Old 15th September 2007, 10:41   #1
kichik
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Unicode

Jim Park has issued a patch to add Unicode support to NSIS. Currently it's a completely different build that can create nothing but Unicode installers (no Windows 9x support).

Please help me test it for speedier integration.

https://sourceforge.net/tracker/?fun...group_id=22049

You can download a pre-built version from:

http://www.scratchpaper.com/nsis-05-...code-setup.exe

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Old 15th September 2007, 13:23   #2
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Thanks for posting that kichik.

A few things to note. The Unicode NSIS installer is COMPLETELY Unicode. This means that your NSI script must also be Unicode (UTF-16LE). This can easily be done by using Notepad. Just change the encoding to "Unicode" and that will do it.

Note that the plugins you may be relying on will not work unless they are also built with Unicode in mind. This means that the access to the global stack that is used to transmit information back and forth from plugin to NSIS must contain Unicode (wchar_t) strings.

*** Developers ***
If you are a plugin author, it shouldn't be too difficult to make the changes. You can take a look at what I did for the standard plugins that ship with NSIS. The source is here:

http://www.scratchpaper.com/source.zip

If you look at ExDLL, you will notice new functions that will help you with the translation of the stack as well. For instance, if you DLL only cares about ASCII codesets, then you may not need to do much modifications at all. It just needs to call the new functions that automatically translate the stack's strings from Unicode to ANSI and ANSI to Unicode. But most likely, if you are dealing with user entered strings, you will need to make your DLL completely Unicode aware as well.

The source uses TCHARs so you can target building both ANSI and Unicode versions of NSIS. It is based on NSIS 2.29 with some bug fixes and minor tweaks. If you are interested, the ANSI version of the binary built with the same source code is also here:

http://www.scratchpaper.com/nsis-05-....cvs-setup.exe

Please look at the tracker submission for more information about building the source yourself. I developed on VS2005 and I would be surprised if it builds on the other platforms. Even if they do, I did not change the SCONS config files for the other platforms to define _UNICODE and UNICODE which is what's needed for the source to be built as Unicode.

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Old 17th September 2007, 20:45   #3
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Source code link:

http://www.scratchpaper.com/source.zip

ANSI version link:

http://www.scratchpaper.com/nsis-05-....cvs-setup.exe

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Old 18th September 2007, 03:42   #4
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Is this will affect future versions? I mean I'm not a UNICODE fan, but if is it going to be...


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Old 18th September 2007, 10:31   #5
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Well, the niceness of this approach is that those who want the ANSI version for Win95/98/ME compatibility can use the ANSI version. For those who need support of languages that only Unicode can provide can use the Unicode version. It gives you a choice. And we can give you that choice with one code base.

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Old 19th September 2007, 13:09   #6
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I have just adapted my installer to use this unicode version for a russian language installer, and everything seems fine in russian except for some reason the welcome page has loads of question marks instead of the correct characters of the introduction text. It's weird because all the other panels are fine. Does anyone know what is going on here?

Cheers,

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Old 20th September 2007, 12:26   #7
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The introduction text should ALSO be Unicode. So open it up in Notepad and then save as Unicode encoding. That should work. So remember EVERYTHING must be Unicode. If you have an ASCII file, you need to make sure it's now UNICODE. Hope this helps.

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Old 20th September 2007, 15:41   #8
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Sounds great. One quick question: what happens when one of these builds gets run on 9x? Is it possible to detect in .onInit and show a MessageBox to the user, or would it just crash immediately? If the latter, then I guess the build could be wrapped by a non-Unicode build that does this detection and messaging.
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Old 20th September 2007, 16:48   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by dienjd
Sounds great. One quick question: what happens when one of these builds gets run on 9x? Is it possible to detect in .onInit and show a MessageBox to the user, or would it just crash immediately? If the latter, then I guess the build could be wrapped by a non-Unicode build that does this detection and messaging.
I decided to not be so lazy and just try for myself. I compiled Examples\bigtest.nsi and tried it on Windows 98. It crashed immediately, which is expected. However, there are ways to gracefully handle this, as I mentioned in my last post.
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Old 20th September 2007, 23:43   #10
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how about Microsoft Layer for Unicode on Win95/98/ME (MSLU)?

http://www.microsoft.com.nsatc.net/g..._announce.mspx

sounds easy to integrate.
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Old 20th September 2007, 23:57   #11
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yeah, but you have to ship the MSLU dll along with the installer

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Old 21st September 2007, 00:06   #12
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well, at least nsis may get compiled against mslu, so it still works normal on win2k/xp/vista, but also MAY work on win95/98/me IF the user has mslu installed.
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Old 21st September 2007, 14:56   #13
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When converting ANSI files to Unicode, I've noticed that the conversion works fine with Notepad, but converting using Textpad or the iconv program on FreeBSD results in the Unicode file not working with Unicode NSIS.

While testing this patched version of NSIS, I want to be able to automatically convert files as part of a build process instead of maintaining separate copies of the same files but just in different encodings. Notepad doesn't seem to have a command line interface other than 'notepad.exe filename.txt'. I guess I could make something that launches Notepad and hooks the window to do a Save As

This isn't a big deal, but it would be nice to have. Anyone have ideas on how to do this other than the ugly window hooking method?
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Old 21st September 2007, 15:03   #14
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There are a few possible reasons. The first is conversion to a wrong charset. Even Unicode has multiple charsets available. Make sure you convert to UTF-16LE.

Another reason could be a missing BOM. Try perpending the file content with FF FE (the actual bytes, not text).

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Old 21st September 2007, 17:03   #15
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My thoughts are exactly the same as kichik's. Here's a little utility I wrote called a2u.exe that converts an ANSI codepage text file to Unicode. You provide what codepage to use. So it can be run regardless of your OS codepage setting. So this will fit your bill in making this whole process automated. (I didn't convert all the include files, example, etc., by hand, you know?) It should also be helpful in converting your current NSIS scripts to Unicode as well.

I included the source as well so you can modify it to work anyway you want.

Look in http://www.scratchpaper.com/a2u.zip or I'm attaching the file here as well.

Enjoy.
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Old 21st September 2007, 17:11   #16
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Thanks for the utility and patch. The Unicode support will hopefully save me from having to use InstallShield!
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Old 23rd September 2007, 02:22   #17
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Jim -

We'll give this thing a good workout soon.
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Old 29th September 2007, 19:02   #18
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Anymore news about this?

Will it be integrated into the main NSIS branch someday? Any extreme rough timeframes if so? (something like 3 months, 6months a year, etc?)

I suggest making this sticky since it's pretty important news.

Thanks heaps for the patch work Jim. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Sidenote question: If you are using the System plugin for API calls, will you have to use the Unicode calls, or can you use the normal ANSI calls too?
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Old 29th September 2007, 19:58   #19
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Should be integrated, no timeframes and System can already handle both ANSI and Unicode so nothing should change.

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Old 1st October 2007, 07:48   #20
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The only change made to System is that all the calls default to Unicode strings rather than ANSI strings. So for example, if you specified MessageBox(...), then it will actualyl call MessageBoxW(...). As long as you provide the right function signature, then the System will work as you expect. I just had to rework some of the interfacing back and forth through the NSIS global stack but using it should be the same.

You WANT to use the Unicode functions by default because while it will automatically convert Unicode strings to ANSI codepage and back when you call ANSI functions, you may actually lose vital information or get bad behavior if the user's computer's code page setting is different from what you'd expect. And definitely things will not work if you are trying to provide an installer for a Unicode only language.

If you are converting your script from the ANSI NSIS to Unicode, and you are using the System plugin, look for functions that are ANSI only. Most of these end in "A". Change them to use Unicode. Or just specify their "TCHAR" versions -- i.e. MessageBox instead of MessageBoxW or MessageBoxA. Then the correct one will be picked up by your NSIS installer.

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Old 4th October 2007, 19:18   #21
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Kichik, I was wondering, also, of what it would take for it to be incorporated into the NSIS trunk. Since the source for Unicode NSIS can generate both Unicode and ANSI versions of NSIS, bug fixes in this version of the source will benefit both the Unicode and the ANSI version. I would hate to see the Unicode NSIS code get orphaned. If we wait much longer the code base for the NSIS and Unicode NSIS will diverge too much and someone's going to have to redo the 1.5 months of fulltime work to make it work again.

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Old 5th October 2007, 14:07   #22
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As I see it, the first step is a completely separate build for Unicode (like 8192 string and logging builds) which will minimally affect the main build. Later, the compiler can start moving towards being able to create either type of installers. Finally, the stubs could be made common so ANSI will be automatically used on 9x and Unicode on any capable system.

I, too, would hate to see the code gets orphaned, requiring more and more work with each passing version. To get to first step done and integrate it as a separate build, I'd want to make it as hassle free as possible. Currently it seems there are more than a few changes that'd require extra maintenance and will serve useful only for the Unicode build. All of the SConscript changes are good example. There is no need for duplication of examples and such - makensis.exe should be able to read ANSI scripts and differentiate Unicode scripts according to BOM.

Another minor example is wininit.ini handling. Since that's only supported on 9x, the code could be completely removed for Unicode builds and there's no need for the conversions and Unicode specific code paths.

Lines 716-726 in Source\exehead\util.c could be reduced to a cast to char*.

NSIS Menu doesn't have to be Unicode. But I guess it'd be useful for translated packages of NSIS itself. In that case, it'd be easier to have wxUSE_UNICODE defined externally or according to _UNICODE instead of having two setup.h.

In short, every #ifdef _UNICODE or separate Unicode file is more work down the line. I can't ask you to make all the changes, but that's what I'll do when I integrate it. I will probably do it gradually, but I'll definitly start with automatically generating the duplicate files or getting rid of the need for them.

If you do, however, wish to help with this, I can create a branch for this in the soon-to-live SVN repository where you can check-in the changes. I will also do my best to sync it with trunk for every released version (which hopefully won't be too many).

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Old 5th October 2007, 14:13   #23
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Just had a look at Benski's Unicode branch and saw he used a nice trick to get around the CHAR4_TO_DWORD optimization - QTCHAR.

http://nsis.cvs.sourceforge.net/nsis...athrev=UNICODE

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Old 11th October 2007, 03:29   #24
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Actually, I disagree that the examples and NSIS include files should be generated from a single source for both. Eventually, the number of languages supported for Unicode will continue to grow while the number ANSI languages have already stopped growing. The common subset (e.g. Latin I) may be able to share a common source but even then there are things like System calls that will be subtly different for ANSI and Unicode. Much like the C++ source itself, we may have to add #ifdef UNICODE or some equivalent into the NSIS scripts if we pursue having one source script for both. But again, I imagine that the Unicode languages will continue to grow which will never have an ANSI counterpart. And Win9x/ME OSes will continue to dwindle in significance.

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Old 15th October 2007, 23:09   #25
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But currently there are none and so it generates an unjustified work overhead. Updating an example requires updating two files. That's always a cause for nice little "oops" bugs.

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Old 16th October 2007, 13:37   #26
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That is true. So for now, I do have that a2u.exe that I've uploaded here. We can use it as part of the build process to take the ANSI scripts and convert them to Unicode ones for those which are easily derivable. For those that do need hand tweaks (there may be a few), we can keep those separate. For scripts that use the System plugin, for example, we need only use the API without the "W" or "A" as the suffix i.e. don't use MessageBoxA or MessageBoxW just MessageBox and the correct version will be picked up by the System plugin. So I think it's quite possible to achieve a unified single source for most scripts.

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Old 7th November 2007, 15:11   #27
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I may have misunderstood your post. If you mean that there are no languages that are Unicode-only, then here are some:
1. Amharic
2. Armenian
3. Assamese (India)
4. Bengali (India)
5. Divehi (Maldives)
6. Georgian
7. Gujarati
8. Hindi
9. Inukitut (Canada, Syllabics) -- not the Latin-based one
10. Kannada
11. Khmer (Cambodia)
12. Konkani
13. Marathi
14. Nepali
15. Punjabi
16. Sanskrit
17. Sinhala (Sri Lanka)
18. Telugu (India)

The list is growing. Also, many people including myself run apps localized to a different language than the codepage of the OS that they're running. So the desire for Unicode support for an installer is there and the need is getting stronger.

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Old 7th November 2007, 18:21   #28
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There are none in NSIS. And even if language files are added for those, it still doesn't justify having every example in Unicode as most examples don't demonstrate multiple languages and those that do, usually do this with a small collection of languages.

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Old 8th November 2007, 07:24   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by kichik
There are none in NSIS. And even if language files are added for those, it still doesn't justify having every example in Unicode as most examples don't demonstrate multiple languages and those that do, usually do this with a small collection of languages.
Hi,

I find the idea of a unicode capable NSIS compiler great.
I've built an (standard NSIS)installer for network drivers which currently supports 25 languages, including 2 RTL languages.

If we had to add some extra dialogs or messages all translation services would deliver unicode files.
I haven't yet understood or found a detailed explanation of how to safely convert unicode texts into NSIS codepage-based strings.
Being able to directly use unicode strings would significantly ease localization.

In my work I normally use PERL and the automated generation of Windows driver .inf files (UTF-16) is done by PERL scripts.
But NONE of the sources/templates, except for the NLS dependent parts (strings and readme files), are in UTF-16. As PERL uses UTF-8 internally and ASCII is a real subset of UTF-8 there is no need to have program sources in UTF-16.
When including a NLS file, which is in UTF-16, this is detected at read time.

I don't know if the Microsoft C++ API only supports UTF-16, but I think it should not be a great problem to have a smart "read file" function which does detection and conversion, even if internally all is handled in UTF-16.
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Old 8th November 2007, 16:04   #30
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Quote:
I don't know if the Microsoft C++ API only supports UTF-16, but I think it should not be a great problem to have a smart "read file" function which does detection and conversion, even if internally all is handled in UTF-16.
They support both ANSI and UTF-16. There is even a function for determining if a buffer is Unicode or not. The standard even defines special markers for files that specify if they're ANSI, UTF-8, UTF-16LE or UTF-16BE. They are called BOMs.

It shouldn't be too hard to make the compiler support both ANSI and UTF-16. But I'm just saying it won't serve too much of a purpose to have the examples in SVN in both ANSI and UTF-16. There are currently no examples whatsoever that need Unicode. If there will ever be, they can be specific to the Unicode build.

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Old 8th November 2007, 19:45   #31
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As I mentioned before, for the languages that have codepage support, I simply ran a a2u.exe to convert the ANSI script to the Unicode script. I did not hand edit all of those. I don't know 25 languages, after all. So you could have one source file for each language and then GENERATE ANSI and Unicode versions of the example files. So in essence, you never have "oops" mistakes because there is only one source.

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Old 8th November 2007, 20:10   #32
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From your reply, Kichik, it seems as though there IS going to be a Unicode build of some form. Is this correct? Does that mean that this Unicode build is going to be integrated into the main release sometime soon?

If so, that will be great. I for one have need for an installer in one of the languages mentioned below (Georgian), and next year I may have need of one of the others. PLUS, the benefits of not having to switch code-pages in order to have the install show up with intelligible text is also very nice.

Additionally, how many people have tried this version of the installer? I'd like some idea of how stable it is and how it is supported on different OSes. My experience so far has been very good. I was able to build my install with the version made available here without any changes to my script (other than saving the file in Unicode), and it is a pretty large script (1K lines). I'm now in the process of localizing the Georgian version, and I'll make sure to post back with how successful the results were.

Unicode seems to be the wave of the future, and I'll be really happy to see NSIS make the path available for those of us who want it. After all, the product I'm shipping does not support any of the ANSI versions of Windows, and Microsoft doesn't support them anymore either.
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Old 8th November 2007, 22:02   #33
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KrisAster, there's no time frame and my bet won't be on soon.

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Old 19th November 2007, 20:59   #34
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For those using the Unicode version of NSIS, I took the latest 2.33 source and merged the changes onto the Unicode version. The new binaries and source are posted to http://www.scratchpaper.com. Let me know if you find any problems with this release. Also let me know if you find the Unicode version useful.
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Old 21st November 2007, 15:39   #35
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I modified the Unicode language files in the installer to contain vernacular names for the various languages. So you can do something like this:

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Old 24th November 2007, 11:52   #36
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Thanks for this work. the unicode build works well.
I'm chinese, and using japanese windows edition to study japanese. And really many chinese language only nsis setup bother me which can't display correctly on my system.
Really great, hope this Unicode support feature will be merged into the official NSIS.
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Old 27th November 2007, 12:54   #37
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Thanks for your patch, it seems to be working great.

I'd love to see this included in the official source.
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Old 12th December 2007, 19:48   #38
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Unicode NSIS has been updated to support Georgian (a Unicode only language). Updated Unicode Simplified Chinese language files. Also fixed some bugs in
Unicode Turkish language file and Unicode zip2exe. Please give it a whirl and let me know if you see any more problems. As always, the site is http://www.scratchpaper.com

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Old 14th December 2007, 14:54   #39
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I'm trying to use your Unicode version. It works well until the use of some plugins.
I tryed to convert the GetVersion plugin of AfroUK.
I put your exDLL and recompiled with no success: the compiler give me some errors. I think that the problem is the definition of _UNICODE but I don't know where to put it (I don't know C++ and its compiling process).
If someone tells me how to do it, I think I'm able to translate the others plugin I need for my installer.

Thank you
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Old 15th December 2007, 17:09   #40
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Well, it will be a bit difficult not knowing C++ if you want to convert other plugins. But you could try downloading the source from the NSIS branch, then download the source from my site. And you could compare the source files for a smaller plugin like LangDLL and see what the differences are.

BTW, other than the GetVersion plugin, what other plugins do you use?

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