# Monday, 05 April 2004

The MSI toolset the Office group uses (apparently)

WiX became the first project from Microsoft to be released under an OSS approved license, namely the Common Public License.

Before everyone gets sidetracked by the Open Source implications, let’s talk about exactly what WiX is.  WiX is a toolset composed of a compiler, a linker, a lib tool and a decompiler.  The compiler, called candle, is used to compile XML source code into object files that contain symbols and references to symbols.  The linker, called light, is fed one or more object files and links the references in the object files to the appropriate symbols in other object files.  Light is also responsible for collecting all of the binaries, packaging them appropriately, and generating the final MSI or MSM file.  The lib tool, called lit, is an optional tool that can be used to combine multiple object files into libraries that can be consumed by light.  Finally, the decompiler, called dark, can take existing MSI and MSM files and generate XML source code that represents the package.

 [via when setup isn't just xcopy]

 Like probably a lot of other people I hate the supposedly professional tools such as Wise and InstallShield either because they are not very good or because the are expensive or both! This toolset might well be worth a look at as an 'understandable' way of editing MSI files.


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