Visual Studio… Why?

This post is just a rant venting frustration with Visual Studio. Feel free to ignore.

Last year I switched employment from a somewhat .NET shop to a predominantly python shop with a bit of a node sprinkled in where it won’t be noticed. As such the only times I need to use Visual Studio now are when I’m doing work for my brother, or whenever I dust off old projects. That is probably the absolute worst way to use Visual Studio.

So, I’m not entirely sure how I got into this situation, but my main ‘pack up and go’ laptop has a single version of Visual Studio on it- 2015 Community Edition (I’m really unclear on this as it should have professional edition). And I use it once every few months.

So. I go to a job site. In the middle of nowhere. I open up a project in Visual Studio, what do I get?

A prompt.

A prompt asking me to sign in to my gods damned useless Microsoft Account because it wants me to sign in every 90 days.

No internet access? Don’t want to sign in? No development for you. Visual Studio shuts down. All for what? So Microsoft can advertise their hosted TFS service that I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole? So they can gather anonymous usage data that will help them… do something?

I will grant, they’re providing a (very large) tool for free and are more then welcome to impose any terms they’d like. I just wish they’d chosen terms that weren’t making me reconsider my off hours tech stack.

Unrelated but equally annoying, I had ReSharper on this VS2015 release. Somehow the two got into a really bad conflict. Would get IntelliSense from both tools, neither would work, and various key strokes would be ignored in favor of closing the useless IntelliSense pop ups. Coding when key strokes are randomly swallowed is painful.

Further annoyance: package management. I come back to my Tachyon Model Viewer project after (too long) a hiatus, and I can’t build the damn thing. The packages the project depends on are listed as installed, but for whatever reason they’re not referenced. And unless my solution of browsing to the installation location and manually choosing each assembly reference is the actual intended solution, there’s no obvious way of referencing them.


How much of this is my fault? Almost certainly all of it. I’m sure I screwed up my installation two years ago by, say, removing an older version of VS or something. Don’t know why I would have done that, but I could see it happening. And the package management could just be I’m using it in the exact wrong way. But, I don’t really care. Same way I’m sure there’s a VS2017 or a VSCode that I should be using if I want to be up to date, which probably does improve package management. But, as I said, I don’t really care- I’m on the internet, mildly annoyed, and basically talking to myself. I hate being stuck in the Javascript ecosystem using 30 different tools to build a web page, but I hate the Microsoft ecosystem more, where you have 1 tool that only usually works.

Oh well. To the Rust Rabbit Hole!

Aside. You may have noticed I don’t keep this blog active. Realistically that’s not going to change. This is a ‘when I feel like it’ thing, and sadly that doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. But, I do have a few things on my To Do list. One odd thing I’d like to figure out is getting this site and a few others into a docker container. I’d like to get to the point where I’m not spinning up new EC2 instances to run new side websites. Nothing major in the scheme of things, but it is some house keeping I’d like to do. Especially if it means I can continue ignoring actual house keeping.

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