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Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

Since Microsoft has released Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET framework 3.5, I like most passionate geek developers could not wait to try it out. I was under the impression that projects and solutions from VS 2005 would be compatible so I figured great I can benefit from the new javascript debugging features and over time tiptoe into using Silverlight and some other new things in the 3.5 framework.

However, when I tried to open the mojoPortal solution in VS 2008 the first thing that happens is the project conversion wizard starts, so apparently the projects and solutions are not backward compatible. I of course immediately cancelled the operation because it said the projects and solution would no longer work with VS 2005 so if I do this that means that no-one can work with the solution unless they have VS 2008.

So we face a hurdle for the project that I'm sure other open source .NET projects will also face. Obviously at some point we must move forward but the question is how long should we wait?

I invite your feedback if you are actively using mojoPortal in your development, how soon will you be getting VS 2008? How long do you think we should wait before making the change and leaving behind VS 2005?

UPDATE: I stand happily corrected!

Thanks to the readers who pointed out that only the solution files changed. This is great news! I'm in the process now of making bakup solution files for VS 2005 and upgrading the solutions for VS 2008. Should have this in svn trunk in the next few hours.

Note for those who don't have VS 2008 you will need to use the alternte solution files which have been renamed like mojoportal-complete-vs2005.sln
... etc

This means that those of us with VS 2008 can move forward without leaving behind the VS 2005 developers. Though at some point we will need to make the decision to target the 3.5 framework instead of the 2.0 framework I think we can potentially add projects to the solution that do target 3.5, we just can't change the target on projects that are shared in he VS 2005 solution files.

Happy Day! Go get your free 90 day trial of VS 2008 or if you are an msdn subscriber you can get it there.

Posted by Joe Audette Wednesday, November 21, 2007 9:21:26 AM Tagged In: Development


Wednesday, November 21, 2007 10:08:09 AM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

Solution files are not compatible, but project files are. So you could have two diffrent solution files and keep all projects the same.

(it is mentioned in the comments in ScottGu's blog announcing the release)


Wednesday, November 21, 2007 10:44:15 AM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

Hey Thanks! Thats great news I'll give it a try.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007 11:41:51 AM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

The only difference in the .sln file is the solution version 9.0 or 10.0.  Project files are compatible.  I converted a VS2008(.Net 2.0) solution back to VS2005 by changing the first line of the .sln file back to "9.0". 


If you have developers using 2005 and 2008, provide two .sln files that pull in the same projects.  The project files don't need to be different, only the .sln file.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 11:46:34 AM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

Just wait for Mono ASP.NET API status ;)

It should support 3.5 API next year.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 2:12:17 PM
Rob H

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

This is great . I was going to email you about this very thing, having just finished my download of VS2008.


Thursday, November 22, 2007 1:25:04 PM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

I guess, it's more important to keep pace with Mono as far as possible. There's  a temptation to use the new 3.5 features, but  in my opinion it's more wise  to focus on supported features and security now. No matter what VS version will be used, more important is that only supported features should be implemented, if possible, of course.




Thursday, November 22, 2007 7:13:24 PM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

Hi Bob,

Yes, don't worry, I have no plans to leave behind Mono. If I build anything that targets 3.5 before Mono supports it I will do it in separate projects so the core can stay compatible with Mono. Cross platform support is a very improtant a goal for the project.



Saturday, November 24, 2007 6:04:48 AM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

I have some experience in these matters from my "earlier life" working on SmartWin++ and it's not really that hard, though pretty annoying... :(

SmartWin++ compiles on both VS2003 and VS2005 and those two can mostly run side by side. I assume the same is true for VS2005 / VS2008...
So if you first install VS2003 and then VS2005 ALWAYS in that order you will be able to run them side by side and supply two different set of .sln files (and .vcproj files if that format has updated) then you just make sure that the code is compatible with C# 2.0 always and if you need C# 3.0 features (which you never need mostly) you just use #if conditional compiler statements...

Then you supply two binary versions of your library, one compiled for .Net Fr. 3.5 and another compiled for .Net Fr. 2.0...
Normally the SAME NAME of the DLLs (exes...?) but in different FOLDERS...
And off course since I assume this is an OS project the code will be there for those that modifies it :)

A little bit of hassle, but worth it to keep backwards compatibility during the "transition of power" which hopefully will be over within a couple of years :)

This solution will also make sure you'll not build from features currently not supported in Mono too :)



Monday, November 26, 2007 4:29:24 AM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

Not sure about the US, but here in the UK the hosting providers take ages to update their .NET framework support after each revision. Not much point using new technology if you're unable to host it. Might be an idea to wait for better 3.5 support.



Wednesday, November 28, 2007 9:26:22 AM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

Before the vs2008 lovefest begins, I noticed from the svn checkout that the vs2005 solution file does not open successfully. It appears to be using files that were installed by 2008, and so if those are not present the files will not open.

As an example to highlight this point, PollFeature.UI.csproj line 178:

<Import Project="$(MSBuildExtensionsPath)\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v9.0\WebApplications\Microsoft.WebApplication.targets" Condition="" />

This refers to a file only found in the vs2008 installation.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007 10:07:21 AM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

Thanks for letting me know, I'm looking into this now. I think I must have done something configuring projects that caused this. Note that I have been opening mojoportal-core-vs2005.sln in VS 2005 all week on my load testing machine. Since this contains a web project obviously there is compatibilty between the projects in VS 2005 and VS 2008 but I am getting the same error you mention when I try to open mojoportal-complete-vs2005.sln so something happened to the additional web projects that did not happen to the main one. Probably due to me monkeying around in the project property pages in VS 2008.

I'll get this figured out and fixed asap, but in the meantime you can open mojoportal-core-vs2005.sln using VS 2005 SP1

Thanks again for letting me know.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007 10:49:28 AM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

This is now fixed in svn trunk, if you do svn > Update it will pull down the new files and the soltion will open and build in VS 2005. The VS 2008 solutions still work fine as well.

Thanks Again for pointing this out as I had not noticed it since only opening the core solution recently in VS 2005.


Thursday, November 29, 2007 7:53:13 PM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

Sunday, December 30, 2007 10:35:10 AM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

I've just completed a utility that will allow you to convert between VS2005 and VS2008 projects. (It just edits the solution and project files... no other conversion is done). 

I'd consider it an "advanced beta", but folks are welcome to take a look at the VB2008 source code.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 11:23:14 AM

re: Visual Studio 2008 How Long Should We Wait?

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