November 08, 2008

Developing applications to work as a Standard User in Vista

Have you ever felt that the UAC prompts in Vista are annoying? Well, did you know a LOT of them could be avoided if developers would just design their code in a way where they don't pass a privilege boundary and require elevation? Simple examples would include writing to privileged areas of the registry, and to areas of the file system that are ACL tight.

Sometimes its difficult for developers to understand WHAT requires elevation, and what doesn't. Microsoft has answered this with a special project written by Aaron Margosis called "LUA Buglight".

If you haven't heard of it before, LUA Buglight is a utility that helps identify "LUA bugs" in applications -- application features that that fail as standard user but that work as administrator. Aaron works on it in his spare time, so progress has been slow. But his recent release has some nice updates, including:


  • Much better Vista support
  • Streamlined UI and improved flow
  • Identifies more bugs
  • On XP, not restricted to using a local admin account to create the "this-user-as-admin" context
  • On Vista, prompts for elevation just one time per session instead of for each test
  • Log file names autogenerated with timestamp in the name to avoid accidental overwrite of previous logs.
  • User options saved to the registry.

If you would like to download it, check out Aaron's latest post here.

Posted by SilverStr at November 8, 2008 08:06 AM | TrackBack
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