VC Build included in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1

Development, Whidbey Comments

Several month ago, Peter Huene introduced VC Build, a command line tool to build C++ projects and solutions. For building our product, we have a huge batch file, which spawns devenv for every project. You have to know that devenv loads lots of DLLs and consumes much memory, even if you're just building a project from the command line. The number of our projects is triple-digit, so devenv is started more than a hundred times. The entire build of our software took on my machine 1 1/4 hours.

Then I changed our build scripts to use VC Build instead of devenv. Now the build takes about 45 minutes, i.e. it's reduced to 60%!

(First it didn't work properly, because VC Build didn't return an error code of the build failed. Peter posted an update after I and someone else reported some bugs)

Today I discovered that VC Build is not a nice tool hidden in the 'net anymore. Now it's part of Visual Studio 2005, at least part of Beta 1. You can find it in <whidbey installation path>\VC\VCpackages\.

(I planned to post about VC Build for long time, but I've forgotten. Funny incidence that today I found VC Build in Whidbey, and Jamie "NUnitAddin" Cansdale mentioned VC Build in his blog).

Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1... almost

Development, Whidbey Comments

Downloading Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1

After waiting for two days that I can download Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1, it's now available... but what the heck? There's no DVD image. Instead I have to download at least 5 CD images (2x VS 2005 Enterprise Architect (1 GB), and 3x MSDN Library for VS 2005 (1.8 GB)). Additionally you can download the Remote Debugger (18 MB), Visio Tools (230 MB), and Amberpoint Express (tool for monitoring, testing, debugging, diagnosing and fine-tuning Web services, about 3 MB). Yes, there's an ISO image abou 3 MB.

I'd prefer to get a single DVD image. However, I started the download of all 8 images.

Update 7/4/2004: I've just noticed that there is now a DVD image of about 3.6 GB available.

Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 and Internet File Select and Upload Dialog

*Sigh* You may have already read that today (06/29/2004) Visual Studio Beta 1 should be available to MSDN subscribers. I'm checking the Subscriber Downloads pages now for several hours every now and then, but until now (17:47, or 5:47 PM for my American readers) it's still not listed there. I suppose it's not replicated yet to Akamai's servers in Europe (or at least in Germany).

In the meanwhile, I recommend you to have a look at Daniel Fisher's Internet File Select and Upload Dialog. (Announcement) It's an ASP.NET component for uploading files to your server with a rich GUI.

Update: Daniel has added an online demo.

Update 2: Sam Gentile wrote: Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 will be available in a few days to MSDN Subscribers. *sigh*

Unit Testing in Visual Studio 2005

Development, Whidbey Comments

Peter Provost wrote

I want to start a blog petition. I want everyone who agrees with me to blog the following sentence:

Unit Testing support should be included with all versions of Visual Studio 2005 and not just with Team System.

Please link or trackback to this post so I can keep track of how well this works.

and I totally agree.

If you agree too, make sure you comment or tarckback Peter's original post.

Microsoft's Giving Away Its Most Prized Tools

Development Comments

While downloading Whidbey CTP May 04, I'm just reading Wesner Moise's Microsoft's Giving Away Its Most Prized Tools:

Microsoft is finally releasing many of its prized tools into the next version of Visual Studio.

  • POGO. This is the profile guided optimizations available in Visual C++ 2005. POGO rearranges code to shift out rarely used code and cluster together related code, resulting in reduced working set and substantially improved performance for common application scenarious. This tool alone can potentially double the performance of your app. This has been MS's secret weapon for ages, and now MS is arming the masses.
  • PREfast. This is an extremely intelligent code analyzer, produced by one of PhDs in Microsoft Research, that scans machine level instructions in the binary executable, follows multiple code paths and traverses function calls, all to locate extremely hard to find programming errors. How intelligent is PREFast, you ask? It had to be written in Prolog, the logic programming language, instead of C++. At least one MS developeris shocked at its release. Check out this MS Research PREFast presentationon the Web. Unfortunately, PREfast only works in C++.
  • FXCop. This product has been available for some time, but Microsoft developers use it religiously for ensure that all new managed APIs conform to .NET Framework guidelines and does not contain potential errors.
  • VS Team Foundation source code control system? Though the team is lead by the original developer of SourceSafe, this SCM is an entirely different product from SourceSafe, and both this and SourceSafe 2005 will simultaneously ship with Whidbey. Now, I don't know if this is the same source code control that Microsoft is currently using internally for Windows and Office to manage code changes by, literally, thousands of developers. But if it is, this would be a truly amazing addition.