Inside F#

Brian's thoughts on F# and .NET

Improvements to the F# project system inside Visual Studio

Posted by Brian on May 25, 2009

As a developer on the F# team, I spend a bit of my time working on the F# project system, so I wanted to briefly share a few new features and bug fixes in the latest release of F#.  Today’s blog entry is mostly screenshots to call out features you might not otherwise be aware of.

First, if you right click on a file in the Solution Explorer and select Properties, you’ll see that files now have a ‘Copy to Output Directory’ property:

FileCopyToOutputDir

This is useful for example when you want to drop a data file next to your .exe file (as suggested by the screenshot).

Next, if you right click and select Properties on a Reference node, the ‘Copy Local’ and ‘Specific Version’ options are there, which enable more control over how references are found and deployed.

ReferenceProperties

Also, whereas previous versions of F# had bugs that prevented most uses of ‘Solution Folders’, now you can use them to organize your projects:

SolutionFolders

Finally, the prior release of F# had a number of bugs when it came to building/rebuilding solutions with multiple projects.  Symptoms included:

  • ‘Build’ would sometimes re-build even when things were up-to-date
  • ‘Rebuild’ would sometimes build the same project multiple times
  • Build/Rebuild would sometimes spuriously fail for no obvious reason

How embarrassing!  Fortunately the latest release of F# fixes these issues.  Now you can build with confidence!  :)

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2 Responses to “Improvements to the F# project system inside Visual Studio”

  1. Frank said

    Excellent, thanks!Is/Will there be support for building WPF/XAML files? I know UI isn\’t a priority for F# but I\’d still like to give it a try.

  2. Roman said

    Nice. But the jpg screenshot hurt my eyes, PNG is much more suitable…

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