Project properties nuisance

Fri, August 5, 2005, 12:54 PM under Whidbey | VisualStudio
Nobody likes modal dialogs, but the Visual Studio.NET 2003 properties dialog is *not* modal.

Nevertheless, we prefer docked windows (apparently), so in Visual Studio 2005 the properties window is "inlined" in the main area as if it were a code file.

With this change we lost a great usability feature. Easiest way to describe this is an example:
1. Open a VS2003 solution with more than 1 project (e.g. 3 or 10)
2. Collapse them all [btw, when are we going to get a "Collapse all" in VS?!]
3. Select a project and choose Project Properties to show the popup window
4. Select "Common Properties" -> "References Path"
5. Change the value(s) (or verify it is what you want)
6. Without closing the dialog, select another project in the solution
7. See how the “project properties” updates for that project?
8. Go back to step 4 and select some other section of the Properties dialog
9. In solution explorer, use the keyboard up/down keys to quickly verify that a setting is the same for all projects

I use the above all the time (e.g. to quickly toggle Debug/Release constants, change default namespace etc). When you change project selection, if you have made changes, you get the prompt to save or discard changes (which is nice).

So how can I achieve the same with VS2005? That wasn't a rhetorical question... please tell me!

For all projects in a VS2005 solution, try to change the output path from bin\Debug to bin\DebugCF. Count the number of clicks/mouse movements and do the same for VS2003 in no time.

How irritating when a great product takes a step backwards...

...or maybe I should get out more ;)