Tag Archives: Wix

Ice, Ice, Maybe (part 2)

I finally figured out why help is skimpy on Wix (the Windows Installer XML toolkit): that’s mainly because the original designers of Wix don’t want you to use Wix. It’s that simple: Wix’s learning curve is so steep, I wouldn’t even recommend it if you’re not willing to spend time at it. Additionally, don’t bother looking for sample templates (that is if you can find them) or help for the cryptic warning and error messages.

On the good side, there are a couple of good tutorials that should give you some leeway in your custom install script: There’s Gábor DEÁK JAHN’s (excellent) basic tutorial on Wix, which is probably the first site you should take a look at. Additionally, for more advanced application and use of Wix, you should probably check out Alex Shevchuk’s pages: his articles are highly technical and you may actually pick up some stuff regarding the inner workings of Microsoft’s Setup Installer SDK.

Anyway: if you just figured out that you need to add an additional data directory to your application setup program and you ran into a roadblock of cryptic messages (don’t bother going in here if you’re not interested):

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Ice, Ice, Maybe

Everytime a Wix script (Windows Installer XML) fails to compile, it logs ICE errors. For some kind of reason, whenever these errors or warnings pop up, I keep humming the tune of Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” (Youtube, if you’re so obliged).

I have always been a fan of NSIS (@sourceforge), the Nullsoft Installer System, but I hear that NSIS’s installers don’t run 100% flawless on Vista systems. Wix then, and that’s not because it’s the best system: it’s slow, clunky and the errors are highly Vanilla Ice, Baby.

A couple of years ago, I used to use InnoSetup, but nowadays, I find it too tied to the Delphi language: There’s no doubt in my mind that Embarcadero has great plans for Delphi, but their “reasons why you should buy Delphi” remind too much of the old ‘slogan’ days. You know: “RAD”, “productive”, “rich” and “ease”. I don’t want that: I want Push-Button Spreadsheet Power.

And shit, yo.