POV-Ray : Newsgroups : povray.windows : Install for multiple users : Re: Install for multiple users Server Time: 24 Sep 2020 17:58:55 GMT
  Re: Install for multiple users  
From: Erich
Date: 6 May 2011 20:25:01
Thanks for the fast response(s)!

Thorsten Froehlich <tho### [at] trfde> wrote:
> OK, then first note that POV-Ray does not need to be installed by an
> administrator. It is perfectly happy if installed with just user privileges.

Yep, I know, but I think you are overestimating the practical capability of
highly educated people.  :)  Also, (since my .edu secret is out) in many
classroom/labs, machines are "frozen" to restore their state after every reboot.
 That would require every user to reinstall POV-Ray after every login.

> > The problem is that I need to install this so that users other than myself (who
> > may or may not be admins or have logged in yet) can use POV-Ray.  Ideally, when
> > POV-Ray is run for the first time, it would check if these files exist in
> > the default location inside the current user's profile (wherever that might be)
> > and create them there if needed.  Everybody could be happy then.
> Isn't this a function available via Windows admin tools?

Not that I know of (I'd love to know otherwise.)  I can create default user
profiles, but the more files in that profile, the longer the initial login.
Because apps may be installed on multi-user machines after some users have
already logged in and generated a profile, I find that almost all apps are happy
to create any user's app-specific settings or files the first time the app is
run for that user.

> If you have a concrete idea how this should work, I think it would be interesting if
> you could contribute such an extension to the POV-Ray installer.

It seems pretty concrete to me already, but I have no idea how to create an
extension to the/any installer.  I don't actually think it's an installer
function.  Look at Mozilla apps for examples.  I modify the default prefs.js
file for Thunderbird, but the default Windows profile has no Thunderbird
settings whatsoever.  When a user starts Thunderbird for their first time, it
makes no difference whether they were already a user on that system.
Thunderbird generates all the files they need, and pulls those defaults I
created for some settings I want all users to start with.

This allows me to give all users default settings, allows them to modify
settings for their personal use, and keeps the default Windows profile small so
that initial logins are fast.  If there is a disadvantage to this method for
anyone, I don't see it.

> I would suggest to then have a batch file that users select when they first
> run POV-Ray. This batch file can then add a proper link to pvengine.exe in
> the Windows menu, the desktop and where ever you want it, plus copy the files.

Ugh!  Yes, I can do this, (and probably will if my attempt - below - is no
good), but this is the only app in 100+ I install that requires a batch file for
multi-user usability.

> The default library path folder are kept in povray.ini .

At risk of exposing my stupidity, what files are considered libraries, vs other
things? Both "Scenes" and "Insert Menu" contain subfolders - do all those have
to be added to the path?  Will they even be found if I do add them?

Here is what I have so far, and I'm not getting any errors starting POV-Ray
(though I don't know how to go about testing it for functional use)...

In <user documents>\POV-Ray\v3.7\:
include (folder)
ini (folder)

In <user documents>\POV-Ray\v3.7\ini:
(nothing else)

In pvengine.ini:
- removed all references to current user's profile path (most of these are
regenerated when POV-Ray closes)
- Added the lines (not ideal, but acceptable):
  [Permitted Input Paths]
  [Permitted Output Paths]

In povray.ini:
- Added the lines:
  Library_Path="C:\Users\Public\Documents\POV-Ray\v3.7\Insert Menu"

The "include" folder is untouched.

The other folders and all their files/subfolders are in:

This reduces the footprint of the POV-Ray files duplicated at every login to
800k and 61 files which isn't terrible.  (It was 12MB and 1800+ files.)  Does
this seem like it would be functional?  Does POV-Ray create the other .ini files
(like "pvtools.ini", etc.) as needed like it does with the pvengine.ini file
that doesn't exist until the first time POV-Ray is run?

Thanks for your help,

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