Change of plans for WiX v3.5.

About a year ago we started WiX v3.5. At that time we decided on a new plan for WiX v3.0 that moved the Votive for Visual Studio 2010 and Burn features out of WiX v3.0 into WiX v3.5. The goal was for v3.0 to ship earlier. That worked out well because WiX v3.0 released last July.

Through the summer, the plan to deliver WiX v3.5 right around the time Visual Studio 2010 shipped seemed sound. Votive for Visual Studio 2010 in WiX v3.5 stabilized basically on schedule. However, in September, we moved Burn development to a new foundation and Burn still needs a lot of work.

Of course, two weeks ago Visual Studio 2010 shipped which means we should be finishing WiX v3.5 soon. Lots of people want a stable drop of the WiX Toolset that supports Visual Studio 2010. Unfortunately, with the current plan we’re a year out.

So we need a new plan.

WiX v3.5

This release is now all about Votive for Visual Studio 2010. The goal will be to finish as quickly as possible. If the IIS7 custom action stabilize quickly they’ll stay in this release. Burn is out though.

  • Votive for Visual Studio 2010
  • IIS7 custom action (if it stabilizes quickly)
  • [cut] Burn

It would be great to have this release out in July, basically a year after WiX v3.0. That is aggressive so my confidence is low. As the bugs drop, I’ll start tracking the progress here just like I did for our last release.

WiX v3.6

This release is all about Burn. Burn will not get cut from a release again. WiX v3.6 is where Burn will ship with all the features I described before. If the IIS7 custom action doesn’t stabilize in time for WiX v3.5 we’ll also finish it here. Finally, to reduce our build and test matrix I plan to drop support for Visual Studio 2005.

  • Burn
  • IIS7 custom action (if it doesn’t ship in v3.5)
  • [cut] Votive for Visual Studio 2005

At this point Burn is something like four years late. Unfortunately, Burn probably won’t be completely done for another year. Our first goal is to get Burn installing the WiX v3.6 toolset and hopefully be mostly stable by end of September.

WiX v4.0

This release will be all about simplification. Over the last decade, the WiX toolset grew into an extremely powerful tool for your Windows installation needs. In that push we’ve added more and more functionality but sometimes the features came at a cost of complexity. In WiX v4.0 I want to take time to make the toolset easier to build and easier to use. My hope is that some of us can start WiX v4.0 at the end of the year.


Burn is cut from its WiX release for a second time. I know a lot of people will be disappointed by that (I know that I am extremely disappointed by it). However, I believe there are more people that will be happy to know that a stable WiX toolset release that supports Visual Studio 2010 is just around the corner.

As always, please feel free to send me feedback.