Tag: windows-only

How to stay cool when Debug – Start is disabled and Select Startup Item is shown instead in VS 2017 – 099

Another What? What? What? moment for me was when I used Team Explorer to connect to a solution-based repo (and I “opened” the solution), but Debug – Start (F5) was disabled. Instead of Start, I saw the following “Select Startup Item…”

Select Startup Item

Stay cool honey bunny*

It took me a bit of time to figure this one out, but what happened was when I “opened” the solution (the Open… link to the left in the image), I really opened the Solution Explorer – Folder View

Show Folder View link

This Folder View feature is awesome when you have a repo that doesn’t contain a solution, but you want to use VS to edit the files and use TE to do your Git operations. For example, you can clone Your GitHub Moment of Zen app as a non-solution based repo. It’s an electron app, meaning it’s javascript.

But let’s say you have a legit sln-based project, but you clicked Show Folder View instead of Open… meaning you’re in the Folder View state

Folder View state in Solution Explorer

Sure you could open the solution via File – Open – File, or you could click on the Solution Explorer toolbar button dropdown and select the desired .sln file. I’m assuming you could have more than one solution file in your repo at the base level, because why not?

dropdown for opening a solution in SE

And volia! You’re solution is now opened in Solution Explorer. No more “Folder View”

good old Solution Explorer

And of course you can switch back to just folder view using the same dropdown button.

switching back to folder view

*I’ve heard that the kids graduating from college (COLLEGE) don’t know about Back to the Future. :swoons: I just hope they know about Pulp Fiction.

How to fix the "I’ve started making changes on master. How do I get those to another branch?" using Visual Studio – 090

For 20 years, Visual Studio users have started their workday by launching VS and start coding. Now we have to break that “muscle memory” by stopping to think, “Hmm which branch am I on? Do I need to switch branches first?”

You are allowed to switch to a branch, provided that branch doesn’t already have different changes to the same file. You’ll see the happy case, then the #sadtrombone case.

Help wanted:  This tip is only for saved changes, *not* committed changes. I don’t know how to undo the “oh shit! I’ve committed on master!” *from within Visual Studio* without dropping to the command line. If someone knows, please share in the comments or on twitter! aka please get my attention – references to Samurai Jack seem to work very well 🙂

Happy Case

Suppose you have a Console Application and you need to add a new file called IDoNothing.cs – yep, how I roll.

IDoNothing.cs being added in Changes window

Note that I haven’t committed anything else. These files are only saved.

Team Explorer will still allow you to switch branches. Go to Team Explorer – Branches, and switch to the desired branch.

donothing branch switched to

Then you can commit your IDoNothing.cs file into the donothing branch.

#sadtrombone case

From a previous tip, we’ve made changes to the output in our decorations branch. So let’s switch back to master and make some changes to Program.cs, e.g. adding a new method call.

DoingNothing() method added to Program.cs

We’ve saved the changes, but haven’t committed them. Now when we try to switch to decorations branch we get an error message.

error message: cannot switch becaues uncommitted changes

Yes, that reminds me of the old joke about the helicopter that’s lost over Microsoft HQ. When they the folks on the ground where they are at, they hear, “You’re in a helicopter.” The pilot says, “Thank you!” and plots a new course. The passenger says, “WTF? How do you know what to do after that answer?” He said, “it’s clearly MSFT. You ask a question and get the most technically accurate, but yet not really useful for the given situation answer back.”

Yes, true, you cannot switch because of uncommitted changes, but why is this different than before? Because decorations branch already has a different Program.cs file than what’s in our current branch (master).  In the happy case, by adding a new file, I knew there would be no conflict (and given it’s a Console Application, i don’t have many options for a demo 🙂 But when modifying Program.cs, there’s a conflict, so VS says to see Output Window for details:

> Cannot complete the operation because of existing changes to the following file:
    ConsoleApp1/Program.cs

Now that’s a useful answer! 🙂

How to revert changes in Visual Studio – 085

Yesterday’s tip talked about how to use `git revert` from the command line. Today’s tip describes the functional equivalent in Visual Studio.

TBH I clicked the wrong command in VS initially when I started writing this post. I clicked “reset ” then the “–hard” option, which should have been a hint. Revert doesn’t have the soft, mixed, or hard options. But, I was able to fix my git history (by going to the command line) to write this tip without deleting my .git folder and starting over, which is a first for me. So perhaps all this work writing out these tips is working!

Let’s say you have a console application that shows a blue background. And you’re like “no.”

console app with blue background

You want to remove this commit altogether. If you’ve been committing in small, atomic chunks of code, you should be able to revert this background color change. But don’t take my word for it. I wouldn’t know because I’m still trying to train myself to do small commits.

Going to the history shows where this change was introduced, i.e. “added ChangeColors()”. You can revert this commit by right-click and selecting “Revert.”

History - Revert on selected commit

Click Yes on the confirmation prompt.

If you refresh History, you’ll see the new commit.

Revert "added ChangeColors()"

You can double-click to open that commit’s details. If you edit the commit message, the Amend Message option will become available.

reverted commits details

Double-clicking on the Program.cs file listed under Changes for the Commit Details pane shows what’s been removed or “reverted” from the codebase.

Changes for Program.cs showing the ChangeColors method removed

And to verify we are back to our familiar console application background, let’s run the project.

default black background for console app

How to use the VS status bar buttons as a shortcut to Team Explorer panes – 083

Something new in Visual Studio 2015 and still there in Visual Studio 2017 is the ability to click buttons(!!!) in the status bar O_O.

You can switch branches without having to touch the Team Explorer pane.

branches button shown in status bar w list of branches to checkout

You can jump to the Connect pane, which will save you time when you’re debating “is it the Home icon or the green Plug icon?”

repo button in status bar showing Connect pane

Yeah, I guess I need to get around to deleting deletemetoday one of these days…

You can jump to the Changes pane, regardless whether you have uncommitted changes (or staged changes as shown in my screenshot – yeah SDET skills die hard).

This button won’t automatically commit your changes, but only takes you to the pane.

pen or pencil icon button for Changes pane

And last but not least, you can jump to the Sync pane. Again, it doesn’t perform any commands other than just navigating to the pane.

up arrow button for Sync pane

Looks like you can click the Line, Column, and Character status bar “buttons” and new UI appears for Visual Studio 2017!! (provided you have a file opened).

Must focus on Git and GitHub tips
Must focus on Git and GitHub tips
Must focus on Git and GitHub tips
Must focus on Git and GitHub tips
Must focus on Git and GitHub tips
Must focus on Git and GitHub tips
Must focus on Git and GitHub tips
Must focus on Git and GitHub tips

Okay, it looks like if you double-click on any of those status bar buttons, you’ll get a new Go To Line dialog, which seems to be part of a global search window…

new Go to Line window in VIsual Studio 2017

but it doesn’t seem to let you specify columns or character positions.

Yeah, old habits die hard, even when trying to focus.