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Chris Falter .NET Design and Best Practices

As a high school sophomore I was 6'1“ tall and 140 pounds--a human bean pole.  My arms shot out of my sleeves like beanstalks in Jack's garden.  You could practically see my ankles emerging from the bottom of blue jeans as I stood before you.  As a physical specimen, though, you could see on my frame what I would eventually become as an adult, after a little more maturation.  I was a gangly adolescent.

I'm almost delirious that Microsoft finally released Visual Studio Team Server (VSTS), especially with its new source control solution.  Lord have mercy on the soul of the librarian who ever attempted to manage source code for a large team using Visual SourceSafe!  When I was Microsoft's manager of support for a large ISV, I routinely fielded complaints about VSS: corrupted source databases, weekend-long maintenance routines that would blow up at the end and leave a team stranded, etc.  So even though it's a brand-new product, VSTS already exhibits the features that make it worth the migration effort.  

As a brand-new product, though, VSTS is a gangly adolescent. And like the teenage version of Chris Falter, VSTS has some awkwardness and blemishes.  I ran across one today.  As I was adding a project to my solution from source control, I accidentally chose to place it in a folder that already had a project.  As expected, VS displayed an error message:

The folder 'x' cannot be used for the solution or project you are trying to open because it is already in use to store part of another solution or project.

Okay, let's close the error dialog and try again.  File menu, source control, add project from source control, choose the same project, and...oh, oh, a pimple.  The “local path” text box is disabled.  There is no apparent means of changing the path to a different folder.  When I click OK, I get the same result, of course.  Same folder, same error message.  I'm stuck, stuck, stuck.  If the interface to change the local path is disabled, how am I going to add the project?

After the usual googling, head-scratching, and oath-muttering, I discovered that the Team Server Source Control Explorer manages the mapping between projects and file paths.  So:

1. Open Source Control Explore (View > Other Windows > Source Control Explorer).

2. Choose Workspaces... in the Workspace dropdown.

3. Select your workspace and click the Edit button.

4. Either remove the working folder for the project so that you can start over, or edit its “Local Folder” right there in the grid control.  I chose to edit the Local Folder in the grid control.

5. Try again, and dance triumphantly, like John Travolta.

Hopefully the adult version of VSTS that eventually emerges will be smart enough not to create a mapping if the attempt to add a project fails.  In the meanwhile, maybe this posting will help a few developers avoid some of the anguish of adolescence.

Posted on Thursday, August 24, 2006 11:44 PM .NET Gotchas | Back to top


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