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Not completely smooth upgrade to Visual Studio 2008 + TFS

Major Reversal – I take this post back. I’m experiencing some difficulties with VS2008, especially when debugging. The IDE gets stuck sometimes, and the debugger jumps into the code of a heavy ToString() of one of our objects and when I try to resume it dies. I definitely didn’t experience this with 2005. When is SP2 due?

I know when I’m thinking of upgrading a heavy software product, I need positive reviews from friends to ensure me the risk is low.

We’ve just moved to both Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio 2008 from 2005, and the move went rather well. First, Oren and Tomer upgraded the TFS version some evening. As far as I remember we had zero issues, and immediately felt the impact of faster (and some say less painful) merges.

Then, we’ve had everyone install Visual Studio 2008, and Oren migrated all the solutions and projects (over all our branches) to 2008 (the big issue was that the file format of 2008 is not backward compatible).

Some of our team members have Resharper 4 which supports C# 3 syntax, while others still have Resharper 3. This was a potential danger, so we decided to disallow C# 3 features for now. I wrote a small utility to disable C# 3 syntax in Resharper 4 (run once).

It’s hard to enumerate the benefits of VS2008. What I see immediately are that it’s a lot more stable, and has a bit friendlier UI (Little things like being able to open folders directly from Source Control Explorer). When we do get to C# 3 and .NET 3.5, we’ll be able to write nicer code and use some additions to the BCL (like a new HashSet class to replace our existing C5.HashSet – this one actually implement System.Collections.Generic.ICollection !).

To summarize – move to TFS/VS 2008 when you get the chance (if you haven’t done so already).

P.S. – A huge benefit of VS2005 is that it usually knows to compile only projects your main assembly depends on. This is a sweet time saver.

One Comment

  1. Tomer Gabel:

    Actually it was just Oren who upgraded the server. Turns out my help wasn’t needed, and the process was smooth indeed.

    As for VS2008… I tend to disagree. The only visible advantage is that it starts out faster, and loads the solution faster. These are significant benefits but certainly not worth the price of an upgrade. Build times are still abysmal (yes, we have a large solution; yes, we have lots of post-build steps. Every time I hit ctrl+shift+B it still takes nearly half a minute, even for a minor, localized change.) The IDE does not feel any snappier than 2005, and still takes forever to page-in when I switch back to it after a few minutes. I guess the real upgrade-worthy features are C# 3.0 (which we don’t use, yet) and improved JavaScript support, but I couldn’t find any significant improvement beyond those.