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Other Free Windows Programming Tools

Tool Description
Advanced Installer User response: "Advanced Installer For Java is a Windows Installer authoring tool with built-in support for Java applications, integrating them fully into the Windows OS and making them look and feel just like a native application. Advanced Installer for Java runs on Windows 2000/XP, and the install packages it creates run on all Microsoft Windows 9x/ME/NT/2k/XP operating systems. Using the standard Windows Installer technology, Advanced Installer For Java is able to provide the best Windows integration for your Java applications. It ensures the smallest possible footprint by producing zero-overhead install packages which contain only native Windows Installer data with no additional runtime requirements. Advanced Installer also provides a native launcher for your Java applications. Through this launcher your users will see and use your Java programs just like regular Windows native executables. The native launcher provides a fast and friendly start up process for your Java applications. Advanced Installer For Java is built on standard, open formats. The project files are saved as XML files for easy integration with source control systems. Advanced Installer is FREE for the simplest, most common usages. If additional capabilities are needed, they are available at some of the lowest prices in the industry."
App Deploy This website lists TONS of commercial application deployment programs. Click on "Downloads" (left side of screen) when you get there to see a list of installers, many of which are free, that you can grab directly from this site.
Debuggy According to site: "Native Debugger, Disassembler, Tracer, Resource Extractor, Window Sniffer, API Spy, and File Hex Editor." Looks very nifty.
Dependency Walker From the site: Dependency Walker is a free utility that scans any 32-bit or 64-bit Windows module (exe, dll, ocx, sys, etc.) and builds a hierarchical tree diagram of all dependent modules. For each module found, it lists all the functions that are exported by that module, and which of those functions are actually being called by other modules. Another view displays the minimum set of required files, along with detailed information about each file including a full path to the file, base address, version numbers, machine type, debug information, and more.
Examdiff User response:
  • "Small executable, loads fast.
  • User friendly, can view contents and difference easily.
  • No syntax highlighting.
  • No file editing. Editing is spawn using external editor and can jump directly to the exact line.
  • No file merging. Required manual merging using external text editor.
  • No folder/directory compare."
  • Freediff User response:
    • "Large executable, seems to be written in visual basic.
    • User friendly, can view contents and difference easily.
    • No syntax highlighting
    • No file editing.
    • No file merging.
    • No folder/directory compare."
    Freeman Installer Create high quality installation packages for your software for distribution. Freeman Installer is free. The author's site is down, but you can still find the installer on winsite.
    Inno Setup From the site: Inno Setup is a free installer for Windows programs. First introduced in 1997, Inno Setup today rivals and even surpasses many commercial installers in feature set and stability.
    Install Creator The freeware version puts an advertisement for the creators in the installation, a reasonable trade-off for an easy to use installer.
    KDiff3 Very nice looking. From the site: "KDiff3 is a program that
    • compares or merges two or three text input files or directories,
    • shows the differences line by line and character by character (!),
    • provides an automatic merge-facility and
    • an integrated editor for comfortable solving of merge-conflicts"
    MakeMSI From the site: "Make MSI based installation files. Can automatically build new or update existing MSI files or other Windows Installer databases file types. Has guid generator plus many other tools."
    MinIDE From the site: MinIDE is a free GUI IDE for MinGW (Minimalist GNU Compiler for Windows). It helps you to build C and C++ projects with an easy-to-use interface. MinIDE creates the necessary makefile(s) for your project and executes all the compiler commands for you. MinIDE does not come with a text editor, debugger, or resource-editor. However it can be configured to work with the editors of your own choosing.
    NSIS NSIS (Nullsoft Scriptable Install System) is an open-source installer that looks sharp and, once you get used to how the scripts work, is easy to use. Of all the free installers, this may be the best.
    Pixel Toolbox This is the tool I use to make icons. You can also create cursors & wallpaper tiles. This is the best free icon maker I've come across. There are many good features. However, how come you can't open icons you previously saved??? If that feature exists I can't find it.
    Scintilla Free syntax-highlighting editor control for those who wish to program a new IDE.
    SynEdit Free syntax-highlighting editor control along the lines of Scintilla for those who wish to program a new IDE.
    TortoiseCVS From the site: TortoiseCVS lets you work with files under CVS version control directly from Windows Explorer... With TortoiseCVS you can directly check out modules, update, commit and see differences by right clicking on files and folders within Explorer. You can see the state of a file with overlays on top of the normal icons within Explorer. It even works from within the file open dialog.
    TortoiseSVN From site: "a Subversion client, implemented as a windows shell extension. The coolest Interface to (Sub)Version Control. TortoiseMerge is a diff viewer / patch program and part of TortoiseSVN."
    TreeComp User response:
    • "Small executable, loads fast.
    • Utility to keep 2 directory trees and the files within the directories in sync.
    • It is not a visual content comparison & merging tool, but Treecomp can spawn visual comparison & merging tools.
    • Zip archives & FTP sites compare."
    WinMerge From the site: "WinMerge is an Open Source visual text file differencing and merging tool for Win32 platforms. It is highly useful for determing what has changed between project versions, and then merging changes between versions."

    User response:
    • "Small executable, loads well, responsive.
    • User friendly, can view contents and difference easily.
    • Syntax highlighting.
    • Allows direct editing within file comparison panes.
    • Allows file merging.
    • Folder/directory compare, but don't like the GUI for this.
    • No binary file compare."
    WinSpy++ From the site: WinSpy++ is a handy programmer's utility which can be used to select and view the properties of any window in the system. WinSpy is based around the Spy++ utility that ships with Microsoft Visual Studio.
    WiX Windows Installer XML "is a toolset that builds Windows installation packages from XML source code. The toolset supports a command line environment that developers may integrate into their build processes to build MSI and MSM setup packages."

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    Site last updated Wednesday, January 19, 2005 by webmaster.