We are considering creating multi-platform installer packages for the sip-communicator.
The SIP Communicator is currently available through zip files, webstart, and source. Yet there are often installation problems (mostly with jmf). We have been trying various hacks so far but we still don't have a generic solution that would work seamlessly on any machine.
Our question (or rather a call for propositions) to you guys is: What would you propose as an installer generator for the sip-communicator?
The ideal application would be able to generate installers capable of:
- Gracefully handling the case of a missing JVM
This means that the user would either have to be redirected to SUN's JRE download page or, better yet - the installer would download and install the proper JRE for the user. I guess this pretty much means that we'll have to have a native installer or otherwise it won't be able to even start if no JVM is present. Webstart for example is capable of upgrading your JVM but still - it needs at least jre1.3 to be present in order to do that.
- Deploying native libs OR modifying environment variables.
This one is for JMF. Webstart allows the user to download native libs but it woun't put them in a location present in the LD_LIBRARY_PATH (linux) or PATH (windows) variable which means that shared libs themselves won't be able to "see" each other
- Possibility to act a root/Administrator
This one is a sequence from the previous point. Directories that are in LD_LIBRARY_PATH/PATH env vars by default, are often only accessible to root (Admin). Copying native libs to those directories would therefore require the superuser rights. That's why it would be very useful if generated installers could demand the user to enter a root passwd and access those directories.
- Possibility to launch from a web page
This one is not as critical as the above but it is nevertheless quite nice to have.
I believe that latest versions of both InstallShield and InstallAnywhere are capable of doing all of the above. But (unless anyone would want to contribute them to the sip-communicator.org community) they are a bit too expensive for an open source project ... so are you aware of an open source alternative.
Looking forward to your comments