Updated features and known issues with C# Express Edition October community tech preview

I wanted to highlight some of the updated features and known issues in the C# Express Edition community tech preview that was released earlier this week.  All of this information is in the online readme (along with some additional information about all of the other express edition October 2004 tech preview versions), but that kind of information tends to get buried so I wanted to bring it to everyone's attention as an FYI.

Updated and new features:

Project Templates

Project Templates for Visual C# Express Edition Community Tech Preview October 2004 are now available at http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/e/9/6e9a1e2e-417b-494e-89d3-2bc03b751bd1/OctCTPTemplates.msi for download.

"Edit and Continue" is now available in C#

However, there are currently the following known issues:

  • Making an edit that results in no change (i.e. inside a #ifdef'd out region) can cause the IDE to crash
  • The Instruction Pointer (yellow arrow) can in some cases be placed incorrectly after stepping when an exception has been thrown.

If you are working with code built from the Windows Forms Template (and a few others), you may not be able to do EnC at all.  To work around this, remove the "= null" initializer of the components field in the .designer.cs file as follows:

private System.ComponentModel.IContainer components = null;

should become

private System.ComponentModel.IContainer components;

New Start Page

There is a new Start Page, but it is not enabled by default in this tech preview release.  To see the new start page choose Tools -> Options, then "Show All Settings", then Environment -> Startup.  From there, set "At startup: " to "Show Start Page".

Other Changes:

  • New Community Menu: A few new features around community interaction.
  • New Local Data Wizards: Try connecting to your SQL Server Express database files using the new wizard.
  • Fewer Refactorings: To simplify the C# Express user experience, a few of the refactorings have been removed.

Known issues:

  • ClickOnce is added to the Express SKUs, but it does not work in this tech preview release
  • ScreenSaver Starter Kit will not load


Comments (6)
  1. anon says:

    What do mean "a few of the refactorings have been removed"? Is it only for the Express Edition but still available in the other editions? And what specifically was removed?

  2. RichB says:

    I can only find Rename and Extract Method. Not that it’s a problem – the Express suite is intended as a low-cost development environment.

  3. Frans Bouma says:

    "Fewer Refactorings: To simplify the C# Express user experience, a few of the refactorings have been removed."

    haha 😀 I had a good laugh about this one 🙂 Is this to be read as:

    1) Marketeer: "But with all these refactoring features in C# express, the differences between C# Express and the full VS.NET is not that big, remove them!" -> enter spin-mode


    2) Programmer: "With all these refactoring features, finishing the application is undoable, it’s best to remove a couple" -> enter spin-mode

    I mean, removing features which are very useful, which are tucked away behind menus, thus which are triggered by user-action, never simplifies user experience, it cripples it. (but then again, I can fully understand the marketeer in 1) as when you have diversity in products, there should be diversity between them, otherwise why have different products?)

  4. To address the first question, the refactorings that have been removed are the following:

    * Encapsulate field

    * Promote local to parameter

    * Reorder parameters

    * Remove parameters

    * Extract interface

    The Extract Method and Rename refactorings remain in C# Express. The refactorings listed above will still available in other higher-end editions of Visual Studio 2005 however.

  5. TOMMY KHAN says:

    I downloaded Visual C# Express Edition last night.  Upon trying File –> New Project one would expect a template window with various templates like Console app etc…

    Somehow, nothing shows up on my template window…. Reinstalled C#, still same problem…

    Don’t know what’s going on.

  6. Hi Tommy – I’m not sure if you had any beta versions of C# installed on your system, but if so, you might want to reset the settings for the IDE by doing the following:

    1.  Delete the registry sub-hive named HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftVCSExpress8.0

    2.  Run %programfiles%Microsoft Visual Studio 8Common7IDEvcsexpress.exe /setup

    3.  Try to launch the C# Express IDE and create a new project again

    Hopefully this helps.

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