Saturday, March 01, 2008

Sigh - crashes.

Lots of crashes. I just "upgraded" to Visual Studio 2008 Professional a couple weeks ago. I've been working my way slowly through this incredibly painful upgrade cycle. I knew it was going to be painful in advance, so I have segmented the upgrade to span about three weeks of effort. Let me journey my experience thus far:

1) The first step in this adventure was to uninstall VS 2003. That took a while but actually wasn't very painful.
2) I then attempted to install VS 2008 Pro out of the shiny new box. I didn't want to fiddle with the whole upgrade process so I went ahead and got the full version.
3) Then the installer froze while trying to install. In particular, it froze on attempting to install the 3.0 .NET Framework.
4) This is where things got...complicated. I went out to Microsoft Update and had to do a ton of upgrades (including the annoying spyware install of Windows Disadvantage). After many hours I finally got the 3.0 .NET Framework installed.
5) I then started the install and ran it. It crashed halfway into the install of the main Visual Studio components.
6) I crossed my fingers that it would pick up where it left off, hoped nothing would go horribly wrong in the future, and then started the install again. It seemed to continue where it left off and finished off the install without any more problems.
7) I applied my special fixes to devenv.exe - a symbolic link/symlink patch (see my CodeProject article) - some debugging libraries - various include files and batch file modifications. Basically, a lot of grunt work to connect everything back up. I was hoping this would keep things relatively transparent. Er, that's not quite what happened.
8) I installed the MSDN Library documentation. This took a very long time to complete.
9) At this point I realized that the 64-bit components were not installed and had to go back and install them.
10) I then ran a full Platform SDK upgrade. This also took a while.

That was the end of week one. Roughly 10 hours of effort.

11) I imported an existing project.
12) I attempted to build the existing project. Noticed that Intellisense was busted. Had to delete the relevant .ncb files and restart the IDE to get Intellisense to work properly. Seems to be slightly more intelligent in this version.
13) Existing project libraries failed to build.
14) Upgraded/edited/modified libraries.
15) Multiple crashes occurred while editing property sheet pages. Discovered that VS now seems to back up project files. What would be better would be to fix the crash bugs but at least I lost only minimal data each time it crashed.
16) Managed to get the libraries to build with tons of warnings (even on warning level 3, level 4 warnings were being issued).
17) Discovered that upgraded applications attempt to still locate old VC libraries to link against and fail. Somehow the solution or project still points at the old VC runtimes.

And this is the point where another 10 hours have passed. End of week two.

I'm doing this upgrade in my spare time. My focus is mainly the web forum software MyProBB. I took a break today from working on that to get my development environment stabilized. Again. And I was hoping to work on something exciting too but I'm probably not going to get to that.

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