MSBuild Team Blog

"Coding ... the boring bit between builds"

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  • Blog Post: Why are build numbers limited to 65535?

    In my previous post I explained how to fix the issue with the default date format provided in the AssemblyVersionTask. Several people encountered the problem with the arrival of 2007, and all of them sent me mail about it :) After providing them with the fix, a few people wrote back and commented (with...
  • Blog Post: Fixing invalid version number problems with the AssemblyInfoTask

    The arrival of 2007 bought a flurry of e-mails to the MSBuild team from people having trouble with the AssemblyInfoTask. The symptom is simple to describe - the builds start to fail with the following error: Error emitting 'System.Reflection.AssemblyVersionAttribute' attribute -- 'The version specified...
  • Blog Post: Hotfix is Now Available for Warning C4945

    If you've been reading our forums you may have seen the long-running thread regarding warning C4945 slowing down certain types of builds. This issue was also reported through our Connect feedback center as issue 123509 . I'm pleased to announce that we have a hotfix available for this problem, and...
  • Blog Post: A New Tool For Visually Editing Build Process

    Eugene sent us mail today to let us know that his company has released a neato little freeware tool to visually edit MSBuild files. A quick glance at the website shows an impressive list of features for v1: Load and modify any file complying to MSBuild schema View build project structure in...
  • Blog Post: What Does This MSBuild Snippet Do?

    It's been a while since we've had a little quiz on MSBuild. Over the last couple of days the MSBuild team has been enjoying working up solutions to a question over in our forums. Last night Faisal and Jeff concoted some MSBuild script that, to be honest, made my head turn sideways and then inside...
  • Blog Post: MSBuild Extras - Toolkit for .NET 1.1 ships!

    It's been a little while (understatement!) since we've blogged something, but today we've got a good one for you. The MSBuild Extras - Toolkit for .NET 1.1 (a.k.a. MSBee) shipped today! You can download it at Codeplex . Enjoy! [ Author: Neil Enns ]
  • Blog Post: How To: Remove the Up-To-Date Check From the AssemblyInfoTask

    Every couple of weeks I get mail from someone who is using the AssemblyInfoTask on a build machine under source control. The question typically goes like this: I added the .targets file to my project, and it works fine on my dev machine, but doesn't do anything when I'm running it in the build lab...
  • Blog Post: Beta 2 of the MSBuild Toolkit for .NET Framework v1.1 is Out!

    Craig just announced over on his blog that Beta 2 is available . New features in this release include: Support for the ResolveComReference task! Redirecting the LC task to target .NET 1.1 Defining a FX1_1 constant to let you exclude .NET 2.0 specific code Providing a BaseFX1_1OutputPath...
  • Blog Post: What Does MSBuild Have to do With The Future of Game Development?

    Today the folks in our game studios team (XNA) used the Game Developer's Conference to roll out the first major public viewing of what they've been hard at work on. If you want to read about the overall technology preview they released you can look at Michael's blog entry . If you want to see what the...
  • Blog Post: How To: Bypass Post-Build Steps in a Build Lab Environment

    (Can you tell I'm going through my folder of interesting MSBuild questions today?) Here's another good question that came across our internal discussion alias last week: Is there a quick and easy way to bypass the PostBuild steps in a project file that was created with VS.NET 2005? I am trying...
  • Blog Post: Why Doesn't Delete Take Wildcards?

    Here's another question from our internal conversion discussion alias that came through last week: Does the Delete task in MSBuild not use wildcards? The documentation doesn’t say anything about it but that seems to be the behavior I am seeing. I can always create an ItemList then pass that into...
  • Blog Post: How To: Distribute Your Custom Task and .Targets file

    We've had variations of the same question on how to distribute tasks come through both internal and external channels in the last couple of weeks. Here's one example: If we have a product that is installing custom MSBuild tasks, are there any type of guidelines on where they should be installed...
  • Blog Post: MSBuild.GlobalEngine vs "new Engine()": What's the Difference?

    Earlier this week we got the following question from one of our VSIP partners: What is the difference between using MSBuild.GlobalEngine or “ new Engine() ” to build a project programmatically? I actually never knew there were two ways to do this. Thankfully Rajeev not only knew there were...
  • Blog Post: How To: Exclude Multiple Files From a Wildcard

    We got the following question on our internal conversion discussion alias today: Is there a way to exclude two or more items from an ItemGroup using the “exclude” attribute without using a wildcard? It turns out the way to do this wasn't clear from our existing MSDN Documentation . Brett...
  • Blog Post: Wildcard Expansion in Project Files

    We got a question today on our internal discussion alias about the behaviour of wildcard expansions in project files. It went roughly like this: I have the following target declared in my project file: <Target Name="MyTarget" Inputs="$(MyInputs)" Outputs="$(MyOutputDirectory)\*"> ...
  • Blog Post: MSBuild Extras - Toolkit for .NET 1.1 (beta 1) is Out!

    The folks in our customer experience team have posted the first public beta of MSBuild Extras - Toolkit for .NET 1.1 (the project formerly known as "MSBee"). If you're interested in building .NET 1.1 applications using MSBuild this is the tool for you! Give it a spin and be sure to send them feedback...
  • Blog Post: How To: Add Custom Process at Specific Points During Build (Method #2)

    Back in November I wrote about a quick-and-dirty way to add custom build process into the standard Visual Studio build by overriding pre-defined targets that exist in Microsoft.Common.Targets. While this method works fine for internal build processes it can be brittle if you’re trying to deploy your...
  • Blog Post: Part 2 of the Series on Writing Tasks Comes Out Tomorrow!

    Faisal's started a series on writing custom tasks , and just sent me an IM about how excited he is about his next entry. In fact, he says he has it all in his head, but because his head doesn't have a USB port for direct download it's going to take him a while to type it all in. I'm looking forward...
  • Blog Post: Sprint 12 review

    This morning we had our review of work done during Sprint 12. As you hopefully recall we run two sprints simultaneously: one focused on our conversion effort and one focused on platform investments. Sumedh got stuck in traffic on 520 , so Faisal stepped in to drive the proceedings. Faisal handled...
  • Blog Post: Answer to the Batching Brainteaser

    Earlier this week I posted a little batching brainteaser from our internal team discussion list. If you have a cheesy drumroll sound on your computer now is the time to start playing it, 'cause here comes the answer: a) 0 Yep, that's right, zero. Thomas is the winner for giving the correct answer...
  • Blog Post: You Know You've Hit The Big Time When...

    ... your classes show up on the .NET Framework class diagram poster. If you buy a copy of Visual Studio 2005 you get a pretty poster in the box that shows all the major classes in the .NET Framework, and MSBuild is on it! That's us under "Tools" in the yellow box. And that's Dan's thumb. He was...
  • Blog Post: How To: Use the AssemblyInfoTask With ASP.NET Web Deployment Projects

    About once a week we get a question from someone who wants to know how to set the assembly version information on ASP.NET projects. I spoke with Bradley, a development lead over in the ASP.NET team who worked on the Web Deployment Projects , and it turns there are two ways you can do this. If the...
  • Blog Post: How To: Obtain Initial Property Values in a Logger

    We got a question on our MSBuild Feedback alias today that went something like this: How do I obtain all the initial property values in the project file in my custom logger? It's not immediately obvious from our object model, but you can do this. In the ProjectStarted event the ProjectStartedEventArgs...
  • Blog Post: A Little Batching Brainteaser

    Every so often as we work through converting the Visual Studio builds over to MSBuild we stumble across a little quirk or entertaining bit of MSBuild XML that makes the team scratch its head. Dan sent this one around to the team a couple of weeks ago, and it's related to our previous post about unqualified...
  • Blog Post: Why Do We Support Unqualified Metadata?

    We got the following question on the MSBuild Discussion alias last week: I’m not sure why MSBuild support the concept of unqualified metadata. Is there a particular scenario where someone would rather use the ambiguous %(metadata) syntax as opposed to the more explicit %(itemlist.metadata) syntax...
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