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Putting up .NET 2.0


:P
On this page:

.NET 2.0 arrived on Thursday and so I updated my server on Friday to install the .NET 2.0 runtime to get several of my ASP.NET apps running on the release build. I’ve been running for quite a while ‘blind’ with several of my server applications running on Beta 2 on the live server, while running the RC here on my dev machines. Since there had been some changes in the framework some of my code compiled for beta 2 wouldn’t run with the RC, so it’s been a couple of months of making changes to my applications offline only without synching back up to the server… needless to say that’s a bit unnerving – knowing you have a few bugs in the online code and not being able to immediately fix it <g>… (well, I could have fixed it with beta 2 code, but I was trying to avoid that).

Server Update

Anyway on Friday afternoon I swapped out the .NET runtime for the release version and recompiled and uploaded my applications to the server. The process went pretty smooth and I’m happy to say that things went up and running quickly. Well, almost quickly – two months of diffs have taken their toll actually. There were a couple of application level configuration changes that ended up crashing a couple of the Web apps for about a half an hour until I figured out that there was an invalid Enum value used in the old configuration files.

 

A few things to watch out for are web.config changes. Between Beta 2 and release there have been a few name and value changes for newer web.config entries. In the end I found my bug by simply replacing the web.config completely and seeing if the app would run and sure enough it did. Plug it back in and – boom. Rather than troubleshooting my rather large Web.config setup I just uploaded my local copy and adjusted the handful of keys that require customization.

 

So far so good. I notice that performance appears to be a bit snappier than previously both on the server and here on my local dev machine, although the big bummer still continues to be application startup which is as slow as ever. Once the app’s up an running things are smooth. Looking at my error logs I see nothing out of the ordinary – in fact a number of those little bugs I’d not been able to fix during the beta mismatch are gone thankfully.

Installing VS.NET Release

I guess the above was the easy part but this sort of server surgery is always a bit unsettling. Hence the approach of doing the update on Friday afternoon just before the ISP crew goes home. But in my experience .NET Framework installs have always been a pretty painless experience. The framework install is pretty non-intrusive and it seems like it has minmal impact on the system as a whole - only on the .NET portions. The Framework is painless, but it’s VS.NET that’s a *major* pain to install.

 

Well not quite, this time around at least. If you’re planning on installing VS.NET 2005 release ontop of Beta 2 or the Release Candidate or any other CTP/SQL Server 2005 install and you want to make this experience quick an easy check out this link and download the Uninstall Tools described in Aaaron Stebner’s WebLog:

 

http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/10/27/485987.aspx

 

I have one machine in my office that’s had all sorts of CTP/Beta versions of all sorts of Microsoft .NET 2.0 stuff installed and it managed to clean up that machine and cleanly install VS.NET on it! Even if you don’t have a messy machine the tool works much easier than uninstalling all the various components in the right order. This time was the first VS.NET install that I've done where there wasn't some sort of package load error - where was this tool during all those painful beta installs <g>…

 

I ended up installing VS.NET Pro since I don’t see the individual Team editions yet. I’m preparing for a number of sessions I’m doing and I’ve still been having a number of issues with the RC in the VS.NET IDE.  According to Microsoft a number of these haven’t been fixed for RTM, but I want to make sure. It looks like Microsoft is trickle releasing the various .NET versions with the various Team editions other than the full team  package not released yet. Or maybe my MSDN information hasn’t updated yet… <shrug> I guess I’ll be uninstalling re-installing VS before too long.

Let the games begin

Now the real work begins. I’ve been slacking off getting ready for 2.0 too long I guess and I wasn’t quite prepared for release to actually be early. I spent a good part of the weekend recompiling various projects and making adjustments to get them ready for 2.0.

 

My biggest issue is Help Builder related updates that deal with importing .NET 2.0 specific type information (Generics is supported now to some degree) and getting the Help Builder Add-in to work in VS.NET 2005. The latter is turning out to be a real pain – there are lots of little things that have changed and some not so little things. More on these issues in another post I guess.

Question of the day

Here’s an interesting thought. The distributable for the .NET 2.0 runtime is actually slightly smaller than the distributable for the 1.x version of the runtime. According to Microsoft the 2.0 version of the runtime adds a huge amount of functionality – how is it possible that the footprint hasn’t changed?

 

 

 

.NET Runtime 2.0:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/netframework/downloads/updates/default.aspx

 

VS.NET 2005 Beta Cleanup Tools:

http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/10/27/485987.aspx

 


The Voices of Reason


 

jeff
October 30, 2005

# re: Putting up .NET 2.0

I installed the RTM and jesus this thing is even slower than 03. I work with Win. forms a lot, and the designer is slower and more bug ridden than before. And the mixed mode debugger slows my apps down to a crawl.

The debugger does have some nice new features and great to see C++ being brought up-to-date with .NET, but man this release is an unstable dog.

It should have stayed in Beta - why was it rushed?

Rick Strahl
October 31, 2005

# re: Putting up .NET 2.0

Jeff,

I agree with you. VS.NET feels very buggy to me as well. It's not just WinForms. Lots of little issues in the WebForm editor as well and performance for the visual editors is pretty slow... I still have mysterious lockups with the visual editor going into endless loops and getting into places where I can't rename controls.

However, I'm glad they shipped it anyway. It's been too long and this stuff needs to get out so we can start using .NET 2.0. One thing that's important is that the .NET 2.0 framework looks very solid and that's really the key. VS.NET can be fixed as time goes on - as annoying as some of these problems are, most of them are annoying but I still wouldn't want to go backwards <g>... this is a monumental update, so while I'm not happy about the annoyance I'm willing to put up with that for the moment.

Let's just hope Microsoft can stop moving forward for a minute and actually fix and get the tools stable...

Gabe
October 31, 2005

# re: Putting up .NET 2.0

I have to echo everyones experiences. I have several LARGE ASP.NET 1.1 apps. While I realised that there were many fundemental changes to ASP.NET (partialy classes, code beside, etc.) I had no idea the changes would cause so many problems in converting old apps. I have to say I'm disapointed with the conversion wizard. You basically end up with an app, that after you've fixed the 200 or so compiler errors, is just a mess. Although it runs, I'm basically left with having to rewrite (at least the presentation layer) in order to cleanly fit in the 2.0 model. Don't get my started on XHTML and the changes to web.config. Fortunatly the IIS plugin that allows you to easily set what version of the framework an app runs on, makes it easy to run side by side. My thought is that only new apps will be created on 2.0. Since I only rewrite our systems every 5 years or so, I can't help but feel my 1.1 app is now a "legacy" application.

Rick, just out of curisoisty, what company do you use to host your apps? I'm reasearching a hosting provider.

Tom
October 31, 2005

# re: Putting up .NET 2.0

Your AspNetHosting project seems to have some trouble under the RC version of .Net 2.0 (v 2.0.5727). The "Raw Runtime" test and the Postbackdemo2.aspx update button both generate exceptions. Is this a know problem, or am I doing something wrong?

Rick Strahl
October 31, 2005

# re: Putting up .NET 2.0

Tom... it shouldn't - I recently updated the code for 2.0, but I haven't retested with the release build. What's the date of the zip you grabbed? I wonder if I forgot to update the code online...

Tom
November 01, 2005

# re: Putting up .NET 2.0

The zip was from 7/20/05. I got it from the page http://www.west-wind.com/presentations/aspnetruntime/aspnetruntime.asp.

# Craig Bailey's thoughts on life and Visual FoxPro: November 2005


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