Nov 30, 2009

ReSharper and the Case of the Missing Menu

I use a Visual Studio add-in called ReSharper 4.5. I also own a license for a similar product  called CodeRush. While I was experimenting with CodeRush and Refactor Pro (they are bundled together) I managed to cause a lot of problems for Visual Studio. At some point I needed to get work done and I instructed Visual Studio to skip loading ReSharper and CodeRush. Of course I was in a hurry so I didn’t quite realize what I had done or how to undo it, I just needed to get VS up and running and get a change made quickly.

Days later when I went to use ReSharper I noticed it would load and analyze code but all my ReSharper menus were missing, as were the context menu items related to ReSharper . All the keyboard shortcuts were disabled also. The bulb icons would still show up so I could still use some features but it was pretty crippled. The key to fixing everything was to take the following steps:

  1. I opened a Command prompt window.
  2. I moved to the VS IDE directory by issuing a 
    cd C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE
  3. I entered:
    devenv.exe /ResetSkipPkgs
    This turned back on all the packages I had told VS2008 to skip.
  4. This time I paid more attention to the error messages. I didn’t allow the ReSharper package to be disabled.
  5. I noticed the CodeRush package was causing problems, so I Quit VS, uninstalled CodeRush and restarted VS2008 and all was well again with ReSharper.

CodeRush Gridlock

This is the second time I have tried to evaluate CodeRush, and the second time I have had nothing but heartache with the product. When I first got my license and installed CodeRush the code analysis found loads of false positive errors in my code. After a few exchanges with the very helpful tech support at CodeRush this eventually got straightened out and they made a new release. In addition though, the old release would occasionally make the IDE quit for no reason. When the new release came out I was anxious to try it, but it munged up VS and was never usable. I know a lot of folks are out there using CodeRush but both times I have attempted to use it, it made my environment very unstable. Not something I’m looking for in a productivity tool. I think I’ll be sticking with ReSharper for the foreseeable future. I’d be interested in hearing from anyone that uses VS2008 Team Edition  and CodeRush 9.2.6 or later and has had good results.

Follow-Up on CodeRush

Tech support at Devexpress did find a problem with the 9.2.7 installer and I was able to successfully install 9.2.9 and have it run alongside ReSharper. Unfortunately, I am once again getting false positive code analysis errors of the “undeclared element” type in 9.2.9. I  made a screencast detailing the problem but tech support at Devexpress can’t replicate it.

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Tod Gentille (@todgentille) is now a Curriculum Director for Pluralsight. He's been programming professionally since well before you were born and was a software consultant for most of his career. He's also a father, husband, drummer, and windsurfer. He wants to be a guitar player but he just hasn't got the chops for it.