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Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview

Thursday 15th September, 2011


Hot on the heels of the Windows 8 preview (which we're already experimenting with in a VM) comes something probably even more significant for us - an early preview of Visual Studio 11, no less!

The first thing we tried to do was of course to load Visual Lint into it. Although Visual Lint won't yet load automatically into VS11, by the simple trick of exporting the registry from:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\AddIns\Visual Lint

and then reimporting it to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0\AddIns\Visual Lint

(with the Wow6432Node node inserted on x64 machines, of course) we were able to get it to show up in the VS11 Add-In Manager.

Unfortunately, Visual Studio then reported an error when it tried to load the add-in.

After a little experimentation we discovered that VS11 COM add-in registration in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE is broken in the preview, but once we moved the registration to HKEY_CURRENT_USER Visual Lint loaded correctly (albeit without a toolbar or menu as its VSPackage implementation doesn't yet know about VS11).

If you really need the proof, here it is:

The Visual Lint Status View running within the Visual Studio 11 developer preview
The Visual Lint Status View running within the Visual Studio 11 developer preview.

The slightly unnerving thing about this is the issue it raises within the installer - writing to HKEY_CURRENT_USER from an elevated installer is highly discouraged behaviour (it will cause your app to fail a platform test if you submit it for formal testing) and for good reason - if the logged in user doesn't have admin privileges the user account that gets modified by the installer will be the wrong one.

Hence if this isn't fixed in VS11 we have some headscratching to do. Nevertheless, it's a start.

Posted by Anna at 8:32pm | Get Permalink