Jenny and I invited Bob over for dinner the week before he moved east. He and I spent much of the time talking about new plans for the WiX toolset since Visual Studio decided to not ship it. I had a proposal and wanted to vet it with him. By the end of the evening Bob liked the idea so I ran it by the Visual Studio team. Candy worked up a full proposal and last week they agreed.
Release WiX v3.0 on July 4th, 2009 with the core toolset, extensions and support for only Visual Studio 2005 and 2008. Support for Visual Studio 2010 follows in WiX v3.5 with the new bootstrapper, burn. WiX v3.5 ships when Visual Studio 2010 ships.
July is an aggressive date for WiX v3.0 but it felt possible if we did not pull in the new Visual Studio 2010 support. You can see that fact in our bug count. Votive bugs continue to be a struggle for us but we're making progress and that progress would be disrupted when VS2010 support was integrated.
The comments (both public and private) when I announced that Visual Studio 2010 would not include the WiX toolset felt like validation of the proposal. We don't need more features in v3.0. We need to get stable. Then we need to get a move on to v3.5 and burn.
So that is what we are going to try to do.
The Call to Action
Landing this project in July is going to require something akin to Joker's mad piloting skills. Bob just called out our WiX RC2 but you don't have to stop there. You can subscribe and install every drop of the WiX toolset. I understand that integrating new builds can be expensive for some of you but whatever you can do helps. At least, verifying that your primary scenarios work with as many drops as possible and filing any bugs you hit in them is key for us finish with confidence.
July is two and a half months away. That isn't a lot of time but I like the challenge and I like our odds. I know a lot of you are looking forward to a Production/Stable/RTM quality WiX v3.0 toolset and that many others are looking forward to WiX v3.5. We're working toward it.
So here's to the future. Keep coding, you know we are.