[wix-devs] Burn Variable breaking changes

Bob Arnson bob at firegiant.com
Thu Jun 25 09:16:03 PDT 2020

On 4863, I'm a little leery of trying to make thmutil too smart; if the bundle authoring can express the intent (Variable/@Literal="yes"?), then I'd say that's probably the better option.

On 5319, I don't know enough about managed BAs to say much, but I've always found it weird that the different variable types are exposed in different collections, even if it makes sense when using them.

-----Original Message-----
From: wix-devs <wix-devs-bounces at lists.wixtoolset.org> On Behalf Of Sean Hall via wix-devs
Sent: Thursday, 25 June, 2020 07:47
To: WiX Toolset Developer Mailing List <wix-devs at lists.wixtoolset.org>
Cc: Sean Hall <r.sean.hall at gmail.com>
Subject: [wix-devs] Burn Variable breaking changes

I'd like to design the following issues so I know which ones require a breaking change:


4763 added the ability for Burn to set a variable as a literal string. I think it's pretty straightforward to expose VariableSetLiteralString to the BA. Doesn't seem to be a breaking change.

4863 is about wixstdba (through thmutil) allowing an editbox to be either a literal string or a formatted string. If it's a literal string, then the value should not be expanded when populating the editbox. If it's a formatted string, then the value should be expanded when populating the editbox. Should thmutil ask for a SetLiteralStringVariable callback and the editbox is configured as literal/formatted in the theme? Or can a variable be authored as a literal string (so thmutil and wixstdba won't be aware that they're setting a literal string, the Burn engine will just handle it)? Making thmutil format the variable when populating the editbox is a breaking change, but adding the literal support doesn't seem to be breaking.

5319 is about the managed BootstrapperEngine implementation where it exposes StringVariables, NumericVariables, and VersionVariables. The complaint is that calling NumericVariables.Contains("StringVariableA")
returns true even though the variable is actually a string and not a number. Do we remove the Contains method from all 3 and provide a single Contains method so it doesn't imply that the variable is of the requested type? Or does Burn provide a way to expose what the current type of a variable is? Either way sounds like a breaking change.
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