We had just one issue to triage today but filled the time with some interesting discussions about how we deal with edges of WiX v4.

Issue triage

  • WiX project 'incompatible' in VS2019, from @rkamarowski, reports a problem using Votive, the Visual Studio Extension for WiX, with a recent release of Visual Studio 2019. I'm not having problems with Votive on Visual Studio 2019 v16.5.3 so I provided a couple of diagnostic steps and we'll revisit this issue at our next meeting.

Non-core tools in WiX v4

There are a number of tools in WiX v3 that haven't yet been ported to the brave new world of WiX v4 microrepos. The core tools for building packages and bundles -- and all the code needed to support them -- are already in place, of course, but "extra" tools like Heat, WixCop, and Melt have not.

In the end, we decided on the following:

  • Heat will move to its own isolated repo.
  • WixCop will become the wix.exe analyze command (like how Dark became wix decompile).
  • Smoke will become the wix.exe validate command.
  • Melt's ability to decompile a merge module to a fragment is esoteric and until we hear otherwise, won't be ported to WiX v4. Melt's second ability to provide .wixpdb and source files ready for "pure WiX patching" will be part of the WiX v4 patch build process.
  • Retina's sole use case was to support signing custom action DLLs for Windows RT for 32-bit ARM. Its time has passed.


In WiX v3, the documentation is built from hand-authored files and generated from the .xsd files that make up the schema for the WiX language (including the WiX extensions). The result is HTML files that are used to populate the manual portion of the WiX site and the WiX.chm help file. We decided the help file is a lower priority than getting documentation up to the site and that we'd continue to build the element and attribute reference documentation from .xsd files.

Decisions made, we move forward.