Home > Computers and Internet > Reference Naming Bug in WiX Corrected

Reference Naming Bug in WiX Corrected

15-Jun-08 03:22 pm EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

As reported here earlier (and updated here subsequently), I discovered a bug in the Windows Installer XML (WiX) Toolset that prevented one from using references with the same name in a single WiX project.  This posed a bit of an inconvenience for those of us working with large solutions constituted of many development teams who could use a project name like "Common.csproj" and add it to a single solution, and then subsequently need to build an installer using the WiX toolset that would require a reference to both of these projects.  Well, I’m pleased to report that working with Rob Mensching and Jason Ginchereau of the WiX project, has resulted in a fix of this issue, released in the latest WiX build (v.3.0.4026).

I must add here that the turnaround time to getting this issue patched was remarkably fast!  My original identification of the bug was in mid-May, and I filed my bug report at Rob’s urging on May 15th.  By June 6th, the bug was triaged and fixed – less than 3 weeks after it was originally discovered.  (Although we applied a workaround for the issue in the meantime.)  And this wasn’t a high-priority bug either, so corrective action of this sort on an open source project certainly seems very quick indeed.

And thanks in part to my dealings with the WiX team, in addition to usage of the toolset itself – my overall opinion of it continues to be pretty favourable.  What deserves some critique is Windows Installer itself, which handles the basics of install management pretty well.  But when it comes to customizations (i.e custom actions), one can’t help but feel there’s room for improvement.  And WiX is a tool architected atop Windows Installer; which means it can’t be expected to fix its shortcomings.

In the near future, I’m faced with tackling some challenges around custom actions and will be making reports of my discoveries here.  Hopefully, these will benefit other novice WiX users – as from what I’m reading thus far, there seems to be something of a learning curve involved.

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Terry Glavin


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