Visual Studio 2008 and Quality


Ok, now I am writing this while I am still angry. I know I shouldn't, but I really can't help it.

I have been using Visual Studio since it's been RTM.

Call me a chicken, cheap or whatever you like, fut I have always felt weird doing QA for Microsoft for free. So I did not use their CTPs or Betas that much and therefore I did not submit any suggestion or reported any bug. Should I complain then? Absolutely YES.

Fact is that have been using a RTM product for some months. I have been using more or less successfully in my company laptop both for company and "pet" projects.

As you might have read, we even migrated my current project at work from Visual Studio 2005 to a Visual Studio 2008 as soon as some of the features of the framework made migration compelling. Migration went fine, not without some hiccups, though.

But one day during this week the last straw that made me write these post appeared in front of my keyboard:

I had Visual Studio Professional Edition in my laptop and I wanted to recompile the nightly build of NAnt (although it was successfully building 3.5 projects apart from some annoying LIB error messages). It turned out those annoying LIB error messages were "to come back from their grave" and give me the hard time.

Summing up: NAnt wouldn't build in my Visual Studio 2008+framework 3.5-only machine.

Should I blame Microsoft and Visual Studio for that? Of course!!! The problem I was having had to do with csc.exe complaining that it was not being able to find a lib directory below the SDK installation folder.

When looking at the source of the problem I spotted several things:

  • Microsoft changed the SDK structure: files and location of those files (fine with me it everything worked as it should)
  • the registry entries that point to where the SDK is installed are wrong. They had a double slash entry to a lib subdirectory (c:\Program Files\\Microsoft Sdks\...). And no, manually changing it did not help because...
  • There was no such directory!!!

I just can't believe that in a machine that had a clean install of Visual Studio 2008 registry entries are f#*ed up.

I am no guru. I am just a developer that wants to build some third party code. Is it too much to ask for a product that costs so much money and had so many resources behind and which whole purpose of being is what I am using it for? It seems it is.

Right now I am re-installing Visual Studio 2008 Team Edition for Software Developers to check if that solves SDK problems.

Bitterness is whispering to my ear that it won't. I don't want lo listen to her, but when this kind of things happen to me I sometimes loose faith.



Update 1: Bitterness was right, wrong lib folder and still not compiling after re-installing Team Edition for Software Developers.

Update 2: Now it compiles after I removing the non-existing folder from the lib environment variable. In order to to this, change the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\Tools\vsvars32.bat. This is just sad. I am starting to think that Microsoft is careless when it comes to QA of their products... :-p