Saturday, May 3, 2008

Edit and Continue effectively disabled in Visual Studio 2008

I find edit and continue to be a productivity booster and I use it every day. Or, I used to use it before I got a habit of using LINQ. I also find LINQ to be a productivity booster because I can express my intend at a higher level of abstraction than before LINQ. I rarely write foreach loops anymore since often it’s more brief and to the point to use one of LINQ’s extension methods and lambda expressions.

Whenever you have a method that contains one or more lambda expressions, edit and continue stops working. It’s not that it’s actually disabled in VS. You can go ahead and edit your method when debugging, it just won’t allow you to continue. So it’s effectivelyEdit and NO Continue ™.

It didn’t start as a problem for me, but becoming friends with LINQ and really getting it under my skin means a rough estimate of 75% of my methods contain LINQ code these days. Why don’t my two best friends, LINQ and Edit’n'continue, like each other? I prey the explanation is: It’s hard to do and Microsoft didn’t get it ready before they shipped VS 2008.

Service pack 1 maybe?

2 Responses to 'Edit and Continue effectively disabled in Visual Studio 2008'

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  1. Morten Lyhr said,

    ON JUNE 13TH, 2008 AT 7:48 PM

    I really dont see the point in E&C?

    Why do I have to use my time in the debugger?

    Stay out of the debugger, with unit test and TDD.

    As usual Jeremy D. Miller — The Shade Tree Developer, sums it up nicely.

    Occasionally you’ll see a claim that TDD == 0 debugging. That’s obviously false, but effective usage of TDD drives debugging time down and that’s still good. From my experience, when the unit tests are granular the need for the debugger goes way down. When I do have to fire up the debugger I debug through the unit tests themselves. Cutting down the scope of any particular debugging session helps remarkably. The caveat is that you really must be doing granular unit tests. A lot of debugging usage is often a cue to rethink how you’re unit testing.

    Taken from

  2. Soren said,

    ON JUNE 20TH, 2008 AT 11:02 AM

    I’m not a debugger lover :) I’d certainly love to use it less and I too think that doing TDD helps in that regard. But even unit tests and the code under test have to be debugged once in a while.

    Given that a debugger is sometimes necessary, E&C just makes the ride much smoother. The whole experience is more organic, like I’m molding a sculpture with your hands.

    Contrast that with the rigid feeling of writing, compiling, running tests. The pause from the time when you have a thought till the time when it’s effect becomes observable is very small with E&C.

    The point you are making is against relying overly on debugging, not against E&C. A debugger capable of E&C is preferable over one that isn’t.

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