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The Much Needed Service Pack for VS 2010 is Almost Ready

by Jonathan Allen on Dec 09, 2010 |

Visual Studio 2010’s first service pack is nearing completion. According to Brian Harry, the betas for .NET 4 SP1, VS 2010 SP1, and TFS 2010 SP1 together represent between 800 and 1,000 bug fixes. A complete list of bug fixes isn’t available but he is offering the 80 most important fixes to Team Foundation Server.

Service Pack 1 also comes with several enhancements. The most notable is probably the way help files are displayed when running in off-line mode. Help files are still installed locally, but instead of showing them in the default browser you get a specialized client. This looks a lot like all of the older help viewers complete with a table of contents and an index on the left-hand side. Yet unlike the older clients this one is actually quiet fast and offers accurate search results. For the first time in over a decade this reporter can actually say he enjoys using off-line help.

Next up is support for unit testing .NET 3.5. For reasons that were never adequately explained, Visual Studio’s built-in unit testing tools only supported .NET 4.0. While most teams will probably continue to use third-party unit testing tools such as NUnit for other reasons, MSTest is at least one step closer to being a viable option.

Intellitrace, a historical debugging tool, made its debut with Visual Studio Ultimate. But despite the hefty price tag of this edition, the tool was limited to x86 only. With this service pack support has been extended to x64 and SharePoint. Unfortunately it still doesn’t work with Silverlight or unmanaged C++.

Silverlight is getting a performance profiler. According to Brian Harry, “because so much of Silverlight is about rendering performance and a traditional code profiler is a blunt tool for tuning that kind of thing, we have included a number of higher level profiling abstractions to make is easier to understand where your app is really spending the time.”

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