App.xaml requires an ApplicationDefinition Build Action

I was working on transforming a Windows Store app into an Universal app so that it worked not just for Windows Store but also for Windows Phone. When you do this two new projects are added to the solution. One of them is a special one, called shared project that you can use to keep…

Why won’t my .NET redistributable assemblies show up in Visual Studio’s ‘Add Reference’ dialog?

The Problem You install a .NET redistributable package and want to reference the assemblies in your project. However, though everything is correctly installed to GAC, the assemblies don’t show up in Visual Studio’s Add Reference dialog in the .NET tab (regardless of what version of Visual Studio you have). The Cause Redistributable assemblies are intended…

How to Determine What Process Loaded a DLL

Trying to figure out in which process a particular DLL is currently loaded, I have found two solutions (perhaps there are more). Solution 1: tasklist.exe

Solution 2: listdlls.exe (from sysinternals)

It might be that listdlls is more reliable than tasklist. I have ran into cases when tasklist failed to list processes that had…

Debugging Tools for Windows 7

Windows 8 RTM is not ready yet, but lots of things have been updated already with regard to the new version of the OS. Among them the download page for Debugging Tools for Windows. Here a screenshot from the page. Notice the following paragraph: There are certain rare circumstances in which you might need to…

Letter from a concerned developer

Dear Microsoft, I have recently read the two blog posts about the new “developer experience” with Visual Studio 11 (part 1 and part 2). I don’t have the IDE yet (since the beta will be made available on February 29), but from the blog posts I see that you once again changed the look and…

WinRT and winmd Files

If you tried the Win8 Developer Preview and built WinRT components (native or managed) you noticed the .winmd files. The name stands for Windows Meta Data and the format of these files is the same used by the .NET framework for the CLI, i.e. ECMA-335. That means you can actually read these files with a…

Windows Runtime

Windows Runtime, or shortly WinRT, is a new runtime (siting on top of the Windows kernel) that allows developers to write Metro style applications for Windows 8, using a variety of languages including C/C++, C#, VB.NET or JavaScript/HTML5. Microsoft has started rolling out information about Windows 8 and the new runtime at BUILD. WinRT is…