Thursday, June 12, 2008

Solution Genrating and creating your own VS Sln files

Recently I have started building my own solution generator to create all the basic stuff that I just want done before I even really start coding.
The generally idea is that I can get a basic working concept application or web site up and running quickly that still follows the basic architecture that I will implement.
As most of the applications I have built in the last few years have been NHibernate based and I follow a similar standard for them why not generate the majority of the code to get me started. Whether I use all the code is irrelevant, its a starting point and saves a lot of start up time.
I have basic table structures that I use such as Customer, Orders etc so I can use those and generate from there and I have a decent size core library for DAL and non functional aspect based stuff.
One little problem I have run into is that VS sln files are not the basic text files they appear to be. The leading characters as well as the first couple of lines dictate the version of VS that they will run under. Get it wrong and VS wont even open the files. For example the leading bytes for vs2005 (followed by the leading few lines) are:

[byte 239, byte 187, byte 191]
[\r\n or byte 13, byte 10]
Microsoft Visual Studio Solution File, Format Version 9.00
# Visual Studio 2005

Otherwise, mostly the project is coming on ok. I think this is going to be a very handy tool in the coming months, where is seem to have a lot of greenfield projects on the horizon.

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