Using Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 in real world? Not that easy

This post contains some positive feedback and also some negative comments. I have the only intention here to express my own opinion.

I spent quite a lot of ‘spare’ time with VS 2005 Beta 2 and I am not overwhelm and convince that this version is good enough for release.

Of course a lot of things seems to be really cool, but if like me you are the only developer in your company (meaning little time to play with new toys) you are going for some major headaches.

The first complaint is the lack of compatibility with the previous version. No I am not talking about the framework, but the tool itself.

One really frustrating example of things MS has removed is the ‘Exclude from this project’ feature so useful in the current version.

When you are not part of a development team, and you have to write some real code, it’s not for me an option, I have to exclude some files from my project but I want to keep them at the same place, like a kind of archive. I have no time to go through all the files in VS 2005 and remove the ones I don’t need anymore.

One another thing very strange happens also is the fact that the conversion has replaced all my web.config by a new one, and I still don’t have a clue where my precious config files are gone.

I still don’t understand why when I compile my project every time I have different error messages. Also some errors I consider minors are now stopping the compilation, like a wrong path for an image.

Sure I can modify the tool settings but as a former computer teacher, I have a lot of doubts that any beginner will start easily with this one.

To conclude I think my tests prove to me that a lot of things are missing regarding the configuration, and the projects conversion is not working at all. After all I am trying to transform nothing more than a VS 2003 project, so why it is so complicated?

Unless you have a lot of time, I don’t recommend to jump quickly on the Beta 2, or only if you start a project from scratch.

The lack of resources and how-to are also problematic, because the new error messages are not so obvious and not reliable.

I keep anyway my hope for the final release and I look forward to see if Microsoft listen their customers.

UPDATE: Scott Guthrie confirmed that Exclude from a project will be back in the release version. Amazing that someone decided to remove it from the Beta! After all this created a huge breach in compatibility between the releases!

UPDATE2: Fabrice is right by saying that Microsoft should go faster but I really think the Beta 2 as it is today will not be clode to the release version so what is the point to go live now if I have to rebuild everything in few months?
As the situation stands up I would not recommend to my user group any serious migration of their projects until November.




  • Yep, the Web Project experience is very different. I would describe it as the all toghether better product, but it does have it's benifits.

    One thing you might consider is just creating an archive web project for your solution, soting backup files in there. You also might want to consider moving an ancillary code to a seperate class library.

  • Hmm, I have not had any web.config problems in beta 2. It took me quite a while to warm up to the new project / compilation / build model in ASP.NET 2.0, but it does have some benefits.

  • Bring back the project file...please. Excluding files, default namespace, etc. have all been lost.

  • Yes, it does require an intimate knowledge of the differences in VS 2005. I've been learning since Beta 1 and logged bugs with all the incompatibilities. We will be forced to remove all classes to class library projects, I think, or in the end, we may end up using class library projects for web apps just like in VS 2003. We'll have to wait and see.

  • Scott you touch exactly the issue here. You need to warm up. Why we have to do what Microsoft promised with the new version? It's supposed to be easy and very straightforward. No sorry it's not. I sucessfully built small web applications with VS 2005 but from scratch and I don't have really the time to spent on learning again the wheel. I rather prefer to learn the new stuff in the framework than wasting my time on a broken project which is by the way running very well under VS2003.

  • I believe MS has now included the "exclude from project" option, so it should be available with the release version.

  • Sounds like it would be just as easy to switch to Java.

    /not a Java programmer

    //might be one soon

  • Wrong path to an image becomes a huge problem when you use url rewriting, or http handlers. Because then your paths do not physically exist and VS will simply not work for you in that case.

  • Its obvious that this Web Project mode of VS was in response to a strong minority of people who wanted "PHP" like functionality for ASP.Net web apps (hence no "special" project file that dictates "special" code)... and the result is poor.

    Its sad because ASP.Net controls feature a lot of cool stuff: gridview, better role support, providers, code-beside (code-diagonal now?) and so forth. (Although theres still some major gotchas still with the web project compiling correctly, which would be easily solved with a project file.)

    Another nice feature is not requiring IIS, and going with the WebDev server instead... that was a neccesary feature, more so than "removing" the project file. IMO, ASP.Net 2.1 should bring back the project file, everything else is almost just right :-)

    (ObjectDataSource... please scrap the current implementation. Poor implementation decisions, but kudos for the attempt.)

  • I love the new stuff we're getting in VS 2005. However, I really do have some reservations about the changes made to the project system in ASP.NET. Just seems like an attempt to simplify something that really wasn't very complicated to start with. Benefits don't seem to out-weigh the advantages.

    I have heard that many of these things will be fixed/changed in the final release. Some of these seem like significant changes, and although I hate to say this, I truly believe that a Beta 3 should be released, or at least an extended RC period.

  • There is no way they should be shipping Nov. 7. I've been using beta 2 for three weeks and i'm averaging reporting 6 new bugs a week. It's also incredibly slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

  • hi all

    its UDay...

    i m using beta 2 from last few days.

    as per modification suggested by MicroSoft to previous project i changed

    Resources to app_GlobalResources.When i use any value from it, say..

    Resources.Vehicle.Bus it works pretty good in .vb file

    but when i use it as header text of TemplateField in GridView control of .aspx page i'm unable to see the

    value. It displays nothing over there.

    If any one has solution please help me out @ my emailid :


    Code is here :

    <asp:TemplateField HeaderText="<%$Resources: contact,City%>"> <ItemTemplate><%#Eval("CONTACT_CITY")%></ItemTemplate>


    I want City as Heading for column as per language

    Thanx in advance.

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