Thursday, January 3, 2013

Meld Windows Installer

I'm a huge fan of Meld as a diffing / merging tool.  It's the nicest looking, most powerful tool of it's kind that I've come across.  (Although I'd also like to put a shout out to KDiff3 for being able to handle larger files than anything else I've seen besides GNU Diff, and to WinMerge as another popular choice).  The trouble is, if you run Windows, it's a bit of a pain to set up.  You have to install Python, GTK+ and PyGTK (made easier by the nice all-in-one installer they now have), then Meld itself, and finally write a script to launch the appropriate Python command and create shortcuts to that script for convenience.  This is a shame because I'd really like to get more Windows users using this wonderful tool.
So I made an installer than includes all of these and has no extra dependencies needed.  Just install and go.  The only thing it doesn't currently have is support for syntax highlighting (needs PyGtkSourceView, which is not included in Portable Python, which I used), and VCS browsing (needs GNU Patch via Cygwin).  Here's where you can get it: http://code.google.com/p/meld-installer/.  Lemme know if you find any mistakes, it's my first time using NSIS.

Edit: I've now also created a portable .zip archive.

Edit: Vote here to ask for PyGtkSourceView to be added to Portable Python, so I can use it (edit: it appears PyGTK in Portable Python already includes PyGtkSourceView).  I'll look into doing this without Portable Python (though that'll be easier for me) and possible GNU Patch as well, but am not sure how hard it will be.

Edit: I've made a significant update to this.  My thanks to Angel Ezquerra of TortoiseHG for his suggestions and testing assistance.