Nullsoft Scriptable Install System

The Nullsoft Scriptable Install System is an installer tool. I used it for my Perils of Branwen mod

Meta

These notes were written at the time I published my Perils of Branwen mod. It’s been lying around my home network systems for a while and I want to publish it so that others can use it, it is no longer held only on my disk systems, and to say thank you to those who helped me. It was written as a blog, and so the tense construction and chattiness reads oddly four years later. Hope its useful. This was copied accross to this wiki in JUne 2013.

About NSIS

I now have a game mod that has you meeting Branwen. I hope to put it up on the net soon. She uses some/most of the original sound set, but apart from this is not very chatty.

I’ve worked thorough Ghreyfain’s Tutorial with help from other PPG correspondents, so I have a WEIDU installation file (.tp2) and supporting files. I decided that the next problem to solve is the installation i.e. installing on the computer. BG Modders will know that mod installation is in two phases, firstly the location of the mod’s files on the computer (we’re not yet assuming that everyone is on “always connected broadband”), and secondly a patching process whereby the mod files are copied or interpreted to amend the game file system image and in some cases binary images. (This later stage is more akin to patching the game). The rest of this article refers to the first stage. I had previously asked advice at the pocket plane group and started this thread (which since then has been supplemented by this thread. This answered what tool, but raises the .zip/.rar issue since the guys and girls at G3 seem to prefer RAR rather than the alternatives. I’ve decided to proceed with the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System, which is at sourceforge here…. I’m unclear about the legality of using RAR without licensing it and so have chosen not to. Also RAR doesn’t seem to help with the MAC distribution problem.

NSIS allows me to create a program that looks for the game’s root directory and allow the user to override.

My development directory is currently ${BG2HOME}, so I have zipped up my ..Pob directory and added the aliased WEIDU2 installer and .tp2 file into POB8050d. NB I’ll need to update the .tp2 comments.

So, I download NSIS and inspect the help files. While checking out Jason‘s .nsi script for Keto, decided that a ConTEXT Hightlighter file would be good, jump to their home page, and find that the downloads page includes a .nsi highlighter file. So we download that. The ConTEXT site is much improved (even more so in 2011) and so I decided to check out whether the WEIDU dialog (.d) and mod install logic (.tp2) highlighters were available. Oops, they’re not, so I drop Wes a line, we’ll need to see if a site for them exists, if not, lets see what can be done. (The reply from the_bigg & Idobek state that the highlighters are available here…, at the WEIDU site, http://www.weidu.org/). I don’t know what the protocols are between the various community sites, but either a mirror or link from the PPG tools page would be good. (Hint Hint!!)

I’m a RTFM guy these days, particularly on windows systems, with no user privileges and no file versions. (Therefore I shouldn’t just run stuff I’ve downloaded, particularly if it impacts a directory that may take several hours to recreate, but despite this, I run the downloaded binary and install NSIS.) This gives me access to the help files. So I start to read the help file. The first thing I discover is that the install has attached actions to the .nsi files. The help file’s not very good, I’m going to have to check out the sourceforge forum and resources. I don’t have time now, so, back to Jason’s script. It looks pretty neat, and fairly self explanatory. So let’s edit some variables (i.e. the input and output file names) and…. (right click, compile) and test seems to work. Final check through, and the install run seems to work, the download seems quite neat and small (under 1.5Mb), so looking good.

So I’m still not happy about what I understand & don’t, checking the comments in the .nsi file I hunt down the wizard Jason used (or copied) but it seems to either require VB or has become abandonware. Anyway I return to the NSIS site and explore it for GUIs, and come across HM NIS EDIT 2.0.3. This looks quite cute but the trial script fails to compile; it couldn’t find a licence file. This could be because I don’t have one. So for now I’ll stick with my munged version of Jason’s script. (Would making this available be helpful?)

My installation script is documented at the page, Installing BG2 Modes using NSIS on this wiki.

Postscript

I haven’t checked all the links, and this was originally written before I packaged NSIS into the download file, so written in 2005?. The highlight is that it was more difficult to install and understand than I wanted, but using Jason’s script as a guide wasn’t so hard.

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