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Adventures of a Setup Developer my musings about setups and other things in my life

I have become quite lazy off late. I caught up with the WIX chat only after Rob posted the link on his blog. I was glad to find out that WIX was going to get integrated into Visual Studio.NET and there would be a MSBUILD task for WIX in Visual Studio .NET 2005. Very interesting indeed. Read the Windows Installer chat transcript for more information.

There has been a lot of commotion in the wix-users list about a good tool that generates WIX code for us. It was really encouraging to find out that there are a lot of developers just like me who feel that it is important to have a WIX code gen tool at least for the painful UI parts. Also it would help us get the overall view of the Setup project. I would visualize the tool to be some sort of a modeler than a full blown tool like InstallShield. I would still like to edit the XML code by hand and use the tool only as a layer to automate the redundant tasks. This would of course save a lot of time for more interesting things for more important stuff. (Yes. Gaming does count as one of the important stuff.)

I am no C# guru and I really have started learning C# and .NET only for the past 6 months. Yeah! I have been a little slack in joining the .NET bandwagon. I have started coding in C# for fun and I have started to play around with the WIX code right about now. I have been trying to serialize and de-serialize WIX objects into XML contents using the Serialize namespace. But reality is just dawning on me. XML Serialization support in the System.XML namespace is not up to the mark. At least not up to my expectation. I spend most of my code type checking stuff and writing my own wrapper classes to expose the public members as properties. As I said, I am no tools guru but I was hoping to get each of the WIX object into the property grid. This would ease out most of the work and present a decent WXS reader if not a tool to write WXS file. Gabor has started working on a C# based WIX Dialog editor. I cant wait to get its sources. I am now looking for a good free refactoring plug in for Visual Studio .NET 2003 to convert public variables into public properties. I thought of writing the addin myself but I really don't want to re-invent the wheel. But if I end up writing it, I promise to expose the code to the community.

Posted on Monday, November 22, 2004 1:59 PM Setup | Back to top

Comments on this post: Tools for the WIX Toolset

# re: WIX Tool
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It's "the WiX toolset" not "WIX". <smile/>
Left by Rob Mensching on Nov 23, 2004 10:21 AM

# re: WIX Tool
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Oops! I keep forgetting that. I would keep that in mind.
Left by Vagmi Mudumbai on Nov 23, 2004 11:48 AM

# WiX Plugin for Eclipse?
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I've been learning WiX over the past week and so far have found nothing in terms of using it with Java or Eclipse. So here's a blog entry to be picked up by Google to gauge interest in the idea...
Left by Ryan Lowe's Blog on Feb 07, 2005 11:36 AM

# re: Tools for the WIX Toolset
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I'm almost at the end of relasing my tool to the commuinty but I need some brave developers to take a look at it.
Left by Sebastian on Jul 17, 2005 7:14 AM

# re: Tools for the WIX Toolset
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If you are using Visual Studio then you might want to have a look at SharpSetup. The primary feature is to provide easy GUI creation for WiX installers, but it also provides bootstrapper so that you can select installation language or tools that ease adding multiple files to WiX source or synchronizing translations between wxs and wxl files.
Left by Tomasz Grobelny on Oct 20, 2010 7:55 AM

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