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Tom Brennfleck - GUI Computing
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Wise Install - Relative paths

One of the annoying things that I have found about WISE (now version 4.0) was the need to always specify a full path for the source file when doing a setup disk. This became a nuisance when we started to move away from having the source files on the server, to having the source files in SourceSafe.

As you know, if all of the files are located on the server you just connect to the server and then do what you need to (it's just another drive). But if the files are located within a source repository (e.g. SourceSafe) then you need to check out the files, do your thing, and check them back in again. If the 'do your thing' is to write a setup script, then where do you check the files out to (or get the files, if the script is already written)? One way of overcoming this issue is to Hark back to the good old days of DOS (grin) and remember the relative path. The dot and double-dot operators have been resurrected. As an example, assume you have the following directory structure.

Screen snap of directory structure

Your WISE script file would then contain something like the following:

Screen snap of WISE Script file

As you can see, if the source files are not placed into the correct location the install script will fail. I know that you are going to say "Why not just change the source directory through WISE?". Yep, you can do that - but why if it's not required? If you change the above source directory 'C:\Test Dir 32\' to '.\' and save it, you can then place the project into any other source directory and the WISE script will compile. This not only reduces the time required to produce a setup disk, but also the cost. For once the script is written, you can get anyone with minimal Windows knowledge to compile a setup disk. No need to pay a developer to sit there pushing disks into the computer. And if the files come straight out of SourceSafe, or similar repository, then the setup disks will always contain the latest files.

The above technique works for both the 16 and 32 bit versions of WISE. The only requirement for the 16 bit version is that the directory and file names can not be any longer than 8 characters. I don't know why Great Lakes Business Solutions (developers of WISE) did not describe this in their manual or online help.

Written by: Tom Brennfleck
August '96

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