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Did I already tell you that I hate the new web project model?

Let me say it one more time: I hate the new (and improved...) web project model in Visual Studio 2005.
The more I work with it the more I hate it. Microsoft, please reinstate the previous model for the final release!

Here are new complaints for the day.
Because there are no more project files like a .csproj or a .vbproj, you cannot open a web project by double-clicking on the project file. It is also not possible to use drag&drop to open a web project. You have to start Visual Studio first and navigate to the folder you had before your eyes in the Windows Explorer.
It also not possible to know whether a folder is a web project or not by looking at it, because nothing differentiates it from any other folder.
The list of new problems goes on and on. Once again these are things we were able to do with the previous versions of Visual Studio, and things we can still do for other kinds of projects with Visual Studio 2005.

Please let Microsoft know that we'd like the previous model back!


  • I hate it too and have let them know. Thanks for the link.

  • I miss default namespaces for web projects in VS2K5. With no project file, there is nowhere to set the default. Maybe they will add support for storing it in web.config.

  • i disagree

    the new model is much easier to understand and handle

    It compiles better and faster.

    You can open now a directory and work on it without having a proj file

    The only point i miss ( but i think ms is working on it ) is a kind of project definition file which gives the compiler infos eg to not compile a file

  • If you want to double-click a link or drag/drop an item to open a web project, then just save a .sln solution file that contains the web project. Double click it and it will open it (along with any other projects that the web project depends on).

    I'm not sure I understand what the "inability to differentiate" a web project root folder means. With VS 2003 you could differentiate one by having a .csproj file it, and by the precense of a \bin directory, and/or the presense of a global.asax file.

    With VS 2005 you can still see whether there is a \bin, or global.asax, or look for the new \app_code directory pretty easily.

    The goal of not having a .proj file is that it is one less thing to remove when you are ready to deploy your application -- and you don't have to have all the brittle hard-coded links it in like VS 2003 today (like virtual directory bindinings in IIS, all image file references, etc).

    Hope this helps,


  • It sounds like a good compromise would be a Visual Studio Explorer exention or plugin that works on any folder that would be "open as web project". Just right click on any folder, and Visual Studio would open that folder as a web project.

    Microsoft's new model would work, and you would be able to do the task you desire. It is probably a very easy option to add.

  • Yeah but the previous model was no good for teams either. Someone always needed to have their virtual directory set to something else and they would check it back into source control and screw everyone else up.

    I like the new model for team development but I agree it should be much easier to open than it is now.

  • Hi Fabrice,

    I voted down the change because I like the new project model (after working with the old model for over 5 years).

    Most of the problems you listed in that request have or are being fixed in RTM, plus if you want to click something...Just create a solution with the single web project in it, and click on the solution icon.



  • You can use the Solutions files *.sln to open a web application by dblclick or dnd.


  • It's true that in most cases we have a sln file, so the problem of opening from the Windows Explorer is not so big. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Of course I agree that there was a problem with IIS virtual directories. Being able to work without IIS is a great improvement, and I love it.

    But I do not think this has anything to do with all the other changes. I wish we still have a project file with all the advantages that offers and be able to develop without IIS and virtual folders.

  • Scott,

    I am glad that the ASP.NET team/VS.NET team/whoever works on 2005 figured out that the IIS bindings were not optimal for dealing with projects, but why did you guys have to go and screw up a good thing?

    It seems like you guys focused more on "mom and pop" hobbiest features and issues than on enterprise customers.

    For example, in 2003 I could do a wee bit of hacking on the internal templates for vs and I could use a class library for my web projects.

    This made things very simple, after all, an website is only a class library with some deployable files along side it.

    I can no longer get the templates for a web project working 100% in a class library. I can no longer exclude files from a web project.

    It really seems like you could have left the project file there, but removed the IIS bindings.

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