Derik Whittaker

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Sometimes it is the 'little' things in life that make one happy

What is the #1 complaint that many people have about Visual Studio?...... Quick?..... If you said the 'Add Reference' dialog box you and I think alike.  I have always hated the way that you add references to assemblies in the IDE.  I have also always wondered WHY it would take 2-3 minutes some times simply to open the dialog (ok, I actually know why.  It is because the ui is single threaded and has to scan the GAC and all COM assemblies prior to loading). 

If you are like me and dream for a faster 'Add References' dialog box, then at least one feature in VS 2010 (yes I said feature because it makes my day/job faster). 

In VS2010 they have made a few changes.

  1. Setup the dialog to launch on a separate thread, and yes you can cancel it.
  2. They default the dialog the Browse tab
  3. They only load the GAC/COM stuff on demand.

Ok, I know this post was not filled with 'content', but some things just have to be said.  Now if they would only allow drag-n-droping of my assemblies from explorer into a project my day would even be better, maybe VS2012 :)

Till next time,


Posted 12-14-2009 6:45 PM by Derik Whittaker
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Comments

jdn wrote re: Sometimes it is the 'little' things in life that make one happy
on 12-14-2009 10:07 PM

Yep, love this feature also.

Chad Myers wrote re: Sometimes it is the 'little' things in life that make one happy
on 12-14-2009 11:44 PM

It's not like the GAC changes that often. Why can't they just load the GAC in the background after VS starts the first time and cache the results somewhere and update the cache when the GAC changes. In fact, doesn't the "C" in GAC mean "Cache"? Why does it take so long to scan through it? Is there no indexing?

It still seems like they didn't solve the problem, just glossed over it. *sigh*

Do they at least cache the cache in memory so you only have to suffer the wait time ONCE per app launch?

labilbe wrote re: Sometimes it is the 'little' things in life that make one happy
on 12-15-2009 12:31 AM

What I should like is the ability to drag'n drop an assembly to the list of references too.

Derik Whittaker wrote re: Sometimes it is the 'little' things in life that make one happy
on 12-15-2009 5:23 AM

@Chad,

I would agree that the GAC does not change too often and it should not have taken this long to fix a 'simple' issue (my words).

But I would disagree with you and say they did actually fix the problem, at least from my perspective.  As long as my dialog loads right away and not 2-3 minutes later the problem is solved.  Sure it may have been solved with duct tape and glue, but who am I to judge :)

Andriy Buday wrote re: Sometimes it is the 'little' things in life that make one happy
on 12-15-2009 5:32 AM

Finally they did this!

Igor Brejc wrote re: Sometimes it is the 'little' things in life that make one happy
on 12-15-2009 8:42 AM

1. I very rarely add references from GAC - my policy is to have all the referenced DLLs in my VCS.

2. Also, the "recent" tab in the dialog helps a lot for adding stuff already added in other projects in the solution.

3. Resharper makes adding references much easier, since it can detect and add references automatically (again, for stuff already added in other projects.

Andriy Buday wrote re: Sometimes it is the 'little' things in life that make one happy
on 12-16-2009 1:46 PM

Igor Brejc, regarding 3rd: this works only for project references, but often we need browse for dlls.

Thomas G Mayfield wrote re: Sometimes it is the 'little' things in life that make one happy
on 12-16-2009 4:40 PM

In VS2k8, give Rory Becker's CR_QuickAddReference a shot: code.google.com/.../CR_QuickAddReference  It uses DXCore, which is a free plugin framework (and is part of CodeRush, for those that might already have it).  It caches results.

In the past, I've done separate VS plugins for "Add File Reference..." and "Add Project Reference..." that are far more common for me than adding a GAC or COM reference, but I don't have the code for them lying anywhere handy.

Thomas G Mayfield wrote re: Sometimes it is the 'little' things in life that make one happy
on 12-16-2009 4:42 PM

Igor Brejc's 3rd point works for both project references and .dll's for me, but that may prove to be a feature of our project layouts.

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