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What’s new in the MSIX PSF: December 23, 2019

Microsoft hosts the Package Support Framework (PSF) on GitHub as an open source project for the community to contribute to here: https://github.com/microsoft/MSIX-PackageSupportFramework . The PSF is the helping arm for applications containing Win32/DotNet that want to run in the MSIX container.

This week we have some additional changes beyond what I wrote about less than two weeks ago here: https://www.tmurgent.com/TmBlog/?p=3000. This time, though, I didn’t make the contribution; I believe Microsoft did it.

One of the odd things in the PSF is the configuration file. It is defined as a json formatted file, even though there is nothing web oriented about it. I usually complain that it should have been defined as an XML file as it would be easier for folks to understand the self-describing syntax, and we could have a schema file to clearly define what is allowed.

The change this week allows someone two write the PSF configuration in a new xml format. The kicker is that the configuration still must be stored in the MSIX file in the json form, so an additional utility is provided to convert the xml form to the json form. The XmlToJsonConvertor isn’t much more than the msxml parser and a XSL style sheet. The style sheet is as close as we get to an XSD schema, but at least it defines what is acceptable as input.

Perhaps it is a pre-holiday gift to some of the tooling partners that asked to be able to use xml.