Microsoft makes changes to Visual Studio 2005

Microsoft has made a series of changes to the Visual Studio 2005 toolset that will be shipping in November, focusing on areas such as disk-based caching, licensing, and security.

The laundry list of changes is reflected under the subject heading, “Major Changes for Visual Web Developer 2005 and ASP.Net 2005 from Whidbey Beta 2 to RTM [Release to Manufacturing]” on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN). But the changes actually are minor and are among the many tweaks to the product that warranted a mention, according to Brian Goldfarb, product manager for Web platform and tools at Microsoft.

“The reality is the changes are not that significant,” Goldfarb said. Features cut from Visual Studio 2005, which had been code-named Whidbey, include disk-based caching and request priority.

Disk-based caching was intended to enable users to cache more pages out to disk, but the performance did not measure up. “Every now and then, we build features and they just don’t mature enough to be an effective part of the solution,” Goldfarb said.

“From our internal testing, there are no performance implications [for Visual Studio 2005] by not having this feature,” he added. “If we felt this feature was absolutely mission-critical, we would not have cut it.”

The request priority function was intended to allow developers to define which incoming requests had priority over others. “We’re going to have similar functionality to that at the Web-server level” with Internet Information Services, Goldfarb said.

Microsoft also made changes in support of the Web Standards Project.

“We’ve been able to more accurately address the needs of the Web development community based on the feedback of this standards organization,” Goldfarb said. As a result, Visual Studio 2005 will implement the 1.0 transitional version of XHTML by default as opposed to Version 1.1 of the standard.

This better supports the needs of Web designers, Goldfarb said. But Visual Studio 2005 users still can use earlier versions of XHTML featured in beta releases of Visual Studio 2005.

Licensing changes include supporting LICX in ASP.Net and Visual Web Developer, for integrating the licensing of controls. Under the category of security, Visual Studio 2005 ensures that events are not raised for controls if any control in a parent hierarchy is disabled.

Goldfarb stressed that Microsoft in publishing the list was promoting transparency with developers.

“It is all about transparency. We do not want users to be caught by surprise,” he said. “The fact that we even published this list is transparency.”

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