5/12/2008

Visual Studio 2008 SP1 Beta: Experience Speaks.

A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation. -- Saki

Dear Microsoft:

Well, you know the drill. Somasegar has this great post promoting VS 2008 SP1 beta, and it almost sounds like it's too good to be true, yes? I figured I'd give it a shot -- all the supposed new features sound so promising... The "Readme" is very detailed, and it outlines a whole bunch of failure scenarios, workarounds, and caveats. Just take a look at this stuff:

Important This beta release is for early testing and feedback. As a beta release, we recommend you only install the service pack on test computers. Prior to installation, you should carefully review the included readme file to be aware of any known issues with this release. For example, this service pack has some known compatibility issues with previous releases, including:

  • Expression Blend (all versions)
  • Silverlight 2 Beta 1 SDK
  • Silverlight Tools Beta 1 for Visual Studio 2008

Test computers? Somasegar has this blog post with a big feature-laden sales pitch, then this? Guys, this is too complicated. I'm already developing Silverlight, and using Expression Blend a little bit. Bottom line? Keep your powder dry d00d! Its like, KTHXBYE on this one. This puppy ain't ready for delivery yet. I don't mind being a guinea pig once in a while, but this thing just came up with "FAILED" at the very, very end (that's after I read the notes and unistalled Silverlight tools BETA and the KB hotfix as directed). The problem is, the log file they give you is so damned hierarchically cryptic, I just haven't got the time to go through this bullshit!

One thing was nice: Visual Studio 2008 still works OK after this punishment, and as long as I can get the hotfix and the Silverlight crap reinstalled, I should be able to get back to first base and keep developing.

N.B.: I tried, but it looks like for the non-production machine I tried this on, I am gonna have to take everything out one Saturday morning, reinstall Visual Studio 2008, the Hotfix, and the SilverlightChainer 2 Beta 1 stuff just to get back to first base. I could kick myself for suckering for this stuff, man! I should know better by now.

N.B.(2): Well, actually it wasn't that bad. The trick was to load Silverlight_Chainer.exe into WinRar and extract everything to a folder. Then I was able to uninstall the KB now that I had the .msp on the hard drive, and re-run Silverlight_Chainer and get everything back to normal.

It just goes to show ya - BETA - is BETA, man. So -- you guys go ahead and figure this stuff out, and let me know when I can install it and it won't blow up.

(Reader, comment me and let me know if you had a better - or worse - result).

Thanks,

Peter