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Item9932: Developing Foswiki on Windows 7

Priority: Low
Current State: Confirmed
Released In: n/a
Target Release: n/a
Applies To: Engine
Component: PlatformWindows
Reported By: JulianLevens
Waiting For:
Last Change By: JulianLevens
I bought myself a shiny new laptop, largely to be able to get involved in the project. This is almost an unqualified success.

The minor qualification is that both Apache and Foswiki are installed in Program Files and in Windows 7 this directory is restricted to administrators.

I can edit the files with 32 bit editors (64 bit editors just prevent access), however the file saves are virtualized (saved somewhere else). See for details.

Probably a good thing for security, but when you are not aware of the change its a surprise to create a new file only to find that explorer does not show it. This threw me for quite some time.

I should be able to restructure my install by moving Foswiki elsewhere then amending the Apache config to pick up the Foswiki extra config from within the moved Foswiki.

I'll let you know how I get on. Ideally the installer can be adapted, but I'm not sure what to recommend yet.

Note that Fowsiki itself works fine (1.0.10). I'm now trying to set up a trunk based install using Git.

At least for now, this is a heads up for this surprise from Windows 7.

-- JulianLevens - 30 Oct 2010

Julian - brilliant! I recon you should use the Foswiki on a USB Stick in preference to the installer - its a better non-admin setup anyway...

I had all sorts of dreams for making the system tray menu auto update the core and stuff, but ran out of interest and time (I'm doing more in the core, and rarely use windows)

One thing we should think about (er, is there any way you could be in CERN next weekend for the FoswikiCamp2011 ?) is to be able to get rid of apache, and just run a perl process that serves Foswiki on USB - the PSGI sprint would help there..

-- SvenDowideit - 07 Nov 2011

Julian closed this, but I want to keep it open. We have a community Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine that any Foswiki developer may request access to, for us to set up a nightly build and generally experiment with Server 2008/IIS (if we so desire).

Please E-mail me if you want access.

For my own notes, the following should be done to improve Foswiki under Windows 7/Server 2008:

The Program Files issue seems more than I have time/windows know-how for

-- PaulHarvey - 07 Dec 2011

It's fine to re-open this - at least it has a more appropriate summary now.

I've done some experiments with mklink and apache, but without success. Although this is probably because my apache knowledge is rubbish.

There is a CPAN module such that use Win32::Symlink; is enough to override symlink() and readlink() to use ntfs parse points. i.e. no more code changes required to use Windows symbolic links.

Its an extra CPAN module but only for Windows development. It needs testing of course.

-- JulianLevens - 07 Dec 2011

I can see a supplementary Windows development pack being put together: extra CPAN modules and tools. Of course this needs to be as small and simple as possible.

-- JulianLevens - 07 Dec 2011

To allow a Foswiki administrator (who is not necessarily a Windows Administrator) to easily change config or edit scripts as appropriate. A future Windows Installer needs to create some sort of Windows Manifest that tells windows to disable uac file/register virtualization - better to be told 'access denied' than keep editing config and script to no avail (with much head scratching and hair pulling)!

Note that this issue affects Apache as well and on the basis that we do not have control over that msi; we could provide an appropriate manifest and explain why it is probably in your best interest to add it to the Apache directory within "Program Files".

This just bit me again on our production server; it will I dare say require more investigation to work out the correct manifest.

In fact this is potentially a general principle for anything we provide as part of a Windows install; e.g. lightppd or nginx as alternative web-servers.

The manifest is an XML file so the most important part of this work out will be to document the XML required; the name of the file to create and where to place it within the relevant "Program Files" directory.

-- JulianLevens - 08 Jul 2014


ItemTemplate edit

Summary Developing Foswiki on Windows 7
ReportedBy JulianLevens
Codebase 1.0.10, trunk
SVN Range
AppliesTo Engine
Component PlatformWindows
Priority Low
CurrentState Confirmed
TargetRelease n/a
ReleasedIn n/a
Topic revision: r7 - 08 Jul 2014, JulianLevens
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