Feature definition files must be named 'feature.xml'

Recently I was trying to manually install a custom MOSS feature (by running STSADM.EXE from the command line), but I simply couldn't get it to work. The error returned by STSADM was: "Invalid file name. Feature definition files must be named 'feature.xml'". Normally I deploy features using the BAT-files that are part of the workflow projects I'm creating, so this was a first for me...

I edited the contents of the feature.xml file, renamed it from Feature.xml to feature.xml, and made other changes as well. Finally I tried to explicitly specify the current directory so I modified the STSADM parameter to include ".\" and then a new error appeared.

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\FEATURES\RegisterPolicyResource>STSADM.EXE -o installfeature -filename .\feature.xml -force

Failed to find the XML file at location '12\Template\Features\.\feature.xml'

I then realized that the problem was that STSADM wanted to have the filename given to it relative to the directory C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\FEATURES, regardless of where you are located when you run STSADM. So the solution was to change the call to: STSADM.EXE -o installfeature -filename RegisterPolicyResource\feature.xml -force

So the problem wasn't really that the the definition file wasn't named feature.xml, but that I ran STSADM assuming that the feature.xml whould be relative to the directory I was running STSADM from.