janpio commented on a change in pull request #788: [WIP] cordova-windows 6.0.0 
release blog post
URL: https://github.com/apache/cordova-docs/pull/788#discussion_r170394815
 
 

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+---
+layout: post
+author:
+    name: Jan Piotrowski
+    url: https://twitter.com/sujan
+title:  "Cordova Windows 6.0.0 Released!"
+categories: announcements
+tags: news releases
+---
+
+We are happy to announce the release of `cordova-windows 6.0.0`. 
+
+This is a major release that changes functionality you might rely on, so 
please make sure to read the following list of changes:
+
+## Changes
+
+- **Windows 10 / UWP** builds are now default, meaning `cordova build windows` 
will now build a Windows 10 UWP app by default. Windows (Phone) 8.1 is still 
supported of course, just use `cordova build windows -- --appx=8.1-win`, 
`cordova build windows -- --appx=8.1-phone` or an equivalent configuration 
option.
+- You can now build apps with a current installation of **Visual Studio 2017** 
(`15.5.x` at the time of writing) without any additional configuration or hacks 
(like the environment variable `VSINSTALLDIR` that was required for 5.0.0).
+    * Note: [Visual Studio 2017 doesn't support Windows 8.1 apps any 
more](https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/visualstudio/productinfo/vs2017-compatibility-vs#windows-store-and-windows-phone-apps),
 so you can only build these apps with Visual Studio 2015 installed.
+- New **ENV variable `MSBUILDDIR`** allows to directly configure the MSBuild 
Tools to be used to build the app. While `VSINSTALLDIR` always has been a hack 
that accidentally also worked to switch between different MSBuildTools 
versions, we now we this functionality explicit:  Just set the ENV var to a 
your desired MSBuild folder (e.g. `C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual 
Studio\2017\Community\MSBuild\15.0\Bin` or `C:\Program Files 
(x86)\MSBuild\14.0\bin\`) and it will be used to build your project. 
+    * If you have Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio 2015 installed at the 
same time, the normal logic would always choose Visual Studio 2017's MSBuild 15 
- and fail on a Windows (Phone) 8.1 project. If you set the environment 
variable MSBuild 14, it can successfully build your 8.1 apps.
+    * If the supplied path is invalid or doesn't contain a working MSBuild, 
the normal MSBuild selection logic will be triggered
+- Fixes several bugs
+
+## Installation
+
+As usual this new version will be added as the default `cordova-windows` 
version only with the next release of Cordova CLI. Until then, please use these 
commands to remove and re-add the `windows` platform:
+
+```
+cordova platform rm windows
+cordova platform add windows@6.0.0
+```
+
+### Known limitations
+
+As it's often the case, the 6.0.0 release of cordova-windows is not perfect 
and has some known limitations:
+
+- If you only have Visual Studio 2017 installed on your machine, you can not 
build Windows (Phone) 8.1 apps.
+- "Windows 10 Phone emulator is currently not supported. If you want to deploy 
to emulator, use Visual Studio instead."
+- [Some `build`](https://github.com/apache/cordova-windows/issues/266) and 
[requirements error 
messages](https://github.com/apache/cordova-windows/issues/267) are a bit 
misleading
+
+## Feedback
+
+If you encounter problems with this new version, you can use the [GitHub 
issues of the `cordova-windows` 
repository](https://github.com/apache/cordova-windows/issues) to do so now. 
(`cordova-windows` is the first Apache Cordova repository on GitHub that 
enabled issue tracking. Yay!)
+
+## Open questions
+
+Working on this update showed how much code is there to support other platform 
variants beside Windows 10 desktop.
+
+TODO refine 
+
+- Is Windows 8.1 support still needed or would it make sense to get rid of 
_really_ much code and do a 7.0.0 release that drops support for that?
+- Windows 10 Phone? Still relevant?
 
 Review comment:
   Each platform supported means additional if/else in the build code. In this 
case Phone/Mobile (currently) requires an additional `--phone` flag with 
separate code paths for emulator etc. As Windows 10 Mobile (why did they change 
back to the name they had _before_ WP7/8?) is already deprecated and not 
supported by Microsoft any more, getting rid of this code with all 8.1 stuff 
would be nice.
   
   If one still can build for Windows 10 Mobile by limiting the build to the 
ARM architecture (which is of course still supported), it becomes a semi 
supported platform that "accidentally" works - but we can get rid of the 
special code.

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