Which is best for developing apps?


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Thread: Which is best for developing apps?

  1. #1
    Greg Guest

    Which is best for developing apps?


    I'm developing a VB application that will definately be installed on Windows
    95/98/NT/2K/XP/ME machines. I plan on using Microsoft's Package&Depolyment
    tool to create the setup package.

    Any thoughts on which version of Windows I should use to develop/compile
    my app to avoid compatability problems during deployment/runtime?
    Or is the OS not relevant? Anyone have any issues before?


    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Arthur Wood Guest

    Re: Which is best for developing apps?


    Greg,

    In general, my approach has always been - Use the LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR
    - in this case, since you indicate that you MAY need to run on Windows 95,
    then THAT is where you are ALMOST forced to do your development. But remember,
    W95 is NOW an OBSOLETE operating system, no longer supported by Microsoft,
    so if it were up to me, I would NOT choose to develope for that platform,
    and make the minimum system be Windows 98.

    But if that choice is NOT UP TO YOU, then Windows 95 is where you MUST do
    your development.

    Arthur Wood



    "Greg" <glohes@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >
    >I'm developing a VB application that will definately be installed on Windows
    >95/98/NT/2K/XP/ME machines. I plan on using Microsoft's Package&Depolyment
    >tool to create the setup package.
    >
    >Any thoughts on which version of Windows I should use to develop/compile
    >my app to avoid compatability problems during deployment/runtime?
    >Or is the OS not relevant? Anyone have any issues before?
    >
    >
    >Thanks.



  3. #3
    Steve Guest

    Re: Which is best for developing apps?


    I've recently run into this. I find it depends on the referenced elements
    in the project. If the application is made up of basic controls and libraries
    then you can relatively safely develop on any OS, *provided* you let the
    PDW extract the system files and use the latest VB service packs.

    When you start factoring in additional libraries that the PDW doesn't recognize,
    things can get dangerous if you're working on a newer OS and installing on
    an older one if you manually grab dependency DLLs out of the System32 directory.
    (This can lead to very, very bad things I've run into a problem where gathering
    the dependencies for a third party grid from an NT4 SP6 machine and installing
    them on an NT4 SP4 machine caused the SP4 machine to stop booting.

    However I have successfully deployed an installation from a 2000 box to a
    98 machine without a serious hitch using the PDW. The snags with the older
    OS was mainly the IE version, which didn't have support for the Scripting
    runtime. (FileSysObject)

    My advice is that it's safe to develop on any OS you prefer, but be absolutely
    sure to test your application thoroughly on any OS you plan to support, and
    define a minimum service pack level for each OS. (Especially 95 and NT) Also,
    don't just test the installation & start-up, but also the entire GUI and
    data access functionality to save headaches from your customer that you may
    not be able to reproduce immediately on your development box.

    Steve.

    "Greg" <glohes@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >
    >I'm developing a VB application that will definately be installed on Windows
    >95/98/NT/2K/XP/ME machines. I plan on using Microsoft's Package&Depolyment
    >tool to create the setup package.
    >
    >Any thoughts on which version of Windows I should use to develop/compile
    >my app to avoid compatability problems during deployment/runtime?
    >Or is the OS not relevant? Anyone have any issues before?
    >
    >
    >Thanks.



  4. #4
    Eli Guest

    Re: Which is best for developing apps?



    Well this is kind of a tough one. I have found that if you write your app
    for NT it will pretty much work on 2k and XP. However sometimes there is
    a problem between the Win 95/98 and NT platforms. Usually if you write your
    app in Win 95 platform it will run in all other platforms like NT, 2k, and
    XP. What you might want to do is write your app on the 95 platform. But test
    on all the other platforms. You may need to even write some functions that
    do things differently in other platforms. It may take longer to do that,
    but you will have an application that can be installed on any computer with
    Win 95 or greater. I hope that this is helpful.

    ELI

    "Greg" <glohes@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >
    >I'm developing a VB application that will definately be installed on Windows
    >95/98/NT/2K/XP/ME machines. I plan on using Microsoft's Package&Depolyment
    >tool to create the setup package.
    >
    >Any thoughts on which version of Windows I should use to develop/compile
    >my app to avoid compatability problems during deployment/runtime?
    >Or is the OS not relevant? Anyone have any issues before?
    >
    >
    >Thanks.



  5. #5
    SteelCodr Guest

    Re: Which is best for developing apps?

    XP development platform to an NT target using the PDW can do very very bad
    things! The PDW does a good job of detecting all the files you use, but
    these files may not be suitable for a lower platform. Specifically, I found
    msvcrt.dll is troublesome. The XP version of this file appears to make NT
    non-bootable.

    I use the PDW to detrermnine what files I have in use, and then use NSIS to
    do the installation - you have much more control of the installation, in my
    opinion, but other people swear by other installation packages. (NSIS is
    free, and you get the source code for it) - you can do some really nice neat
    and wacky things with it, too, without detracting from the whole 'windows'
    feel.

    Having to deploy to multiple OSs can add a lot of time: you truly should
    have 'clean' installations of any operating system you are going to
    distibute to, and test it first. Plus, just because you develop on one OS
    does in no way mean it will run on other installations of the same OS. This
    does depend, of course, on the complexity of the project (a simple 'hello
    world' won't have much dificulty), but Database accessing, scripting runtime
    (someone mentioned this) can be problematic.


    "Greg" <glohes@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:3dc019df$1@tnews.web.devx.com...
    >
    > I'm developing a VB application that will definately be installed on

    Windows
    > 95/98/NT/2K/XP/ME machines. I plan on using Microsoft's

    Package&Depolyment
    > tool to create the setup package.
    >
    > Any thoughts on which version of Windows I should use to develop/compile
    > my app to avoid compatability problems during deployment/runtime?
    > Or is the OS not relevant? Anyone have any issues before?
    >
    >
    > Thanks.




  6. #6
    Peter Young Guest

    Re: Which is best for developing apps?

    I'll throw my 2 cents in too...

    If you use straight VB code, that code will run on all Win32
    OSs. If you have any API calls, you need to verify that the
    calls will work on all versions of Windows. Also, any
    dependencies in your project need to be looked at to
    guarantee that they will work on all versions of Windows.

    I think what's far more important here is that you not use
    the Package and Deployment Wheezer. It is at best a barely
    adequate installer. Use something decent. If you want to
    stay in the free category then use Inno Setup. It's a very
    highly-evolved, professional and robust tool with excellent
    support via the Inno newsgroups. The P&DW finds dependencies
    for you (sort of) which some people like, and Inno requires
    you to tell it what to include. Personally I prefer the
    latter as it makes you aware of what's really going on
    during the install process.
    http://www.jrsoftware.org/isinfo.php

    Best,
    Pete

    "Greg" <glohes@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:3dc019df$1@tnews.web.devx.com...
    >
    > I'm developing a VB application that will definately be

    installed on Windows
    > 95/98/NT/2K/XP/ME machines. I plan on using Microsoft's

    Package&Depolyment
    > tool to create the setup package.
    >
    > Any thoughts on which version of Windows I should use to

    develop/compile
    > my app to avoid compatability problems during

    deployment/runtime?
    > Or is the OS not relevant? Anyone have any issues before?
    >
    >
    > Thanks.




  7. #7
    Bernie Guest

    Re: Which is best for developing apps?


    >The P&DW finds dependencies
    >for you (sort of) which some people like, and Inno requires
    >you to tell it what to include. Personally I prefer the
    >latter as it makes you aware of what's really going on
    >during the install process.


    Hi,

    The PDW doesn't 'find' anything for you. It just tries to read the DEP-files
    for each and every component used, that tells it what's needed to include
    and just(!) includes it. The PDW finaly shows what it have found and lets
    you edit the result.

    How many developers keep their DEP-files in shape?. Too many developers don't
    even know of their existens(!). Too many third-party suppliers of components
    seems to belong to this category since too often no DEP-files are included
    with their components.

    I've tried a number of 'setup-wizards' and haven't this far found any that
    can decide better than the one creating the app, what files to include and
    where to put them. I haven't even seen one this far that makes any kind of
    version checks of the files it includes.

    Never, ever rely on some kind of wizard to make the job for you. And furthermore,
    before trying to put the stuff together, make a list of the files needed,
    their versions, where to put them, if they are to be shared and how they
    should be registered.

    Try the package on a 'clean machine', meaning a newly installed Windows.
    And do this with every version of Windows you promise your app should work
    on.

    ...certainly it works on the machine you have built it on, but on all others?

    Bernie

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