Headless installer

Developer
Apr 29, 2010 at 4:41 PM
Edited Apr 29, 2010 at 4:48 PM

The following discussion took place over email before this site was up and running - I have copied over the salient parts of the emails (between Henry Rzepa at Imperial, Peter Murray-Rust and Joe Townsend at Cambridge) to this discussion board to open it up to the community.

---------

We are trying to install Chem4Word for a class of computers, for forthcoming labs. 

When doing so, it is necessary to have a "silent" installer (or at least the answers to any prompts must be capable of being added to a script). I gather also that for a class, the location of all appropriate files must  NOT BE in the local user filespace but in generic space (Program files, etc).   Nick can probably fill you in for the details of which files and locations are causing the problems?

I forgot to add that we are doing everything now for  Windows  7; I suspect  Chem4Word has not yet been fully tested for this environment?

(HR)

Developer
Apr 29, 2010 at 4:41 PM
Edited Apr 29, 2010 at 4:48 PM

You don't say whether the labs are computational or in the chemical laboratory (struggling for a term). During this year one of Joe's activity's will be to create a demonstration of C4W for use in UG synthesis experiments - recording the work in a semantic way (and perhaps helping design the experiment - looking up chemicals etc.). He is now developing the ability to record and annotate peak lists. Joe is in charge but your activity sounds very exciting and relevant. This type of thing can actually help steer the functionality.

When the open source is released Joe will be putting out a call for collaborators to develop extensions and enhancements to C4W. I don't want to prejudge things but because it can use Web Services it's possible to link to other functions. It can currently use Pubchem and also OPSIN (IUPAC name2structure) For example it might prepare a molecule for computation or look up reactions.

(PMR)

Developer
Apr 29, 2010 at 4:42 PM
Edited Apr 29, 2010 at 4:48 PM

We are installing in two classroom areas and into 40 laptops, so that ALL users can benefit. This would include three types of user

a) Synthetic labs, where students prepare molecules, and documenting as they go

b) IT labs, where they learn general principles of structured data handling

c) Computational labs, where they perform modelling associated with expts, and where the current software for "preparing computations" is ChemDraw/Chem3D, and where the output is to an "electronic lab notebook" in the form of a Wiki with appropriate plugins such as Jmol etc.

 

The logical separation of (a) from (c) by the way was not my choice.

(HR)

Developer
Apr 29, 2010 at 4:45 PM
Edited Apr 29, 2010 at 4:48 PM

It is great to hear that you are trying out the add-in already. As you have found we are still a good way off a final releasable product but all the feedback we have is proving very useful. 

The code has actually mostly been run on Windows 7 rather than XP. The "for everyone" option on the installer was meant to have been removed. The problem is caused by the add-in only installing the templates etc. necessary in the AppData folder of the current user rather than of all the users. That is fixable - although it seems that creating installers is a specialised art and that not many even in MS understand them.

The reason that the files are currently going into local AppData rather than "Program Files" is to do with UAC. If you want to be able to add/remove data to the gallery and smart tag molecules having the source in Program Files is useless - we can't change them.

We are in the process of re-engineering the add-in so we can overcome these issues. That will allow you to point to a central repository (shared between all users). I would expect this to be up and running in 4 - 8 weeks in the source.

(JAT)

Developer
Apr 29, 2010 at 4:45 PM
Edited Apr 29, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Thanks Joe.   It is curious that many commercial developers are often unable to appreciate that their users are not working on a personally owned machine to which they have admin privs! You clearly are not in that category. I understand your explanation, and we have lots of time over the next month or so to implement your fixes! 

(HR)

Coordinator
Jun 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM
This discussion has been copied to a work item. Click here to go to the work item and continue the discussion.