A Day in the Life

A day in my life. Thoughts on leadership, management, startups, technology, software, concurrent development, etc... Basically the stuff I think about from 10am to 6pm.


Software: VS2003 truncating vcproj files...

I’m building a Digipede sample application using unmanaged C++, COM, ATL, and the Digipede Network. It’s surprising how much I’ve forgotten about COM! And as I have been struggling with remembering I sooo don’t need my development environment wigging out on me. But VS2003 is wigging out.

After the release of VS2005, I hadn’t used VS2003 for anything more than for verifying that existing projects still built and ran. This is my first brand new project in VS2003 and I am experiencing an intermittent problem with changing my projects.

Most recently I added an existing header file and after hitting ‘OK’, VS2003 crashed. When I tried to open the solution again, the IDE put up a message saying that it was unable to open one of my project (vcproj) files. (The one that I added the file to.) Thinking that I was clever, I opened the bad vcproj file in notepad only to find that it was empty. Not only had the IDE crashed but the crash had truncated my project file. Not good. I now have to rebuild the entire project which is a waste of my time, but I’m also going to have to make sure that I archive (check into VSS) before I try to make any project changes.

The problem doesn’t seem to be the fact that I tried to add a file but that I tried to change the project. (I have also seen this happen when I had opened the project’s “Properties” Dialog.) I also suspect that this is a problem directly related to the fact that I have VS2003 and VS2005 both installed on the same machine. Microsoft is working on a service pack for VS2003 that I suspect will address this problem. But the service pack isn’t available until June.

If you are experiencing a similar problem I see two possible solutions:

1. Use a virtual machine that contains the VS2003 tools and do your development in there.
2. Backup the vcproj files often. Especially making sure you do that before you make ANY project changes that affect the vcproj file.

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