Windows Installer XML, one day later…

I was originally going to write a blog entry that tried to answer the multitude of questions about WiX, the fact that it has been released Open Source, and what Microsoft is really doing on SourceForge (which isn’t nearly as sinister as some of the Slashdot comments would like to imply) but that is going to take far more time than I have before today really starts.  So, instead I’m going to do the two things I consider most important then go to sleep for three hours.

First, I want to thank “Matt” for his comment that I came across at just the right time.  The response to WiX going Open Source has been extremely overwhelming.  Call me naïve but I was positive that it would take a few days before anyone would notice the thing even existed on SourceForge.  I mean seriously, WiX is just a toolset for building MSI/MSM files (it is not an installer) and nobody cares about setup (except a few people like Loren, Lonnie and Jamie).  Right?  Well, apparently not when you happen to work for Microsoft and release the source code with the tool you think is useful.  Anyway, many thanks to “Matt” and his well timed comment.

Second, I want everyone to know that I am reading the comments (anywhere I can find them, not just here) and I truly appreciate the feedback (note: I do prefer feedback that does not include personal attacks, but honestly I’ll take suggestions for improvement just about anyway I can get them).  I may not be able to respond to each your comments (like here and here) directly, but I will try to address as many suggestions as possible.  Also, please, be patient as I slowly learn the more about SourceForge and what information people need know to be successful with WiX.  The next couple weeks will be filled with lots of learning.

What a wild ride this is turning out to be.

Comments (13)

  1. Ramene Anthony says:


    Just wanted to thank you and the team over at microsoft for making the leap… Im sure in the long run it will be benificial to us all. Im looking forward to going over Wix tonight.

    Any plans to release other toolsets to the opensource community ?

    Quick note, its seems the download links on are all dead – although you can still grab all the source via cvs 😉


  2. Ed Burnette says:

    Releasing this non-core source is a great idea, using a truly open license like CPL or BSD is a great idea, and using SourceForge is a great idea. What a bold and unexpected move! Kudos all around. Looking forward to more.

  3. I think that you have done a great thing here. I can not speak for the Mono community. But, I know what it feels like to be "The Microsoft Guy" at a UNIX shop, and "The Linux Guy" at a Microsoft shop.

    By the way I found this page from a link in Miguel de Icaza’s Blog 🙂

  4. James Damour says:

    Hello Rob! First, I’d like to say that I wholeheartedly concur with Matt. I’ve read the whole comment tree on your announcement, and I agree that several people were <understatement level="massive">a bit harsh</understatement>. I’m sure that the trolls who post on Slashdot were worse.

    Second, I see that WiX is your first SourceForge project, and it’s historical nature will cause it to receive attention far out of porportion with it’s technical merits, so I’d like to offer my help, if you want it.

    I’m an administrator on a couple of SourceForge projects myself, and I can tell you what has worked for me. Of course I won’t feel crushed if you don’t need (or ask) for my help, and I wish you the best of luck.

    Please note, I do **not** mean to disparage WiX’s technical merits… I just meant that it will be seen as a "test case" by the FLOSS community (and, I suspect, MicroSoft management) to see if everybody can "play nice". It’s not fair, but I never read anywhere that life would be fair.

    Also note, I’m **not** saying that everyone posts on Slashdot is a troll (heck, **I** post on Slashdot). Anyone who posts an ad hominem attack **IS** a troll, regardless of who signs the target’s paycheck. If you don’t like WiX, or you’re afraid of a torpedo patent, then just don’t use it (look at NAnt or msi2xml instead).

  5. Michael Cowan says:

    All the sourceforge download links redirect to

    This must be an evil Micro-Borg-Soft ploy to destroy google and have people say, "Have you incredifinded today?"

    Shame .. SHAME ..

  6. James Damour says:

    Just a quick followup on my previous post. If you’re concerned about any patent issues, may I direct your attention to clause 2a) of the CPL (under which WiX is distributed)?

    I’ll include the first part of the sentence for your convenience: "Subject to the terms of this Agreement, each Contributor hereby grants Recipient a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patent license under Licensed Patents…". There’s a bunch of definitions for all capitalized terms.

    Sounds pretty safe to me (and to IBM’s lawyers:).

  7. Ramene Anthony says:


    Pull up cvs and grab the source tree 😉


  8. Kevin Brown says:

    Please let this be the start of something beautiful.

  9. LinuxerZZZZ says:

    Manos arriba! Viva Linux! You need download mandrake in this page and you and others friend. Next is simply you visit your sex friend and… I am Windoze killer

  10. i’d like to offer myself to translate it in italian…

    send me a private comment if you’d like.

  11. Tim says:

    In response to Michael Cowin about That is your browser redirecting you there…I just got a regular 404 page when trying to download it. What’s going on here?

  12. Sjoerd Verweij says:

    Re Michael Cowan’s comments:

    Being redirected to incredifind means you have spyware on your computer. You might want to download SpyBot S&D and/or AdAware. To verify, type any non-existent URL into your browser.

  13. it guy says:

    I work at a Fortune 500 company in the group that deals with MSI’s and we greatly appreciate Microsoft releasing this tool as open source. There’s no other way to take it than as good news for Microsoft’s customers. I see in the actions of individuals working at Microsoft doing things like this, and in their bosses’ letting them do it, evidence that the Cluetrain may have made a stop in Redmond. A good start. Now expand it by a few orders of magnitude!

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