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High hopes for Visual Studio 2012

03/04/2012Categories: MonoX

It was Friday, I was trying to catch a deadline and suddenly my Visual Studio 2010 started to play on me. I have tried to find my way out but VS has kept acting weird so I have to gave up... So I started wondering would the next version be any better, as Microsoft keeps promising. Don't get me wrong, it is still agreat tool, but there is a list of annoying issues in all previous versions. Let's take a look on how Microsoft plans to address them in the new version.

Visual Studio 2010

Visual Studio 2010 is a great tool that has some powerful features and I use it all the time, but I hate when it starts to mess with me, especially when I’m on a tight schedule. There are many great articles that can help you overcome some of the VS 2010 issues but I have stumbled on few of them that I can’t fix. Let’s take a look at Visual Studio 2010 issues I have:

  • Right click crash - for some reason VS 2010 will crash when you right click inside the mark-up view of an ASP.NET page or control (and this happens in a random fashion). I can’t pinpoint the cause for this behavior, but it seems to me that I need to delete the “.suo” file to resolve it.
  • Unable to type in the markup view - this one is pretty annoying, when I'm using the solution explorer and jumping from one file to another, sometimes I simply cannot modify the markup; I have to navigate away to another file and go back to modify the original file.
  • Cached assemblies - from time to time the temporary assemblies get "permanently" cached (assemblies generated from the aspx or ascx files) and no matter what I get I start getting all kinds of weird errors. The only solution is to stop IIS, delete all temporary files and recompile the project.
  • Optimize compilations attribute  - In general this switch is working fine, but sometimes but recently we had an issue with optimized compilation and SignalR. For some reason SignalR dynamic module / handler registration wouldn’t fire until we turned off this switch. This is probably related to Global.asax assembly being cached and not recompiled until the full recompile is executed. We didn’t manage to reproduce this issue on more than 2 PCs so we aren’t 100% sure if this was a fix or not.


These are not all the issues that I encounter every day, some of them are time consuming and some annoying. I remember when Microsoft promised that VS 2010 will resolve the issue with slow opening of ASPX and ASCX files. I have even managed to get a new PC configuration (i7 Quad, 16Gb Ram, SSD SATA3 etc.) hoping that more horsepower will help to solve the problem. Guess what - it didn’t.

It is interesting to take another perspective and look at the issues from the project management point of view. Let’s say you want to create a development plan so you start building a backlog and reserve developer resources etc. We cannot justify loosing time on this kind of stuff. 
One way or another, we managed to get around such annoying issues, but are eager to see what the next version will have to offer.

Visual Studio 2012

This is the brand new IDE that should fix all issues that were mentioned aboive. More importantly, Microsoft will ship the new .NET 4.5 framework almost at the same time, along with the new tool set for Windows 8 that will allow Metro style application development. Let us point out at a few important features we are looking forward to:

  • New Solution Explorer features – object graph explorer
  • New Editor features – extract to user control, CSS color picker, JavaScript XML documentation,
  • Asynchronous programming
  • Solid integration with HTML 5 and CSS 3
  • Support for developing Metro-style applications
  • Improved diagnostics support
  • Support for analysis of code duplication and cloning
  • Support for smart tasks

You can take a look at the whole list here or on the Microsoft official site.

As you can see Microsoft is adding more and more features to the Visual Studio. Some of these features are running in the background, and in my opinion these should make the most difference as they have a huge impact on developer's productivity.
Our hopes are high and we cannot wait to download the Visual Studio 2012 Release version to see if Microsoft got it right this time. Until then, let’s jump to the Visual Studio 2012 developer preview page, download it and take it for a spin.

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