The Apache Visit to the Microsoft Campus: Day Three

Day two moseyed late into the night...well for me anyway--cowboys wake with the sun.

Day three turned out to be a day full of surprises for me--most of the sessions were significantly more interesting than I would have guessed.

We started the day with a presentation by Bill McKinley on Windows Logo Certification (for which there is a great little quickie primer here).  I highly recommend checking this out--the logo certification program provides some tools to assist with certification validation, and even if you have no interest in certification, running the tool will give you a rundown of potential issues that your customers will face.

After a break for more testing, Rob Mensching and Peter Marcu dropped by to give the team a thorough examination of WiX (the open source Windows Installer XML toolset). Again, very cool stuff. Admittedly, there seems to be a somewhat steep learning curve, but it integrates nicely into build scripts, and has all the flexibility you'd ever need.

After lunch, we did some testing, with a quick little jaunt to the Microsoft Company Store, where the attendees took advantage of Microsoft Employee pricing on some software and hardware.

We rounded out the day with a session on Windows Error Reporting -- you know when an app crashes, and you can send anonymous debug info to Microsoft?  The information ends up in the WER system, where developers can register to get crash and hang information for their software and drivers.  I knew that the information was collected, but previously, I had no idea how easy it is for app developers to get their hands on the data. I strongly recommend that you check it out.

While Wednesday was the last day for most of the attendees, a few stayed through Thursday, and I'll post a wrap-up on that tomorrow.

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