Visual Studio 2010 Add Reference Dialog Improvements

I was doing some development in Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 and I had to add some references to my projects. When I opened the Add Reference dialog I realized something was wrong: it was working very fast. Since I’m using Visual Studio 2008 for every day development I am used to wait tens of seconds before the dialog loads all the references and only after that I can select what I want. But in Visual Studio 2010 it popped up instantly and all the tabs were browse able at the same speed. This was not normal. Usually new versions are slower that older ones (and I suspect Visual Studio 2010 has such features), but Add Reference dialog works great.

Then I browsed the web I came across this post from Scott Guthrie who explain what has changed:

  • default active tab when the Add Reference dialog is opened is now Projects, and not .NET
  • .NET and COM tabs load asynchronously in worker threads, populating the lists as references are discovered, without blocking the UI thread, which means you can browse through the references as soon as you open the tab

There are only two things that I can say: first is that I’m impressed. I now get instantly what it used to take maybe half a minute. Second is that I’m puzzled that it took so many years to implement that. Anyway, good work.

3 Comments on "Visual Studio 2010 Add Reference Dialog Improvements"

  1. That is awesome that it is working so fast for you.
    However, right now the Add Reference dialog is not opening at all for me. I right-click on the References folder and select Add References, but nothing happens. I just see the spinning blue wheel that continues spinning and them eventually stops, but no dialog opens.

  2. I finally figured out a work-around. If I temporarily disable the Power Tools, the original Add References dialog opens fine. After adding my references, I can enable the Power Tools again.

  3. I have installed the Power Tools myself. After that it turned out that TFS server connection no longer worked correctly. The reason turned to be that it used or shared some COM with Office Communicator (to get the list of team members I guess and their status) and since Visual Studio was running As Administrator and OC was not, there was a conflict. The only way to make it work was to run OC As Administrator. But guess what, that created problems in Outlook, so I had to set Outlook to run As Administrator. All that because of the Power Tools, so I’m not very happy with it.

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