Sunday, April 01, 2007

Visual Studio Annoyance #002: Can you tell me why publish failed?

One of the features I always liked about Visual Studio .NET was the Publish to Web feature. For those unfamiliar, you tell VS where to send your ASP.NET web site files and it strips out all the stuff unneeded to run the site, leaving just the minimum necessary files. This is a great feature, except when it doesn't work. In Visual Studio 2005, when I started publishing the site I am working on, the first server I published too it worked fine. That's where the fun ended. You see when Publish to the Web fails this is all you see: Sadly, this is the only information you receive. Double-clicking on the status bar yields no additional clues as to why the publish "failed". So I resorted to using the Publish by Hand non-feature.

And this is no April Fools joke, except perhaps I am the fool for hoping this feature would just work.
Scott Gu posted about a Public Hotfix Patch for VS "Index was outside the bounds of the array" Publish Website Issue a few weeks ago. I am not seeing the compilation issues, but the article caught my attention not just because I thought it might solve me issue, but the screenshot. It shows that the Build Output window shows you exactly what is going on with Publish! Why didn't I notice this? Because I have the Output window Auto Hide, and when I publish, it does not automatically make itself visible, succeed or fail, so I never realized anything was going on there.