Tuesday, 02 October 2007

Loose Ends



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I'm picking up some loose ends this week.  I've had a couple of projects "in process", read totally ignored, for a few months.  This week I'm getting back in the groove and making progress on both of them.

First, thanks to some insistent encouragement, read nagging, from Craig Boyd, I have the VFP Build Target code up on CodePlex.  The initial commit should be seen as a design document.  I didn't write the initial implementation, Paul Witt did.  Paul is our configuration manager at DPRA and as such, he's responsible for the builds. 

After a conversation and an exchange of links to documentation, Paul built a working implementation of the VFP Build target to be called from Team Build.  Paul discovered that the build would hang if there was a problem with the build, because VFP was showing a modal dialog.  Paul set up a timer to call a separate program to kill the, now hung, VFP process.

I took Paul's code and removed the parts specific to our build process, and attempted to simplify the structure.  I also converted the build task class to C#.  Now that it's posted, I'll create some unit tests and documentation, so others can begin playing with it. 

My other loose end is my foray into the wilds of VSX.  I began an earnest investigation into the new Visual Studio extensibility features, but I got sidetracked by two exciting opportunities.  Neither opportunity played out, but I learned some things from the process.

Late last week, CoDe Magazine published VSX CoDe Focus magazine.  You should check it out.  In two weeks I'll be doing a talk on VSX at DevLink, so I will be spending my free time making sure I'm up to speed on all the latest updates.

If you are interested in influencing the future of Visual Studio Extensibility, be sure to take the survey.

++Alan

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