Beta version a new MCML web application is now available for download – MCStart


I noticed a post on the Big Screen Blog over the past weekend about a beta version of a new Windows Vista Media Center application that is now available for download.  The application is an updated version of MCStart, a program that can be used to browse events and attractions that has previously been available as an HTML application for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.  The Windows Vista version is written in Media Center Markup Language (MCML) and is a web application.  You can find more information about this application at the following locations:

I downloaded the installer and took a look, and it is built using WiX v2.0.  Also, it appears to be modeled after the sample setup packages for the Q and Z applicatoins that are included in the Windows Media Center SDK for Windows Vista.  I'm happy to see that folks are finding these samples useful.

Another interesting thing I noticed about the installer is that because it is a MCML web application, the XML registration file included in the installer contains the URL to the application.  This allows you to be able to try out the application without installing it by using McmlPad (if you have the Windows Vista Media Center SDK installed).  To do that, simply browse to the URL http://www.mcstart.nl/vista/index.php.

Note that there is some functionality that will not work within McmlPad.  Specifically, there is a button that appears to allow you to return to Media Center (but I am not sure because I don't speak Dutch).  However, clicking on that button causes McmlPad to crash because McmlPad does not instantiate a page stack for the application like Media Center does when you directly register and launch the application.

Finally, I wanted to mention something about this application that is probably only interesting to setup developers.  The setup UI is built using the WiX UI dialog sets, and it is translated entirely into Dutch.  WiX v2.0 contains full translations of the setup UI dialog sets in English, German, Spanish, Hungarian and Dutch, which makes it easy to create non-English MSI-based setup packages in these languages.  You simply need to pass in the WXL file for the language you would like to use to light.exe using the -loc command line parameter when you link your MSI.  You can look at the build scripts named build_q.bat or build_z.bat in the Windows Vista Media Center SDK for example syntax for English and make corresponding changes to create MSIs with setup UI in these non-English languages.

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