I submitted a bug in ladybug regarding how much Visual Studio messes up all the time the two different assets Solutions and Projects in menus and dialog boxes.
I got a response from Chris Burrows (from the VS Team, I guess) telling me –sadly enough- this is “By design”…
Of course, I still think Visual Studio is totally messing up the Project and Solution terms, and that such core concepts should deserve a bit more of attention; here goes my view on it so you can take a look and make your own mind (and let Chris now in the process J).
There is a single option for both projects and solutions: File->Open->Project/Solution…
Which is good… it’s acknowledging the fact that Project and Solutions are two different types of assets and that you can open any of them by using the same option. So far, so good.
So you select the mentioned option above and you get an “Open Project” dialog:
But wait I minute… I just said I wanted to open a Project or Solution and not just a Project… Let’s write this one down so we can pass the feedback to the VS guys later: “Inconsistency #1: The title bar for the Open Project dialog is misleading”.
No problem, a misleading or outdated title bar won’t stop us. Let’s do a little of “play-with-the-UI-while-guessing-things” and get to the Files of type field:
What is the first option in there?
All Project files (*.sln; *.dsw; etc)
Humm… I’m confused now… so a solution file is a file belonging to a project file? Like a C# Project? Or by “Project” this time you don’t really mean a Visual Studio Project but a company project which may include one or more solutions containing one or more projects each? Looks like the second case to me J -- so let’s add another note for the VS team: “Inconsistency #2: Hey guys, what exactly do you meant by putting Solution files under All Project files option?”
Luckily enough there is a second option named “Solution Files (*.sln)”, now this one really looks like what we’re after, so lets point to the solution we want to open and… humm… what these radio buttons I’m getting to the right of the solution name really mean?
Can I have nested solution in Visual Studio? (thinking… thinking… thinking…)
Not really, what the “Add to Solution” option really means is that you will get a merge of the specified solution and the opened one. Nice touch, ugh? (btw, anyone on planet earth did know about this?).
And “Close Solution“ of course mean closing the currently opened solution before opening the one you’re specifying in the dialog… no one in his *right* mind would think that you’re using the same dialog to currently open AND close the same solution at the same time, right? J At any rate, let’s add another feedback point: “Inconsistency #3: Guys, maybe you want to clean a bit the text so no ambiguities are left”.
Ok, maybe the Opening-side of things is a little misleading but does the Creating-side get any better?
Let’s create a solution!
Humm… I would swear I got a “Projects/Solution…” option when using the Open operation… but now I’m getting just “Project…” for the New operation… Time for another note: “Inconsistency #4: Open option uses Projects/Solutions while New doesn’t”.
Well… maybe this time I get the opposite that I get when executing the Open command and now the dialog is titled “Project/Solution” but the menu item is not… who knows… lets check…
No luck this time…
But wouldn’t be just too easy and boring if you just had to select New Solution in order to create a new solution? Anyway. Most probably this is just a challenge from the VS guys for us and there should be a way to create a new solution from the New Project dialog…
(thinking… thinking… thinking…)
(tons of “play-with-the-UI-while-guessing-things”)
(even more tons of “play-with-the-UI-while-guessing-things”)
Actually it was pretty easy; I only had to navigate to:
New Project -> Other Project Types -> Visual Studio Solutions -> Blank Solution
I’m pretty sure you can easily notice the morphing from a Project to a Solution here… hey… it’s natural: after saying “project, project, solution, solution” you get the last one!!
Feedback #5: Please don’t make me navigate that much to create a solution.
Recently used Projects (oh! and solutions too!)
In this modern age you know about every program now support a Most Recent Used (MRU) list and of course Visual Studio is no exception to this rule.
But as you may have guessed already there is a small gotcha tough… you may go look for recent projects and end up with a list of recent solutions:
Of course if you had any recent projects they may list there too, because what “Recent Projects” really means is “Recent Projects/Sol
utions”… but you have guessed this for sure so far…