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First Build Thoughts

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  • First Build Thoughts

    We have for many years supplied a CD/DVD version of the website I support using a tool called Microweb. Whilst a excellent bit of software, its last build was 6 years ago and so I've been getting increasing nervous that one morning I'd discover that some Windows change would bring it to a full stop and 6 years since the last build indicates a certain lack of active support when that day arrives.

    So this week I licensed FlyingAnt and made my first test build. And it works just fine. Yes, the need to CLEAR THE CACHE hit me a few times. I added PHP4 with no problems and everything works including the numerous custom instances of ZoomSearch.

    My feedback so far:

    From the end user perspective:

    - The browser window going full screen is an annoyance.
    - The exit page doesn't quite work. I've found that if I follow a link to ./exit the exit page appears as expected but on susbequent restart I get the error message about it already running. The only reliable route seems to be to display the exit page and then reload that page (at which point the browser says its can't find the page). This is Chrome on Windows 7. Again not serious, just hints as some timing issue.

    From the developer perspective:

    - The previous tool let me specify which browser to use. This was handy as I have IE well nailed down not to cache anything which is essential for daily web site updates checking. Getting Chrome (my default browser) to do the same is well near impossible (not your fault) but I can see it making checking future DVD builds a pain of constant cache clearing. I realise that with multiplatform support this may be a difficult feature.

    - The forum contains a lot of use hint, tips and features but they are scattered through all the threads. It would be nice to pull them all together into a manual. (I'm a Technical Author so I always want to read the manual).

    Another great product. I now need to hunt around for some willing colleagues to test it on Linux and Mac for me.


    Mark Gallagher

  • #2
    ...and thanks to a good friend I have now seen my site DVD running on Ubuntu Linux (14.04). It tried to auto-run but then failed (some setting to hunt for there). But when all copied to the hard disk and a simple file manager tweak for how to handle script files it ran. The only bit that didn't work was the PHP as I need to hunt out a Linux 4.2 build to include (else switch back to CGI/JavaScript searches).
    Mark Gallagher


    • #3
      Bit the bullet and rolled the main search over to CGI from PHP - and it worked first time. Didn't take long to understand how to use multiple aliases in the conf files to also support the other searches I had as CGI also.

      We also a lot of PHP for several other features - because its easy which is the danger of PHP at times. An hour of quick tests and the other features are now just pure javascript.

      In fact some are being rolled back into the real web site as they were radically simpler than the excessive PHP we had accumulated there. So the process of rebuilding the DVD to not need PHP is also having a positive effect on the real web server.

      So now build two of my DVD is PHP free and runs on Windows and Linux. Now just need to find a willing Mac user for testing.
      Mark Gallagher


      • #4
        Thanks for posting about your experiences, Mark.

        1) Regarding browser choice: we simply open the default browser specified for the computer. For the end user, this makes the most sense. I don't think they would also want the DVD/CD to open a different browser from what's specified on their computer.

        2) Yes, we do need to update our documentation and that would be a good start to archive the information and tips we have already.

        Do let us know if you come across any other problems.
        Wrensoft Web Software
        Sydney, Australia
        Zoom Search Engine


        • #5
          Thank you for this wonderful decision. I'll use it, and write about their results later.


          • #6
            Well the browser issue for testing turned out to be easy to resolve once brain is engaged. Simply learnt where in the IE settings I tick to make it the default browser for the PC. Test away with no caching problems and when finished, start Chrome which promptly asks if I want to return it to be the default browser. Sorted.
            Mark Gallagher


            • #7
              Finally found a Mac user in the building who gave my test build a spin. All good so thank you very much again.
              Mark Gallagher