.NET Developments

Feb 26 2008   9:02AM GMT

Every time a bell rings…

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

If you have upgraded from Visual Studio 2003 to Visual Studio 2005, you have probably noticed one of the major annoyances: they took away the sounds.

With VS 2003, you could set things up so that your computer made a happy little sound at you when a build succeeds. This was great because I could turn away from the monitor for a moment, if only to rest my eyes, until the sound brought me back. Or I could check email, get another glass of cold caffeine, etc.

I’d even gone a step further by making my app play the sound of a bell ringing, when it had finished booting itself after a successful build in the dev environment. This extended the time I could gaze out my window at the tangle of weeds we call a lawn.

But in VS 2005, all you can do is hear a sound when you hit a breakpoint. Big deal. I want the cheerful news that everything is copasetic. So why did they take out the sounds? To save a few hundred milliseconds. That appears to be the official word.

And the official word, back in April 2006, was that they were working on fixing this “bug” for the next release. Well, the next release has come and gone. Still no sounds. In the meantime, they suggest, you can write an add-in.

In Service Pack 1, there is a new control called SoundPlayer, which appears to do the same thing a simple two-line function can do. Yes, without it you have to declare an API function, which means unmanaged code and wild-eyed people grabbing you by the collar to tell you what a mistake this is, but I’ve been using API calls very carefully since .NET appeared and have yet to suffer (I am knocking on my desk top with both fists). I guess it comes down to this: I’d rather have my sounds back than a relatively useless control.

I saved much more time when I had that happy sound than the hundreds of milliseconds they were worried about. At least my app still rings a bell when it’s up and running.

But they could have told me.

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