Notes On Using Visual Studio 11 As Primary IDE On Windows 7

It’s been quite sometime since I first installed VS 11 (soon after dev preview came way), so, I thought I’d share my experience around using it as primary IDE (with VS 2010 solutions most of the time):

  • It works nicely with Visual Studio 2010 solutions, even big real-world ones. It doesn’t convert them but does some changes to project files which are backwards compatible (mainly minor formatting changes). Note that from the source-control point of view, those are still changes.
    • Somehow all my IIS 7.5 application pools lost their "Enable 32-bit applications" option very shortly after that. This is too coincidental with Visual Studio 11, although I’m not 100% sure if it was the reason.
      It could be hard to debug, If you start getting errors like "unable to load assembly <some path>.dll. or one of its dependencies. An attempt was made to load a program with an incorrect format.". Check for that option.
  • It works a bit faster than Visual Studio 2010. Maybe because it has fewer plug-ins, but I think if I remember bare-bones Visual Studio 2010 correctly, this Visual Studio 11 one is still (slightly) faster.
  • Not much difference in editor for C#, but nicely improved editor for JS / CSS
  • The real differently looking was the team explorer & TFS features in general – mixed feelings about it
    • Not sure I like how Pending Changes is not a separate window anyone. I have to change the Active View to Work Items to find the query I want, click it, go back to Pending Changes, and then drage the work item I want to associate with changeset
    • The changed files show in folder hierarchy. You have two completely separate hierarchies for “Included” and “Excluded” files in/from the changeset. Makes it easier to avoid “checked-in this file by mistake” errors.
    • When comparing files, finally you get coloring (nice one), one of the modes is combined view (they still have 2, and 3 pane views), which does support live editing.  It’s not just text editing experience you get in some merge tools. It’s context-aware full VS editor experience. Things like intellisence, Go To Declaration, Find Usage, Refactor, etc.. and context menu options including those added by third-party tools like TestDriven.NET are available. .
      I found myself editing files in combined-compare view a lot and it makes it great seeing exactly what I’m changing
  • Needed to make a small hack to get TestDriven.NET working.
  • Of course I miss Resharper!  <– Not anymore! See below…

I generally recommend using it, and think it’s safe and nice if you ask Smile

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