Archive for September, 2007

What mode; Release or Debug?

September 25th, 2007
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One of the Toolbar items in Visual version 1.1 that I found very insightful was the Release Solutions Configuration dropdown. If the solution is set to Release or Debug mode this dropdown reflected it. If you wanted to force a compile in Release or Debug mode, you could also do so through it. However, in version 2.0, it’s hidden. If you want to make it display on your tool bar you have to follow these steps:

  1. Right Click the Toolbar
  2. Checkmark/Select “Build” (might already be selected)
  3. Click the “Toolbar Options” down-arrow (lower right-hand side of the “Build” controls)
  4. Click “Add or Remove Buttons”
  5. Click “Customize”
  6. Select “Build” in the left “Categories” column
  7. In the right column “Commands”; scroll down and drag “Solution Configurations” to the Toolbar

Anyone know of best practices to use when configuring between Debug and Release modes?

.NET Framework

Subversion to the Rescue

September 21st, 2007
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It just isn’t enough to have the best tools in the world if you don’t know how to use them.  Consider Visual Source Safe; a wonderful product in its own right.  But I, like a novice dude-ranch tourist facing an unbroken thoroughbred, was left frustrated by its wild side to take over the read/write properties of code and markup files.  What to do, what to do. 

You can only scratch your noggin so much in your futile attempt to google “Best-practice vss” before you give up the search or lose your hair.  I wasn’t sure I was using the source safe the right way, and training on a tight deadline was out of the question at this point.  I needed the version control to allow me to work on a local copy of my files and then port them over the network to another development machine and have it work the first time.  The trouble was, the references never carried over.  In hind sight, I should have known to save the projects in a uniform directory structure for that to take place, but the best practices of that were no where to be found.  I only found out about that little bit of information from a coworker who was extremely well versed in his own version control skills.  The problem though, was that his version control of choice was not Visual Source Safe, but a set of open source tools.

Enter Ankh and Tortoise, two open source subversion tools that our php guru carries the banner for, much to the chagrin of my pro-Microsoft traits.  As an aside, one can only endure so much frustration, sticking up for Microsoft’s premier version control product against a banner wielding fanatic, when one has only enough information and training in it to be a little bit dangerous.  I had a wild thoroughbred, he a donkey.  Mine was a better bet to win the race if you were a jockey.  His was a better worker under any rider, let alone his better experience. 

I gave in, we made the switch and so far this donkey is a powerhouse. 

You know, I think I’ll start a list of my own best practices.  Please feel free to add your own to help out those aspiring jockeys out there.  So in brief, here are some best practices I would recommend with Visual Source Safe

1. If you’re going to develop using Visual on a local system and share the VSS as a team, I recommend you set up a standard directory structure across the board.  Everyone put their projects in c:\projects\[name of website].  Then when you check in the files the references will all match when someone across the building, checks out your code for editing.

2. … add your own

 Best wishes,


Web Development