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Total failure for me

Mar 12, 2014 at 10:16 AM
I have tried IsWix and completely failed. I added an IsWiX Setup Project and had to search for the UI and found it in the Tools menu. So not obvious but it was there. Then I noticed that instead of 1 project added I got 2 projects added, the first one with the name I accepted and then a project with the same name with "MM" attached (I guess it stands for Merge Module... again, not documented). In the GUI I see 5 sections in the Design view (Features, Properties, Namespaces, Custom Tables, Xml Editor). This should be compared to the ones in the screenshot (General Information, Properties, File and Folders, Custom Tables).

I sort of got stuck right there. I have no idea how to add the project output to the installer now where to name the resulting MSI file. Right now, IsWiX is worse than pure WiX (which is also completely voodoo).

Finally, I tried adding a feature (Feature 1) and added a subfeature (Feature 2) to it. Then I added a new feature (Feature 3), switched away and back and now Feature 3 has become a subfeature of Feature 1.

Your idea of creating such an addin is sound, but it really needs to assist the user and not add a completely new layer of voodoo to it.
Dec 24, 2014 at 12:39 PM
First, I'm sorry that I haven't had the time to create documentation. I wish I could get some help here. Your comment about VooDoo is telling in that it's true, Windows Installer is hard. It took me 6 months to learn it using InstallShield and it took me more time learning how WiX XSD correlated to what I already knew. It's impossible to write a simple FAQ / Document and cover all that. It isn't VooDoo, it's programming. IsWiX attempts to provide scaffolding (project templates) and designers to speed this process up but at the end of the day I recognize that someone who doesn't know anything about MSI is still going to be confused. That's why what I'd really like to do is create a series of brown bag videos that mentor how to write installers in easily digestible pieces. I would really love to have a volunteer to be my co-host / sounding board in these videos if you'd like to volunteer.

Until this happens I offer free 60 minute screen sharing sessions to give an overview of IsWiX and answer general questions related to setup development.