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How do I resolve the following problems in PackageMaker?

  1. When packaging, I get an error stating "could not copy scripts"
  2. The absolute/relative paths option for scripts is disabled
  3. I can't add custom files into the interface because localizations is enabled
  4. Existing custom files in the interface stop working
  5. Packages automatically turn in to distributions
  6. When running the installer, it doesn't change file & directory permissions
  7. Specified permissions are altered when packaging
  8. The changed package contents aren't reflected in PackageMaker
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Is it frowned upon to ask several questions in one? – Paul Lammertsma Mar 15 '11 at 13:58
yes, it is @PaulLammertsma - but we closed it more because your question read like a bug report...reopened since your edit. – studiohack Mar 16 '11 at 4:08
Thanks, @studiohack. I had gathered these problems & solutions elsewhere, and thought the community here could benefit from them being posted more visibly here. – Paul Lammertsma Mar 16 '11 at 8:41
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The easy way out: Don't use PackageMaker. Create DMGs instead; your users will love you for it!

"Could not copy scripts" error

Remove all the script files from the package, and clear the script directory. Save your project and add everything again.

Absolute/relative paths option for scripts is disabled

Save your project first.

Cannot add custom files for interface because localizations is enabled

There's no way to disable localizations again; create your project again from scratch. Make sure not to switch to Raw Editing Mode unless you know how to use it.

Custom files in the interface stop working

I haven't figured out why this sometimes just gives up. Recreate your project and saving it should work.

Packages turn in to distributions

Packages can only have one choice; distributions must have at least two. Additionally, if you want to set up requirements or pre-/post-install actions, PackageMaker will create a distribution. If that's not what you want, write a script instead.

Installer doesn't change permissions

It's not a bug, it's just not clear that this is a feature. Select a package, then open the Package menu and take a look at Package options: "Overwrite package permissions"

Permissions are altered when building

I have no idea why it sometimes does this. I suggest you change the permissions of the package before you add it to PackageMaker to save you all the effort of changing it in there one file at a time (only to find out it changes it back when you build). Make sure to save before building.

The changed package contents aren't reflected in PackageMaker

Hopefully you can get away with PackageMaker not seeing the new contents; it will still copy the files from the source, you just can't see them in the Contents pane. If you need to change file permissions, you'll have to remove the package and painstakingly add it from the source again.

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Flat files in DMGs can't do important things like add executables to $PATH. – mcandre Aug 17 '11 at 23:54
You could have your application do something like that on first run, but I'm not quite sure what the best practices are for this sort of thing. – Paul Lammertsma Aug 18 '11 at 11:11
You're right, that's a good option. Often I wrap an installer around someone else's code, though, so I can't change the app but still need to add things to PATH. – mcandre Aug 18 '11 at 17:26
If your app is a command line program, it would be useless to add itself to $PATH on first run, because you would need it to be in $PATH in order to run it. – mcandre Oct 23 '11 at 22:23

The best resource around for Packaging on OS X. By the author of Iceberg and now Packages. Both of which wipe the floor with PackageMaker.

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