VSCmdShell Addin Hits v0.8 and has a VS 2005 Version!

My app building yielded the v0.8 version of the VSCmdShell Window add-in.  If you haven't been reading my blog your wondering what the hell this thing is so... The VSCmdShell Window is a tool window for Visual Studio that creates an instance of the cmd.exe shell running inside the IDE.  It also allows you (as of this release) to run Visual Studio commands from your current directory.  Check out the screen-shots below for more details and send me any feedback you might have. 

Click here to download (VS2005 or VS 2003)

UPDATE: The source-code has been released. Check out this post for more details: http://blogs.msdn.com/jledgard/archive/2004/07/12/181098.aspx 

Open it through the Tools menu.

Run DOS Commands

Run Visual Studio commands by using “!”

Also use TAB completion

Comments (20)
  1. Stephane Rodriguez says:

    Sounds very cool. Haven’t tested it yet, but if this shell allows the replacing of env variable values even for the projects already loaded in VS, then this is definitely part of my tools! Thanks.

  2. Roland Kaufmann says:

    I would like a feature where the initial directory is the root directory of the solution that is currently open. That way, I can run makefiles, source control commands directly from the command-line without being dependent on a plugin.

  3. Andy says:

    Yeah, what Roland said – that would be sweet. Either the ability to configure the initial directory, or to set it based on solution/active file/active project would be a good idea.

    Also, I noticed that I can’t press Ctrl+Break to interrupt commands while they are executing. Here we have a batch file which we run to build all of our projects. If I run this from a standard cmd.exe prompt, I can press Ctrl+Break, and it will stop the currently executing task. This doesn’t seem to work in VSCmdShell.

    Keep up the good work – this one looks like a keeper. 🙂

  4. Paul Holden says:

    This looks excellent – it should be really useful. Unfortunately I’m getting an error when starting up VS.NET 2003 after installation:


    The Add-in "System Window 2" failed to load or caused and excetpion….


    Error Message: <Unknown Error>

    Error Number: 80004005


    There’s not much more info I can provide I’m afraid 🙁 The only thing I can think is that I’m using Visual Assist X, which has an annoying tendancy to shift other add-ins additions to the Tools menu to its own Tools sub menu.

    When the new source is up I’ll have a go compiling it in debug with some craftily placed trace statements to see if I can provide any more info.

  5. josh says:

    Stephane: Not yet, but it’s on my feature list.

    Roland/Andy: This is also high on my list before calling it a 1.0 release. I’ll have to post a roadmap.

    Paul: I have a feeling there might be some sort of conflict as well. Probably something around registering the command in the menu. I’ll post again this weekend once I have the source up. I had to split it for VS 2003 and VS 2005 becuase of some new features I wanted to take advantage of in Whidbey so I’m trying to decide how to best lay out the source code since it’s only in 1-2 files.

  6. Paul Holden says:

    Cheers – I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the source 🙂

  7. Kant says:

    Awesome! It works great. :thumbs up:

  8. Roberto Venturelli says:

    Very good add-in… 🙂


    Problem: if I type "exit"….? 🙁

  9. josh ledgard says:

    I currently dissallow "exit" because of some issues that exist. I’ll look into re-enabling it. I’ll probably just pass off the call to the tool window close command.

  10. Bcollin says:

    I installed it on VS2003 and it seemed to crash the IDE every time when I load an aspx file using <DIV> tags that contain ms_positioning="GridLayout"

  11. josh ledgard says:

    Bcollin, could you give me any more information? Does this happen with your VS if you turn off this add-in in the tools->addin manager?


  12. Bcollin says:

    Josh, if I turn the add-in off, the IDE doesn’t crash. You can try it yourself and see if you can reproduce the problem. All you need to do is to create an ASP.net project. An empty aspx file will be created and it will contain the <DIV> tag I mentioned above. Then try to close the file and see if it crashes the IDE.

  13. josh says:

    Looks like we have a bug. I’ll get on it for the next release. (No timetable just yet)


  14. Andy says:

    I finally got around to installing this on my home PC (VS .NET 2003), and anytime that I enter a command which doesn’t exist, a dialog box appears saying something to the effect of "null reference exception", or else I get the standard exception dialog (details, continue, etc.). Also, as soon as either of these dialogs appears, the IDE freezes, and I need to kill it.

  15. josh says:

    This is a bug. Another reason why it’s not a 1.0 release. Thanks for the feedback. I have another test to add.


  16. I get an exception when I start VS. See the screenshot in the URL.

  17. MSDNArchive says:

    Robin, could you send mail to jledgard@microsoft.com with some more information like what version of VS you are using, what else you might have installed, etc?



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