Thursday, 25 September, 2003

Development tool trouble

In 25 years of working with computers, I've rarely been as frustrated as I am today.  At work I'm making some modifications to an old ASP (not .NET) project for a client, and am trying to debug. Visual InterDev debugging is kind of clunky at the best of times, but getting it set up is a nightmare!  I'm running Windows 2003 Server on my laptop here, and have been completely unsuccessful in getting Visual InterDev to stop at a breakpoint.  My biggest success so far has been totally screwing up my project so that I have to re-create it.

I had to fire up Visual Studio .NET and create a new Web project just to remember what it was like to have a reasonable development and debugging environment.  If you've never worked with Visual InterDev, be thankful. If you're lucky enough to have moved from Visual InterDev to Visual Studio .NET, be thankful.  If you're stuck working with Visual InterDev...well, I don't actually suggest that you shoot yourself in the head, but doing so might be less painful.

Perhaps the most frustrating part of this experience is the complete lack of information in the MSDN Knowledge Base.  I can't be the only developer who's had trouble getting Visual InterDev to debug on Windows 2003.  The KB articles that do mention VI Debugging are specific to Windows 2000 or Windows XP, and IIS 5.  Guess what? Many settings either don't exist in IIS 6, or they've been moved.  Shouldn't Microsoft update their Knowledge Base?