For people willing to test my patch installer, it is available to download from sourceforge. Be aware that it's in beta, unofficial and can have bugs. For known issues, check the list below.
Download link: Windows 1.8.x to 1.8.5 binary patch installer (39.5 MB)
For interested: Source code (NSIS script)
- Just the binaries and game files are patched to the newest version - none of the shortcut names, directory names, menu entries, registry entries etc. containing string 1.8.x is updated to string 1.8.5 on patching. That is, despite seeing the correct version number and having up-to-date binaries, you will still see old 1.8.x version string all over the place in Windows.
- Uninstaller works, it isn't broken (patch doesn't replace the uninstaller binary). However, it won't remove any files added between patched release and the release you patch up to. There aren't many of them, since it's the stable branch, but there are some (at least between 1.8.0 and 1.8.5).
- The patch weighs ~38 MB, while it could weigh ~23 MB. That's because of one music file and many graphic files changed between 1.8.0 and 1.8.5. However, according to Ivanovic, that shouldn't happen in stable branch, so hopefully in 1.10.x the patches will manage to keep smaller size.
- Script doesn't check what version of Wesnoth are you actually patching (I'm not sure how to do that since we don't include version string in binary properties), it just checks if Wesnoth.exe is in the selected directory
- Build of the patch is not fully automated. It isn't much work to build, but still, it would take ~10 minutes for a new release to set everything up and generate the patch.
- List of changed files is created with (modified by me a bit) NSIS Patch generator run on two installed directories of Wesnoth (1.8.0 and 1.8.5 with above patch). Maybe the preferred behavior should be rather to grab the list of changed files from SVN and always include compiled binaries in the patch.
Any feedback is welcome, as well on the source code, features as on the need of such patch. If you feel it would be useful to you, please state your interest in the poll above.
Edit: For the brave ones, I prepared an incremental patch allowing to quickly update your 1.9.5 to 1.9.6. Since it doesn't check for the version of Wesnoth being patched, please don't try it to force it to patch e.g. 1.9.4 - bad things may happen (and it surely won't work).
Also, I used the same procedure for generating as I did for the 1.8.5 patch, so other weird things may happen (such as reported putting northeners.ogg into macros/ directory in the previous patch...). The current procedure doesn't update registry/menu entries (that's also why I don't touch uninstall.exe in the patcher, since if I did it, it would look for the 1.9.6 registry entries when uninstalling), so - be warned.
The uninstaller does work, however, so if something goes wrong, you can always easily clean up and return to old method of getting new versions
Windows 1.9.5 to 1.9.6 incremental binary patch installer (6.7 MB)