all about it, as people
quickly get very vocal. Then it's on forms that get archived and indexed by
search engines, and the next thing you know the top hits for the product are
all "Unable to installed.", "Broken", "Sucks".
I can imagine that sucks.
Everything seems to install quite well on fresh computers. But on computers
that have been around a while (and are often infected with stuff), or are
running strange virus / malware scanners, or have had beta versions of stuff
installed, it seems to fail the most.

On the other hand, it's... very frustrating.

I personally have had to rebuild 2 dev workstations due to .Net install
failures. These involve beta versions of the .Net 3 & 3.5 frameworks that
failed to uninstall properly. I expect some of this given that they're beta,
but it's very frustrating how fragile the installers are..
As for the rest - beta? Yeah, I've had lots of the beta stuff fail
and there were problems uninstalling some of it as well. That's why
for the last several cycles, I pretty much limit the beta stuff to
vm's then It's not a big deal to rebuild it :)

--
Tom Shelton
Dec 27 '07 #49

P: n/a
>>It's only problematic in not up to date OSes, and if you are targeting
old
PCs you probably shouldn't be writing stuff in .NET anyway.

Sound logic.....people with older PCs should just get the hell off the
internet. I like that! (But I wonder what they would think about it.
Hmmmm.... )
What does .Net have to do with using the internet?

Dec 28 '07 #50

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