Visual Studio 2008 Designer Support missing

Wizard for WPF Forum

Posted 11 years ago by Lee Oades - Software Consultant, Lee Oades Consulting Ltd
Version: 4.5.0470
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Hello,

I have a project with a Wizard in a window. Up until recently, I was editing the Wizard using the VS2008 designer and the handy menu that the wizard provides e.g. add new page etc

However, I have loaded up the project with the wizard in today after having restructured the application code, and the first page of the wizard shows in the designer - but there are no designer controls any more. Therefore, I am unable for example to use the designer to edit any of the other pages.

The project compiles and runs ok.

Please could you suggest any things to check to fix this issue.

Many thanks,
Lee.

________________________________________________ Lee Oades Consulting Ltd

Comments (11)

Posted 11 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Hi Lee, that's really odd. It sounds like the designer assemblies aren't being loaded. You can tell this if when you have Wizard selected, if you look at the VS property grid and don't see any categorization for wizard related properties.

If this is the case, maybe first reboot. If that doesn't help, try uninstalling and reinstalling. We haven't heard of it stopping working after it previously was working though so maybe some Visual Studio update or other hotfix broke things.


Actipro Software Support

Posted 11 years ago by Lee Oades - Software Consultant, Lee Oades Consulting Ltd
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Hi,

Thanks for the quick reply.
A reboot has not cured the problem.
I've checked the categorization of the properties as you stated and the Caption, Description etc appear under "Misc". This confirms your theory.

I'm going to uninstall and reinstall now. That surely must fix it :-)

Lee

________________________________________________ Lee Oades Consulting Ltd

Posted 11 years ago by Lee Oades - Software Consultant, Lee Oades Consulting Ltd
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Hmmmm... sadly and somewhat surprisingly, a reinstall has not fixed the problem.

I did an uninstall followed by a reinstall - rebooted the machine but still nothing.

Is there anything else I can check? Please help.

Lee

________________________________________________ Lee Oades Consulting Ltd

Posted 11 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Hi Lee,

Few questions for you...

1) Are you using the normal versions of our assemblies or the code-signed ones?

2) When you open our Sample Browser project in VS 2008, and open one of our Wizard QuickStarts there, do you see the designer functionality?

3) Look at your folders to see if the designer dlls are installed. On our system they are at:
C:\Program Files\Actipro Software\WPFStudio\v4.5.0470\Assemblies\Design

You should see a couple assemblies related to Wizard (the second one's name is goofy but is a workaround for a Microsoft-published VS bug):
ActiproSoftware.Wizard.Wpf30.Design.dll
ActiproSoftware.Wizard.Wpf30.dll.Design.dll


Actipro Software Support

Posted 11 years ago by Lee Oades - Software Consultant, Lee Oades Consulting Ltd
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Hello !

1. Umm... I've no idea. How can I tell?

2. Interestingly, the designer functionality does work in the sample browser code. Obviously, this means that there is something curious about my project.

3. There are 3 dlls in :

C:\Program Files\Actipro Software\WPFStudio\v4.5.0470\Assemblies\Design\
ActiproSoftware.Wizard.Wpf30.dll.Design.dll
ActiproSoftware.Wizard.Wpf30.dll.VisualStudio.Design.dll
ActiproSoftware.Wizard.Wpf30.VisualStudio.Design.dll

________________________________________________ Lee Oades Consulting Ltd

Posted 11 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Sorry yes there should be VisualStudio.Design variants of what I posted as well.

My guess is that you referenced the CodeSigned assemblies. These are located in:
C:\Program Files\Actipro Software\WPFStudio\v4.5.0470\Assemblies\CodeSigned\

The way the designer works is that it will look in a Design subfolder for the related designer assemblies. So I'd remove your references and make sure you pull them from the normal folder instead:
C:\Program Files\Actipro Software\WPFStudio\v4.5.0470\Assemblies\


Actipro Software Support

Posted 11 years ago by Lee Oades - Software Consultant, Lee Oades Consulting Ltd
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Right, fixed it.

The key piece of information that you mentioned there was that you are looking in a design subfolder.

Now, the application that I'm developing references many 3rd party assemblies, all of which had been recently gathered together into an "external libs" directory. This was such that an application could be packaged up in its entirety without relying on assemblies in the GAC or in other strange places. It also allows for specific versions of 3rd party dlls to be identified, shared and updated in a single place - thus avoiding the dreaded "my user control is using a different version of xxxx to yours".

I have created a subdir to the "external libs" dir called Design, copied in the three design assemblies mentioned above, closed and reopened VS2008 and viola, it's working again.

I would have expected the design dlls to have been placed somewhere for VS to find and for it not to have cared where the wizard.dlls were. I'm sure there must be a good reason why it's not like this.

Is there anyway for the wizard.dll to display a helpful message or link in the VS2008 designer when looking at a wizard form with no designer support if it has failed to load the designer dlls?

Many, many thanks for your help with this issue! I hope that it helps anyone else that runs into it.

Lee

________________________________________________ Lee Oades Consulting Ltd

Posted 11 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Hi Lee,

As long as you kept the option to install the assemblies to the GAC when you ran setup (it's the default), the design assemblies should be in the GAC and therefore SHOULD be picked up.

You can always do your references from the folder I specified and then set Copy Local on the reference. That will move the control dlls to your bin folder.

Sorry but all this stuff is internal to Microsoft's code so there isn't a way for us to know if a design assembly was loaded or not.


Actipro Software Support

Posted 11 years ago by Lee Oades - Software Consultant, Lee Oades Consulting Ltd
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I'm pretty sure I didn't uncheck that option during install.
According to GACutil, the following Wizard assemblies are in the GAC.

ActiproSoftware.Wizard.Wpf30, Version=4.5.470.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=36ff2196ab5654b9, processorArchitecture=MSIL
ActiproSoftware.Wizard.Wpf30.Design, Version=4.5.470.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=36ff2196ab5654b9, processorArchitecture=MSIL
ActiproSoftware.Wizard.Wpf30.VisualStudio.Design, Version=4.5.470.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=36ff2196ab5654b9, processorArchitecture=MSIL

Is this as expected?

The reason that we don't use Copy Local is to prevent different versions of the same library from existing inside different projects. If all of our projects reference this "external libs" directory, then there can't be multiple versions of the same dll in there - all it's pretty obvious if they have different names.

I've not written a design time control so I was just asking :-)

________________________________________________ Lee Oades Consulting Ltd

Posted 11 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Yes that looks correct for the GAC items. I guess in this case, it is best to do as you said and copy the design assemblies over to your folder too. At least that gets you working ok. :)


Actipro Software Support

Posted 10 years ago by David V
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Just wanted to chime in that I had the same problem Lee had. I keep all external dependencies (including the Wizard control) in a SharedLibs folder at the root level of my solution folder, and I set my references to these copies. I do that to prevent older projects from breaking when I upgrade a component. A project always has references to the component versions it was built with.

Lee's solution worked for me, as well. I've now got Designer support in my project.

And I've got to laugh, because until half an hour ago, I didn't know there was Designer support. I've gotten so used to VS 2008 providing no WPF Designer support to speak of that I have reverted to hacking everything out in XAML. I've got to say, the Designer support is really nice, and much appreciated!
The latest build of this product (v2019.1 build 0681) was released 1 month ago, which was after the last post in this thread.

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