Scott Hanselman

What's the upper limit on the number of projects within VS2005?

September 26, '06 Comments [13] Posted in ASP.NET
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I had a friend whose team said:

"...most of them have 1GB of RAM and Pentium 4 3.0Ghz HT CPU’s. hey are all complaining about performance, especially with build times. Visual Studio is eating up most of the memory on their systems. Right now those with 1GB of RAM are generally running around 1.2GB of memory usage, so they are swapping like crazy and thus adding even more overhead. There are a couple systems with 2GB of RAM with Core Duo CPU’s. These systems are having the same issues where they are using 2.2GB of RAM, most of which is meaning eaten up by Visual Studio."

And I asked...

"Do they have too many projects in their solution?"

and he said...

"They said 50 projects and growing."

...and Scott Guthrie posted last week on optimizing build times in VS 2005.

"1.2GB RAM usage is pretty out there...50 large projects will strain a system depending on what they are doing. They should look hard at whether they really need all 50 in one solution.  Multiple solutions (even with multiple instances of VS running) work great too."

Clarifying Update from ScottGu:

You should be able to load 50 projects in a single solution - my comment in the origional mail wasn't to imply that you can't.  It was more than 1.2GB of RAM to-do so is larger than I would expect (unless each project is large and there are lots of cross project references).

Editoral: That makes me suspect Resharper as the issue in this case..

As an aside, they were also running Resharper at the same time, and it's currently unclear how much memory was being used by Resharper's on-the-fly analysis. I'll post if I learn more.

Nutshell: Try to break your projects up into reasonably sized subsystems that can build separately. Our SDK has about six solutions, each with about 10 projects.

If you're running VB and you're hitting the VB-specific problem with large projects, you can get a HotFix here.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Why Would a .NET Programmer Learn Ruby on Rails?

September 26, '06 Comments [11] Posted in ASP.NET | Ruby
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Very well written and thoughtful article by Stephen Chu up at InfoQ.

To be fair, I still think .NET is great. It has offered me a place where I am consistently delivering great business value to my clients. However, I constantly remind myself that there are multiple ways and numerous technologies to solving a single problem, some better than others. By being loyal to one technology stack, I am bound to unconsciously make biased decisions, which will ultimately hinder my ability to deliver business value.

Here's some choice tidbits, emphasis mine:

There are a few hurdles I had to go through in learning Ruby. First, I had to go through the emotions of accepting the fact that it will take longer to find a new Ruby solution than to use an existing technology that I am comfortable in. This is by far the most painful experience. But, after a while, you will start cherishing the fact that you are starting to develop multiple ways to solving different problems, and that’s where the pleasure comes in. Secondly, reading about Ruby/Rails only gets me so far. Practically using what I have learned helps me to remember what I have learned. Remember, use it or lose what you have invested time to read about.

This article says, better than I could, why .NET folks should look at Rails. If you're resistant to change (or installing things) try Instant Rails. If you refuse to install anything, and still want to Try Ruby, then try it directly in your browser.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Patterns & Practices Summit - West 2006

September 26, '06 Comments [1] Posted in Speaking
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I'll be speaking with Patrick Cauldwell at the West Coast 2006 Patterns & Practices Summit (PNPSummit) October 9th-12th this year. If you haven't registered and you've got some training dollars, do check out this event.

Check out the schedule of sessions. Not only are Patrick and I there, but Corillian's own "Agilist" Wayne Allen is speaking on Continuous Integration as well.

There's a great lineup for this event this year, including talks from Ted Neward, Jim Newkirk, Peter Provost, Brad Wilson, Rocky Lhotka and many other technorati's with keynotes from Brad Abrams, Scott Isaacs, Jack Greenfield, and Rick Maguire.

Hope to see you there! I'll be ducking out occasionally for the Windows PowerShell Developer Conference happening the first two days. Busy week!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Programmatically Mapping an IIS Vdir/AppPool to .NET Framework 2.0

September 25, '06 Comments [1] Posted in ASP.NET
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We needed to create an IIS Application and Virtual Directory programmatically and while we were doing this, ensure that the VDIR would run only under ASP.NET 2.0. We could certainly shell out to ASPNET_REGIIS.exe to do the work, but this would recycle the whole of IIS (basically every AppPool).

Scott Forsyth at ORCSWeb, my very awesome hosting provider, has an article on a simpler way to make this happen. (It's an older article and older code, but it does work on 2.0 with some simple mods)

It's pretty clever actually...he just spins through the scriptmaps and replaces the current ASP.NET version with the one he wants. The end result is that only that AppPool needs to reset, it's faster, and you don't need to shell out. Thanks ScottF!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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NYTimes Reader - WPF's First Killer App

September 25, '06 Comments [8] Posted in Reviews
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Nytimesreader2Is it worth the prerequisite runtime installation of the .NET Framework 3.0? I think so. It was mistakenly "released" earlier this week, but only for @nytimes.com and @microsoft.com users. Today it's available to everyone.

Nytimesreader1The look and feel is very nice. The initial sync of content is a smidge slow, but it can be schedule and run in the tray. The NYTimes Reader can be run with just the arrow keys and page-up/down keys and includes the new scaling and text-flow techniques introduced by WPF which means it looks good on the largest or smallest of screens.

The same page appears in the left screenshot resized very small and to the right maximized. Notice the number of columns changes and the image adjusts to an appropriate position.

You can register (free) and download the NYTimes Reader yourself and enjoy. It's a great example of what WPF can do without being garish. It's a clean and elegant and ultimately newspaper-like experience, and it has full-screen mode - always a plus.

NytimesreaderiraqThe only think that could have made it a nicer experience would have been support for ClickOnce, but they apparently wanted their installer to warn the user about the need for the .NET Framework 3.0 and walk them through it, which I understand.

You might think, why download an app like this that only gets Times content? Well, there's a crapload of content and it just about justifies an app...you get the whole paper. But for me, this app is a harbinger of what the first awesome WPF RSS Reader should look like. If this is what  FeedDemon could do for my feeds (Nick, are you listening?) that would be utterly wonderful.

This app has just the right design, font style, font anti-aliasing and font scaling, to make reading a newspaper on your an enjoyable tasks. Go get it.

UPDATE: I just realized that this feels a lot like PointCast. I bet some of these young Web 2.0 kids don't remember PointCast and we'll see history repeat itself, this time with WPF and RSS.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.