Growl On Your Phone
If your application uses Growl notifications and you would like to ensure that end users have Growl for Windows installed, you have a few options. Your application or installer can simply inform the user that Growl for Windows is required and rely on the user to handle the installation separately, or you can integrate the installation into your application directly.
- Using a third-party installer tools (Wise, NSIS, InstallShield, WiX, etc)
- Using Visual Studio Setup & Deployment Projects
Third-party Installer Tools
Growl for Windows is installed using a standard MSI package. Most installer authoring tools allow you 'bootstrap' other MSI packages. The official v2.0 MSI file is located at the following url:
Depending on how your installer authoring tool works, you can either download the GfW MSI file and include it with your distribution, or you can point directly to the above url and let the installer download the files directly if required.
The following link gives an example on how to do this using the NSIS installer:
Visual Studio Setup & Deployment Projects
When creating a deployment project using Visual Studio (2005 & 2008), you can specify the prerequisites for the installation. For instance, Growl for Windows requires that the .NET Framework v2.0 be installed before GfW will install.
After you create your Setup & Deployment project, right-click on the project and then select 'Properties'. From the property page window that comes up, click the 'Prerequisites' button.
The next page will show a list of available prerequisites that you can specify. However, you will notice that Growl for Windows does not appear in the list. In order to get Growl for Windows to appear in the list, you must download and run the following file:
(All that program does is copy the necessary bootstrapper information to 'Packages' folder of the Visual Studio SDK, which is '[path to Visual Studio]\SDK\v2.0\BootStrapper\Packages')
If you restart Visual Studio and nagivate back to the Prerequisites screen, Growl for Windows will now be included in the list of available options:
The default behavior is for the installer to detect if Growl for Windows is already installed, and if not, download the GfW MSI from the internet. That keeps the size of the files you need to redistribute smaller, but if you would prefer to include the GfW MSI with your distribution (and thus skip having the end user download it from the internet), you can select the 'Download prerequisites from the same location as my application' option. (Note that Visual Studio will apply your choice for all prerequisites, so if your app also requires the .NET Framework for example, it will include the dotnetfx.exe installer as well. There is no way to specify the location individually for each prerequisite unfortunately.)