Even at this early stage, before any actual installers have appeared, things are looking pretty good for Strawberry Professional Alpha 2.
Padre is starting to firm up as a usable editor, Frozen Bubble works quite well and is completely playable, and I think my wxFormBuilder work is coming along nicely (which bodes well for quickly and easily creating GUI apps in some Alpha 3...)
My biggest remaining concern at the moment though, is also one of the smallest and seemingly trivial issues.
Although we can much more easily build and install large, rich and good looking desktop applications there is still no way to launch these applications without resorting to the command line.
Any iconography that are filled into the start menu in Strawberry Professional will do so because Curtis has put them there himself.
A Perl installation, via the %Config information, lets an installer know where to put libraries, binaries, documentation etc. Shared files in the File::ShareDir model are really just a hack, putting them in an agreed location within lib.
File::HomeDir isn't any use to us either for this. It is designed to let programs deal with user-owned data at run-time, NOT with system integration at install time.
Without the ability to install programs in a way that desktop users can easily launch, our little nascent desktop revolution will never really be able to get up to speed.
Having a post-install step where you need to launch a Windows command line, and then run "padre --desktop" just to install a desktop icon is simply not good enough.
Likewise, having to run Frozen Bubble from the command line is silly as well.
So consider this a challenge to anyone out there that likes tackling tricky puzzles, to try and build a File::Launcher (or whatever you want to call it) that can locate install paths, and be integrated into module installers, so we can make proper use of the Start Menu, Desktop, Quick Launcher, and all the equivalent features on all three major desktop platforms (Windows, Mac, and FreeDesktop.org).
If you build it, Padre will use it.