Cabinet compression testing

Over in a WiX v4.0 pull request, Rob and I were discussing what the default compression level should be in WiX v4.0. In WiX v3.x, the default compression level is “mszip” which, listening to legend and lore, I always considered to provide decent compression and decent performance. Rob suggested using “high” compression level, which I’d always avoided except for nightly builds. Sometimes not even then since it’s known—again, legend and lore—to be extremely slow.

As I point out in the pull request, however, the only way to be sure is to measure it.

So that’s what I did. Continue reading

WiX v3.9 Release Candidate 4 (or maybe RTM) released

About a month ago, I announced WiX v3.9 RC3 and said:

If no more serious bugs are reported, RC3 will become RTM.

Well, we went several weeks with no new serious bugs reported against WiX v3.9. In fact, we still haven’t received a serious, newly-reported bug against WiX v3.9. Instead, we received confirmation on a fix for a long-standing bug discovered over a year ago and likely present all the way back to WiX v3.6. Frequent contributor Sean Hall discovered the key in some MSDN documentation and Mark Weaver confirmed the fix on the wix-devs mailing list.

So we took that fix and a couple of other very-low-risk fixes that were ready to be merged.

The result is WiX v3.9 RC4.

Because the fixes were took were minor and focused, we believe our Halloween release date is still feasible. We don’t anticipate any other changes for WiX v3.9 but, as always, a serious-enough bug can change that. Download, test, and let us know!

WiX v3.9 Release Candidate 3 (or maybe RTM) released

Today, Labor Day in the United States, we released WiX v3.9 Release Candidate 3. It might also be the final WiX v3.9 release. That depends on you.

Since we released WiX v3.9 RC1 back in July, the final release has always been “just a few weeks away.” That’s still true. However, as each of those weeks has passed, you have discovered and reported to the WiX issue tracker a number of bugs serious enough to prevent us from shipping.

As the bugs were regressions, mostly in Burn, in areas that received bug fixes and feature enhancements, we decided it was better to push out the v3.9 release date to give plenty of “bake time” for those changes.

Aside: We call it bake time but that’s not a really good metaphor. It’s more like pie cooling-off time, grilled meat resting time, and probably other similar things that people who actually cook or bake can tell you about.

We’re now looking at Halloween as the release date for WiX v3.9 RTM. 31-October is two months out which feels like a long time but gives us a buffer for any other lurking bugs.

Please download RC3 and try it with your packages and bundles. If you run into problems, please report them right away. If no more serious bugs are reported, RC3 will become RTM.

WiX v3.9 release candidate 2

Update: WiX v3.9 RC3 has been released.

WiX v3.9 RC2 has been released and is ready for you to download and test. Right now, no additional changes are expected before we release WiX v3.9. But we would take a fix to a serious-enough bug — so please help root them out if they exist. Download, try it out, and report any bugs you find.

Here are the changes since the unnumbered release candidate:

  • jchoover: Switch WixBA over to using engine updates.

  • BobArnson: Install native SDK packages when VS Express SKUs (VC++ Express v10 or Windows Desktop Express v11/v12), in addition to Professional and later.

  • BobArnson: WIXBUG:4456 – Look at different things on opposite sides of an expression.

  • jchoover: Fixed some memory leaks in the engine.

  • BobArnson: WIXBUG:4466 – Open icons with read-sharing in DTF.

  • BobArnson: WIXBUG:4476 – Add x64 deputil.lib to NativeSdkMsi.

  • BobArnson: Use MediaTemplate in WiX setup. Include native SDK packages when the corresponding compiler is present, not just when the corresponding SDK is present. (The SDK is needed only to create the C++ custom action templates.)

  • BobArnson: WIXBUG:4460 – Switch license from HTML to plain text.

  • BobArnson: WIXBUG:4471 – Add warning about late RemoveExistingProducts scheduling with PerfCounterManifest.

  • RobMen: WIXBUG:4468 – fix missed suppression of suppress signature verification of MSI packages.

  • BobArnson: WIXBUG:4473 – Remove Wui.csproj from Wix.sln.

  • SeanHall: WIXBUG:4472 – Try to clean the downloaded update bundle from the cache.

  • SeanHall: WIXBUG:4467 – Create path2utl for path functions that require shlwapi.lib.

  • SeanHall: WIXBUG:4470 – Check whether the LaunchArguments are null before trying to format them.

  • flcdrg: WIXBUG:4437 – Adds CopyLocal COM reference assemblies to the list of assemblies to be included in managed CA.

  • champloo: WIXBUG:4097 – Fixes uncaught UnauthorizedAccessException in RecursiveFileAttributes.

  • RobMen: WIXFEAT:4188 – deprecate switches removed in WiX v4.0


WiX v3.9 release candidate

Update: WiX v3.9 RC2 has been released.

Five years ago, we released WiX v3.0 on 4-July, or, if you prefer, The Fourth of July. It’s handy to use holidays for release target dates because they tend to be days away from “day jobs” to give extra time for things like filling out release forms and writing release notes. On the other hand, holidays like today’s are a bit US-centric. They also suffer from not quite understanding how software occasionally doesn’t agree to things like schedules.

So we’re not releasing WiX v3.9 today. Lots of nice features came in around the deadline I set back in May. Add some bake time and today we’re releasing its release candidate. That means, barring high-priority bugs, we’re done with WiX v3.9. So now’s the time to help hunt those bugs. Download the WiX v3.9 release candidate and put it through its paces. If you discover rude behavior, please file bugs. Our weekly online meetings will triage them.

Bob Arnson on setup and servicing with WiX and MSI