Wednesday, May 25, 2005 11:24 AM szurgot

New web project behavior in VS 2005 = unacceptable!

I've only just started working with Web Projects in VS 2005 Beta 2 (Maybe I should've tried this earlier), but I've come across several issues that seem absolutely bizarre for enterprise level solutions involving web sites.

1) All references for a web site are placed into the bin directory of the site as actual files, and placed under source control. For most DLLs, this means that there is no reference to the original link, so if you update the original DLL, you have to go into the project, and update the reference.

2) They are checked into Source Safe. This means that you are carrying around all that extra baggage in Source Safe, especially for inter solution project references that are still changing. It also means there are source control conflicts if two people are working on the same project because one person has the DLL checked out.

3) Inter-solution project DLLs are stored the same way. This means they get checked out everytime you build the secondary business layer DLLs. It also seems to seriously break automated builds using MSBuild because, guess what, the files are checked in, so they are marked read-only.

I've found several issues on this, and they are all marked as closed, mainly by design.

Here, Here, Here, and Here are a few.

The stated reason for this is

" Thank you for submitting this issue. In VS05, web applications (aka web projects) no longer have a project file. This was based on feedback that web developers wanted to minimize the "special" files required by VS03. A side effect of this is we do not have a way to store solution-to-solution assembly references (i.e. inter-solution) like you describe. We will reconsider this design in our next release. In the meantime, we suggest you use intra-solution assembly references (i.e. references within the same solution)."

I don't know about anybody else, but I'd rather deal with a few configuration files than have to deal with the hoops I'm having to jump through to get my project to work on VS 2005. You have to set source control to non-exclusive checkout, update DLL references by hand (if you update an external DLL), check in DLLs into a project, automated builds are a mess now.

It's stated that this will be fixed post VS2005, but it should be fixed now, or it's going to cause a *lot* of pain, especially when people really start upgrading to Visual Studio 2005 on release, and have no idea that major functionality just changed. If it is felt this behaviour must be retained, please allow an option to use old style Web Projects.

Oh, and web projects should have more of the options that regular projects do, like pre- and post-build event.

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# re: New web project behavior in VS 2005 = unacceptable!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 12:26 PM by Fabrice

The decision to remove the web projects is really a bad choice and a big source of problems. I can't believe Microsoft decided to step back like this just to seduce PHP developers and in fact ignore the "enterprise" world!
Sadly, it seems to me that it's too late for them to change the way it works in VS2005, but I would certainly prefer to see it happen. I'm sure they have realized their mistake, but cannot go back...

# re: New web project behavior in VS 2005 = unacceptable!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 12:49 PM by AndrewSeven

I've complained about the no-project web projects too.

I work in a Build&Fix kind of shop, so I make very extensive use of the "Exclude from project" option on files that are no longer, at least for the moment, part of the solution.

# re: New web project behavior in VS 2005 = unacceptable!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 2:42 PM by Frans Bouma

Webprojects in 2003 were a real pain. Though reading this, the new solution isn't an option either.

I wonder though: isn't it possible to use a library project as the webapplication, like you can do in 2003? If so, that would be the ideal solution for this.

# re: New web project behavior in VS 2005 = unacceptable!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 6:34 PM by Jerry Pisk

I gave up on Visual Studio ever since they renumbered to 200x - I currently use Nant and #develop to write code and notepad to write aspx pages. But I'm finding it difficult to make people understand why I use Microsoft's technologies (IIS and .Net) without actually using VS, most people thing that VS is the only reason to use Microsoft's stuff.

# re: New web project behavior in VS 2005 = unacceptable!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 8:10 PM by David Taylor

The issue with DLLs in the bin directory being checked into source control is a BUG in beta 2 and will be fixed post beta 2 (before release of Whidbey).

So your issues are going away apart from intra solution references...Which I do not think that many people use...Inter-project "yes", but intersolution is not a big problem...If you need to you the solution suggested by Mike.

I just love the simplification of the model with VS2005. I have been using ASP.NET and Visual Studio betas since July 2000, and this is just a huge step forward towards greater acceptance of .NET.

Note we are not just talking about attracting "PHP" developers. If an experienced J2EE develop takes a look at .NET and find the first 2 hours too hard, they may never bother to look any further. The curve needs to be easy whoever you are and whatever experience you have.

# re: New web project behavior in VS 2005 = unacceptable!

Thursday, May 26, 2005 10:48 AM by Chris Szurgot

I'm glad they are fixing the Source Control bug, but how will they get the references then without a project file, and if they aren't in the project itself? A good portion of my issues from this come from trying to create an automated build process, and I can't do that properly without being able to handle references better.

As far as people not using "inter-solution" references, I don't think I'm that special. 1) An external reference can also refer to a third party control. Also, I have a few libraries that will need to stay in .NET 1.1 for use in User Controls. And I'm not the only one whose complained about that...

No, there needs to be a better way to handle it. Hopefully, it can strike a balance between the evil .webinfo file, and the complete lack of information. Any enterprise developer is going to notice the different models between web projects, and any other type of VS 2005 project.