The Integrated Genome Browser team at UNC Charlotte has just released IGB 8.3. This new version fixes several minor bugs _and_ introduces a new installer that makes it much, much easier to get and update IGB.
To get IGB,
- Visit http://www.bioviz.org.
- Click the Download link to download an installer onto your computer.
- Double-click the installer to launch it.
- Follow the instructions to install the latest version of IGB.
IGB will then appear alongside all your other programs.
We've tested the new installer on Windows, Linux, and Mac and worked out all the kinks we could find. If you run into any problems, please let us know! (Click the Get Help link on our Web site or add a comment to this News post, if that is easier.)
- The Windows and Mac installers contain both IGB and the latest version of java - Java 8. This enables IGB to take advantage of all the latest features of Java without your having to install it yourself.
- The Linux installer, however, does not include Java. Linux users, please let us know if this causes problems for you.
Notes for developers:
After watching Java Web Start slowly degrade as a mechanism for distributing Java software, we decided to switch to using a native installer. After considering many options, we decided to use Install4J from ej-technologies. Also, we noticed that Blast2Go was using this installer, and that helped convince us that Install4J would be a good fit for us.
We had almost zero problems integrating the installer into our automated build and release process (maven+Jenkins), but we did have to overcome a few minor snags related to signing our app. So if you would like to try this yourself, we'd be happy to tell you about our experience. Just get in touch with us and we'll take it from there.
Besides getting away from Java Web Start, other benefits of using the installer included:
- We now can use Java 1.8 or any JRE we like -- the installer lets us package Java with our application. This is a big win for users because now they don't have to install or maintain Java on their computer.
- We can distribute updates to users easily and users can choose to upgrade or not as they see fit.
- The installer lets us package a splash screen with our app, making it feel more like a first class citizen on our users' computers.