back to article Microsoft promises SP 'milestone' for Visual Studio 2008

First, it was Windows XP SP1. Then Windows Vista SP3. Now it's the Visual Studio and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, due by the end of summer. The connection? Microsoft's service packs keep growing in importance as a means of updating key products between official releases. Promoting the first SP for Visual Studio 2008 and .NET …


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  1. fuckwit

    Just stopping it crashing would be good

    Oh, and speed up the slooooooooow transitions between source view and design view in

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are they going to get rid of the stupid f****** need to...

    keep looking back at the screen, and moving the mouse when you try to close the last 6 windows you opened?

    The real men will give you a clue lads, it's locate the x, and then click, click, click, click, click, click. Not locate the x, click, locate the x, click, locate the x, click, locate the x, click, locate the x, click, locate the x, click. This takes 50 times as long.

    WAKE UP!

    Or are they going to sack the "screaming" (thou kenneth what I meaneth) non code writing gui designers who have a suntan and "qualifications in HCI," from the local frappacino drinking clothes salon, but no idea about memory muscle?

  3. Alastair Smith


    Having had to deal with detecting the various different versions of .Net around these days (specifically .Net 2.0 SP 1, .Net 3.0 SP 1, and .Net 3.5), I wish Microsoft would stick to a more traditional versioning system. New features = new version number. .Net 3.0 was a big enough advance on .Net 2.0 (with the introduction of WCF, WPF, etc.) to warrant a full new version number, but maybe .Net 3.0 SP1 should have been called 3.1? .Net 3.5 SP 1 would be better termed 3.6. And what happened to .Net 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4 anyway?

  4. Rick Damiani

    .NET Hell

    I think we've replaced .dll hell with .NET hell. After 4 versions of this nonsense, the .NET enhancement I'm really looking forward to is the one that doesn't require me to install a new version of .NET alongside the other 4 versions I can't remove because newer versions won't work in place of the older ones.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    easier than 4 yr old software?

    "easier than using Dreamweaver 2004 for SQL Server connections" - great, so it's *now* as good as something that's at least 3 versions or ostensibly 4 years old. Way to stay on the cutting edge.

  6. Dale Harrison
    Thumb Up

    @ .NET Hell

    Excellent point and sadly true. I'm on a project that has just been upgraded to two new servers but even though I can "port" my code to the (current) latest version of .NET, we still have third party code that uses V2.0 (SP whatever).

    I'm never sure whether I should just install every damn version "just in case". But end-users should not have to go through this hassle.

    There's also that slight niggle that something will go wrong if you install V2 then V1.1

    Asking for trouble I bet.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @.NET Hell

    i thought that only applied between .net 1/.1 and .net 2, and that .net 3, 3.5 etc were just extensions to .net 2?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ?Not playing catch up...

    Visual Studio 2008 is still focused on the application development and if they are comparing themselves to Dreamweaver 2004 MX. They really are a long way behind, I know of developers that have gone back to the previous version due to the stability issues with 2008.

    Next version of Dreamweaver CS4 will be using WebKit to render in the design view which will mean a more standards compliant web pages, perhaps the ie team should be taking note of that!

    I do not know of any JavaScript developer that uses any of the Microsoft tools to develop with, the Microsoft Debugger is just a nightmare. Most turn to Firefox and Firebug. Microsoft note: both free stable and listen to developers requirements for future enhancements.

    They should also look at Aptana, a serious competitor to Dreamweaver.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They broke the spell checker

    There is a winforms textbox spellchecker that gets broken by the beta of SP1 so I reverted back to 3.5, shame as the new browser control was really useful.

    Agree that the framework releases are a mess. I had to rebuild my machine after uninstalling the SP1 Beta.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nup - XP SP2 was the "big" SP

    Not SP1.

    XPSP2 was the security push SP; 2003 SP1 was the equivalent.

  11. marc

    Too complex

    In my Add/Remove programs I have .NET 2, .NET 2 Sp1 SDK, .NET 3 and .NET 3.5.

    Surely when I installed 3.5 (along with Visual Studio 2008), all other entries should have been removed?

    Even worse is that the .NET 2 folder is still required, and still shows up on the IIS installed version number.

    With Java you actually UPGRADE. Seems Microsoft copied most of Java, well they should have copied the installation and version system as well.

    As for making Visual Studio like Dreamweaver - isn't that what I've just shelled out for Expression Web for? I certainly prefer it over Dreamweaver for it's HTML/ASP and CSS auto completion. The designer is actually more standards compliant than IE7 or IE8.

    I'm hoping the entity framework will work with SQL Server 2005, as the article implies it will only be 2008.

  12. Kevin Bailey

    .NET is now failing in the same way as Vista

    In the past I've worked for about a year all-in-all with .NET and many other years with PHP.

    Whereas PHP based development is now getting so honed that it is a joy to work with .NET is going down the bloatware route.

    PHP used with the zend framework and smarty is clean and fast and all files can be edited with normal editors. Using an MVC framework and pure RESTful services producing a fantastic web application environment. In fact, I would say this is going to become fairly standard in future.

    You have to know what you are doing so the point and click amateurs are out - but they shouldn't be developing web apps for businesses anyway.


    for how it can be done.

    (Interestingly, we are probably moving away from AJAX for rich UI's. We're looking very closely at providing a rich client interface using XUL/Firefox add-ons which is based on javascript. Check out the FireFTP add-on to see what it looks like).

    A big problem with .NET is that you need to use VS to work with it - believe me I tried just using the text editor (or MS's basic VS which I can't remember the name of) but you soon hit limits where you can only use VS to add in libraries and such. This soon produces bloated code which is unfeasible to debug or move to another server.

    Portability is one thing that MS simply do not understand - at all.

    I want to develop a website app - then be able to move it to another server by just copying a single tree of files. Try that with .NET apps and you are moving into a world of pain. Honestly, because I had to work with .NET I nearly came close to quitting programming!

    Interesting Joel on software has documented the same route of initially being impressed with .NET before the bloat kills the dream.

    First the initial praise

    Followed a year or so later by huge disapointment.

    And what's this about needing to install different versions of .NET???? Eh? Surely the latest version should run code written for the previous version. C'mon people - this is the basics!

    ".NET got a little big - it was a victim of its own success,"

    And this is pure marketing bullshit. When you see crap like this you know it's just going to get worse.

  13. Neil
    Gates Halo

    @AC Get rid of the stupid f*****....

    You could just click the middle mouse button over the tab representing the document you want to close.

    Know your environment!

  14. BlueGreen

    @Kevin Bailey: Your Diff. It is broken.

    Followed a year or so later by huge disapointment.


  15. James O'Brien
    Gates Horns


    I know this really has nothing to do with the conversation about .Crap but

    "In my Add/Remove programs I have .NET 2, .NET 2 Sp1 SDK, .NET 3 and .NET 3.5."

    You got me wondering, in Vista it doesnt show .Crap upgrades(?) but I saw Crysis Patch 1.2 and Crysis Patch 1.21 listed under the microsoft patchs...

    WTF? I didnt know M$ had a hand in EA$ patches.

  16. Kevin Bailey


    You're right.

    The second link should have been

  17. aL
    Thumb Down


    again, reg loves to NOT do any kind of research when writing about microsoft products.. lets clear a few things up shall we?

    1 linq to entities is a object relational manager like actove record or nhibernate. the comparison between dreamwaver is just stupid (again, the microsoft marketing dept. show that they are asses) what makes link to entites special is that it transforms transforms the linq expression into a logical tree that then gets transformed into sql. this means that the engine has a much greater understanding of what the programmer wants to retrive and can generate much more efficient sql. linq to enitites also separates the objects from the relations meaning that a object model can be established and if the db schema changes, an external xml file can be edited and the program wont even need to be recompiled


    you only have to install one version of the .net framework. 3.5. that includes both 2.0 and 3.0. those folders remain for compatibility. the only version that broke its predecessor was 2.0.


    .net IS NOT VISTA SPESIFIC AND NEVER WAS. i dont understand why people keep insistnig that .net and vista are strongly connected. they are NOT .net is exactly the same on xp, 2003, vista and 2008. internally, there are few diffrences inside the clr, but that is not visible to anyone using .net. its all abstracted away.

    vista should have used .net a lot more, it would have been a better, lighter os if they had, but they didnt. notepad, calulater, windows mediaplayer, explorer it self. they are all regular win32 apps in vista, just as they are in xp. no .net involved.

    among the comments there are a few other ingnorant statements that i wont go into much detail on but vs is definitly not needed to program .net. sharpdevelop works just fine and the vs express editions work a treat. the person who suggested aptana should really stand in a corner for a bit.. apta must be the slowest editor on planet earth... it also frequentyl crashed while saving.. not that gr8...

  18. Joe Cincotta

    .NET got a little big ... kind of like KingKong's scrotum...

    I am disturbed that there is so much misinformation and confusion about the .Net framework - oh, and its not because Microsoft made it easy, OH NO! All the same, it is a problem.

    1. .Net got big because Microsoft were arrogant - no other reason. Java had separated their 'server side' from their 'client side' from day one - J2EE vs J2SE is a foundation piece of the Java strategy. Microsoft thought they would be different and fly in the face of common sense.

    Not to mention that Sun was not trying to cram two thumbs up everybody's arse by making a 'framework' which does absolutely everything - even what everyboady else is already doing on that framework. What do you think nHibernate is? Its very much like the entity framework, but *sigh* again, it does not have the little "copyright microsoft" on it and therefore must be re-engineered by MS and made redundant - and absorbed in to the framework. Why? No good reason at all.

    The problem is, well, eventually you end up with a server side framework for CLIENTS... oh, so now we get the client profile from the .Net guys. Nice of you to autodetect I am not a fucking server and douche me with 150-something gigs of useless binaries... morons! Why not just separate the two to begin with?

    You start to see the point that the Java standards had? You can put server frameworks on top of J2SE, or you can go the heavyweight J2EE - but either way, you are doing what is actually necessary and what a normal human would do.

    By doing this and then slapping Silverlight as another 'add on' Microsoft has actually engineered itself in to a place where it is more convenient and seamless to use Java on the desktop and in the browser than it is to use .Net on its native platform. Go figure...

    2. The .Net 'versioning' issue noted above is another moronic maneuver by the .Net team where 1.0 and 1.1 and 2.0 were completely distinct installations which could co-exist side by side - then 3.x became layers of functionality with 'green bits' and 'red bits' - the only 'red bits' ended up being the puckered rectums of developers trying to keep up with a tidal wave of bits and pieces of new APIs on top of the 'framework' (it gets quotes by now because any reasonable person would call it a VM with about 50-odd disparate APIs sitting on top)

    So short-story long - you are meant to go out and buy a new development environment every time you want to move up the .Net stack. If you don't like it, go program in Java.

    To provide some context - I am a .Net EVANGELIST! Oh yeah, we love it and use it every day. For server side applications .Net is really fantastic. Try deploying client side applications with it (which we do too) and you are up for whole other world of pain. Having to make sure you have a framework installed which is STILL TO THIS DAY marked as optional by the only other automated distribution channel which might give you a chance of ubiquity - Windows Update - hell, it feels like Java circa 2000. Just plain old crazy.

    All of this cannot help but make me feel like its time to buy a Mac...


  19. Anonymous Coward


    "Agree that the framework releases are a mess. I had to rebuild my machine after uninstalling the SP1 Beta."

    Erm, they're beta for a reason? Microsoft always warn that beta software may break your machine. Those are the sorts of things to report to Microsoft during beta testing.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Everyone bitching about .NET 3 and .NET 2 both showing up in the add/remove programs list etc

    .NET 3/3.5 does not replace .NET 2, it's an extension to it, it still uses most of the same components as .NET 2, but adds some new stuff in

  21. Tim Parker

    I'd be happy...

    ..just to have a compiler that could cope with standards compliant C and C++ code from the end of the last millenium... however, having spoken to a (pleasingly technically minded) Microsoft Visual Studio representative about this - not only did he say he saw no reason to to transition from VS .NET 2003 to VS2008, but also that i'd best not hold my breath. Joy.

    I realise that C and C++ are no longer where the work is being done in VS, but it's a shame (and right royal pain in the arse when you're developing cross-platform)

    Oh and thank you for removing the ability to use makefiles even if we wanted to - because you couldn't "get it done right" I hear - and then giving us devenv and msbuild with equal or (usually much, much) more baroqueness but with a fraction of the functionality.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    @Tim Parker

    I use VS2005 and VS2008 for developing cross platform C and C++ on a number of devices and architectures without any problem. Both also still have makefile projects.

  23. Tim Parker
    Thumb Down


    "I use VS2005 and VS2008 for developing cross platform C and C++ on a number of devices and architectures without any problem."

    You're lucky and i'm happy for you - guess you don't use much C9x / C++-0x code or standards, complex templating or the like... by Microsofts own admission, e.g. their support for C99 is far from complete and not likely to change in the foreseeable future. That's them saying it, not just me.

    As for makefiles in projects, I didn't say you couldn't have makefiles in a project - it's trying to get VS to export one or use one that's the issue. How do you export your makefiles from VS 2005/8 ?

    "Note that Visual C++ no longer supports the ability to export a makefile for the active project from the development environment"

    ..and AFAIK the makefile input does a translation to the build engine (e.g. msbuild commandline) via the Makefile Project Wizard - not by using a makefile at compile time - I'll happily stand corrected on that though, as i'm going by comments from Microsoft, second-hand info and parts of documentation - not tried it myself.

  24. Kevin Bailey


    Well when I was using .NET 2.0 I certainly was advised that using Visual Studio was the only way of implementing certain things. I was using Web Matrix which was a cut down version of VS to try to keep the code from getting bloated.

    This thread is about trying to link code to (MS's) Active Directory.

    See specifically the bit which says:


    >i guessed i needed to do this - how do i do it?

    >where does the reference get added? - web.config or at the top of the file?

    >NB - I don't have visual studio.

    Ouch - then you'll have to do some manual work which I'm not really

    familiar with...... like you need to create an Interop CCW wrapper (by

    calling TlbImp, I think - not sure, though), and then you'll need to

    add a "using ActiveDs;" line to your file (near the top, yes).

    Again - sorry, since I only work in VS.NET, I can't really tell you

    how to do this without VS.....


    No-one else knew either.

    Let alone the fact that .NET 1.1 and 2.0 did not even have FTP libraries - I had to use the command line FTP program!

    And there were no DTS libraries either:



    So there is not .net support for dts (a com package). you have to build .net

    wrappers for it. VS will do this for you when you add the com reference to

    the project. if you do not use VS, see the command line utility tlbimp.exe.

    the utiltity (or VS which just calls the utility) produces an interop dll,

    which you copy to the bin directory, no need to bother with the gac.

    -- bruce ( - without Visual Studio:


    Wasted time trying the recomendations but it never worked.


    No DTS.

    No AD.

    No FTP!

    without VS.

    You're saying it's better now - sorry, but MS ALWAYS promises better next time - it's all they do. Produce crap - promise it'll be better next time. Have you not noticed?

    In the meantime, we've got code to write.

    Incidentally, I gave in and asked the client to buy VS. Installed it - and .NET stopped working on that machine altogether. Client (call centre) went bust just after - that's because they tried to move all their comms stuff to MS platform as well. That never worked properly either - it bacame a call centre which couldn't make calls. 300 people out of work - still - MS got all their expensive license fees including the useless VS one so not all bad news!

    Incidentally, I also found that .NET is not cross-platform.

    Page repositioning only works on IE. On other browsers you have a long page, user scrolls down, clicks a 'control' they will be taken to the top of the page.

    I'd love to find the thread for that one where an MS drone tried to say that ASP.NET was truly cross platform but that not all features were available for all browsers. You could almost hear George Orwell laughing his head off.

    I can't find it - probably means that MS have deleted it.

    The only time I've come across .NET since was for a client who'd had a website developed by a guy in Italy (we're in the UK).

    He was taking the piss for some minor updates - so I said to the web development company to get a copy loaded into their own copy of VS and I'd make changes. But they could never get their copy working - the site would never recompile or some such crap.

    So basically - Italian guy was the only one who could make changes and only on his PC. Nothing was ever sorted and as far as I know some poor bod at a job agency has to input job advert details twice to this day.

  25. Chris Burns

    I wish...

    ...that microsoft would just make it possible to have ONE version of the .net framework installed - the latest one, of course - which would then be backward compatible (so 3.5 would also run 2.x and 1.x code). At the moment, we develop for v2.x - missing out on all the supposedly good stuff in v3.x - just because we know that all machines that the software will be deployed on will have .net v2.

    sigh. What started out as a good idea is turning into normal bloatware.

  26. Rich Turner

    Give me a break!

    To AC: "The real men will give you a clue lads": Let a "real man" give you the tip you should know by now - you want to close the last n editor windows? CTRL+F4 n times should do the trick nicely. Abandon your mouse wherever you can - it's worth the investment - you become a hell of a lot more productive VERY quickly.

    To everyone complaining about versions: KNOW YOUR TOOLS. The strength of the NETFX is that it's cumulative - you install FX 3.0, it relies on FX 2.0 so installs it if it's not already there. Install 3.5 and it'll install 3.0 and 2.x if not already there.

    You can't expect improved and new features without new releases of the framework. The fact that your current framework largely stays the same IS A GOOD THING. If you had to rebuild your apps and components against a new FX every time it released, you'd REALLY hate the .NET FX.

    To all posters. Please think before lashing out - you don't make yourself look clever just by bitching.

  27. BlueGreen

    Thanks for all comments

    It only adds to my brief experience.

    A mate wrote a bloggy server thingy and I wanted to get it working locally.

    First turns out sql2005 eval edition wouldn't install in a VM (ok, it would, it just wouldn't work right. I think they borked it subtly but deliberately). Then I tried to install the .net crap and ...

    ...2 days later...

    ... I'd succeeded.

    Still couldn't run my mate's stuff though.

    Utter waste of time. I don't plan to repeat the experience.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Rich Turner

    Thank fuck for that, someone who understands how it works

  29. Simon

    All good...

    Theres always a SP, for everything - thats a fact of life, and if they decide to add a bunch of new features to it then whats to complain about.

    Also, I wanted add my two cents to the closing windows thread - either type CloseAll into the very useful command window or just right click on one of the open file tabs and click 'Close All but this' - you will only have one window open.

    I find the VS IDE very customisable - and if something is annoying you then theres a good chance theres a way around it

    Nice site available at which has some useful tips - some not so useful but there are some real gems in there.

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