Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First attempts with MySQL Installer

This was a sad day for me. I once, when I was at MySQL, was a big fan of a better installer for MySQL on Windows. Something that would install all you wanted on just Windows, in a way applicable for Windows and integrating with the appropriate Windows products. So installing MySQL would not just install MySQL, it would also install the Visual Studio plugin for MySQL, for example, if you so requested (and the installer might even be so smart so it could check if VS was installed, and then ask you politely if you wanted the plugin). The same goes for ODBC drivers, .NET drivers and what have you not.

Fact is, I had this idea a long time ago and was promoting it inside MySQL with my usual frenzy when I think I have a good idea, although I wasn't the first to have this idea.

So, now, after all these years, and I have even left MySQL since, this Installer is soon ready for prime time, MySQL Installer is at it's last RC before GA! So I decided to download it and see what they have done with this smart idea. And boy was I disappointed.

To begin with, it is announced as "RC" but the download page calls it "Beta" still. Hmmm whatever. Also, it is 32-bit only, there is no 64-bit download. But thinking about it, I realize this might be for the installer itself (32-bit that is), it might well install 64-bit software. And it does, thank you, but this should be made more clear, and why we even bother with 32-bit builds anymore i beyond me? Why not go for 16-bit while we are at it?

And without further ado, here is my verdict: It would be quite OK, assuming it was a Pre-alpha release! No, this is very far from RC quality! I am sorry MySQL and all developers who have put in lots of effort into this thingy, but is not good enough. far from it actually! Maybe it wasn't tested enough, maybe it wasn't tested at all? But frankly, from an RC product I don't expect "Unhandled exception" after just a few minutes or perfectly normal use.

One thing it does is that it downloads the suff on an as needed basis. In my case, it failed to find a download location for Connector/.NET (I am in the middle of nowhere, I know that, I mean Sweden, what kind of weird place is THAT? and Stockholm?). After that failure, nothing worked. retrying it to no avail. Not finding a download location for Connector/.NET (I have heard that .NET is pretty popular on Windows, but what do I know) and this stopping the whole installation process with an Unhandled exception. No, that is not RC, that is what we in the rest of world call Pre-Alpha.

For your own good, and for the sake of MySQL Credibility on Windows (which I am a fan of, and I am sure we can get this installer going): Do not release MySQL INstaller in this shape!

Calling it quits for the day, thinking Good idea, bad execution and feeling a bit sad
And if you ask: Yes, I did report a few bugs on MySQL Installer today


Matthew Montgomery said...

"why we even bother with 32-bit builds anymore i beyond me? Why not go for 16-bit while we are at it?"

Because *no one* has a 16 bit system any more but I still have a 32bit windows system I regularly use for MySQL work.

Karlsson said...

OK, Fair enough. There are some 32-biters around. But the world is going 64, I think I was more trying to be funny than anything else.

On the other hand, not being clear that downloading a 32-bit installer will allow you to install 64-bit software is a mistake.

But why not do it half-way, and do a 48-bit installer?

Karlsson said...

I have had some feedback on the bugs I reported. As I have both reported bugs and written this blobpost, I guess I'll have to give them the benefit of the doubt and try again.

Hartmut said...

"installers" ... one of the main reasons to continue to stay away from Windows these days for me ...


Hartmut said...

last line was supposed to read


TonĨi said...

Installers are tricky beasts, especially on Windows and with so much dependencies. Numerous times have I ruled the bug as CRp as everything worked on my boxes. I am confident this is what happened during testing.

As for 32bit installer, most of the Windows and programs running are, in fact, 32bit or autodetecting architecture so no harm done there.