WiX v3 on the road to .NET Framework 2.0.

A couple weeks ago I sent out a proposal to move the WiX v3 toolset to the .NET Framework 2.0. There wasn't much of a response but those that did were positive towards the proposal. I think most people just assumed that the WiX toolset required the .NET Framework 2.0 already. I also think that most developers have already adopted the 2.0 CLR so the dependency is no big deal. Finally, I also expect those developers still building on the .NET Framework 1.1 are probably using the WiX v2 toolset.

Anyway, tonight Bob and I started the process of going through all the tools that still build for the 1.1 CLR (candle, light, dark, heat, pyro, melt, wix.dll, almost all of the extensions, basically everything <smile/>) and converting their NAnt .build files into MSBuild .csproj files. Technically speaking we could just continue to NAnt but I get continued requests to use MSBuild (everyone has their reasons, the most common being that VS natively understands MSBuild projects) so I figured now would be a good time to do the switch.

Of course, there are some tricky things we do in the WiX toolset (like removing the insignificant white space and comments from XML files before embedding them into an assembly) that are turning out to be interesting exercises to execute in MSBuild.

A long while ago, Justin created a bunch of MSBuild tasks for many of the things we needed to do. Unfortunately, tonight we learned a couple of them didn’t work. Figures that Justin wouldn’t show up tonight as well. <smile/>

So progress is underway. I expect it’ll be a couple a another week or three to get done with the holidays coming up. We basically have to do the whole move at one time once we start with wix.dll, since everything is dependent on that assembly. I’ll send out more updates when we have them.