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August 11, 2008

SP1 for Visual Studio 2008 and .NET FX 3.5 released

Posted by David Hunter at 10:14 PM ET.

Visual Studio 2008 logo Visual Studio 2008 and .NET FX 3.5 were released last November and it’s a little early for a service pack (which has been in beta since May), but Microsoft apparently had some things to fix beyond the usual:

Microsoft’s "milestone" first-service pack for Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 has been released as the company shows concern over growing code bloat.

SP1 certainly offers a radical diet for .NET’s weight problem: it introduces the .NET Framework Client Profile for client-side applications. The Profile cuts by 85 per cent the amount of code you’ll need to run a Windows Vista-looking application on a machine that can only stretch to Windows XP. It’s designed to improve download and start-up times.

SP 1 comes less than a year after the launch of Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5. It has been released, though, as further evidence has emerged that Microsoft is concerned over the number of .NET Framework libraries, as product groups converge on a single framework.

SD Times claims to have seen a Microsoft memo that pointed to the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and ADO.NET entity framework as particular causes for concern. Tellingly, the .NET Framework Client Profile includes the WPF and WCF.

The report follows our own recent conversation with the general manager for Microsoft’s presentation platforms and tools team Ian Ellison-Taylor, who said on the client: ".NET got a little big – it was a victim of its own success"

However, the idea of using deployment specific profiles to lessen the extraneous baggage comes with the risk of additional complexity for developers.

There’s also a hidden problem for those building .NET applications. Already, a lot of people are angry at the fact they have to download different version numbers of the .NET Framework on their machines to build and test applications. Imagine how messy it could get in a world of multiple profiles, all of them running different version numbers.

So far there is only the .NET Framework Client Profile, of course, but human nature abhors a singleton. More details on the conventional enhancements and a download link are available in the MSDN overview.

Filed under .NET FX 3.5, ADO.NET, Microsoft, Technologies, Tools, Visual Studio 2008

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