a few suggestions to help beginners

Roger Pack
2013-06-18
2013-08-21
  • Roger Pack
    Roger Pack
    2013-06-18

    First off thank you for launch4j. It has fit my needs perfectly.
    A few initial reactions, in case you want any feedback from "fresh eyes" here :)
    Initially my wrapper exe would fail to launch, with the error message "could not start" or whatever it is. I noticed later that it was writing to an error log, but this wasn't immediately clear from the message (instead, it felt like I was stuck, with no where to turn). Suggestion/feature request: change the error dialog box to something like "could not start, error messages have been logged to such and such a file."

    It might be nice to mention in the GUI about the splash screen whether it is equivalent to the java.exe -splash option (i.e. if you did, I would know more quickly what it is, etc.) (as a further note, shouldn't it be able to accept png files? I think the GUI browse for splash screen image dialog doesn't allow for it, but java.exe -splash does? but that's unrelated)

    With regard to documentation...

    When initially searching for documentation, you come across this screen, which, I'll admit, is very daunting. At first glance, it appears as if one will have to manually create a huge xml document, by hand!
    http://launch4j.sourceforge.net/docs.html
    Suggestion/feature request (since the docs aren't on a wiki, otherwise I would make some small modifications myself <hint hint="">):
    for the first line, instead of this
    "Run launch4j.exe or launch4j script without command line arguments to enter the GUI mode."
    say something like this instead:
    "Run launch4j.exe or launch4j script without command line arguments to enter the GUI mode. This is the easiest way to create your wrapper file." and then provide a picture of a snapshot o the GUI start screen.

    Or something like that.

    Also, in the gui it might be nice, for each screen, to have a "help" button that takes you off to some documentation page that describes the various options and what they do. Also the tooltips are a bit long and sometimes harder to read because they go off the screen, maybe add some line breaks?
    Anyway, thanks so much again and keep up the good work!
    Sincerely,
    Roger pack

     
    • Roger Pack
      Roger Pack
      2013-06-20

      also some followups: in the docs it would be nice to have a "minimialist" xml file example. It might also be nice to initially explain more what the 2 "big" options are (you either bundle the jar, or have it point to a relative an external jar), in writing.

       
    • Roger Pack
      Roger Pack
      2013-06-20

      also some followups: in the docs it would be nice to have a "minimialist" xml file example. It might also be nice to initially explain more what the 2 "big" options are (you either bundle the jar, or have it point to a relative an external jar), in writing.

       
  • Roger Pack
    Roger Pack
    2013-06-20

    and, of course, more followup :)
    It appears that if you specify a "splash screen" it doesn't work with some bitmap files, basically it only works with those saved in "compatibility mode" (see my comment here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/9281832/when-i-add-a-splash-screen-using-launch4j-i-get-a-startup-error-an-error-occu) which means that many bitmaps cause an inexplicable error.

    While I'm at it, some other random suggestions, if you don't mind more feedback :)
    it would be nice if:

    1) if, when there's an error, it gave more information. Even with logging turned on, when you get this message "An error occurred while starting the application" (for instance, with a bad bmp file), the log contains no information to help you debug the problem. All it has are the java startup parameters and location, that's it.
    2) the splash screen "tied in" with the java -splash: option
    3) the program, when it's running, has an icon associated with it. like the setIconImage type of thing. As it is today it's the generic java icon, and sometimes I can't tell that apart from other apps that are running.
    4) it didn't prompt so often to resave the xml filename. It seems to prompt to resave before every single compile. It's quite annoying. Suggest auto-save when they click the compile button.

    I also noticed that if you specify a splash screen that works, then click the blue "run" button, it basically freezes for 60 seconds and launch4j itself becomes unresponsive.

    Thanks so much, it's a great tool.
    -roger-

     
  • Grzegorz Kowal
    Grzegorz Kowal
    2013-08-21

    Hello Roger,

    Thanks for your feedback, one of the first about the documentation I think :) I'll try to improve the docs between the bug fixes.

    Best regards,
    Grzegorz