Downloaded Visual Studio 2008 late yesterday and I'm happy to report that installation went fairly painlessly. Amazingly the downloads were coming down at a 500+kb/sec so the actual 3.5 gig download only took a few hours. That's some bandwidth Microsoft must be throwing at these downloads <g>.
I've done a bunch of uninstalls and reinstalls from Beta 2 (to RC and now to RTM) and they've all gone pretty well with a few minor hiccups.
The best way I've found to do the Beta 2 uninstall is to:
- Uninstall the Sql Server Compact 3.5 stuff
- Uninstall all the .NET 3.5 Compact Framework stuff
- Uninstall the Visual Studio Web Authoring Component
I've found that the separate uninstalls ensure that you don't start the monster un-install process before dependent components that are required have been cleared out <s>...
I also ran into a weird problem with the Beta 2 uninstall both on my dev machine and on my live server: When the .NET 3.5 Framework uninstalls a dialog pops up that complains about running applications. The list of programs includes - itself. Setup.exe and the installer runtimes show up. Nice! If you see this dialog clear out any other things (such as Internet Explorer, Outlook etc.) and Retry and you should be able to get past this even though the list is not cleared. The first time I did this I made the mistake of killing the requested PIDs with ProcessManager and it of course killed the running executables. Ooops. Luckily by that time only the 3.5 framework needs to be uninstalled so it was quick to do that last uninstall. If you see that dialog make sure to just Retry if the setup is on the list.
Up and running
Good news for add ins and tools installed during Beta 2: It seems like anything that was installed with Beta 2 still runs without reinstalling. I use CodeRush and Refactor!, Visual SVN and a couple of small plug-ins as well as some of my own plug-ins and all of them worked without any changes in the RTM install. Yay. That saves another hour on reinstalls!
I checked out several existing apps that ran under 3.5 and there are a some issues that require updating especially related to LINQ to SQL. A number of things have changed there - more on that in another post soon.
However, otherwise things are working very well with all of the small little things that were annoying little bugs in Beta 2 fixed. To my huge relief RTM also works with ASP.NET pages that use alternate non-ASPX extensions, which didn't work in Beta 2 and RC. I use that extensively in my FoxPro Web framework tool Web Connection and I'm glad that this was addressed at the last minute. Thanks to Jeff and Omar for getting that in - Phew!
Performance of the environment has also improved considerably especially for the Web designer which is vastly faster loading Web forms including those that require rendering with master pages. First load is still very, very slow as the designer fires up for the first time (especially if you have master pages in your layout), but any subsequent loads of pages - even fairly complex ones - is very fast with only short hesitation. It also looks like Microsoft has finally fixed the property sheet focus issues that have plagued the visual editor since VS 2005 where when you navigated to a new control the property sheet would not reflect the new control (and you often had to explicitly select Properties from the shortcut menu). There's still a significant lag there, but at least it works.
Another nice thing is that you can also use the property sheet from markup (this was actually added to VS 2005 with SP1) so when you are editing a control in the markup editor it also shows up in the the property sheet. However, this doesn't provide full access to functionality such as extension properties and other designer features which is kind of a bummer - still need the designer for some tasks (like my wwDatabinder which is an ASP.NET extender control).
Overall the process of upgrading has been smooth and I'm glad that VS 2008 has shipped and I can pretty much ditch VS 2005. Going back to VS 2005 in the last few months have been few and everytime I did I immediately missed some of the new features. With the ability to work on pure .NET 2.0 projects in addition to 3.0 and 3.5 projects with the multi-targeting support there's been very little reason to go back to VS 2005. Now it's official...
I guess I'm going to be a busy for the next few days fixing up a few sample projects for RTM.