nullsoft scriptable install system
nullsoft scriptable install system is an open source, script-driven software that serves to create Windows installers.
Created by the developers of Winamp, the software comes as a reliable alternative to products such as InstallShield and similar commercial solutions.
Originally developed for the distribution of Winamp packages, nullsoft scriptable install system quickly became the choice of large software companies such as Google, Mozilla, Flickr, PortableApps, OpenOffice.org and XAMPP, who preferred its simple, non-intrusive approach.
The upper advantage that nullsoft scriptable install system holds over the competition is the minimal overhead size, combined with simplicity and flexibility. Moreover, its script-based engine delivers full control over every inch of the final installer.
With nullsoft scriptable install system, users can create installers that aside from deploying applications, are also capable of extracting files, setting system preferences and uninstalling.
The embedded scripting language features support for variables, string manipulation and functions, while allowing you to add custom logic and manage upgrades, as well as version checks easily.
In terms of compression, there’s support for zlib, bzip2 and LZMA, the latter being considered one of the best on today’s market, significantly reducing the size of the created installers.
Another upside of the program comes from the fact that it is capable of producing multilingual installers, with more than 40 translations already included in the package.
The plug-in system comfortably allows you to perform advanced installation tasks, to extend the installer interface, to display a splash screen or download files from the Internet.
Multiple projects can be integrated into a single installer with the aid of the built-in Preprocessor, which can also serve to generate different releases of the same application, such as Lite or Full editions.
Overall, the general impression is that of a robust, flexible installer creator which is better than commercial solutions in so many ways.