Saturday, January 19, 2013

Restore missing Item templates in Visual Studio 2012

I’m working on a large Silverlight to WPF project migration and came across a issue where item templates where not being displayed from the Add new Items dialog. After a bit of searching it became apparent that this was a fairly common problem and there are a number of ways to fix the issue. Of the the various suggestions I found one seemed to work the best, although it was originally for Visual Studio 2010. So here is how you can get those missing templates back.

  • Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE
  • Delete the ItemTemplatesCache folder
  • In the ItemsTemplate folder navigate to the templates you want to display and for each template open the vstemplate file in a text editor and set ShowByDefault from false to true
  • run devenv /installvstemplates

You may need to run this as an administrator. Once this is done open your project in Visual Studio and right click “Add New Item” your templates should now appear.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Problem with Windows 8 Apps

I have to admit I was skeptical of Windows 8 when it was announced. Since it was released I’ve migrated my laptop and desktop as well as purchasing a Surface and HTC 8X windows phone. While I’ve been happy with the phone apps I’ve downloaded from the store, the Windows 8 apps are another story.

First let me set the bar, I look for apps where the developer took some time to develop an icon. If I see an app in the store with the default Visual Studio App Store app template you’ve lost me. Even if it is the greatest app since the internet the fact that you could not take a few moments to build even a basic icon tells me you really don’t care about your work. There are literally dozens of these app icons in the store.

I expect the app to be responsive. If the data is stale or not updated or the app just plain says it updated and I can go somewhere and see this in not the case you’ve lost me. A case in point are twitter apps, I can look at twitter on the web and compare what is displayed in the app and I can tell you’ve lied. Both Rowi and Metro Twit done this. Facebook apps have similar issues. If you have an app in the store that uses social networking it better update consistently.

I expect apps to provide the advertised functionality, if your app won’t even provide the advertised functionality you’ve lost me.

I have taken the stand of not paying for a single app until I can be reasonably sure that what I pay for will work. The biggest hurdle that Microsoft needs to overcome is not the number of apps in the store, but the quality. you can have a million garbage apps (ask google) but when you have quality apps that work as advertised and provide value then you only need a few to be profitable and build user loyalty.

Maybe the message to developers should change from “Build apps for the store quick and easy” to “Make quality apps and create revenue”. I’m still skeptical about the future but all it will take is quality in the store.