Windows Script 5.6 - making me less nervous.
Remember my posting "How to make me nervous", where I talked about Microsoft's release of Windows Script 5.7, and their rather sudden removal of Windows Script 5.6 and before? My concern was that this removes our ability to fix broken script engines by merely applying a Windows Script version that we have tested, and forces us to start upgrading on some machines before we've had a chance to test.
I also expressed significant disquiet about this move, stating that this behaviour implies that there is some significant flaw in version 5.6, some huge reason why Microsoft wants everyone switched now.
I just received the following response from Microsoft:
"We DO want to encourage people to update to 5.7. We've worked hard to
improve its performance, security, and stability while taking utmost care
with compatibility. We're proud of the work we've done on scripting in the
Vista development cycle, and we're excited to make it available for everyone
who haven't or can't upgrade to Vista/IE7 yet. The next SPs of all OSs will
include Script 5.7.
"Note that the script engines installed by IE7 are version 5.7, so many users
are already running the core of script 5.7.
"We haven't found major issues in 5.6 (unless uncommon crashes, rare
deadlocks, and a slow JScript GC, are disastrous for you). If there were a
critical issue in 5.6, we would have published a bulletin on Windows Update,
just like we do for any other critical issue.
"We ARE re-posting 5.6 install packages, and they should appear within the
next 24 hours. We'll probably keep these up, at least until the next SPs of
Windows, which will bring everyone up to Script 5.7."
So, if you're still using version 5.6 of Windows Script, you can carry on using that, and will shortly be able to fix broken versions, and upgrade versions that are a few builds behind - but make sure to test 5.7 as soon as possible, because it is coming. You should find no significant differences, and I have not yet heard of any breaking changes.
Update: Microsoft has now replaced Windows Script 5.6 for Windows XP / 2000 and Windows Script 5.6 for Windows Server 2003. Use these only where maintaining production systems that appear to require re-installation of an existing script engine version 5.6. Test your existing scripts, and those under development, against Windows Script 5.7, and assume that Windows Script 5.7 will be the future path for all systems. You will get Windows Script 5.7 on those machines in any case when you install Internet Explorer 7, if you haven't already done so.