Things I Hate About VS2008


Visual Studio is an advanced programming environment for those wishing to develop software for the Microsoft platform.  From web applications, mobile phone applications and database analysis projects to Xbox games and windows applications and services – this is the one stop shopping solution.

By request.. a shortlist of things I hate about Visual Studio 2008 (sometimes with Service Pack 1).

#1 – Help re-indexing after new product installations (i.e. the old “updating to reflect recent changes”),  This occurs to integrate all help into one big index (for some reason) – MSDN + SQL Books Online integrated together, for example.

This should be “please wait forever while we re-index all the help files on your local machine even though this is a stupid feature which you didn’t ask for and can’t opt out of.  Hope you aren’t in a hurry”.  It’s your fault for having more than 2GB of help files.  Use online help.

#2 – Pressing F1 locks the VS IDE into waiting until Help loads (the hang of death).  Help is for sissies apparently.

#3 – Reloading a Test Project, for some reason, loads tests into the list of Unit Tests and grinds the IDE to a halt.  Why, oh why, can’t this be an asynchronous process?  WTF?

#4 – Initializing Toolbox grinds the IDE to a halt.  Again, are we asking too much for this to be done asynchronously?  It takes an unacceptably long time.

#5 – The Add References Window takes far too long to load – again.. do we need to load all the damned tabs at once?  Why not load the Projects tab (likely to be the least amount of items and arguably the most used) and load the rest in the background?

#6 – Sometimes, after a ‘Get Latest’ from TFS, the Solution reloads but loads empty Test projects (project is loaded but shows no files)! WTF?
        6a) Then you have to experience #3 as you unload and reload the damn test projects yourself

#7 – Underline errors in the editor + show live semantic errors (both on by default) – this can be annoying as it does this while you are writing a line of code which is obviously not complete.  It costs too, because of the little compilation going on all the time.  Not recommended for slow machines.

#8 – TFS: Team Explorer seems to randomly want to check out the solution file.  If you refuse to let it do so it won’t run unit tests!

       8a) If you relent, and let it check out the solution file, it makes no changes!  WTF?

#9 – Being able to search (CTRL + F) Team Explorer Windows (it’s just not there in a number of windows, and it’s annoying).  This action used to crash the IDE on 64 bit versions, so just ignoring the operation is an upgrade.

#10 – Recompiling everything in the #%$# solution, all the time (especially when running unit tests).  This one is for those who use the “Any CPU” configuration instead of a platform specific configuration (e.g. x86).  When you run a set of unit tests (without changing any code), Visual Studio will recompile the solution.  Why?  Nothing has changed!

#11 Pressing F5 when the Source Control Explorer window is the active window (in Team Explorer) starts debugging the active solution instead of refreshing the active window!  – This doesn’t happen with a TFS workitem query window, why the inconsistency?

#12 – Using keyboard shortcut to cancel a build (CTRL + Break) stops Find in Files from working.  OK, a bug, fair enough.  Please fix :)

[More To Come]


About Rob Sanders

IT Professional and TOGAF 9 certified architect with nearly two decades of industry experience, 18 years in commercial software development and 11 years in IT consulting. Check out the "About Rob" page for more information.

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