Today is the 19th anniversary of the first time WiX code was available outside the Microsoft firewall. (Among other important anniversaries. WiX v4 is now out. See the release notes for details. Go upgrade your projects!
In the long ago, I announced how I’d be managing the WiX v3.x series of releases. It was also how we announced that work on WiX v4 would begin and how we’d be doing things differently this time:
The last time we had this major-release transition, we basically put WiX v2.0 on the back burner and everyone focused on the new and shiny WiX v3.0. While many of us had the flexibility to use prerelease versions of WiX v3.0 – automatically generated short file names FTW! – not everyone does. Between 2007 and 2009, WiX v2.0 was the stable release and no fixes or improvements were available except in WiX v3.0 “beta” releases.
In 2013, we aim to do better.
Ahem. Well, we did do better, for a while, at least: We shipped WiX v3.8, v3.9, v3.10, and v3.11 on a fairly fast cadence. We stuck to our compatibility and stability goals. We opened WiX v3.14 as a transitional release to WiX v4 that ended up being the place we put fixes and features that needed to get out.
Work on WiX v4 went through good and bad cycles and obviously took far longer than anyone wanted.
But now it’s done and pretty damn cool.
I’ve blogged before about the new build model, the thoroughly-baked-in platform support, and the new MSBuild SDK approach. The new extensibility model is very cool; I’ve already helped one FireGiant customer upgrade their old WiX v3 extensions to WiX v4 and the new extensibility model let us integrate some work that used to be done via external tools. (I killed some Perl code in this effort. I don’t like to think of it as heroic work, but if the shoe fits…)
Over the last couple of months I’ve been working on the last WiX v4 bugs and starting to draft the WIPs for the features I’ll be proposing for WiX v5.
BTW, that post was also where I manifested WiX v3.14 into existence:
(My personal hope is that we have reason to ship WiX v3.14. Because everyone loves WiX pi.)
Beware my powers.