UAC in MSI Notes: A Relief Providing Framework

This is the sixth in a series of notes about UAC in MSI. Per the earlier caveat, these are just my notes and not an official position from the Windows Installer team. The previous entries, I

  1. Introduced the series
  2. Introduced my view of the root problem
  3. Introduced the conflicting per-user definition
  4. Introduced it'll be just like Managed Installs
  5. Introduced the jagged edge to user

This entry will talk about how I tie the above into a framework to explain the support for UAC in MSI.  Later entries will return to this framework to place a perspective on customers questions and choices I helped make.

My Framework

I need a framework for the world to make sense for me.  The setup domain doesn't come with a ready made comprehensive framework that allowed me sort all the stimulus into something that makes sense.  For some nature/nurture reason, I automatically build a frameworks in my head to rationalize events.

Applying Framework to Customers

As I've grounded conversations with customer around UAC in MSI with these four touch points, I've seen relief come to customers voices and faces. 

Some are struggling with why doing the right thing in a package is so hard so I find those customers are relieved by the story of how the platform is also struggling to get this right too.  Some are struggling in a space trying to figure out why existing packages are having to shift so I find those customers are relived by the story of how the underlying definitions have shifted which as altered how the a term is defined.  Some are struggling to put together the straight forward functionality descriptions in the SDK into a technology they can intuit so I find those customers are relived by the story of how the world created by UAC in MSI is the same as an existing set of rules.  Finally, some need to solve problems that aren't directly designed for with UAC in MSI so I find those customers are relieved by the story of how there is still a jagged edge even with our best efforts at guidance and documentation.

The stories alone are not enough of course.  Empathy in the problems customers are solving makes a tremendous difference in how customers perceive our UAC in MSI efforts.  Most times I can provide a perspective on how to solve the problem at hand but unfortunately we didn't get everything.  To those customers, I apologize and come back to the stories how we're striving to get it better.

These stories are of themselves not an answer to anyone's question but I use them to orient the problems customers are seeing to larger known challenges.  As a social exercise, orienting problems into a coherent framework is the pivot point for their relief.  Bridging customer context to technology context is a large part of these conversations.

So Where Are We Going Now?

Unfortunately conversations with customers around UAC in MSI do not have a common starting point.  This means I don't have a preexisting map for this blog to walk through.  This problem was made my earlier draft seem a bit random.  For all the sorts I've done based off that feedback, the only line I've found to tie my notes together is the nautilus.

So the blog entries that follow in this series may appear to drift out from where you would expect a straight line story to develop.  If I touched a domain you're specifically had questions about, I believe you'll find the series will eventually come back around into that domain.  If I miss your domain, please use your community to see if they have that question too.  If your community does have an answer, please post your Q and A.  If your community does not have an answer, please throw it our way via the contact paths you have available.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome.

Thanks for your patience.