Page 1 of 1

XRoar Windows packaging - good? bad?

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:09 pm
by sixxie
I've pushed out some new snapshot builds here:

Firstly, this hopefully includes all the option parsing changes I wanted to get done - in the config file you can "quote sections" and Include\ Escape\x20Sequences. From the command line it assumes your shell has done all the quoting but still permits escape sequences (so you can still '-type' things with \r, etc.).

I'm also told the snapshot builds of late have been a bit better for avoiding the slowdown on Windows.

But you'll also see some .msi files in there (just in time for "winget" to come and replace it, I suppose). Is this a packaging format people like? It installs the binary to a system location and plonks down startup menu and desktop links. Only downside is you can't just stick your ROMs in the unpacked directory, you actually have to create "%USERPROFILE%/Local Settings/Application Data/XRoar/roms".

I'm thinking of having the binary create that directory when you run it - maybe even create an empty xroar.conf in the level above so people have something to edit.

The MSIs are configured such that you can have a release build and a snapshot build installed simultaneously, and a new installer will overwrite the old version of whichever build type. Also the snapshot versioning has changed due the great way MS ignore their own version strings in their packager :)

Any thoughts?

Edit: I've just found out that Windows moved its settings directories again... Now there's something called "AppData". Argh!

Re: XRoar Windows packaging - good? bad?

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:40 am
by sorchard
I tried the msi on my work laptop which has Win7. The desktop shortcut works, as does the link to the manual via the start menu. The installation ended up here:

C:\Program Files\\XRoar snapshot 0.35.15208

I was able to put roms in either of these folders:


It is also possible to put roms in the installation folder with admin permission. xroar seems fine with that.

The AppData folder is hidden, and not easy to find unless you already know where it is. I think the average Windows user wouldn't even be aware of it. Windows users would be more familiar with the 'Documents' folder as it is not hidden and much easier to find. It looks like you get to this folder programmatically with "%USERPROFILE%\Documents"

Creating an empty/example folder/file structure would make it much easier for users to drag files to the right places. A shortcut to the folder is also handy.

Personally, I always put xroar on a short path from the root to make things easier on the command line. New versions just got dropped into the existing folder. That said my use case is more development oriented, so probably not representative of someone who mainly wants to run a collection of existing titles.

Re: XRoar Windows packaging - good? bad?

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:34 pm
by sixxie
Thanks for testing that - I guess AppData existed even in Windows 7, then? I'm guessing that "Local Settings/Application Data/" and "Application Data/" have been maintained as symlinks I mean junctions.

But you're right about the hidden directories - I found it quite annoying, and I knew they were there! "Documents/XRoar/" is a good idea. I'll tweak things so it looks there first for the conf file and, as per the other paths, in "Documents/XRoar/roms/" for the ROM images.

So far everyone expressing an opinion has consistently preferred a simple ZIP file distribution. Takes me no extra effort to build both now (I already baked it into my build script along with all the GUID variations for snapshot builds), but I'll probably carry on primarily listing the ZIPs, and maybe have the MSIs sitting in the download directory for people to find if they want to.

Re: XRoar Windows packaging - good? bad?

Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:16 pm
by Alastair
I'm happy with the ZIP files, but I've been using XRoar from the very early days and so I am used to copying over the contents of the ZIP file, I suspect most other people using XRoar also fall in that category.

The question is what would someone who has never used XRoar before prefer?

Re: XRoar Windows packaging - good? bad?

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:33 pm
by Azerpy
Hello Ciaran.
Thank you for this new version of Xroar.
I have installed it on my W10 laptop (64 bits) with the .msi file.
I can launch xroar in the start list of programs and see the new manual there.
I have put all my files in a Documents/XROAR folder as written in the manual 1.1.2.
Only one thing, if I put Xroar in full screen, no posibility to go back with the escape key.
It is not a problem for me, but in this case, I have to use the "windows" key and shut Xroar.

Re: XRoar Windows packaging - good? bad?

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:09 pm
by sixxie
Azerpy wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:33 pm Only one thing, if I put Xroar in full screen, no posibility to go back with the escape key.
Try F11 or Control+F. Escape key doing that would get annoying quick, as it's mapped to BREAK :)

Re: XRoar Windows packaging - good? bad?

Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:04 pm
by Azerpy
To go and return from full screen, F11 and alt F are good !