Monday, March 9, 2009

Adventures in TFS, continued

I was chronicling my attempt to install TFS on a VM at home so I have a better platform for fixing bugs related to that source control system. The beginning of this adventure is here:

I should have given up on this thing a long, long time ago, but it started feeling like a technical challenge. One man vs. TFS. "The old man and the sea" of sorts. Although there the challenge was much less wanton :-).

Day 7. Create a new VM. This time I take a snapshot in Hyper-V every time something new gets installed.

  • Windows Server 2008 + all updates

  • Snapshot

  • Sharepoint Server 2007 SP1

  • Snapshot

  • SQL Server 2008 Standard

  • Snapshot

This time around TFS setup crashes after complaining that a command with half-a-page worth of command line options returned a non-zero result. Looking at winerror.h, the returned result is an unhandled exception. When I run the same command from a prompt (lots of retyping!), the exception has something to do with SQL reporting services.

At this point I give up and start reading the manual. TFS installation manual is an exercise in hyper-linking, forming a complex graph with many cycles in it. Instead of having 2-3 lists (if you are creating a single server deployment, do this, this, and this), it is an unwieldy bowl of spaghetti docs, each step cross-linking at least 5 more subtopics.

After spending 30 minutes down this maze of twisty little passages, all alike, the only difference I can find is about installing SQL server with unconfigured reporting services.

I roll back to the checkpoint after sharepoint, and this time I choose "Install but not configure reporting services".

TFS install can now complete, but I am back to the square one - trying to create the project in Visual Studio does not work - again, the error message is vague, something about reporting services.

Day 8.

I suddenly remember that I applied Visual Studio SP1 BEFORE I installed TFS client on my client machine. Everything worked so far just editing/checking files in, but I decide to reinstall SP1 just to make sure.

An hour and a half later - yes, this is how long it takes VS SP1 to install - everything works! That was the problem...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why exactly are Microsoft installers getting worse with every release? 10 years ago even big full CD applications took far less time to install on old hardware than some recent apps on modern machines. For example, VS SP1 as you mentioned does something crazy, like unpacks several archives embedded into each other like Matryoshka dolls, then spends half an hour "registering components". There are some rare exceptions, but still it's a bold trend.