Looking for Visual Studio Bugs or Peeves

Our team is having what’s called a “BugBash” today on Whidbey.  Feel
free to join in and send me mail or leave a comment with your favorite issue or bug
today.   I’ll let anyone who submits
a bug know about its fate in our latest builds.   Let
the bashing begin…


Comments (33)

  1. Kurt says:

    The IDE insists on formatting some of my HTML when I swap to and from designer/html mode, regardless of what I’ve selected in the text editor options. For instance, it will add/remove line breaks, strip trailing slashes from <br /> and other single tag HTML entities. I’m to the point of hitting Ctrl+Z when I switch back to HTML mode. 🙂

  2. MartinJ says:

    This one is a pet peeve of mine. Console apps should not behave differently in the debugger than they do in the wild. I’m talking about the debugger not waiting for a keypress to close the window. I might actually want to see the text dumped to the output before the IDE closes it. Outside the debugger, you automatically get the "Press a key to close" at program completion.

  3. Bradley says:

    The Ctrl+- (View.NavigateBackward) command is very cool. It would be much cooler if it could remember the exact view that was being shown, not just the caret position. For example, when I’m coding I often press Ctrl+Home to go to the top of the file to check #includes. Pressing Ctrl+- takes me back to where I was, but the caret isn’t where I remember it being (in terms of x & y pixel offset) and the code looks different, because a different line of code is at the top of the screen. If the view could be restored to exactly how it was, I wouldn’t have to reorient myself.

  4. MartinJ says:

    You know, there’s another problem that we’ve had in VS 2002 (I don’t know if it’s been fixed in 2003 or not).

    When we work on an ASP.Net project that is kept under Source Control (VSS), occasionally you lose the IDE from the taskbar if you minimize the IDE. Oh sure, the button is sitting right there, but you can’t Alt-Tab to get it back up. Right clicking the taskbar button won’t give you a menu. The only way to get back in is to use the Task Manager and do a "Switch To" in the applications tab.

    I don’t know if it has any bearing or not. But, our domain is using group policies that force IE proxy settings. (Never mind the little notify app that I use to restore my preferred settings automatically.)


  5. Travis Laborde says:

    Studio likes to "fix" your html, it has tons of problems with creating asp.net apps in all but localhostwwwroot directory, cant play nice with sourcesafe and hostheader sites at the same time, has those annoying HR type lines thru my source code (vbnet), lists the same project multiple times in my start page, wont let me save my custom toolbars, and creates multiple subdirectories with 13 or more files just for a simple "hello world" page. Studio is the worst part of .NET. If it had any real competition, it would be in trouble. If Matrix had Intellisense…. now THERE’s an idea!

    Studio forces the code-behind, compile the whole app into one assembly, very non-asp like behavior onto web applications. Simple changes mean a recompile, which means killing session state, application state, etc. Utter garbage. If I didn’t love the advances of .NET so much, you couldn’t pay me to use Studio…..

    Leave my code alone. Let me work on Page A without having to recompile the whole app. And if you want to throw in a "feature" instead of just fixes, give me something that really replaces Query Analyzer 🙂


  6. Eric says:

    VS .NET should keep the "outline setting" (what is/is not collapsed) between sessions. For example, when I open a project in which I have collapsed all of the code to the procedure declarations, when I re-open the project this outlining should remain, not have all of the outlining expanded.



  7. Dan says:

    "VS .NET should keep the outline setting" … thanks for the feedback; I did some research and it seems this is supposed to be a feature in the next version, so assuming we have time to complete it, it should work the way you request then.

  8. Sharbel says:


    Yes, I know I am yelling, thats how frustrating it is when you are trying to make XHTML compliant sites and VS.NET feels the need to strip out your HTML, change case of tags, and fool around with my DOCTYPE declaration.

    I *love* vs.net for programming my C# applications, however its truely frustrating when it feels the need to ruin my presentation layer

  9. jledgard says:

    I’m with you. The ASP.Net team is with you. It’s a problem that is deeply routed in the design of thier editor in VS 2003 and 2002. This should not be in issue in VS 2005, but that doesn’t help you now. I might recomend using the web matrix tool the asp.net team released on the http://www.asp.net site.

    Sorry I can’t be of any more help.

  10. Frank says:

    Not sure if you are still tracking this, but I have a few for your list. These are with VS 2003:

    1. Intellisense can get confused. I have a project that has some classes with over 250 properties. Each property has an associated method. These classes are involved in a rather straight forward inheritence that allows each of the properties and associated method to be overriden. At times, i’ll be overriding a property, and type ‘this.’ and what shows is only the fields/member/methods for the current class, the info on the inherited class structure is gone.

    It seems to come back on it’s own, but nothing I do forces a fix. I simply have to ‘wait’. I don’t know if it’s background compiling metadata info or what. I’ve tried exiting visual studio, deletting the .projdata file (assuming it’s cached in their) but that didn’t help.

    I would love an option like in VC++ to rebuild browser data.

    This problem happens nearly every day when i’m working with a large project.

    2. My other problem I have with VS 2003 is at times it will hold a lock on an output file, when the solution itself is supposed to build and output that file. So I get compile warnings that ‘blah.dll’ cannot be replaced. I have to close VS 2003 completely, and go back in, and then all is fine. No idea how to reproduce this one. It happens about once a week.

  11. Igal Nassi says:

    When I use an Inherited form, the Designer tells me that The argument ‘Path’ is Empty or Nothing and refuses to open my form in designer view!..

    Why? Is it a bug… Is there any way to get over it?


  12. josh ledgard says:

    RE File Locking: This is a known issue that there is a hotfix for from PSS. I’m Forwarding the other issues around now.



  13. Scott says:

    Just want to second the request for saving the outlining. What a pain!

  14. jledgard says:

    RE Outlining. This bug is still on que to be fixed for Whidbey. It is post beta 1 issue though so don’t expect it when beta 1 hits.

  15. Disappointed says:

    The most annoying problem with Visual studio is it’s lack of real stability. I have constant problems with file locking on assemblies during a build. I don’t really care about any new features. I just want MS to fix these issues now. I don’t think they really understand what our priorities are.

  16. josh ledgard says:

    If you have specific scenarios where the problems you have reproduce I’d love to hear them. It would be great to get details in terms of the type of project, project size, reffernces, etc. If you had an example solution that would be great.


  17. jwf says:

    When I try to open an existing C# form in the designer and something barfs in the constructor or InitializeComponent(), give me the stack trace of the exception in the tooltip!

    Currently all I get is "An exception occurred while trying to create an instance of blah.blah" and the message of the exception.

    And is there any way to debug these? Someone on the team always seems to dork over the form by adding something and then we spend hours trying to figure out exactly what sequence of code is running to kill it in the designer.

  18. jledgard says:

    Is this when you debug the app or when you open it in the designer? Do you think you could pair down some example code with the offending element or at least give some more information about the project specificics (number/type of controls, etc).


  19. jsalomon says:

    I comment structures & functions before their definition, but VS includes the comments in the outlining section of the previous structure/function definition.

  20. jledgard says:

    Is it corrected when you close/re-open the file? What langauge are you using?

  21. jsalomon says:

    This issue is equally there in new files, externally created files, and reopening doesn’t help. I’m using Visual C++, and heres some sample code:

    /* foo: structure for doing not very much

    has some dummy members too.


    struct foo


    int bar; /* here’s one dummy */

    int bas; /* here’s another */

    int quux; /* this one’s more

    interesting – so much

    so that the comment

    extends to several

    lines! */

    char c;

    } instance_of_foo; /* I want one global

    instance for some

    reason */

    /* grum: another structure.

    this comment is, for some reason, outlined with the struct foo definition, and therein lies the bug


    struct grum


    char a;

    int i;

    float j;


    If I remove the declaration of instance_of_foo, the comments are not asociated with anything.

  22. jledgard says:

    jsalomon: Thanks for the snippet. I have it reproducing on my machine now. Could you send mail to jledgard AT microsoft.com so I can follow up with you and the editor team offline in case there is need for more information.

  23. Alexey Zhuravlev says:

    You did not provide a way to turn off the outlining completely. Every time (!) I open a file I am getting angry at Microsoft how dramatically worse is VS.NET comparing to VC++ 6.0.

    This version is a terrible mistake!!!

    What to do now – go to Borland again?

  24. jledgard says:

    Alexey. You might want to have your comments heard by the editor team. That is now listening @ http://blogs.msdn.com/vseditor

  25. James Burrow says:

    Dual Display: MinimiseMaximise

    This is the most annoying bug in VS2003. If you have a MATRAX G550 dual head monitor configured as 2 Monitors and VS2003 is maximised. If you minimize it, you cant restore it or maximise it. It just comes back as a tiny window in the top left of the screen which you cant do anything about.

    The only solution is shut it down. It does however, prompt to do saves, else this would have caused me to smash my monitors!

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE fix this, how did it get through BETA testing with bugs like this?

    Our team of developers has to step round this bug every hour of the day. Its CRAZY!

  26. James Burrow says:

    Intellisense Packs Up

    Sometimes, and i wish i knew what it was about the class. But intellisense breaks. The only thing i can think may make the situaion is having multiple classes in a .cs file. However, this works too most of the time.

    I would love to know what causes it to stop working, and how to fix it!

  27. jledgard says:

    At this point I’m going to recomend you file any bugs here:


    On this site you get the benifit of being able to track the results yourself now and seeing the direct feedback from the developer. It will be more reliable than waiting for replies from me if I try and forward the bug.

  28. Mark Gillespie says:

    I know this thread is old, but here is a suggestion.

    in the Visual Studio IDE, can we have a "Lock Toolbars" feature (like IE has), I find it REALLY annoying having to reset my toolbars all the time due to mis-clicks on the menus.

    That would be REALLY nice…

  29. jledgard says:

    Mark, please file this as a suggestion on http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/productfeedback this way other people can vote on it and help us prioritize the request. You also get to track it’s progress.

  30. grant bowgen says:

    To turn off outlining completely in Visual Studio .Net go Tools>Options then Text Editor>C/C++>Formatting and clear the outlining box. (similarly for languages other than C/C++)

  31. Mike M says:

    The HTML rewriting is a huge issue for me. There needs to be an option to not screw with my source at all. If designer mode can’t load because it thinks my source is screwed up, it should at least ASK me before it rewrites my code in order to be able to display in designer mode. For instance, I have an app that has a lot of embedded pdf files. It keeps overwriting my param tags that tell the embedded object where the source is. So every time I edit any of those files, the pdfs stop displaying, and I have to go into HTML mode, add in the pdf source again, and save it again, making sure to not go into design mode. Very, very, very, VERY annoying.

  32. StickInTheMud says:

    Does 2005 fix all the bugs in 2003? This is a serious question. Why, if I tell VS to build one project in my solution, does it insist on building the entire solution? Now I have to sort through 6000 messages just to find 1. Has this bug been fixed?

    Please no questions about project dependencies. I’m building the lowest level assembly. WTF??

  33. MSDNArchive says:

    As far as I know some work went into the project/build system in VS 2005 that should eliminate the issue you are running into.

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