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Re: Installation clarity

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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 1 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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    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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