Opening .NET 2.0 Web Application Projects in Visual Studio 2008

So I’ve downloaded & installed Visual Studio 2008. First impressions: nice. It seems faster than 2005, but that may just because I haven’t installed ReSharper yet :). The multi-targeting feature that allows you to specify which version of the .NET framework to compile the project as is awesome. It makes migration so much easier. I’ve now been able to migrate our whole web solution to Visual Studio 2008 but keep the framework version at 2.0. We’ll upgrade to 3.5 later.

Very glad Microsoft decided to keep Web Application Projects built in to 2008, makes it all really simple. Everything ran fine except for one little gotcha with the web project itself. It’s not a big deal, but it was really annoying and the error messages were not overly helpful. It’s basically around Visual Studio trying to create the required virtual directory for the website in IIS. The error I was getting was:

Creation of the virtual directory http://dev.drive.com.au failed with the error: Could not find the server ‘http://dev.drive.com.au’ on the local machine. Creating a virtual directory is only supported on the local IIS server

See below for steps to reproduce & how to resolve this:

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Visual Studio 2008 released, available on MSDN now

Microsoft has released Visual Studio 2008 with .NET 3.5.  The full version is up on MSDN now, and the express edition can be downloaded here.  I’ve been really looking forward to this, LINQ, Lambda expressions and extension methods, plus built in JavaScript debugging & intellisense.  But one of the best features IMHO is that we’ll be able to step into the .NET framework code while debugging.  That’s going to be awesome.

To download the Visual Studio releases, you need to do it from the ‘Top Subscriber Downloads’ section, it’s not actually available in the normal subscriber downloads section.  Probably to reduce server load.  VS2008 Professional is a 3.81GB download, so make some room.

Live comes out of beta

Microsoft released the 1.0 version of Windows Live writer this week, which wasn’t much of a change on the last beta, just a couple of new features, including spellchecking for English (US, UK, Canadian), French, German & Spanish and support for AtomPub.  Good though, I’m glad they’re supporting it & not left it in perpetual beta.  Especially since WordPress updated to allow tag creation based on WLW keywords, WLW has become hugely useful for me.

I’m still not a huge fan of the whole Live.com web interface, it just looks a bit weird to me.  Oh well, I can’t really talk about quality design skills anyway.

Also released was the ability to sign up for a live.com (.au/.uk/.etc..) email address.  When I first went to the signup page it set me up as a .co.uk user, I guess because I’ve got my language set as British English somewhere.  Easy to fix though, just change the mkt=en-uk to mkt=en-au.  Not really a user-friendly option though, but I couldn’t find any other way to change it from that page.

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ICANN tackles the whois question and decides to do … nothing

Following from the ICANN meeting today in which they took up the issue of the whois privacy debate. The outcome is, unsurprisingly, motion 2.  Motion 2 is basically the do-nothing option.  It says that there is no consensus and more study is needed.  This after years of study by the ICANN commissioned whois Task force.   I really don’t know what else the expect to find out, this really is just a ‘we don’t want to decide, so lets put it off‘ option.

Comments on the decision:

Thomas Roessler:

In practical terms, this means that the ICANN community’s attempt to come to consensus about WHOIS is over for now. It is pretty clear that there is indeed no WHOIS policy that that community can agree on without a change to the political environment that it is operating in; it is also clear that this is not due to a lack of factual knowledge or background research, but because of deeply divergent views on the issues. Maybe taking time out would help. Nevertheless, the GNSO (and ICANN as a whole) also suffers horror vacui: ICANN is, after all, the organization tasked with coming to consensus about these kinds of issues, and ICANN giving up means a big opening for others to step in.

Wendy Seltzer:

Now, it’s time for the Council to vote. Council’s draft motions.

Motion 1: Approve OPOC as modified, 7 yes, 17 no. fails. The PDP is over. Long live the privacy-sapping WHOIS stalemate. Ross Rader, Registrar rep from Tucows, puts it best: “I do not think we have done the community any favors as a result of this discussion.”

The negotiation-forcing sunset proposal failed on a close vote: 10 yes, 13 no. It would have called for the elimination of WHOIS requirements from contracts in a year if consensus were not reached in the interim.

Instead, the Council called for — wait for it — more study. Don’t hold your breath.

It’s clearly time to go outside ICANN for help on the privacy front. I would like to see someone offer a _true_ privacy-preserving registration service — one that does not merely offer up the domain registrant’s personal information upon request. Any takers?

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