Visual Studio 2003 And Find In Files Under Vista

It’s probably widely known by now that Microsoft do not support Visual Studio 2003 under Windows Vista (and 7).

I still have to support a legacy application that was produced with VS2003, so decided to give it a go anyway. To my surprise everthing in the winforms application that I needed basically worked, including debugging, intellsense and so on.

Everything that is until I tried to use ‘Find in Files’, which promptly crashed Visual Studio.

The Fix

Until that happened, I didn’t realise that I use this feature so much, but there is a relatively straight forward fix; by editing the compatibility settings of Visual Studio 2003 and adjusting the following:

  • Run program in compatibility mode for XP SP2
  • Disable Visual Themes
  • Disable Desktop Composition

Alternatively you could go use Visual Basic 6, which is supported by Microsoft under Vista.

XML Deserialization InvalidOperationException

Just a quick one today…

I was asked to help debug an issue with XMLSerialization in .Net where the object graph would serialize fine, but on being deserialized a InvalidOperationException was being thrown.

The class that caused the problem was defined in the following way:

public Class MyClass
{
    public int MyInt { get; set; }
    public DateTime MyDateTime { get; set; }

    public MyClass(DateTime aDateTime)
    {
        MyDateTime = aDateTime;
    }
}

This was nested inside another class in a collection, which initially I thought could be something to do with the problem. It turned out however that in order for deserialization from XML to work, each class that is to be deserialized must have a default constructor so that an instance of the class can be created by the XML deserializer.

This is easy to forget as the C# compiler implicitly adds a default constructor when there are no constructors in a class, but as soon as you add a non-default constructor, this goes away.

Simply adding

public MyClass(){}

Was enough to solve the problem.

The binary formatter does not suffer from this problem, although classes must be marked with the [Serializable] attribute.