A tool to switch project files between using Visual Studio 2008 and 2010

Update: the source is now on GitHub

Visual Studio 2010 is almost here. Visual Studio 2010 (the release candidate) is here.


I’ll describe the problem before I describe the tool: You want to use the latest version of Visual Studio but you don’t want it to modify all of your projects and solutions because you’ve got other team members who don’t want to (or can’t) switch to 2010.


A serious problem indeed. If only you could you run a tool to update all of you project files to 2010, do your changes in Visual Studio 2010, then switch all projects back to 2008 format before checking in.

Well, here’s a command line tool to do just that!

It’s very easy to use: run it from the command line, give it a folder name, and tell it whether you want all your projects and solutions under that folder to be either 2008 or 2010 format. For example:

SwitchVsVersion c:\temp\MySolution 2010
SwitchVsVersion c:\temp\MySolution 2008

As a bonus, you can also tell it to change all your target frameworks to either .NET 4 or .NET 3.5. For example:

SwitchVsVersion c:temp\MySolution 3.5Framework
SwitchVsVersion c:temp\MySolution 4.0Framework

Binary here. Source code here. Here’s a test solution with lots of different empty projects to try it out on too.


Disclaimer: this is a noddy little tool that may not work properly on your projects and solutions. I’ve tested it on quite a large WinForms solution and it worked fine. I’ve also tested it on quite a variety of projects including C# and VB WinForms, Web Apps, Libraries, WPF Projects, and WPF Libraries. The only one it doesn’t do is C++ projects (which is a coincidence, because I no longer do C++ projects either). Be sure to back up your stuff before you use this tool! Terms and conditions apply.

Update: Thanks for the feedback. As requested, the source is covered under the WTFPL. Do what you want with it:


This program is free software. It comes without any warranty, to the extent permitted by applicable law. You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License, Version 2, as published by Sam Hocevar. See http://sam.zoy.org/wtfpl/COPYING for more details.

Updated: Code Formatter Plugin for Windows Live Writer

This plug-in formats and highlights code. Version can be downloaded here. Keep reading for more info.

As well as a few bug fixes, this release includes the following features:

· Use different formatting engines such as ActiPro (Insert formatted code), and SyntaxHighlighter (Insert highlighted code)
· Dozens of languages, including PowerShell, MSIL, Pascal and XAML
· Live formatting of code using the superb ActiPro code editor.  ActiPro very kindly donated the license.
· The ability to output either highlighted text (html) or an image
· WordPress support for the SyntaxHighlighter Evolved plugin

This plugin adds four tools in WLW’s tool window:


Tool 1) Code as bitmap

This uses the ActiPro formatting engine to take a snapshot of the code.

You’ll see this screen when clicked – if there’s text in the clipboard, it’ll be shown here, or you can copy and paste when the window appears:


This srceen allows you to set the size of the editor window.  You can either select common widths from the drop-down or put in your own width – for instance, 465 is the ideal width for my template on Blogger.  The buttons on the bottom right allow you to then:

a) insert the image straight into the blog post or
b) have the plugin copy the image or
c) discard it.

The advantage of the option A is that the code is still editable in WLW; the disadvantage – you cannot [yet] apply bitmap effects, such as reflection or drop shadow.

The advantage of option B is that you can apply bitmap effects, but the disadvantage is that code will no longer be editable.

Tool 2) Formatted code

This also uses uses the ActiPro formatting engine.

When inserting code, the plugin window will allow various properties of the code to be changed:


When clicking edit code, you’ll see the edit source code screen:


Tool 3) Highlighted code

This uses the Syntax Highlighter formatting engine.  When inserting code, the edit screen will appear in the same way as when you insert formatted code (see above).  The only difference is a ‘show preview’ button, which displays this preview window:

To use the SyntaxHighlighter engine, ensure your blog is correctly set-up.  For the preview window to correctly display your code, ensure the Settings are correct.  Here’s the Settings window:

Tool 4) WordPress Formatted

This changes the HTML output to that expected by theSyntaxHighlighter Evolved plugin for WordPress.  It’s very similar to using the SyntaxHighlighter engine, but you don’t need to worry about setting up your blog with the correct scripts.  Do be aware though, that for the Preview window to work correctly, you still need to set-up this plugin so that it knows where the SyntaxHighlighter brushes and scripts are (the default settings work right now, but if Alex changes the location in the future, you’ll need to update the settings).

To see examples of the output, please see this blog post.

Version can be downloaded here.  To use it, extract the binaries to Program FilesWindows LiveWriterPlugins and run WLW.  If you’re using a version of WLW prior to Beta 3, then you need to remove it and update!  (Alternatively, change the directory to Program FilesWindows Live WriterPlugins)

Thanks again to all those that left feedback.   Please keep it coming. Hopefully, the bugs that have been reported have now been fixed.

Problems with CSS and themes when using ASP.NET Forms Authentication

A while back, I wrote a blog post about how turning on Forms Authentication caused problems with stylesheets and Themes.  A lot of people found this post useful but had trouble finding it.  One reader suggested I change the title to get more hits.  So, I did, and this is it. 

ReSharper for Visual Studio 2010

rs I don’t know how I missed this for so long, but JetBrains have released a preview of ReSharper for Visual Studio 2010! They say this version is neither 4.5.1 nor 5.0, but a preview build with some of the new 5.0 features enabled.

Looking at the nightly builds, it seems that the first release was 9th July, but there was no news on their blog, which I’ve been checking daily since June (when they said it’d be ready).

Anyway, now I can give Visual Studio 2010 another try.  I just couldn’t use it, not even for evaluation, without ReSharper!

Also, let’s not forget that version 4.5.1 for Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 is also now available.

Google Squared and sexy languages!

Google Squared looks like an interesting tool. 

“Google Squared is a search tool that helps you quickly build a collection of facts from the Web for any topic you specify.

  • Facts about your topic are organized as a table of items and attributes (we call them "Squares" for fun).
  • Customize these Squares to see just the items and attributes you’re interested in.
  • See the websites that served as sources for the information in your Square.
  • Save and share Squares with others.”


There’s some interesting results.  I searched for ‘programming languages’

It displays a list of languages, a picture of the language, a description, and what it was influenced by.

I was very surprised to see the Miranda language (apparently influenced by Haskell).  Try it yourself:  scroll down to Miranda.  I must take a closer look at this one!

limbo Another one that might get you excited is Limbo.  Scroll down and take a look (but be careful if you’re at work!!). Apparently influenced from Stackless Python.  I’d say more like alcohol!

Updated: Tree Trim

Tree Trim is a command line tool that trims your source code tree.  It removes debug files, source control bindings, and temporary files.

It’s integrated with Windows Explorer: when you right click a folder you’re given the option to clean the folder.

Massive thanks to Scott Hanselman for blogging about it and for providing some great and detailed feedback.

If you’re interested in doing your own Tree Trim plugin, there’s now a Wiki page to take you through the process.  If you’d like to contribute your plugin or fix any issues, then take a look at this page.

New tool: TreeTrim

hammer I’ve recently been working on a tool based on Jeff Atwoods Clean Sources Plus

It’s called TreeTrim.  It’s a tool that strips out debug files and folders in your source code tree and also zips and emails amongst other things.

One of the BIG requests for CleanSourcePlus (well, amongst the 5 people in the comments section of the tool’s page!) is for the tool to make a working copy of your source before it deletes and zips.  TreeTrim does this.

It’s plug-in based, so if it doesn’t do something that you want, you can write your own plug-in, plonk it in the directory, and have the tool run it alongside the other plugins.

The installer and source code is available for download at http://code.google.com/p/treetrim/

Update to the Code Formatter Plugin

Version of the Code Formatter Plugin is now available.

New in this version:

  1. Enhanced support for Syntax Highlighter 2x
    You can now specify things such as tab size, show ruler, collapseshow toolbar, show line numbers, starting line number, and highlighting specific line numbers
  2. Configuration screens for the different providers
    You can now add and remove languages and generally configure each provider.  You can also edit the files manually – they are called SyntaxHightlighter2xConfiguration.xml and ActiProConfiguration.xml.  They are located in the Plugins folder.
  3. Preview window for Syntax Highlighter formatted code.
    This was added because the Preview tab in Windows Live Writer doesn’t include the scripts and styles used in your blog engine’s templates and hence previewing Syntax Highlighted code means it looks plain.  Click the Show Preview button to see this window.

Code Formatter Plugin home-page
Direct download link