Easy access to your TFS/GIT folder

This post describes something that I always do when setting up a new PC with Visual Studio.  Its only a minor thing, but it makes all the difference to me 🙂

The amount of times I open up Windows Explorer to navigate to my TFS folder in one day is quite a lot, and I follow these steps to make life a bit easier, especially on Windows 10.

  1. Right click on your main TFS folder and select Properties.

  2. Go to the customise tab, and select Change Icon.

  3. Click Browse and find an appropriate icon file, or, in my case, navigate to your Visual Studio folder and select DevEnv.exe  and select the appropriate icon.
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Community\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe

  4. Hit Apply, and your TFS folder will now have a nice new icon.  To make it easier to access, you can also right click it and select Pin to Quick access.

    This will mean it will always show up at the top left of Windows Explorer in your Quick access panel.

This can be applied to any folder of course, not just your TFS folder, as long as you have an appropriate icon.

One thing I would say though, don’t go customising all of your folders with nice new icons.  I’m not sure, but I guess it may have an effect on performance.  It probably caches the icons, but just in case, be careful.

 

 

Removing a Code Analyser from your machine during development

This post is just a quick tip for anyone that may be developing a Code Analyser withing Visual Studio using the Roslyn Compiler.

I got in a position where I was developing a code analyser using Visual Studio and the Roslyn SDK, I abandoned a project that was broken, but, whenever I launched Visual Studio afterwards, the analysis package would still be loaded and start crashing all over the place.

I really struggled to find a standard way of removing it from my machine (there probably is a way, but I could not find it), until I discovered this.

If you navigate to the following folder, you can simply delete the appropriate folder and it will be gone forever (I hope) :).


C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\15.0_a85fe1c6Roslyn\Extensions\{user}

The actual file path may differ depending on versions of SDK and VS, but I am sure you can work it out 🙂

Debugging Visual Studio Extensions

Whenever I set up a new machine, re-install Visual Studio, or simply re-download my Visual Studio Extensions from TFS, I always have to remember how to set up the environment so that I can debug the extension from within Visual Studio.

To be able to do this, here is the solution, in case you were wondering.

Problem

When hitting F5, or running/debugging the VSIX extension, you get a message in Visual Studio, something like:

a project with output type of class library cannot be started directly

Solution

In Visual Studio, in the project properties for your VSIX extension, the following options tell Visual Studio that when building the project, the VSIX compiled executable is created so that it can be run directly from Visual Studio.

To be able to run an “experimental” instance of Visual Studio which will then allow you to debug and set breakpoints in the original Visual Studio Instance that you have run the project from, you need to set the following options in the Debug tab of the Project Properties.

Note that the Start external program box is actually pointing to:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Community\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe

 

This allows you to debug the extension by pressing F5.  A new clean instance of Visual Studio will launch and allow you to test your extension.