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Archive for the ‘Visual Studio 2010’ Category

Troubleshooting the VS10 Experimental Instance

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Running the Experimental Instance from Command Line

Sometimes when running the experimental instance (for example when debugging a visual studio extension such as Feature Builder), the system throws error messages such as the error in following screenshot and asks us to run the application (that is, the experimental instance) on the command line with a “/log” parameter.


In order to run the experimental instance from the command line with the logging parameter,  enter the following on a command prompt

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe” /rootSuffix Exp /log

 This will then launch the instance and the log file will be populated. In general you are looking for information there that highlights if the extension clashes with another.

Completely resetting the Experimental Instance

In my case, while there were many ‘clashes’, it didn’t tell me what was specifically wrong. So, to fix this, I had to resort to Daniel Cazzulino’s post where he explains how to reset the experimental hive completely.

In case your Start menu doesn’t have a pinned option to “Reset the Experimental Hive” (mine didn’t), you can find it in the Start –> All Programs –> Visual Studio 2010 SDK –>Tools menu

Now when you launch the “rest Experimental hive” command line option, it will show the progress of initializing the experimental hive as shown in the screen below

Reset Experimental Instance

As Daniel points out, when you first launch the experimental hive after that you need to manually enable the extensions in Extension Manager and after that it should work as normal.

One of the problems I had was that the experimental instance still had Feature Builder RC (0.9) installed so it refused to show me any of the new templates or my projects when debugging and this clean reset sorted the issue out.

Hope this helps if you run into issues with the experimental instance.

Written by santoshbenjamin

September 1, 2010 at 9:38 PM

VS Feature Builder Power-Tool

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A new Architecture power tool, the Feature Builder has been announced. This is the outcome of the earlier Blueprints project. As I had written earlier, in many ways Blueprints was the successor to GAT/GAX in terms of a platform for providing executable guidance inside Visual Studio and in its first incarnation was very much an ‘incubation project’.

To quote the introductory paragraph from the MSDN Channel 9 intro video page

“Feature Builder is an official Power Tool from the Architecture Tools team within the Visual Studio Product Group enabling the rapid construction of Visual Studio Extensions (VSIXs) that combine VS Extensibility (menus, etc.) , Project/Item/T4 templates and step-by-step guidance/documentation. The output VSIX, called a Feature Extension, delivers all these things, including the guidance, directly within Visual Studio”

The MSDN Forum for this tool is here and there is a FAQ posted by David Trowbridge, the architect on the project on this thread which explains what versions of VS are needed etc. There are a number of intro videos on Channel 9

All of this now builds on the architecture & modeling capability inside VS2010, so the tool itself cannot be run in a previous version (say VS2008) (I know it should  be pretty obvious, but equally sure that someone still using VS2008 is going to ask this 🙂 ). I guess if you attach code generation to the models that you build with this, then those could emit code for solutions in .NET 3.5.

Another question that is bound to come up now is “what happens to the old P&P software factories such as the Service Factory, Web Client SF and so on“. The P&P team have blogged about refreshing the factories for GAT/GAX 2010 and there is no public information yet on what impact, if any, this Feature Builder tool will have on those factories going forward, but as soon as I hear of any plans that can be disclosed, I’ll post a follow up.

Check out the tool and send the team feedback via the MSDN forum. I expect to dive in head first now and share what I learn here. Enjoy 🙂 .

Written by santoshbenjamin

April 2, 2010 at 2:04 PM 1.0.7 supports VS10 RC

with one comment v1.0.7 now supports VS10 RC in addition to VS2008. There are no new features as such although v1.0.6 which we released a short while ago fixes a number of important bugs in data contract generation. Alex , our code-master extraordinaire, blogged about the 1.0.6 release here .

The generated code has not changed (from previous versions) and runs fine in VS10. With WCF 4’s configuration enhancements, it is even easier to merge config from the output.config file which we generate to the web.config or app.config. Simply copy the bindings and service elements across. Check the release notes for some info on how to handle the <serviceHostingEnvironment  multipleSiteBindingsEnabled  attribute in WCF 4.

Grab the latest release and let us know what you think. Please note that VS10 Beta-2 is NOT supported because of a number of bugs in the context menus and command bar area of VSX. Alex has already started work on V2 which will be a bigger release and I will write about our main themes and roadmap shortly. We are looking forward to your feedback (now and on the roadmap) to help plan features and releases. Hope you find our latest release useful.

Written by santoshbenjamin

February 25, 2010 at 12:06 AM

Posted in Visual Studio 2010, WSCF

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Dev10 Dive: 1 – Emphasizing TestFirst

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I recently downloaded and installed Dev10 Beta-1 and created some images for my team. The Channel-9 video guiding us step by step through the whole process was invaluable. One thing that had me in trouble was the installation of Full Text Search in SQL 2008 (as TFS requires this feature). When i captured the ISO image (as we usually do in Virtual PC) and installed from there, the installation failed. It turns out that the installation media needed to be inside the VM. That done, the rest of the installation was fine.

Anyway, I then got hold of the VS 10 Training Kit and started with the WF labs. Got one full exercise done. The thing that impressed me most, was not actually WF itself (at this particular time), but the fact that when writing the custom activity, the instructions were to first write a test to check the output of the activity. Not only that, there is also a nod to the BDD side of things as the name of the test was “ShouldReturnExpectedGreeting” (or something along those lines) . Now , if you’ve looked at the various blogs around BDD,  one of the first steps (or baby steps if you like) towards proper BDD is to start naming tests like this rather than staid old “TestGreeting” or “GreetingTest“. It may seem like a small thing (and that was my opinion when i started down this route as well), but to me, it made a lot of difference to the way I approached my tests and helped me nail the purpose of the test better , thus also keeping it concise. Aside from this it serves as a form of documentation so a quick glance over your code base (even for your own code when you look at it after a few weeks or months) will bring you or the reviewer upto speed faster than with dodgy or less meaningful names.

In keeping with this emphasis on the test first approach, there is another, older video on Channel 9, part of the same series titled “Code Focussed in VS10” which shows some of the new features that allow us to write the test first and then have the IDE generate the class stubs and method stubs from the test itself. Of course, for those devs using R# and other refactoring tools this is nothing new, but lots of developers dont use them and this is a nice addition to allow us to really write the tests first and stay within the test, fleshing out the class as we go along rather than just writing a failing stub and then switching attention to the class because, unless you are very disciplined once you start working on the class, you tend to leave the tests behind and revisit them later with the attendant refactoring of code and tests.

So, there it was a rather pleasant discovery of a development discipline in a rather unlikely area (considering how design and IDE driven WF is). I’m looking forward to the other labs and I hope this emphasis is in them as well.

Written by santoshbenjamin

June 4, 2009 at 3:43 PM