Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio
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I have previously posted topics about creating custom strips on the Windows Media Center Start menu in Windows Vista and specifying an exact order for the tiles in a custom strip. I have received additional questions about how to implement a more complicated solution - how to create multiple MSI installers to add/remove tiles in the same custom strip, and also allow the MSIs to be installed/uninstalled independently from each other and in any order.
This scenario is a bit tricky to implement because of the following issues:
In order to implement this solution and address the above issues, you can use the following algorithm:
I have posted a ZIP file that contains an example of how to create a parent application and 2 child applications that each register tiles on a custom strip on the Windows Media Center Start menu. You can try out this scenario by using the following steps:
After running the above steps, you can un-register the first or second child application, and the strip and tiles from the other child application will be left behind on the Windows Media Center Start menu.
Note: You will see a dummy entry point listed in TestApp_parent.xml that is described as an "intentionally hidden" entry point. This entry point is necessary because Windows Media Center will not display an application on the Start menu unless it has at least one entry point associated with it (even if that entry point is not actually designed to be shown on the Start menu). In this case, we do not want this dummy entry point to not appear as a tile on the Start menu, so we register it with a category that is not listed in the registry file from step 5 above. Even though the entry points in TestApp_divided1.xml and TestApp_divided2.xml are not associated with the parent application, they will still appear in the Start menu because they are members of the category that is listed in the registry file from step 5 above.
This article will serve as a central repository for topics that I have written about Windows Media Center