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Windows Installer


Three weeks after the release of Hugin 0.7.0 a binary installer is available on Sourceforge. Why such a delay?

Somebody with the necessary skills only needs a few hours for the task, and somebody with the will to learn them maybe a couple of (part time) days more. I offered to coach whoever steps up to the challenge, but I refused to do it myself because I believe in proper succession planning and in the need to groom the next generation of contributors.

Succession planning means making provisions for the future. For what will happens after we’ve left. Because we all leave, sooner or later.

For an Open Source project to survive beyond the current generation of contributors, the project needs two things: know-how transfer and a pool of new potential contributors to step up to the task.

Know-how transfer comes from the people who currently hold the know-how. It comes in the form of documentation. In Hugin’s case, I’ve made a push over the past year and with the help of many community contributors we got the build process documented, also for Windows. And for the installer, I’ve committed the instructions into SVN. We are ready for know how transfer. Are you ready?

Potential contributors… that’s you! Yes you, don’t turn your head the other way. The tools required are available as a free download, and the instructions are simple enough for any literate person that can type on a keyboard, click on a mouse, and has access to a PC with 2GB RAM – about what it takes to stitch a full spherical panorama. There are no excuses. If you feel the windows installer was delayed, look in the mirror.

In the end, two people that were already contributing to the project stepped up to the task. I could transfer the know-how to Tom Sharpless and Guido Kohlmeyer. Eventually Guido’s installer made it to the official repository.

I am disappointed. Of more than 35.000 Windows users who have downloaded and installed my hugin installers from this site over the past ten months nobody had the decency to step in and contribute something back to the project?

14 Responses

  1. Why we should build it? It full of bugs.

    I just downloaded and tested it on some of my .pto files

    Open this file and press “Save” just after open (Hugin crushes)
    ——————————————-

    EDIT: cut out project file text as this is not a support forum

    ——————————————-

    Open this file, and you will see digits “1″ instead of second lens parameters on the “optimizer”:

    ——————————————-

    EDIT: cut out project file text as this is not a support forum

  2. Ok… sign me up, I’ll do it.

    I don’t have 2gb of RAM though… but it’ll just take longer, right?

    mike@warot.com

  3. For me, the big reason was that the download page had the following note:

    Windows
    * hugin 0.7.0 will be available on Sourceforge soon

    …so I saw no need to do a from source Windows build, as the official Windows installer would be available soon anyway. Had it been:

    Windows
    * hugin 0.7.0 will be available on Sourceforge as soon as someone volunteers to build it – build instructions are in SVN and only free tools are needed.

    Had you had that up and nobody stepped up to the plate – yes, I’d understand your disappointment. But I think you should perhaps not be quite as disappointed as you are now.

  4. @Anton: This is a blog, not a support forum. Post your support requests to hugin-ptx. If users don’t build it, it will not be built nor debugged. Open Source is from users for users, and no user has a right to complain to other users about things that bugs him. The published installer worked well enough for those who published it. They may help find a solution to your problem, but they may as well ignore you. They have no obligation to you.

    @Mike:I don’t know what will happen with less than 2GB RAM. I encourage you to try, worse case the PC will come to a grinding halt. Join hugin-ptx if you have not done so yet, and you will find plenty of support in your endeavour. Good Luck!

    @Leo: Give me a break! I wrote “contribute something”. Not “contribute an installer”. “Something” is much less than an installer. I’ll articulate my thoughts and feelings about Windows users in a later post. For now suffice it to say that a generic spam would have generated more response than the >35.000 users who downloaded and installed hugin snapshot releases from this site.

  5. I have built several windows installers, i have 2gig of RAM, plenty of hard drive space, send me an email if you would like an installer

  6. @Yuval Levy: why are you so angry?

    Concerning “this is not a support forum”: I thought you one of the developers…

  7. @Jon: Thanks for the offer. Email coming. In a nutshell: please join hugin-ptx, that’s where builders and coders meet, mainly.

    @Anton: When I started contributing to the Hugin project, I had *zero* experience of C++. Zero, nix, nada. Software development is a complex process and there are many roles to it:

    1. Developers write the code. They know how to correct bugs, and how to implement new functionality. In the context of Hugin, I am not a developer (I can develop in other languages, though).

    2. Builders take the code and turn it into functional software on specific platforms. You may say I am a Windows builder, because I build my own builds, but there are more experienced builders than me in the project.

    3. Next in line are packagers, who put the builds into an installer. I am a Windows packager, I wrote the script that makes the installer because I had the skill; there was nobody to do that; it is important for the project and for Windows users. And I try to groom other packagers so that my know-how won’t get lost when I move on.

    4. At stages 2 and 3 there are tester who do spend time with crashes and bugs. They patiently try things, and give feedback to the developers and builders about what works and what not.

    5. All of this is repeated many times. Each time a new snapshot is built and tested. Some times snapshots are good enough to withstand broader testing. This is where they are distributed to a wider audience, often the general public.

    6. At some time the software has evolved so much from the previous release that somebody deides it is time for a release. In formal organizations, this is a release manager. In less formal organizations like the hugin project somebody takes the lead to form consensus.

    All of this is team work, and sometimes needs coordination. This is how I came to the project, as I am mainly a coordinator and a promoter. I see what needs to be done and drum support for it. This is how we got 50.000$ donation from Google, and in kind donations worth more than 2.000$ from Agnos and more than 6.000$ from Nodal Ninja.

    How would you feel if 35.000 people would take something you are giving them for free, and there are more of them that express expectations at you than gratitude; and the overall response rate (positive + negative) is closer to the response rate to spam than the response rate to targeted ads, both of which are quite low?

  8. @Yuval: We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one, especially on just what was or wasn’t asked. As for your lament: I have done open source coding (Jakarta Commons Attributes, which some of you may have seen in the Spring Framework), and just like you, all I got were requests for enhancements.

    But that was A-OK with me. Right now, I use probably a hundred open source packages. Like all software packages, they must evolve – implement new features or fix old bugs. There is no reasonable way I can contribute to 100+ packages, even if I knew that I could make a development contribution to them. But the same applies to everyone else.

    So I didn’t mind that people requested fixes and new stuff for C-A – I figured enough of the people asking me probably contributed to some other package I used, or some package that by some chain of contributors ended with me. Pay forward, not pay back.

    If you use something that by some chain of dependencies use the Spring Framework – well, then I have contributed. Not directly to this project, but to you, which in turn has allowed you to work on Hugin more efficiently.

    /LS

  9. Hello.

    I like hugin, it is a great tool!

    I’ve downloaded latest Windows installer from sourceforge, and tried to install it. but Kaspersky Anti-virus says that there is a virus in hugin.exe (Virus.Win32.KME). Do you (or another builder or packager) have a virus on his machine?

  10. @Ilia: I have not built the installer on Sourceforge and I do not run Kaspersky, so I can’t comment on the specific issue you encountered.

    In general, I do keep my Windows boxes clean. I build my installers on a virtual machine (VMware Player / Linux) running in an isolated sandbox.

    Edit:: Bruno and Guido just confirmed that the files on Sourceforge have been checked with both AVG and Avira Antivir. They are 100% clean. Kaspersky has a long history of false positives. You may want to consider alternative protection.

  11. My latest update from Zone Alarm wont let open Hugin after installation, download from SourceForge..

    like the previous poster Zone Alarm tells me that Hugin.exe has Win32.KME in it..

    i cant risk it..

    so unless there is somewhere else to download.. i cant use it.. which is bad new.. and i am back to ptviewer.

  12. @Incony: I’ve seen your post on hugin-ptx as well. This seems to be another false positive.

    I won’t tell you what to do with your system. I will tell you that we are all responsible builders and we take all reasonable precautions not to spread viruses inadvertently.

    The detection techniques and virus signatures used by individual virus scanners are beyond our influence. It’s your call whom you want to believe.

    Back to ptviewer? I don’t see how ptviewer could replace Hugin (or the other way around), but you’re free to do what you want with the software.

  13. I downloaded Hugin-0.7.0_win32-setup.exe und did try to get the md5-Checksum. I couldt not find. What to do…?

  14. @alberich: I only calculate and publish md5 checksums for my packages. For other packages, please contact the place/person you downloaded it from.

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