Visual Studio 2005 SP1 released – details about changes for web tools

Web Development Tools Microsoft

As many of you may heard Visual Studio 2005 SP1 was officially released several days ago.  There have already been a couple of blog posts announcing the release from ScottGu and Soma.  One item of feedback I saw on those posts was a request for more information about the actual fixes in SP1.

I’m writing this blog post to provide more information about the SP1 fixes in the “web tools” area — specifically those pieces of Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Web Developer 2005 Express used to target ASP.NET.  I’ll also include a list of bug fixes we made to “web tools” so people can have more detail into what was fixed.  NOTE: the information here only pertains to “web tools” in Visual Studio 2005, and does not represent everything that was fixed in SP1 (there were many other bug fixes in parts of Visual Studio outside of “web tools”).

If anyone out there is using Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Web Developer 2005 Express to do ASP.NET development, I highly recommend installing SP1.  With SP1 you get the following big benefits for ASP.NET development (I’ll cover each in more detail below):

  1. Addition of Web Application Projects feature (note – does not apply to Visual Web Developer 2005 Express)
  2. Improvements to performance of ASP.NET features in the IDE
  3. Bug fixes to many customer reported issues
  4. Changes to enable support for ASP.NET AJAX scenarios

1. Addition of Web Applicaiton Projects

Web Application Projects is a new feature that is made available in Visual Studio 2005 SP1.  Web Application Projects uses a project-file just like Visual Studio 2003 web projects, and provides most of the same functionality available in web projects in Visual Studio 2003.  If you are converting a web project from Visual Studio 2003, Web Application Projects makes the conversion pretty much seamless.  If you would like to know more about this new feature, there is much more detailed information about Web Application Projects here.

2. Improvements to performance of ASP.NET features in the IDE

SP1 has several improvements to increase performance of the Visual Studio IDE when doing ASP.NET development. 

  • The most noticeble improvement to customers will likely be when editing ASPX pages in “source” view.  Rather than re-stating everything we’ve done here, I’ll link instead to this great post from ScottGu describing all the things we do to make ASPX editing faster in SP1.
  • Improved IDE performance when a very large number files exist in the bin folder of your application.
  • Improved initial loading time of built-in Visual Studio development server.
  • Fixed memory leak when using Wizard inside a View or MultiView control.
  • Open XML file with links to external files was very slow.  This has been fixed.

I also highly recommend that people read ScottGu’s more general blog post about performance tuning the IDE for ASP.NET development here.

3. Bug Fixes

Below is the list of bug fixes we made in the “web tools” area in Visual Studio 2005 SP1.  Once again, please remember, these are only fixes to “web tools” and do not represent all of the fixes in SP1.

Customer bugs reported via MS Connect:

Title MS Connect Link
Incorrect CSS stylesheet warnings
Tag elements are inserted in uppercase in a css stylesheet!
Cannot use Help
Cassini loads page intoSubfolder when launching from Web Site
Rebuild Web Site Doesn’t Refresh All Files 
Pasting a large amount of text into a HTML file caused a crash… 
VS2005 crashes when selecting Tag contents on Design view 
typing in .htm solution items is very slow to respond 
Format the whole document change custom attributes syntax 
format document command corrupts casing of asp statements 
HTML indentation cannot be turned off 
asp’ is an unrecognized tag prefix or device filter 
Designer re-formats HTML code when using Master Page 
Web site publish target location is not persisted 
Error when renaming control IDs in design view 
VS Memory Leak when a Wizard inside a View inside a MultiView 

Other Customer reported bugs:

DTS:VSNET05 IDE crashing issue while creating/opening ASP .Net application project.
SRX060719605181: PDB/XML file in BIN still pending source control when reopen solution from source control
Large amount of files in bin folder cause IDE performance to be slow
Performance: Add option to turn off prop grid tracking in source view
Performance not good in html editor in large files
Default scripting language in classic ASP pages is jscript
Need to HTMLEncode the category value before placed in the generated schema
IntelliSense not working in content pages for ASP.NET AJAX asp: tag prefix items
Need to HTMLEncode the category value before placed in the generated schema
Validation gets turned on automatically upon view switch with errors

Crashes reported by cusotmers (i.e. – “send error report”):

Crash Location # of Reports
DW Bucket 239321134: Crash caused by CSSPKG.DLL!CCSSCompletionSet::GetCount 14
DW Bucket 239182652: Crash caused by VSWEBDESIGN.DLL!CStyleSheet::LoadFromURL 140
DW Bucket 241786858: Crash caused by MSWEBPRJ.DLL!CVsAdviseListEnumerator<ILangFolderEvents>::GetNext 14
DW Bucket 242260654: Crash caused by MSWEBPRJ.DLL!CClientBuildManager::WaitForAppDomainResetEvent 13
DW Bucket 242424159: Crash caused by HTMLED.DLL!CTridentClientSite::IsSupported 27
DW Bucket 238744467: Crash caused by VSWEBDESIGN.DLL!CLSRenderer::BlastLineToScreen 20
DW Bucket 240078465: Crash caused by TRIDSN.DLL!CTextTracker::BeginTextHighlight 19
DW Bucket 239630140: Crash caused by VSWEBDESIGN.DLL!CBase::SubRelease 16
DW Bucket 242553048: Crash caused by VSWEBDESIGN.DLL!CTreePos::GetBranch 15
DW Bucket 335629143: Crash caused by VSWEBDESIGN.DLL!CStyleSheet::LoadFromURL 23

Bugs found during internal testing:

New Site, Ctrl-F5 intermittently raises App_Offline error
If project file is exclusively checked out, migration from VS2003 to 2005 does not yield consistent results or fail nicely
Performance: Cassini not loading assemblies as domain-neutral.


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