I am a C++ developer, why I am getting Visual Studio Web Authoring Component installed?

Some folks found that even when they only check Visual C++ in the setup options and uncheck Web Development tools, they still get Microsoft Visual Studio Web Authoring Component installed as a prerequisite right after .NET Framework 3.5. Why is this happening?

Historically in earlier versions of Visual Studio (2002-2005) it was always possible to add an HTML page and CSS file to the project, open and edit it in Design or Source view with intellisense and WYSISYG support. The designer didn't appear as a separate component because it consumed installed IE rendering engine (MSHTML.DLL) in VS 2002 and 2003 and had it's own engine (still based on IE) in VS 2005. Even if you only install C++ in VS 2005, you'll still see htmled.dll, csspkg.dll, vswebdesign*.dll and tridsn.dll installed. So VS 2008 is simply trying to keep functionality available to C++ developers. However, in VS 2008 designer is a separately installable component, so it's setup is visible as a separate entry and you'll get a separate entry in the Control Panel. See this earlier post for more details on the Web Authoring Component setup as well as this post for more information on the new HTML designer.


Comments (5)

  1. Josh Stodola says:

    Hi Mikhail,

    Does this mean that the designer will have the capability of being completely disabled?


  2. Do you mean if you can disable DV by uninstalling the component? No, this won’t work. Well, the designer obviously won’t work, but some other things may get broken, like CSS class intellisense.

  3. Josh Stodola says:

    Thanks for the response!

    Best regards…

  4. Mike says:

    It’s not just this component, there’s a ton of stuff installed that you are not even asked permission for in the installer. Like compact frameworks, tools for office and sql server components.

    Please understand that it is _my_ computer and _not_ yours to do with, so I would very much like an option on the installer for every component that is not 100% needed. Any dependencies I am willing to live with, but I _never_ (_ever_) develop for any kind of compact framework, so please keep that stuff off _my_ computer next time.


  5. You can customize Visual Studio install and uncheck Tools for Office and Smart Device programmability – this should get rid of the components are have mentioned.

Skip to main content