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Re: Installation clarity

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  • björn
    Hi George, ... All Mac apps either come as an archive (admittedly it is usually a .dmg though) or as an installer program. In the former case you always just
    Message 1 of 13 , Dec 9, 2009
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      Hi George,

      2009/12/6 George Dinwiddie:
      > Just an FYI that this Mac newbie (experienced with both Windows &
      > Unices) found the installation a little confusing.  I ended up putting
      > the MacVim program in /Applications & the mvim script in /usr/local/bin
      > along with a gvim symbolic link.  Does that seem right?  Would it be
      > worth adding to the install package?

      All Mac apps either come as an archive (admittedly it is usually a
      .dmg though) or as an installer program. In the former case you
      always just drag the app to wherever you want to keep it (usually
      /Applications). The latter is not used that often really, or when it
      is it's usually because the app you're installing contains multiple
      files. In any case, it is not suitable for MacVim since it is only
      one app bundle (the "mvim" script is optional).

      In the archive I also provide this README:

      ------
      This archive contains a snapshot build of 'MacVim.app' and the shell script
      'mvim'.

      For usage instructions, please start MacVim and type ":h macvim"
      (without the quotes).

      This snapshot requires an Intel Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later.
      ------

      Do you think I should be more explicit on the install instructions
      here? The help (:h macvim) should contain all the information you
      need (scroll down to ":h mvim"), but maybe it is better to spell you
      the installation essentials in the readme? Or does anybody ever read
      readmes anyway?

      Anyway, apart from the "mvim" script, I don't think the installation
      procedure can be simplified.

      Björn

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    • George Dinwiddie
      Hi, Björn, At least some people read the readme, because I did. I just wasn t sure, after doing so, what was the correct way to install. Much of this is
      Message 2 of 13 , Dec 9, 2009
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        Hi, Björn,

        At least some people read the readme, because I did. I just wasn't
        sure, after doing so, what was the "correct" way to install. Much of
        this is my own inexperience with the OSX environment.

        My posting was prompted by two motivations:
        1. To confirm that I'd done a reasonable thing, and
        2. To help improve the situation for the next person.

        I've found that when I know something, it's very difficult for me to
        remember what confused me before I knew it. In many things I create,
        getting that newbie point of view is both important and difficult for
        me. All I'm suggesting is that it might be worth adding a few more
        lines to the readme. Maybe something like:

        "To install, drag the MacVim app into your Applications folder. If
        you'd like easy access from the command line, put the mvim script
        somewhere on your PATH, or provide an alias to it."

        Does that make sense?

        - George


        björn wrote:
        > Hi George,
        >
        > 2009/12/6 George Dinwiddie:
        >> Just an FYI that this Mac newbie (experienced with both Windows &
        >> Unices) found the installation a little confusing. I ended up putting
        >> the MacVim program in /Applications & the mvim script in /usr/local/bin
        >> along with a gvim symbolic link. Does that seem right? Would it be
        >> worth adding to the install package?
        >
        > All Mac apps either come as an archive (admittedly it is usually a
        > .dmg though) or as an installer program. In the former case you
        > always just drag the app to wherever you want to keep it (usually
        > /Applications). The latter is not used that often really, or when it
        > is it's usually because the app you're installing contains multiple
        > files. In any case, it is not suitable for MacVim since it is only
        > one app bundle (the "mvim" script is optional).
        >
        > In the archive I also provide this README:
        >
        > ------
        > This archive contains a snapshot build of 'MacVim.app' and the shell script
        > 'mvim'.
        >
        > For usage instructions, please start MacVim and type ":h macvim"
        > (without the quotes).
        >
        > This snapshot requires an Intel Mac running Mac OS X 10.5 or later.
        > ------
        >
        > Do you think I should be more explicit on the install instructions
        > here? The help (:h macvim) should contain all the information you
        > need (scroll down to ":h mvim"), but maybe it is better to spell you
        > the installation essentials in the readme? Or does anybody ever read
        > readmes anyway?
        >
        > Anyway, apart from the "mvim" script, I don't think the installation
        > procedure can be simplified.
        >
        > Björn
        >

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        Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
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      • björn
        ... That sounds good...I will add this to the README. It is invaluable to me to get user feedback on how to enhance these sort of little things since I myself
        Message 3 of 13 , Dec 9, 2009
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          2009/12/9 George Dinwiddie:
          > At least some people read the readme, because I did.  I just wasn't
          > sure, after doing so, what was the "correct" way to install.  Much of
          > this is my own inexperience with the OSX environment.
          >
          > My posting was prompted by two motivations:
          >  1. To confirm that I'd done a reasonable thing, and
          >  2. To help improve the situation for the next person.
          >
          > I've found that when I know something, it's very difficult for me to
          > remember what confused me before I knew it.  In many things I create,
          > getting that newbie point of view is both important and difficult for
          > me.  All I'm suggesting is that it might be worth adding a few more
          > lines to the readme.  Maybe something like:
          >
          > "To install, drag the MacVim app into your Applications folder.  If
          > you'd like easy access from the command line, put the mvim script
          > somewhere on your PATH, or provide an alias to it."
          >
          > Does that make sense?

          That sounds good...I will add this to the README. It is invaluable to
          me to get user feedback on how to enhance these sort of little things
          since I myself don't think much about them. Thanks!

          Björn

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        • Steven Michalske
          ... Package maker can make installers with MacVIM to /Applications and also optionally install mvim to say /usr/local/bin By default if someone moves MacVIM
          Message 4 of 13 , Dec 9, 2009
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            On Dec 9, 2009, at 2:02 AM, björn wrote:

            > All Mac apps either come as an archive (admittedly it is usually a
            > .dmg though) or as an installer program. In the former case you
            > always just drag the app to wherever you want to keep it (usually
            > /Applications). The latter is not used that often really, or when it
            > is it's usually because the app you're installing contains multiple
            > files. In any case, it is not suitable for MacVim since it is only
            > one app bundle (the "mvim" script is optional).

            Package maker can make installers with MacVIM to /Applications and
            also optionally install mvim to say /usr/local/bin

            By default if someone moves MacVIM from /Applications the installer
            will follow the move and reinstall newer versions to where the user
            moved the Application bundle.

            Also the mvim component can be set as an optional installed item.

            This is precluding sparkle integration judgments, as I have not
            developed with sparkle.

            Hardkrash

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          • dacresni
            that solution doesn t solve enough problems. I have added ~/bin in my path and put a symlink to mvim there. an alias my work better sense it s automatically
            Message 5 of 13 , Dec 9, 2009
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              that solution doesn't solve enough problems. I have added ~/bin in my
              path and put a symlink to mvim there. an alias my work better sense
              it's automatically updated when the target moves but my account is
              about the only thing that uses this program. I have many other things
              in that folder so it makes sense. Plus if you dont like having it
              listed, you could just prepend a dot and it should still work.

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            • René Köcher
              ... With this lots of discussion going on I think I should state my point too. Dragging apps into the application folder is how it s always been on mac - easy.
              Message 6 of 13 , Dec 9, 2009
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                On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 2:16 AM, dacresni <vivacarlie@...> wrote:
                > that solution doesn't solve enough problems. I have added ~/bin in my
                > path and put a symlink to mvim there. an alias my work better sense
                > it's automatically updated when the target moves but my account is
                > about the only thing that uses this program. I have many other things
                > in that folder so it makes sense. Plus if you dont like having it
                > listed, you could just prepend a dot and it should still work.
                >
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                >
                >

                With this lots of discussion going on I think I should state my point too.

                Dragging apps into the application folder is how it's always been on mac - easy.
                In my opinion it's the best way to install MacVim.

                Regarding the optional mvim script - why not take the same approach as
                Textmate did?
                In Textmate you have a click able help entry to install optional
                components like mate
                (the mvim for Textmate) or "Edit in Textmate".

                MacVim could bundle the mvim script right in it's application bundle
                and provide a
                simple command or script to create the needed symlinks.

                With this you would have all the benefits of drag-and-drop install,
                sparkle and mvim.
                (For which you have to read the :help entry anyway..)

                +1 D&D app-bundle


                Cheers,
                Shirk
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              • Nico Weber
                ... The plan was to put an install mvim script button in the second preference pane, but nobody got around to implementing it yet. Patches welcome, I guess
                Message 7 of 13 , Dec 9, 2009
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                  > With this lots of discussion going on I think I should state my
                  > point too.
                  >
                  > Dragging apps into the application folder is how it's always been on
                  > mac - easy.
                  > In my opinion it's the best way to install MacVim.
                  >
                  > Regarding the optional mvim script - why not take the same approach as
                  > Textmate did?
                  > In Textmate you have a click able help entry to install optional
                  > components like mate
                  > (the mvim for Textmate) or "Edit in Textmate".
                  >
                  > MacVim could bundle the mvim script right in it's application bundle
                  > and provide a
                  > simple command or script to create the needed symlinks.
                  >
                  > With this you would have all the benefits of drag-and-drop install,
                  > sparkle and mvim.
                  > (For which you have to read the :help entry anyway..)

                  The plan was to put an "install mvim script" button in the second
                  preference pane, but nobody got around to implementing it yet. Patches
                  welcome, I guess :-)

                  Nico

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                • Robert H
                  ... I like that! Bob -- You received this message from the vim_mac maillist. For more information, visit http://www.vim.org/maillist.php
                  Message 8 of 13 , Dec 10, 2009
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                    On 12/8/09 8:36 PM, Edward Marczak wrote:
                    > On Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 7:28 PM, Robert H<sigzero@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >> I leave everything alone and put the following in my .bashrc as an alias:
                    >>
                    >> alias vim='/Applications/MacVim/MacVim.app/Contents/MacOS/Vim'
                    >> alias gvim='/Applications/MacVim/MacVim.app/Contents/MacOS/Vim -g'
                    >
                    > I'm doing something similar, but since aliases don't get passed to
                    > sub-shells, I'm exporting functions:
                    >
                    > vi() { ${HOME}/Applications/MacVim/mvim ${@}; }
                    > vim() { ${HOME}/Applications/MacVim/mvim ${@}; }
                    > gvim () { ${HOME}/Applications/MacVim/mvim ${@}; }
                    > vimdiff() { ${HOME}/Applications/MacVim/mvim -d ${@}; }
                    > export -f vi
                    > export -f vim
                    > export -f gvim
                    > export -f vimdiff
                    >

                    I like that!

                    Bob

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                  • Carl Jacobsen
                    ... Agreed. Mac apps shouldn t use installers unless they have considerably complicated installations, like installing kernel extensions and other bits all
                    Message 9 of 13 , Dec 17, 2009
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                      On Thu, 10 Dec 2009, René Köcher wrote:

                      > Dragging apps into the application folder is how it's always been on
                      > mac - easy. In my opinion it's the best way to install MacVim.

                      Agreed. Mac apps shouldn't use installers unless they have considerably
                      complicated installations, like installing kernel extensions and other
                      bits all over the filesystem. Installers (vs. a plain "drag this to
                      somewhere" app) tend to evoke distrust, and sometimes even ire, from
                      some (particularly old-school) Mac users.

                      > Regarding the optional mvim script - why not take the same approach
                      > as Textmate did?
                      > In Textmate you have a click able help entry to install optional
                      > components like mate (the mvim for Textmate) or "Edit in Textmate".
                      >
                      > MacVim could bundle the mvim script right in it's application bundle
                      > and provide a simple command or script to create the needed symlinks.

                      A menu choice somewhere in MacVim for "install mvim command-line script"
                      would be helpful, but it could be even simpler...

                      On startup, MacVim already reads (and occasionally updates) some (Mac)
                      preferences (out of ~/Library/Preferences/org.vim.MacVim.plist), right?

                      So store a "last version/build run" field, check it when MacVim starts
                      up, if the current version number differs from the last (or if there's
                      no last version, because this is a first time install), then check the
                      directories in $PATH for mvim. If it isn't found (or if it is, but the
                      contents compare as different to the one stored in MacVim's Resources),
                      pop up a dialog box over the initial Vim window, offering to install
                      mvim. It doesn't even need to be complicated with a file chooser. If
                      /usr/local/bin is on the users $PATH, offer to install it there, else
                      if $HOME/bin is on the path, offer that, otherwise make it a simple
                      informational alert box that explains there's this optional script
                      called mvim that the user could install if they felt inclined to do
                      so (along with "see :h mvim-install for details").

                      Chances are, anyone who would be interested in using mvim already has
                      put /usr/local/bin, or ~/bin, on their path, and the dialog only
                      appears once for each new version of MacVim installed (and actually not
                      even that -- because of the heavy overlap between "MacVim users" and
                      "Terminal users", a very common case will be that you already have
                      mvim on your path and the contents are the same as new MacVim's
                      version of mvim, so you'd only get the dialog in the rare case of
                      starting a new version of MacVim that also has an updated version
                      of mvim).

                      Then, if you want to complete the "look like other apps" install
                      experience, put MacVim.app in a .dmg file along with a Mac alias to
                      /Applications, and a background image for the folder that gives simple
                      instructions, like this (apologies to those not reading with fixed-width
                      fonts):
                      "Drag this..." "...to here"
                      [ MacVim.app ] [ /Applications alias ]

                      This also effectively answers the "what's the right way to install"
                      question, because the user would be led through it.

                      Several apps get around the "some users end up running the app straight
                      out of the dmg" problem by checking their location when they start up;
                      if they're under /Volumes, they offer to copy themselves into the
                      /Applications folder. Alternatively, since MacVim.app could be the
                      only thing in the container (.dmg, .zip, .tgz), especially if any
                      necessary "readme" info is presented in an initial (one-time) "Welcome
                      to MacVim" alert, you could package MacVim.app as the only contents of
                      a .zip (or .tgz, but .zip might look more familiar to most) -- the user
                      downloads it, double-clicks MacVim###.zip, and ends up with MacVim.app,
                      figure they can run it right there, or move it to /Applications or
                      /Other/App/Folder as they see fit (one could also offer to move oneself
                      to /Applications if one finds oneself running from ~/Downloads -- you
                      could wrap that with a "last version run from downloads" value in the
                      preferences, to keep from continually annoying the one odd user out
                      there who wants to keep/run apps in ~/Downloads).

                      I know these suggestions would carry more weight if I offered patches
                      instead of instructions; alas, no time right now, perhaps in the near
                      future (programming comes naturally, but I'm rusty on Mac coding, and
                      haven't poked around inside MacVim's code before, though I've been a
                      *very* happy user/recommender of MacVim for a couple years).

                      > +1 D&D app-bundle

                      +2 :)

                      Cheers,
                      -- Carl

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                    • David Rees
                      ... This is still an ongoing source of confusion as indicated by all the StackOverflow votes at
                      Message 10 of 13 , May 27, 2013
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                        On Wednesday, December 9, 2009 11:29:34 PM UTC-8, Nico Weber wrote:
                        >
                        > > MacVim could bundle the mvim script right in it's application bundle
                        > > and provide a
                        > > simple command or script to create the needed symlinks.
                        >
                        >
                        > The plan was to put an "install mvim script" button in the second
                        > preference pane, but nobody got around to implementing it yet. Patches
                        > welcome, I guess :-)
                        >

                        This is still an ongoing source of confusion as indicated by all the StackOverflow votes at http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2056137/how-to-run-mvim-macvim-from-terminal.

                        Including mvim inside the MacVim bundle, even without the secondary install option, would really help because it simplify the question of where to get mvim. The macvim help could be updated to show examples of linking to it inside the bundle (vs linking to it in local bin which it really isn't by default). As an added bonus, it would be updated when MacVim is updated.

                        d




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