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SCOUG, Warp Expo West, and Warpfest are trademarks of the Southern California OS/2 User Group. OS/2, Workplace Shell, and IBM are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.

The Southern California OS/2 User Group

August 2000

XWorkplace Installation Requires WarpIN

by Gary Granat

Software installation is one of those things we have all done hundreds (or thousands) times. We all know the drill:

  1. Insert the floppy disk or CD-ROM in the appropriate drive; or, unzip the archive file to an empty directory somewhere.
  2. Find and execute the installation program (sometimes it is called "INSTALL" and sometimes you have to find "SETUP").
  3. If needed, supply answers to an installation dialog.
  4. Click the "Install" button and wait for a -- with luck -- successful completion.

Sometimes, with really bare-bones shareware, there isn't even an installation program. Just unzip and create a program object the old-fashioned way, using the "Program" template object.

Installing XWorkplace is a bit different. An installation prerequisite is a new software installation program called WarpIN (coincidentally, also written by Ulrich Moeller as a Netlabs project). WarpIN is a permanent resident on your system. It is being made available to the OS/2 developer community as "the new general-purpose installer for OS/2 to overcome the current lack of a both flexible and user-friendly installer."

New Warp Installation Program (initial screen)

Installation using WarpIN is not a lot different from the installation process we are all used to with the ubiquitous IBM installation program. However, WarpIN maintains a database of all the software it has been used to install and can perform a graceful package de-installation (should that ever become necessary). It is also aware of package dependencies and will notify you of those, if needed. It is designed to handle package updates in a graceful manner and can be used to verify the installation elements (file location and dates, config.sys changes, INI values, etc.) of a package, should one ever cease to operate.

WarpIN is still in beta, but it is the specified installer for XWorkplace and for KeyRing/2, as well. Whether it becomes a widespread alternative to the IBM installer remains to be seen, but it does provide added value compared to the older program.

Both XWorkplace and WarpIN are freeware. You'll find them available for downloading at the Netlabs website.

For more on XWorkplace, see Part 3 of Gary's series on his quest for an ideal desktop with efficient and friendly software.