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June 18, 2007

Disagreeing with the Benevolent Dictator

I've been partially following the WiX-Users list recently when I noticed this question from Leo:

How do you define the InstallExecuteSequence table in WIX so that the standard actions PublishFeatures, PublishProduct, RegisterProduct and RegisterUsers won't show up? thx!

Oh my, I knew right away that this was stepping on a hornets nest. Anyone who has followed WiX / Rob Mensching / Aaron Stebner ectera for awhile knows that this group is pretty self confident that their way of doing this is the right way and everything else is wrong. However this is the WiX-Users list and I really don't want to troll for an argument. I decided to sit back and watch. Sure enough, Rob Mensching replied:

Why would you want to do that?

Ok, so maybe this is a case of email not conveying emotition, but I'm pretty sure what Rob was really saying that you have to somehow convince him that you have a valid reason for doing this. I've had several reasons in the past, but again, I don't want to go trolling... Then someone replies with an answer to the actual question of HOW you would do it, but continues to lecture about why you shouldn't do it. Then yet another person replies to lecture about how you shouldn't even use MSI if this is your need, go use NSIS. Ouch... yuck.

Now our original poster Leo comes back with a pretty good piece of logic... the MSI team specifically has a help topic on MSDN explaining how/why you might want to not register your product with these standard actions.

MSDN does not indicate any problems or recommand not doing this. As a matter of fact MSDN provided the instruction for omitting the registration of application at Exactly what kind issues I might get into if I do this. Please advise. Thx!

Now I've not waited long enough to see additional replies, but I already know from experience that this kind of questioning isn't going to go over well in the Wix-Users space because you have to keep in mind that what the Windows Installer team considers a `valid` MSI and what Rob considers a `valid` MSI are entirely different.

My opinion is as long as you understand what your doing and the related impact..... go do your thing. I follow most generally accepted best practices, but on certain issues I've had business requirements that require me to do something different. I personally won't listen to anyone try to dictate ( no matter how benevolent ) what my install should or should not do nor will I listen to complaints like `fake` or `trojan` MSI and most importantly I don't accept something as some immutable, undeniable best practice just because one person says so.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LOL! If you remember me Chris, you'll know that I can SOOOOO relate to this post...

Great Blog!