when setup isn't just xcopy

Rob Mensching on Software Installation and Open Source at Microsoft.

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  • Blog Post: Thursday Night "Deployment Dinner Discussion" with Charlie Poole.

    Tonight I traveled to Anthony's Beach Cafe in Edmonds, WA to have dinner with Charlie Poole . Charlie is the active maintainer of the NUnit project . He contacted me (via my blog, IIRC) and we set up tonight's meeting. I expected he wanted to meet because NUnit is now using the WiX toolset too . Charlie...
  • Blog Post: SharpDevelop 2.1 - the latest WiX UI Editor

    I was cleaning out some old mail messages and came across this tidbit of information that several people sent me. SharpDevelop 2.1 now supports the WiX toolset . At the same time, I noticed that SharpDevelop 2.1 moved to WiX to build its setup packages. I took a quick scan through their MSI and it looks...
  • Blog Post: WiX in Visual Studio

    In my previous blog entry , I mentioned that Visual Studio was adopting the WiX toolset . Despite the fact that Derek was leaving, that post generated a bit of excitement . I even had a couple people contact me directly about the prospect that Visual Studio would be shipping WiX v3. Unfortunately,...
  • Blog Post: Bittersweet change, Derek Cicerone leaves WiX.

    As I noted in my previous blog entry , there is a lot of change in my life right now. Today Derek Cicerone announced that he is retiring from the WiX community . What Derek left out is that today was also his last day at Microsoft after four years. He leaves this weekend for a startup in Silicon Valley...
  • Blog Post: Creative Commons Add-in's Office XP PIA - Conditioning the Office XP PIAs - Part 1

    Previously I described how the Office XP PIA install detected what parts of Office XP were installed . There are two places that the detection information is used and there are weaknesses in both places that we'll discuss. In this blog entry we'll take a look at the first place the detection logic is...
  • Blog Post: Creative Commons Add-in's Office XP PIA - Detecting Office XP Parts

    There was a lot more interest in the Office XP PIA install that Bob created than I expected. I'm currently in the process of trying to get the Office team to take the work we did back and post that instead of the loose collection of files available today. I believe this is the most useful path for everyone...
  • Blog Post: Creative Commons Add-in for Microsoft Office: Behind the Office PIAs.

    Tonight, we'll continue with the story of the development of the Creative Commons Add-in for Microsoft Office . As I mentioned in the introduction one of the first problems that we tackled was the Office PIAs. Rather than provide you second hand information about the development of the PIA packages,...
  • Blog Post: The WiX toolset presents the Creative Commons Add-in for Microsoft Office.

    I have been working on a few unrelated side-projects over the last several months. These are projects that I find interesting and typically relate to software installation in some way. Today Microsoft released the first of these projects, the Creative Commons Add-in for Microsoft Office . Essentially...
  • Blog Post: WiX v2 Manual Online

    Just a short post here to point out some of Fredrik Grohn's latest handiwork. If you look on the right of the WiX toolset website , you'll see a new link called Manual (WiX 2.0) . That's an online version of the content in the WiX.chm. Eventually, a Manual (WiX 3.0) will show up. Now that the build...
  • Blog Post: Windows Installer XML Toolset is 2 years old.

    Today is the second anniversary of the Windows Installer XML Toolset 's release to SourceForge . Looking back I find it hard to believe that two years have passed so quickly. There is still plenty of work to do but we've had a great ride so far. Some stats that I find interesting: 30+ Releases...
  • Blog Post: Rob Mensching on Microsoft TechNet Radio

    About a month ago, I wandered over to MS Studios to have a chat with Mike Ward who hosts Microsoft TechNet Radio . Well, actually I was invited over by Mike Ward because he was looking for someone to talk to about the Open Source end of Microsoft's Shared Source Program and Bill Hilf gave him my name...
  • Blog Post: SugarCRM uses Ms-CL and the WiX toolset.

    A few months ago, Bill Hilf asked if I would attend a meeting to discuss the Windows Installer and Windows Installer XML toolset with an external vendor, SugarCRM . Robert Flaming , a Windows Installer PM, came along and we had a great discussion with John Roberts, Client Oram, and Jacob Taylor ( all...
  • Blog Post: On the Road to a "Production Quality" Release of the WiX v2 toolset.

    If you have been keeping track of the commits to the WiX toolset lately, you'll notice that I have been cleaning up several of the small bugs that have been hanging around for a while. Also, with Justin's help tonight I think I have the strong naming issue fixed in the build. All of this work is in preparation...
  • Blog Post: Google Toolbar Beta for Enterprise a "Trojan horse" MSI package.

    Wow, I started this morning off really excited. I saw the announcement that Google has a toolbar for the enterprise and it supposedly came with a Windows Installer package. So, I skimmed through the feature list and saw the statement: Simple and safe to deploy Google Toolbar Beta for Enterprise...
  • Blog Post: Questioning the concerns about the state of Open Source tools.

    Thomas Tomiczek has a blog entry about a number of Open Source tools . In it he has some complaints about the WiX toolset. I could add Wix to the list of things I am not really satisfied with, but then this would be unjustified - my complaints with Wix are more along the line that their nice Wiki...
  • Blog Post: How the WiX toolset got its name.

    This morning someone asked me how the WiX toolset got its name. It isn't a terribly long story so I thought I'd write it down quickly. [read more]
  • Blog Post: Windows Installer XML as a Domain Specific Language.

    Gareth Jones , who is obviously a DSL aficionado, makes a couple interesting points in his two recent blog entries. In his first blog entry , Gareth points out that the "DSL Setup Project" in November's DSL Tools CTP is a "domain specific setup builder". I called it a "specialized...
  • Blog Post: Core WiX toolset v2 shipped in a Microsoft product...

    I had many goals for the WiX toolset since its inception six years ago. Obviously, being released as a true Open Source project was one of those goals that was met about a year and half ago. Another goal was to have the core WiX toolset (candle, light, wix) shipped as part of a Microsoft product. I don...
  • Blog Post: The WiX toolset meets the MSI 4.0 feature set.

    Today the Windows Installer PM team met with a few members of the WiX Virtual Team to talk about the upcoming features in MSI 4.0. Actually, the WiX toolset was represented by just Bob (who isn't in that picture) and me. The others were probably all busy doing real work. Anyway, the Windows Installer...
  • Blog Post: ClickThrough - simple MSI creation plus auto-update over RSS.

    I have wanted to talk about ClickThrough for many months. Finally, enough of the prototype came together this weekend at Seattle Mind Camp to be released (over a very slow internet connection) to SourceForge. I showed it to a few people at the event and received a lot of positive feedback and interest...
  • Blog Post: WiX Web Site

    I'm behind on blogging but wanted to be one of the first to point out that the WiX toolset has a brand new web site: http://wix.sourceforge.net ! Many thanks go out to Melody Fosmore (for the logo) and Fredrick Grohn (for all the web page design). Over the next few months, we'll be filling in more content...
  • Blog Post: WiX Toolset PDC "Birds Of A Feather" - Tonight 9:00 PM - Fundamentals Lounge "Big Room"

    There have been a number of people that have expressed interest in the WiX toolset the last few days at PDC. I've met a few names that I recognize from the wix-users mailing list and put faces to names. That was very cool. Also very interesting, I've met a lot of new people interested in the WiX toolset...
  • Blog Post: PDC '05, I'll be there. Will you?

    Well, it looks official. My features are in and my bugs are under control. I'm going to PDC '05 ! No, I'm not a part of the Windows Installer presentation on the last day at the last hour of the PDC. No, there isn't a Birds of a Feather (BOF) session on the WiX toolset . No, I'm not dressing up like...
  • Blog Post: Interview with JDN|developer about the WiX toolset (and thus Open Source at Microsoft).

    I thought the one year anniversary of the WiX toolset's release was going to go by quietly. Well, turns out late last week an analyst from JDN in wanted to do an interview about the WiX toolset. Anyway, he informed me this morning that the interview was posted on the front page (at least it is right...
  • Blog Post: WiX Open for One Year

    Today is the one year anniversary of the WiX toolset being released as Open Source to SourceForge . Since then there have been over 120,000 downloads. More importantly the community has filed 241 bugs and we've fixed almost 200 of them. The mailing list membership continues to grow and there are a number...
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