Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1, part two: installation

Ok, I've installed the bugger... (Umm, bugger? This is actually an interesting attribute for anything related to software development :))

First try: installation on a "clean" machine (no SP1 beta, no CTPs and the like). Forced me to uninstall Web Application Projects add-in: the installation package claims the add-in is included in the SP (although there have been controversies about this on the net). The installation takes a bit more than an hour. I don't remember how much it took to install Visual Studio, but compared to SP1 beta's 3-4 hours, this is nothing.

Upon first installation, I tried randomly opening several forms, controls and our components with our own custom-made designers. Either I was (un)lucky or Visual Studio really started behaving much better, but I couldn't get any of the errors I kept getting earlier (like "path is not a legal form"). I did find one bug from earlier though, and it was the first one I tried: if you try to "Open containing folder"while you're in a exception-breakpoint, Visual Studio will freeze until you force-close your application.

Second try, over a SP1 beta installation. Well, it's also not true that you have to uninstall SP beta, at least on Windows XP. At least in my case... Once again, no problems.

As for the quality of the service pack, it seems satisfactory. Visual Studio does seem to run more smoothly. I haven't experienced any slowdowns, component loading errors don't pop up as often etc. I even noticed that marking of container foreach statements when you type "break;" into the C# editor once again works.

So, the conclusion? Visual Studio works better with SP1 than without. It almost seems to behave nicely, but it's early to say. In any case - recommended.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1

The Visual Studio Service Pack 1 is here, hooray... We'll see what it brings, but I won't be surprised if its installation disclaimer contains a phrase like "don't expect it to solve any of your problems". According to some bloggers, you should uninstall May LINQ CTP before you install this one... Now, I'm sure I do have some of LINQ CTP's installed, but I haven't the faintest which one it is since LINQ is in its own brand of chaos with various plugins, addins and designers all being of different versions (so, is the september designer CTP the one that works with may LINQ CTP? I think I have a september CTP of something...)

But that's OK, LINQ is a pre-release software and you're expected to have some trouble with it. On the other hand, Service Pack 1 is kind of a post-release, so... We'll see. For the time being, I heard that its installation takes longer than the initial Visual Studio installation. This is because it -- according to Microsoft -- does more tasks than the original installation which just copies files. Makes sense when you say it that way. The Beta 1 had a different explanation, they said it was slow because it's beta. Some guys say you have to uninstall SP1 beta before you install this one, this could mean even more wasted time. Not cool if it's true.

And, last but not least, I'm almost looking forward to having this installation reset my Visual Studio UI again. I've lost my Debug/Exceptions, Attach To Process and various Build menu commands so many times just thinking about it happening again makes me laugh (I haven't restored them this time, so go hide them if you can!) I don't think I care anymore.