Late last week we were very happy to announce that WiX v5.0.0-rc.1 had been released -- and today, we triaged a handful of issues from users who jumped on it and are helping us prove that WiX v5 is, after some fixes, at least, is going to be a great release. To look at our release plan and peek at the issues so far uncovered, read on.

WiX v5 release plan

WiX v5.0.0-rc.1 was released on 8-Mar-2024! :party_hat_emoji: We decided to slightly reschedule v5.0.0-rc.2 -- but not to push it out, believe it or not. Instead, to make our calendars look prettier, we're moving v5.0.0-rc.2 to 22-Mar, to come out two weeks after -rc.1, the week before our next regularly-scheduled meeting on 26-Mar, and two weeks before our still-current release date of 5-Apr. They're all Fridays, too, so as long as we ship on time, no important post-work drinking is affected.

The dates are now:

  • v5.0.0-rc.1 on 8-Mar-2024 (done!)
  • v5.0.0-rc.2 on 22-Mar-2024
  • v5.0.0 on 5-Apr-2024

Issue triage

  • Error code 2804 after upgrading to WiX 4, from @pfusik, points out that it's possible using our good friend (or frenemy, depending on your perspective) the preprocessor to sneak in extra whitespace. I volunteered to take a trimmer to them.

  • Better Burn-related .nupkg names, from @robmen, reports Rob's efforts to come up with better, less-abbreviated, names for some of the DLLs, assemblies, and NuGet packages surrounding bootstrapper applications. Given the general cleanup Rob's doing with out-of-process BAs, now felt like a good time to clean up old names that made sense to the developers creating them in WiX v3.6 back in 2012 but have very little meaning to anybody else in 2024.

  • Support arbitrary container compressions, from @nirbar, requests support for Burn containers that can be compressed with algorithms other than those provided by Windows cabinets. Cabs aren't known for producing particularly high compression ratios but are known for taking a very long time to get their middling results. This is an interesting topic for me, as I've been investigating how to bring LZMA compression into Burn. That requires a different approach than the current cab-centric approach Burn takes.

  • Inconsistent experience between dotnet.exe tool install and wix.exe extension add, from @jcasale, reports that using the .NET tool wix.exe's support for acquiring extensions from NuGet packages works a bit surprisingly. Specifically, wix.exe doesn't filter out prerelease packages, which surprised a few people who found out that we'd released WiX v5.0.0-rc.1 when they started getting v5 WiX extensions for wix.exe v4. Also, wix.exe doesn't support floating versions, such as wildcards for major and minor versions. Those are all good features that wix.exe doesn't have; the NuGet API supports it but requires extra work to take advantage of. This issue is open and up for grabs for command-line aficionados who would like to dig into the NuGet API for fun.

  • WiX Toolset 5.0.0-rc.1 produces Deutsch msi with en-ca language setting, from @jcasale, is what I hope is WiX v5's funniest bug: Even if you want an English UI, with not much effort, you can accidentally get German. I started narrowing down the cause and, as Rob points out, it's in an area that we updated as part of other feature work in WiX v5 (specifically the WiX Standard Library). I volunteered to fix this issue for WiX v5.0.0-rc.2.

  • WiX Toolset 5.0.0-rc.1 issue with subfolders, from @Thylon1, is a bug in the new built-in file harvesting feature. The results are mildly amusing and would probably be ROFL-level amusing if it weren't in a feature I developed. Still, it's not entirely surprising that bugs exist (even in my code), so I volunteered to fix this issue for WiX v5.0.0-rc.2.