Multi-targeting of .NET FX in Visual Studio

I have been asked by a number of people as to why Visual Studio 2005 targets only one version of the .NET Framework, specifically in this case, .NET FX 2.0.  


John Rivard, in the Visual Studio team, recently wrote a good blog that explains this in detail.  To be clear, we do want to get to a state where Visual Studio can target multiple versions of the .NET Framework.  There is a lot of work that needs to happen and folks in the team are thinking about this.  I don’t know when we will get there, but it is something we definitely want to get to.



Comments (5)

  1. tzagotta says:

    As a customer, I’m not interested in this cross-targeting feature. VS2003 works well for .NET 1.x, and I’d prefer to keep the current situation rather than have a more complicated and buggy VS2005, which I fear would be the outcome.

  2. Bryan Hinton says:

    I disagree – having a VS environment that can work across FX versions would be a huge win for dev shops – not everything can be rewritten for .NET 2.0 and having to switch between IDE versions to deal with .NET 1.1 apps versus 2.0 apps is cumbersome to say the least – I look forward to seeing what MS can do in this space – already the MSBee project to allow building 1.1 apps in VS2005 using MSBuild would be a great benefit.

  3. Garry Trinder says:

    I think 40 votes on requere more then simply a blog post on how hard it’s to implement this feature.

    At least – if you realy care about us – make changes to license to allow install older versions of IDE. (Windows has Downgrade option for some licenses – but it allow only one installation per license – VS must allow side-by-side )

  4. tzagotta says:

    I have some applications written in C++Builder, and I certainly don’t have an expectation, now that I use VS2005, that I can build these apps in VS2005. I’ll continue to use last-generation tools for legacy code, and current-generation tools for new code. The situation with VS2003 and VS2005 is the same, in my opinion.

    Having both IDEs installed side-by-side is a supported configuration, if I understand correctly. I don’t understand why it would be cumbersome to have to use a different IDE depending on the application/program you’re working on. This is no different than what programmers have done for many years up until now.

    I would prefer that Microsoft focus its resources in more important areas, like adding new features, improving perf, etc. If someone has a compelling need to use VS2005, they should port their apps to that environment and to .NET 2.0. But I think in 99.9% of cases, using VS2005 with older code is a "want" and not a "need," and therefore, the justification to port code would have to come from other reasons besides just wanting to use VS2005.

    Many of the cooler functions in VS2005, such as language improvements in C#, actually require .NET 2.0, so realistically, what is really the overall benefit of using VS2005 for legacy programs?

  5. Michael Fourie says:

    I agree with tzagotta. Time should be spent on building for the future. Having to switch between both does not bother me. I’m glad I can do it though! So long as the upgrade cost is reasonable, I’m happy to get the latest and then when necessary, open the old version to work on ‘legacy’ code.

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