back to article NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14

Microsoft has released a second preview of the next major release of Visual Studio. Much of the attention has gone on Microsoft’s embrace of open source, with the Roslyn .NET code compiler. But is this isn’t necessarily the biggest change in Microsoft’s comprehensive dev suite. There’s a radical change coming to ASP.NET and …

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Windows

Oh the irony...

If this isn't a huge slap in the face of many licensed .NET developers then I don't know what is.

Think about it: first they came with the mess that is VS2012. In all fairness it needs to be said that Microsoft has managed to undo some of the idiocy (such as initially enforcing colour schemes which gave many people headaches). However, it's also fair to say that it wasn't so much Microsoft but more so a handful of people / developers within Microsoft who came up with the temporary solution. To my knowledge the theme editor I'm referring to here was created by one man.

And then we got VS2013. This undid more of the nastiness, brought colours back to the several icons and added some other common stuff. Of course; people who already got a VS2012 license don't have to expect any leniency or something. If you want to upgrade you'll simply have to purchase a full license again.

So now we're up to VS2014. The first thing which springs to my mind when looking at those screenshots is: "Gee, that looks even more like VS2010 than before". That might be a step in the right direction, for sure. But I also notice that Microsoft (tried to?) sell 2 extra licenses in between where both versions (VS2012 and VS2013) were met with a lot of criticism and scepticism.

From where I'm standing VS 2010 developers who bought into the new VS (2012) got an unwanted interface change (no colour in icons and braindead colour schemes) and only after purchasing 2 extra licenses (2013 and the upcoming 2014) do they finally get (most of?) their trusted 2010 interface back.

Which makes me wonder why you'd want to upgrade in the first place? I've had many discussion with 2010 developers who pitied me for not being able to get hold of a 2010 license (the only one sold was 2012 when I stepped in) and now I more or less pity the newbies who can only get their hands on 2013 or up.

Oh wait, I forgot.. You can only get your hands on a Visual Studio license with an MSDN subscription. Making those Express versions even more appealing than before.

Now; I maybe cynical here but I have to admit that the Express versions are very impressive and do their job excellently. However... I would be more impressed if I could still obtain a stand-alone license like I did when I got VS2012. Although the Express versions are good, there are many situations in which a license is better (think about being able to combine projects such as a .NET library and a web project).

Am I being too cynical you say? I doubt it. Lets put it another way: if these new versions are all that fantastic, then why is Microsoft still providing access to the VS 2010 Express versions?

If you want to step into ASP.NET then my (very bias) advise is simple. Try to get hold of a (second hand if you must) license but don't go higher than VS2012. Then become familiar with Mono, slap it onto your Apache environment and go from there. It doesn't support all the full modern features but I'm still pretty sure you'd still be impressed with the stuff you can do with it.

And the best part: Visual Studio can fit the project like a glove.

No subscription nonsense for me, thank you!

Yeah, it really is surprising how Microsoft continues to lose money these days... I don't get it. I paid approx. E 400 - E 500,- for my VS2012 license and consider it money well spend. Now you can only step in around E 1000,-. And only on a subscription level; so if you end your subscription you no longer can use the program any longer.

Timeless and free Express license anyone?

No, I really don't get it how Microsoft manages to loose revenue this quickly...

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Re: Oh the irony...

Not sure what you're talking about regarding subscriptions to get VS? You can buy a standalone license of VS2013 on Amazon for £536/£450 Upg. I've not seen any requirement to have an MSDN subscription for the coming V14 either?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh the irony...

"so if you end your subscription you no longer can use the program any longer."

MSDN subscriptions purchased through most channels give perpetual use rights - you just don't get to update to newer versions of Visual Studio if you're no longer a subscriber. Also, comparing an individual licence with MSDN subscription (your E400 - E500 vs E1000) is comparing apples with oranges; you get access to a lot more software with an MSDN subscription (e.g. OS licenses, a production usage of Office, support tickets etc), the sum of which is worth far more than the extra cost of the subscription.

Oh, and one further issue with your argument - you can still buy a standalone Visual Studio 2013 license - just do a search on the Microsoft Store. In the UK, a VS2013 Professional license is £506 including VAT.

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Re: Oh the irony...

Factual inaccuracies here. First, you can buy Visual Studio Professional without a subscription of any kind, and there's no suggestion that this will be any different for VS2014. Admittedly, yes, you can only get VS Test Pro or VS Ultimate with a subscription, but at that pricing level it's going to be your company buying for you. Most developers outside large teams don't need those features.

Second, most of the products licensed to your under the MSDN subscription are licensed for perpetual use. Which is to say, you can carry on using them - and VS itself - after your subscription has ended.

And if you do buy a subscription then you get the new stuff, including OSes, SQL Server and VS2014 when it comes out, at no additional cost.

Seems like a pretty good deal to me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh the irony...

You get so many facts wrong with your post that people would do best to ignore it. I cannot be bothered to correct all of your errors, but the one that stands out the most is where you say that you cannot continue to use visual studio once your MSDN subscription ends. That is 100% incorrect. You retain perpetual use rights to the software released during the term of your subscription, plus any prior version of the equivalent product.

Oh, and just in case you have not realised it yet, a vs2012 license lets a user install vs2010, 2008, 2005, 2003, 2002, v6.0 etc etc even if they purchased it without MSDN

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I miss VB6

There, I've said it. Life was so simple.

Move to C# and .Net 2.0 - that went well too.

Then we move the MVC. Pain to follow code written by a stranger, but workable. Now, I have no idea what's going on as I only do this stuff for part of my work.

Annual updates? I have Action Pack, but still don't want to keep updating every 12 months.

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Re: I miss VB6

*I* miss VB4 and the "can do" attitude that surrounded it. You could buy the full product for less than the down payment on a new car too. Ditto LogicWorks ERWin. Ditto Visual C. Now it's all about knobbled "free" versions and multi-kilobuck licenses.

You can get ERWin for free *if* you keep revalidating it every month. This info good as of last summer when I got tired of it all and switched to a nastier but free DB design tool on account of CA always seeming to decide revalidation was required while I was trying to work on a train with a non-persistent and slow as frozen treacle internet connection.

8op 8ob 8op

Thrrp.

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I like VS 2012

There, I said it. I may be the only one, but I like it.

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Anonymous Coward

Correction for you

"which defines the way web servers communication with web applications."

: communicate

Cheers, good article.

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Anonymous Coward

What about new support for remaining C++11/C++14 features?

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re: C++11/C++14 features

That was also my first question. There's a partial list here (look under both CTP 1 and CTP 2): http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2967191

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Gold badge

Re: re: C++11/C++14 features

Thanks for the link. The list under CTP2 looks to be basically empty, but CTP1 seems unusually rich by the standards of recent years.

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Anonymous Coward

Ah, the .NET framework (C#): One of the biggest load of bloatwares to ever bless our Windows platform and an extreme pain in the backside. Bring back raw Assembler, C and C++ I say! Our forced move to MingW/GCC open-source development draws ever closer.

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And the lame troll attempt of the month award goes to ...

... because surely nobody could *actually* be that clueless.

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Devil

Hey Eadon, .Net is still dead right?

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Facepalm

Refactoring...

So they have added better support for this, but only added two tiny refactorings out of the box? Come on Microsoft, please move into the 21st century and give me real refactoring like I get with IntelliJ IDEA for Java (or via Resharper for C#).

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Re: Refactoring...

I'm sure they'll get to it. In fairness, they have rewritten the compilers and are heavily altering the entire framework and rewriting MVC/WebForms/WebApi from scratch, I'd say they've got their hands full.

Now that it is easier with Roslyn, you'll probably see a whole load of Resharper-wannabes popping up.

Also, keep in mind this is still just a preview, I suspect there will be more by RTM.

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Re: Refactoring...

Nice face palm you gave yourself there. You did realise you failed at reading comprehension right?

Go back and re-read the article. Refactoring has been added to VB, it has been in C# for some time. Two new refactorings have been added, others already exist.

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FAIL

Re: Refactoring...

@Irongut, right back at you: I specifically said "but only *added* two tiny refactorings out of the box". The handful of existing refactorings available for C# et. al. is pitiful when you compare with what Reshaper and IDEA have. Microsoft doesn't understand the modern software development process and developer productivity IMHO.

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Boffin

Re: Refactoring...

@John P: M$ have had literally a decade to "get to it". I guess the chance has gone up by several factors, but multiplying something close to zero by 100 or even 1000 still doesn't make for a value approaching 1 and therefore certainty.

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Re: Refactoring...

I don't know what their excuse is for not doing it up this point. From various interviews and blog posts, I get the impression that the old compilers were bears to work with so maybe that had something to do with it and they have spent the best part of the last 5 years on Roslyn.

I'm only saying why they probably haven't added more in VS14 given all the other work they are doing.

At least now with Roslyn, if they don't do it, it will be a lot easier for someone else to.

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Coat

@Irongut -- Re: Refactoring...

Oooooh! VB refactoring!

I positively quake at the prospect.

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heh

"Refactoring means features which improve the structure of the code without changing its output."

You put that line in especially for VB developers, right?

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Re: heh VB

There is no VB after 6.0

Madness for .net to use vb.net instead of C#

VB.NET is C# dressed to look like VB

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No caps menus

They already exist in the current version. VS2013 Update 3 adds an option to have nice menus or the rude shouty kind.

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Trollface

Re: No caps menus

.WHO .WOULD .WANT .AN .ALL .CAPS .MENU?

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Re: No caps menus

0x700000000081800005

null pointer error

.who.would.want.all.caps not found in object library

call to method "menu" failed

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Anonymous Coward

What happened Microsoft? you used to have a decent style guide and consistent apps. You'd buy a Microsoft product knowing exactly what to expect. Now you get some sort of fruitcase UI design experiment which won't be refined for long, it gets completely dropped after a while.

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Gold badge

Where have you been for the last 20 years. MS haven't released a version of VS or Office that followed the style of the then-current OS since 95. It *is* irritating, I'll grant, but I thought everyone understood that these two products are where MS beta-test new UI ideas.

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D(HE)LL?

"You can also have applications running side by side and using different versions."

...sounds like a great recipe for DLL Hell.

Hopefully this has been considered (or I've missed something)

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Flame

Re: D(HE)LL?

It will also signal the return of the console app, which I personally loathe and despise. "oh, this window runs a web server instance; if it's closed the web server will stop, so don't ever close that window." Isn't that why M$ ships an IIS instance with *every* OS since xp? (yes, you can install a lightweight IIS instance on XP and above, it's just not installed by default.)

I can see a reason for it if that's all the machine ever does and only a handful of people ever monitor it and if it's intended for a small business type of installation, but it's annoying and (at least in our environment) requires a dedicated service account set up to run it for most larger companies or ones that have tight security requirements.

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Re: D(HE)LL?

I think the purpose of self-host is to support scenarios where you want every Kb or memory available to your application. IIS is a lot lighter than it used to be but for simple scenarios it is probably overkill.

Also, vNext is supported on Mac and Linux where there is no IIS, so they need to fill the gap there.

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Re: D(HE)LL?

I was thinking that this feature would come in handy if you wanted to host an API in a Windows Service perhaps that exposes an HTTP endpoint. (Just one example)

Or...and this may be insanity....

Shipping an app that runs locally without the need for a web server, but is web based. The web "server" is the app process itself...or a Windows service that is installed on the machine.

Just my two cents....oh wait....I'm from Canada where there is no penny....uhhhhhmmmmm OK round it up...

Just my five cents...

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Re: D(HE)LL?

You can run your web service with an embedded webserver (the console window you were seeing) for development and running on Mono or as an IIS application like it was done since ever.

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References

The article implies that references can only be added by means of nuget packages but VS 14 allows the same variety of references that existed before (GAC, COM and Browse etc).

As for the licensing, when I originally got a 3 year MSDN license the agreement was that it entitled me to use the software after the license period had expired as long as I finished the 3 year period. Now I'm on the 4th year (new agreement etc) Visual Studio 2013 told me that I needed a new license key. That implies that the software would have stopped working had I not extended the MSDN license.

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Re: References

Absolutely not. Any Visual Studio installer you get from an MSDN sub is a pre-keyed installer that uses a static activation key. That key is perpetual. I've renewed an MSDN sub since the early 2000s and I have many older VS installs that were installed with the original keys (on this system here, either installed directly or on VMs: 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013). When you renew MSDN you get a new set of keys, not "extensions" on old ones, and I've *never* had a VS (or any other software that comes with MSDN) ask for a new key, ever. I also manage subs for a team of a dozen people, and I guarantee that never happened to any of them either.

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