Many developers don’t realize that they can do edit and continue (EnC) when developing ASP.NET applications with Visual Studio .NET 2003. And it doesn't matter if you are using Visual Basic .NET or C#. It's pretty close to EnC anyway. And it gets even better in Whidbey.
How? By using attach / detach in Visual Studio 2003.
Say you are deep down debugging a web app and an error occurs on your postback. Now, to fix the bug you don’t have to stop the debugger, you simply go to the debug menu and select Detach all. You can now edit the code, build, and select Debug -> Processes. Check the ‘Show system processes’ checkbox, select the ASP.NET worker process (aspnet_wp.exe) and attach.
You can now hit refresh in the browser and voila, you are back in business without having to start all over again. Note that you don’t have to start out by debugging. I often prefer to start without debugging and attach when I need to.
This gets better in Whidbey since you don’t have to compile the code-behind to a DLL. You don’t even have to detach / attach. With Whidbey, simply
- Start out by debugging
- Edit the code
- Save the file
- Hit refresh
Nice, or what?
At the NNUG/MSDN event I have demoed the return of Edit & Continue in Visual Basic .NET Whidbey. Someone in the audience even said they would not move to .NET before this feature is back (talking to him offline revealed that he was already using .NET).
For me this is mostly an issue with Windows Forms development where you may be deep in an application debugging. Fixing the bug and coming back to the place where the error occurred may take a significant amount of time. Windows Forms apps are not the fastest to start up ;-) and getting back to the same place and state can take a long time.
Since C# probably will not get EnC, maybe VB.NET will be the language of choice for Windows Forms development? Having done some Office integration lately and now working with VB.NET in Whidbey has put VB.NET in a new perspective for me.
The last stop on our NNUG/MSDN tour today, Stavanger. I am sitting here at the venue extending my talk from 45 minutes to 90 minutes because one of the speakers had to stay home (hope you get better soon Trond!). That is no problem; with Whidbey there is just so much to talk about and to show! OK, back to the demos.
The combined NNUG / MSDN tour hit Oslo today and it was a blast! The headline was Yukon, Whidbey & Indigo! “-What is HOT? What is NOT?”.
400 people got to hear three speakers from the user group (Trond Brande, Arne Jørgensen and myself) in addition to Stein Møllerhaug from security company Syamantec and two people representing Accenture talking about the AltInn project which is probably the largest .NET project in Norway today. I didn’t get to see all sessions but the feedback from the people I talked to was very good.
My own session on Whidbey was great fun. A few hickups but that must be expected using Alpha code! I tried to position where Whidbey stands today, focused on Windows Forms and ASP.NET and did several demos. My presentation (in Norwegian) is available on the download area of the user group (requires registration).
Only one more stop on the tour, Stavanger on Thursday.
I checked Christian Nagel's web log, a fellow Regional Director, INETA Europe buddy and good friend and saw that he had been recognized as an MVP on his birthday. Congratulations Christian, and happy birthday!
Then I checked my e-email and found that I had also been recognized as an MVP for ASP.NET! Time to update the Affiliations section!