ReadableExpressions Debugger Visualizers now in the Visual Studio Gallery

Bowing to vast, popular demand (a comment on the blog), I've now put an installer for the ReadableExpressions Debugger Visualizers on the Visual Studio Gallery. Installation copies the Visualizers into whichever versions of Visual Studio (v10 to v15) are installed.

My first attempt used a VSIX, but had the following issues:

  • It had to run a console application in an elevated process to be able to copy files into the Program Files directory
  • The copying process happened when the extension was loaded - each extension you add is loaded at a certain point of the Visual Studio lifecycle - which really isn't a good fit for the 'copy some files to a directory once' story
  • I couldn't find a way to have the Visualizer files removed when the extension was removed

…so I switched to using an MSI. This was a perfect fit for the install / uninstall actions, but by default didn't show up in the Visual Studio Extension Manager. I found the answer to that here, and created an extension.vsixmanifest which the installer manually copies / removes from the appropriate place. As an aside, an extension won't show up in the Extension Manager if its vsixmanifest file is saved as UTF-8. Why would that happen? Who can say. I'm just recording it here for posterity.

So! Get your fresh-baked Expression Debugger Visualizers here, and if there's any problems, please do let me know in the comments or add an issue on GitHub.

Print | posted @ Tuesday, April 5, 2016 8:42 PM

Comments on this entry:

Gravatar # How to use
by ggirard at 5/17/2017 10:41 PM

Hi! Just installed the extension... I am just wondering how to use it now :)
When the debugger break and I get my LambdaExpression object in watch window, is it sill displaying the "ugly" version of the expression.
Do you have any post or wiki on how to use it? can't find any currently.
Gravatar # re: ReadableExpressions Debugger Visualizers now in the Visual Studio Gallery
by Steve at 5/18/2017 1:47 PM


What version of VS are you using? I've had a report of an issue installing with VS2017, but I couldn't reproduce it.

Do you have AgileObjects.ReadableExpressions.Visualizers.Vs15.dll in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\{Version}\Common7\Packages\Debugger\Visualizers ?
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