Project Name: BarbaInstaller
Years: 2006-2007
Language: NSIS installer
Status: Ended

Like most of my projects, BarbaInstaller came from the necessity of scratching my own itch. During summer 2006 I had to install Windows Live Messenger on many of my friends' computers, to help them out after they had formatted their systems. It wasn't a difficult process of course, but it was boring, long and tedious. Worst of all, I knew it would happen again for each new Windows Live Messenger version, for both my computers and also for my friends' ones. So I decided to build a setup package to automate as much as possible the process of downloading and installing Windows Live Messenger and its related plugins.

The result was BarbaInstaller, a self-updating setup package that allowed to pick the plugins to install from a list, that would go through the hassle of picking the most recent version and starting the related installer.

In some time, the various plugins gained self-update mechanisms, making the whole idea of BarbaInstaller less appealing, but at the same time, Windows Live Messenger was no longer distributed as a stand-alone application, but only as part of the Windows Live Unified installer. Not only it made for a worse experience, because now added more steps to the process, and these steps often didn't go well, but the unified installer also added some unwanted packages even when just selecting Windows Live Messenger, so BarbaInstaller lived on, allowing to only actually install the desired software.