Since publishing my XmlLite article in MSDN Magazine I have received a lot of questions about distribution. Clearly developers are very excited to have a fast and “lite” alternative to MSXML for native code but the lack of a redistributable for Windows XP keeps coming up as a roadblock.
XmlLite is fantastic but unless you’re only targeting Windows Vista and later you need to download the XmlLite update package on each Windows XP computer the software will be used on (unless you can wait for service pack 3). Of course users don’t want such complications and ISVs don’t want to introduce those complications. (To be fair, you should be able to get it from Windows Update so it’s not the end of the world.)
I have exhausted a number of avenues in trying to find an answer for all of the readers that have contacted me with this question but unfortunately have made little progress. Liaisons from the MVP program informed me that they are “unable to find an answer”. I even contacted the program managers who own XmlLite and they could not even provide an answer as to whether ISVs would be allowed to distribute the update package. I would begrudgingly accept “no” as an answer but “we don’t know” is frustrating.
So rest assured I have been trying to get an answer for all of you but the BDMs at Microsoft seem to be on vacation. :)
As a developer, it’s just another reason to love Windows Vista. You get to take for granted the availability of things like XmlLite, the latest and greatest version of Task Scheduler, and many other excellent services, not to mention the latest version of the .NET Framework.
© 2007 Kenny Kerr