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Thread: Assorted questions

  1. #1

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    New Member Erlkoenig's Avatar
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    Assorted questions

    I've finally reached a new milestone in my coding project: I'm now able to hand my program to a couple more folks so that they can test my program. Rather than use the method I've been using for that, I want to send them an installer package. However, I'm not sure how to proceed, hence some questions that are general to that goal, as well as specific:

    Specific Questions:

    • Where do I find the full cadre of files I need to include? When I was using VB6, I was coding 32bit and had an easy time figuring out what support files would be required. Now I'm using VB.Net and the environment is night-and-day different. There are a bunch of DLL and XML files in bin/debug and its x64 and x86 subdirectorties, along with a few other esoteric files. I don't know if they're there for debug purposes, or if they're required as part of the installation package. If they are required, where should the installer put them?
    • Is there anything else "special" I need to do since this is 64-bit? Unless something getting rolled into the build is 32-bit, this is purely 64-bit. Please see my related "general" question for more on that.
    • Not Installer related, but: How do I embed multiple icons in the application .exe? The intent here is so that you could change the shortcut icon to one other than the default. The following screengrab is the sort of thing I'm referring to (the example applies to Firefox): Name:  capture.png
Views: 296
Size:  18.2 KB
      I've followed instructions that had me generate a resource file with icons, compile a resource file listing icons, add icons in the project properties resource section, and more. The compile-time result is always the same: One icon only. I did find one method that works sometimes, but usually clobbers the .exe. There was also a method that built a DLL file, and I was entertaining that as an alternative, but it didn't work either. Everything I've read involves C, C++, and/or C#, and only the latter apparently allows multiple icons to be embedded. Is there a surefire way to do this in VB.net?
    • On the subject of embedding: Can PNG files be embedded similarly? I'm guessing no, but asking all the same to be sure. The purpose would be for them to be accessible from external sources.


    General Questions:
    10-20 years ago I was using a package called InnoSetup to create my installer package. I'm loosely familiar with this package even though that was Inno 5. The current version is Inno 6, and for the greater part it looks the same (Inno-Script Studio takes a lot of guesswork out here). However, I don't see anything that allows Inno to work in concert with VS2022 to take the guesswork out of the things I asked above.

    • Has anyone here used NSIS or InstallForge? These are alternate installer package generators. While I may have unknowingly been on the user-side of them, I've never heard of, or used either from the "business end".
    • If the answer to the above is yes, does the generator integrate into VS2022 and take care of those inclusions?
    • Is there a good, reliable method for creating an installer package within VS2022 that works with VB.net? I see a lot stuff that will work with C/C++/C#, just not VB. The same goes for google searches; not a lot out there on "How-to", just on fixing problems.
    • Is there a way of setting the compiler to include debug objects when building debug, and excluding them for a release build based on what's in the drop-down? Either I'm missing something or it's staring me in the face and generating a PEBCAK error.
    • Does anyone know how to permanently whitelist the binary in AV software, specifically Kaspersky? I've done it repeatedly, and every time I add the exclusion, it goes away after a few days. It will flag the program whenever it does an external call to the Windows File Manager (Explorer). Granted recompiles may change the signature in the AV causing a prompt but outright removal from the whitelist????

    Thanks
    Last edited by Erlkoenig; Jun 20th, 2024 at 02:03 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Assorted questions

    To answer some of your installation questions: In your solution explorer in VS2022, right click on your solution and click "Add > New Project" and type "setup" in the template search on the Add a new project dialog. The template is simply called "Setup Project" and "Setup Wizard".

    As far as I know they both add the same thing to your project, but "Setup Wizard" has a wizard to help you create the project. It's pretty simple and built right into VS2022, and it will also include ALL necessary files and it should also include any runtime files that might be needed. Building the setup project creates an .exe and an .msi that you use to install your program. It's decently easy to work with and should do what you want.

    I haven't used any other kind of setup package, so I'm not sure about the pros and cons. I just know this one is all I need and works fairly simply.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jmcilhinney's Avatar
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    Re: Assorted questions

    Quote Originally Posted by themindgoblin View Post
    It's pretty simple and built right into VS2022
    That's not completely true, although the difference isn't all that important. Setup projects used to be built right into VS, then they weren't at all, and now they are provided via an extension. That extension is installed by default these days, although that wasn't always the case, and it can be uninstalled if you choose.

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