Note: Users are advised to read the first 4 chapters and may skip the rest. These chapters can be copied into the first post so new users can understand this thread.
2. Getting DriverPack Solution 10.
3. Comparison to Drivers Installer Assistant by Romeo91.
4. Search in the web service
5. DriverPack Autorun to DriverPack Solution 9(R2).
6. DriverPack Solution 9 Dev Build(R36).
7. DriverPack Solution 10 Dev Build(R144)
8. DriverPack Solution 10 distributed DVD edition(various revisions).
9. DriverPack Solution (the plans)
10. Cooperation on driverpacks.net
1. DriverPack Solution is a program that uses driverpacks to check if some drivers can be installed and updated. It tries to find drivers the latest drivers which are known to be compatible with the current system. When it finds such drivers it suggest installing them. The program doesn't install drivers itself, it extracts them from driverpacks and feeds the drivers to DPInst which does the job.
2. There is no official release as of now, so I suggest using the recommended revision(!not the latest!) from SVN.
Follow this instruction.
1. Download and install TortoiseSVN (SVN client) http://tortoisesvn.net/
2. Create a new folder for the program.
3. Right click on the folder and select "SVN Checkout".
4. Enter "http://driverpacksolution.googlecode.com/svn/trunk" in the URL field.
5. Type in "145"(the recommended revision) into the revision field.
6. Click OK. The SVN client should download the program.
7. Create a folder "DRP" and put driverpacks inside. If there is such folder, the program will create it for you. You can create sub-folders in the DRP folder like "Vista/7_x86", "Vista/7_x64", "XP".
8.The first time you start the program, it should find driverpacks and suggest to index them, say OK.
Should a problem arise, you can provide logs from the "logs" folder.
The best place to report problems is the Issues on SVN.
3. Romeo used to work with ArtX on DriverPack Autorun but due a conflict he quit the project and made his own program: Drivers Installer Assistant. I don't know what the conflict was about(I wasn't around then) and it appears people don't want to talk about it. By the time I joined DriverPack Solution 9, Drivers Installer Assistant was(and still is) a pretty mature application. I outlined the features which are supported by Drivers Installer Assistant but aren't yet implemented in DriverPack Solution.
1. Finisher isn't fished(no pun intended). It's commented out in the source code.
2. PhysX driverpack isn't supported. I haven't got around how to use it.
3. DP_Runtimes driverpack isn't supported. I haven't got around how to use it.
I think 2 and 3 are the easy ones I just don't know on which condition I should use them. As for the finisher, it's more complex and I still don't know how to handle it and how it's essential. I think it is important but it was put off till a next version. QuarQ's driverpacks don't have any ini files and he says he doesn't need it.
[update] // Initially I though Drivers Installer Assistant had the same features.
I think DriverPack Solution has a superior algorithm for picking drivers because it looks for exact HWID matches, checks compatible IDs and checks if the driver in question is compatible with the current OS.
I'm still not sure if it's completely correct. However I do know that over time it becomes more accurate and I'm going in the right direction. Maybe there is documentation somewhere which would save me a long way of trial and errors and investigation of every failure.
I made a switch from driverpack based interface to driver based interface.
There were some complains regarding the interface which I handled by introducing the expert mode and adding descriptions to the lists.
I would like to know if these complains are still valid for regular users and driverpack maintainers:
1. It's difficult to understand the purpose of some list.
2. The lists are are too long because the program shows several drivers for chipset. Some drivers should be hidden.
3. The lists are are too long because the program shows the name driverpack. It should list drivers without showing the name of driverpack where the driver was found.
4. Some lists are useless.
To sum up, DriverPack Solution right now might have a better driver matching algorithm but miss the features mentioned above and maybe some more which aren't apparent. The programs use different approach in presenting information and DriverPack Solution is leaning rather to advanced users, driverpack maintainers than to users. This is why ArtX added the infobox which advice user what to do. Anyway I want to see progress in both projects, it's good for users. I wanted to implement installation from unpacked driverpacks(like it was done by WsnoW) but I didn't because the code would be hard to maintain without making major changes. This feature is planned in to be implemented in a new version(that means it is unlikely to be soon).
4. There is a feature in DriverPack Solution which allows to search driver with specified HWID on the Internet.
DevID service provide search for drivers uploaded by users. Search on Microsoft is made by ArtX. He said he tried to minimize amount of requests to this service because Microsoft wouldn't be happy about it. I don't remember why though. The publisher said he want to provide this basic service for free and provide some paid service like collecting all drivers for particular computer and
giving them as a single download. The publisher plans to assign the task to freelancers. This service is intended to be automated and won't involve a human deciding which drivers to use. I don't know much about these web services. I think ArtX know about it more.
5. History. I can't really explain how it started so I tell what I know and I'll try not bore you with details. The program was created in May 2008 and was initially named DriverPack Autorun and was renamed to DriverPack Solution when it became version 9. As far I can tell by the changelog most releases had rather small changes while 6 and 9 versions were major updates. I joined the project when DriverPack Solution 9 was released. You can see that R2 at SVN corresponds to DriverPack Solution 9 so there is detailed changelog on SVN.
6. At some point I released DriverPack Solution 9 Dev Build as an experimental branch which added support for X64, improved speed of parsing INF files, improved HWID matching algorithm. Eventually I switched to algorithm which matches exact HWIDs and checks compatible HWIDs.
This version corresponds to R36.
Also I take time to collect driverpacks from different maintainers and uploaded it to my hosting(free mediafire account) which I later switched to ArtX's hosting. But I haven't updated driverpacks since October so users are advised to use the links to get the latest driverpacks from maintainers. Though according to statistics a lot of people still download outdated driverpacks.
I remember the days I updated driverpacks, the hosting could barely handle the traffic and the provider tried to limit it. The majority of people were from the former USSR, I think it it's because of the common language. This is why I was planning to introduce the project in
the English speaking community.
7. I was going to release DriverPack Solution 10 Dev Build but I was being hold back by the publisher(read about it below). This release was supposed to be based on R144 and I had uploaded updated driverpacks to mediafire. I couldn't use ArtX's hosting because he didn't have enough space(5.4 GB) and the provider of hosting might not handle such amount of users because the attention was building up since I announce I would release my own branch: DriverPack Solution 10 Dev Build soon.
At the same time I was preparing a DVD edition of DriverPack Solution 10 Dev Build. This edition would had stable driverpacks for XP removed in favor for the driverpacks from nightlies. Driverpacks for printers were also removed. I was working on it with a guy who was supposed to make this release on torrents.ru. At some point I had to said that could no longer be involved,he is his own and he can't release it labeled as “Dev Build”. He prepared it himself and released it on several major tracker labeled as "DriverPack Solution 10 Professional DVD(????????????? ?????)". Since this unofficial version was superior to other custom versions, it replaced them. In my deleted post, I was worried that the Internet(save for RUnet) was full of broken custom releases of DriverPack Solution 10. However I see that this release has reached the English speaking folks but it dropped the "(Unofficial release)" from its title and is named "DriverPack Solution 10 Professional DVD". It doesn't mention “Dev Build” as it was intended either. The English description could have been handled better(it was translated by Google Translate).
8. DriverPack Solution 10 distributed DVD edition. It was announced that users could order delivery of DVD with the latest program and driverpacks. The size was stated as 3200MB, I don't know where ArtX got this figure and wasn't given information about the driverpacks on DVDs.
Users were given an offer to preorder the DVD for 300 rubles later 500 rubles and since February 1 it is 1000 rubles(US Dollars: 10$, 16$, 33$). It was stated that the official DriverPack Solution will be released on March 1.
I pointed out that this information would mislead users into thinking that they have to pay to get the program yearly. I believed distribution and the official release would start on the same day and the offer would nly give users discount for yearly preorder.
I was planning to release my branch DriverPack Solution 10 Dev Build(as an experimental release) before on March 1, this way we could test it and fix bugs before releasing the final official version.
I clarified for users that ordering DVD is meant for these who have slow and expensive Internet or don't have it at all. I also announced that I would release my experimental branch soon. Shortly I learned that I wasn't supposed to release it because I'm known as a developer and it would harm sales. I had a conversation with the publisher over Skype for more then 4 hours but we couldn't come to agreement. In the end, I quietly canceled the release without an explanation. The publisher felt that an honest explanation would harm the reputation and I couldn't lie to users. I decide not to quit yet and take a break till March 1. I feel free to discuss this here because it's unlikely that there would be many people who would order the DVD so I'm not harming sales.
For I a few days I received orders in my mails but it stopped soon so I don't know how many people ordered the DVD. The announcement about the new version was sent via e-mail to the people who was interested in DriverPack Solution at some point. It's about 50 000 e-mails the last time I checked, I can't login into e-mail campaign anymore to see how many respondents are on the list.
I wasn't informed when the distribution begun and didn't know about the content of DVD. However some customers contacted me for support so I learned about it. Publisher says they send some a limited amount of DVD yearly but the major distribution hasn't started. I didn't know for sure but my observations didn't fully support their claims. So I announced that users don't have to buy DVD and this is only a delivery service for these who don't have Internet or it's too expensive. The same way anyone can buy a Linux distribution.
Also I think it's the publisher presses us to make special functionality for distributed DVDs. You can look at the last 3 options in tools\config.js and decide for yourself whether it's a good idea or not.
At the moment there are a lot of custom made distributions of DriverPack Solution made by users. I recommend to stay away from them because they are based on revisions which aren't meant for release and some of them are so broken that some driverpacks aren't indexed. However some decent distributions are out there already.
Note: this part might be difficult to comprehend unless you are a programmer so you can skip it.
comments were in Russian, some variable and function names were in translited Russian, some parts of code were complicated than they should have been. The way code was designed make it very difficult to make changes without breaking something in other places. Over time I cleaned up the code and made changes to make it easier to maintain but there is still some code which I consider poorly designed. Don't get me wrong, I'm not to criticize ArtX for his code, after all he started it all and it still worked. Back then he might not known which design was optimal in the long run. He end up implementing new features via hacks and copy-paste rather then unifying code.
10. I'm glad I'm here and the way I see we could be useful for each other. Driverpack.net could help with localizing the program to many languages, reviewing the source code providing expertise on drivers. DriverPack Solution could provide DPInst and logs with failed installations, statistics from devid.drp.su implement features which might be helpful for driverpack maintainers. These features shouldn't make major changes which could posses a risk to users, I'm going to abandon the old codebase anyway when a new branch is ready.
Last edited by BadPointer (2010-02-09 22:15:43)