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NuPattern Releases Too Large

Jun 19, 2013 at 10:02 PM
The issue is that updates to NuPattern are delivered in a single MSI installer, which today is about 150MB in size, and takes a long while to download for those without fast or reliable internet access. This is noticeably painful, and may be off-putting to newcomers.
The MSI installer contains both the tools and the HOLs for both VS2010 and VS2012, for convenience of installation, and to avoid newcomers installing the wrong version of NuPattern in the wrong version of Visual Studio.

For adopters of NuPattern, who have probably already used the HOL and just want an update to their tools, the MSI may seem overkill.

There are two sets of users that care about this:
  • The 'newcomers', who are not yet aware of how NuPattern works, they are not aware of the issues with specific versions for VS2010 or VS2012 they probably don't even know about VSIXes, and they expect to get started very quickly with using and learning about NuPattern.
  • The 'adopters', will have already learned that there is a version of NuPattern specific to each VS version. They are likely to have already used the HOL or decided not to use it at all. They just want to get an update to the versions they have installed.
Additional considerations:
  • In addition, we want to avoid having too many landing pages on the VS Gallery. Each page can only host a single VSIX or MSI. We have learned that having a version of a VSIX for each version of VS causes confusion with newcomers.
  • At this moment in time, we have to ship a separate version of the tools and HOL for VS2010 and VS2012. This can be resolved technically, but it is not a trivial fix.
What ideas do people have for deploying NuPattern to address these needs with newcomers and adopters, so that both parties are accommodated sufficiently and effectively?
Jun 19, 2013 at 10:49 PM
How about five installers? Below is what the CodePlex download page could look like. The VS Gallery page would only have the recommended download from CodePlex.

  • NuPattern and Hands-On Labs Installer for VS 2010 and VS 2012 (includes all four installers in Other Available Downloads)
  • NuPattern for VS 2012 Installer (included in the Recommended Download)
  • NuPattern for VS 2010 Installer (included in the Recommended Download)
  • Hands-On Labs for VS 2012 Installer (included in the Recommended Download)
  • Hands-On Labs for VS 2010 Installer (included in the Recommended Download)
Just download the "NuPattern and Hands-On Labs for VS 2010 and VS 2012" MSI installer above to install NuPattern and the Hands-On Labs for Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2012. That MSI contains all four MSIs listed under OTHER AVAILABLE DOWNLOADS and automatically detects which version(s) of Visual Studio you have installed.

As an alternative, you can choose to download the individual MSIs under OTHER AVAILABLE DOWNLOADS if you want a smaller download size or do not want to install the Hands-On Labs.
Jun 19, 2013 at 11:38 PM
Nice, this seems fits with what we have now (in previous releases , prior to
Am I assuming right that the change here is just a case of having clearer instructions on the CodePlex hosted release page?

The only possible issue I see here, is when adopters go to download an update through VS, they always get the full MSI.

Should be easy enough to try this with the
Jun 20, 2013 at 4:20 AM
Why don't they just land on the codeplex download page instead of downloading from within the gallery? There are many extensions that just redirect to the project website, rather than download from the gallery?


Daniel Cazzulino

Jun 20, 2013 at 4:24 AM
Yes, we can do that also. That is also complementary.
But it does reduce the user's experience from within Visual Studio, because they have to initiate the right download from codeplex.

The VSGallery team tells me they can convert our landing page to redirect using a URL to any site we want. The only caveat is that once we have done that conversion, (it is done manually by them) there is no going back to hosting a binary (VSIX or MSI) later on the gallery page - we will be stuck with a redirect forever. Its a once ever deal.
Jun 20, 2013 at 4:34 AM
The experience is suboptimal already in any case. It's not "just a vsix" ;).

What if we had a landing page somewhat like this:

You kinda choose what you want, and we get you the right download, with an "get me all of it" by default...


Daniel Cazzulino