Debugging Visual Studio 2005 web applications with Firefox

I recently purchased a new laptop (an experience I’ll talk about another time) and got a new desktop at work, so I had the pleasure of re-installing Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 twice in the past two months. (The service pack install was faster, thanks to this tip.) Everything seemed fine, except for one thing: I couldn’t get Visual Studio to recognize Firefox as my default browser, which meant every time I started a web project (debugging or not), Internet Explorer would rear its ugly head.

Getting Visual Studio 2005 to recognize FirefoxThe solution was not to change the Windows default browser (it was already IE) or to set some crazy start action on your web project. It’s more obscure. In VS, go to File / Browse With, add a new browser that points to Firefox, then set that as the default.

OK, it does make sense on some levels, and maybe it’s good that VS can have a different default browser than Windows, but shouldn’t that option be in the Tools / Options window, perhaps under the Environment section, which already has a Web Browser group?

At least I figured it out without breaking (another) mouse.

Hosted Subversion solutions

Scott Watermasysk (developer of the DotText blog engine, the precursor to SubText, which is used to power this blog was originally used to power this blog) recently wrote about hosted Subversion solutions and the fact that Subversion is the version control engine used by Google Code. A few years ago I switched to Subversion (from Visual SourceSafe) and I’ve never looked back. Between Subversion, TortoiseSVN (a Windows Explorer-integrated Subversion client), and AnkhSVN (a Visual Studio add-in Subversion client), there’s little reason to look elsewhere.

Is Google Code a worthwhile Subversion host? In short, it depends on your needs. Google Code offers lots of disk space (100MB) and provides a free Subversion repository, but it also requires your project to be open source (the create project page requires you to select one of a few open-source licenses). As a result, Google Code is a great solution for an open-source project.

What about closed source projects? For over a year I have used and would highly recommend them to anyone needing a private Subversion repository. They offer plans for as low as $7 a month — and throw in SSL data encryption, an unlimited number of repositories, 100MB of disk space, unlimited users, and free Trac project management software (a combined wiki, source browser, and ticketing system). I have about a dozen projects hosted by them, with different developers working on each one, with separate repositories for each one — all for what amounts to $70 a year. You can’t beat that.

Side thought: I will be commenting on CodePlex soon. I recently received an “OK” from Scott Guthrie of Microsoft to move my precompiled CSSFriendly control adapters to CodePlex (I wanted to make sure there wasn’t a licensing violation), and will be doing that this week, so stay tuned.