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We publish all our desktop apps using ClickOnce, which is built into Visual Studio. It is so much easier than the installer. Easier for the developer to set up and publish new versions of the app. Easier for the user because we configure it so that apps always check for updates when the app starts and automatically applies the update if one is available. We use this for desktop apps distributed to people who work at our office and for an app we developed that is run by external people across the country.
I worked as an install developer for over four years for a large shop--yes,I actually spent 8+ hrs/day doing nothing but install dev. Because I now work for a small company w/many small projects, I made heavy use of the VS Setup template because it was quick and easy. When I ran into the sun-setting of Setup templates, I did a systematic search for a 3rd-party installer. While I did find several products that would have worked, the best value for me was Advanced Installer by Caphyon. The Pro version is just $299, it's easy to use, it works, and the vendor publishes frequent updates with fixes and enhancements. They also have bigger dollar versions in case I ever need it, and a free version. I was able to do things like consolidate 32- and 64-bit installs into a single installer, easily install two windows services (I wrote in VB.NET) in a single installer, specify pre- and post-build actions just like in VS build, and launch my install builds from the cmd line using VS post-build actions. It's not the Holy Grail, but worth every penny. And no, I don't work for Caphyon. Hope this helps.
I have only one copy of Visual Studio left on my computers. Once the things I have to finish up are done, this copy will also be going to East Hyperspace. They wanted to make certain that we all follow their great ideas, instead they assured that I forget about them as quickly as possible.
Even if they realize what went wrong at some point, I still don't trust them anymore. They will do it all over again at the next opportunity. Just stop giving your money to Mickeysoft and look for someone who does not treat you like a fool.
The Expression Blend tooling required to work with WPF/Silverligh has been droped.
All open support tickets seem to have been closed as 'don't care'.
And yes I know Blend has been integrated into VS, but its not feature complete and its not robust.
So moving forward you have no real support and no real migration path.
The tooling in VS will gradually get worse and worse (just like it did when they 'continued to support' C++/MFC).
Agree entirely. Microsoft's sudden about-turns have really damaged my trust in them.
We used the WPF platform and I really liked it. Sure it had problems, but it had a number of positives.
Now, if I start writing a new desktop app tomorrow, for the first time ever I have no idea what language and framework I should use for the longest possible 'active' development support life-cycle. Crazy.
Given the pain that Silverlight is causing us I'm glad it's going, that way I don't have to talk people out of using it.
But yeah, there's other sh*t MS is doing that is pissing me off. Forcing standards which only they use for one. They don't have any clear direction on authentication and authorization between their tool sets (OAuth, Claims etc...), the disappearance of the installation project template.
Then there's the love which C# is getting from the company as well at the moment. Frankly this just leaves me in a place where I prefer using products which have not originated from MS
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines
Couldn't agree more. The issue I have with this decision from Microsoft isn't that Silverlight was the best thing that've happened since sliced bread, but rather that I find it disturbing that there are no good alternatives (as of today).
Our main application is based on a Windows client that they normally run, but with a "light version" using Silverlight for when they're our of office or otherwise unable to use the normal client. For this purpose I still haven't found a nice and yet somewhat easy and efficient way to do this, except for... Silverlight. Flash won't cut it. Java applets (yeah right) and ActiveX components are just dead and buried.
So, what to do?
Thank you MS.. For yet another kick in the nuts, I'll be the first to leave for LAMP or similar when it's mature enough to completely wipe our present MS based platforms from the face of the earth.
Any web application is accessible from a connected device, even on a Mac (Mind blown!)
I could boilerplate something that replicated your grids functionality in a matter of hours and be assured that it would not only work both cross-browser but cross-device from mobile to tablet to desktop.
"[A] dozen different languages and technologies"...
I hate to break it to you but Silverlight is not the language of the web. It never was and never will be. If it was you might have an argument but it's not. The three aforementioned languages are and they are never going away.
I suggest you pick up your toys, put on your grown up trousers and accept that you are going to have to join the rest of the world. Or you can keep stacking cans in your bunker, up to you.
"He took everything personally, including our royalties!"
David St.Hubbins, Spinal Tap about Ian Faith, their ex-manager